In Believing in God, Gaining the Truth Is Most Crucial (Part Two)

No matter what happens to you, you must view things according to God’s words and handle them from the perspective of the truth. Problems are easy to spot in this way, and by viewing things according to God’s words, you will easily be able to see through to the essence of things. Some people always view things based on learning. They are always studying and analyzing things with their brains or viewing and regarding things with their fleshly gaze. They therefore cannot see through to the essence of problems and always go off course. This can go on for decades—they can go to their deaths without seeing things clearly. For example, sometimes you face an illness and think that it is just a normal sickness with objective reasons, that it is not God’s discipline and not a problem, when in fact, there is a big problem there in it. If you are subtle of thought in this matter and can pray to God and seek the truth, then sometimes, when the Holy Spirit conveys to you a meaning, you will be able to recognize some shortcomings in yourself or problems with your disposition. God gives you an illness to temper you, to make you suffer, to make you come back into the spirit for close examination and contemplation, seeing exactly what this illness is about. When you return deep into the spirit to examine yourself, you can find the root of the problem and come to some knowledge of your own corruption. Without a bit of suffering, you would always think that you are great, and you would fail to discover this corruption. Then you would not be able to understand the truth you need. Have you had experience of this? The Holy Spirit does everything in a very timely way, all according to what people need and all according to their current stature and state. It was said before that God’s work is punctual and measured, and very timely, without any delay. You have seen this in your actual experience. Every time you encounter something, the Holy Spirit promptly moves you and enlightens you, but you cooperate poorly. You are too numb. Sometimes you get a sense of what is happening and leave it there, without trying to understand it more deeply. You are satisfied with a mere perceptual understanding, and with that, you think you understand, but you have not actually reached a true understanding. Your perceptual understanding must be elevated to a rational understanding before you can have a way forward. If the Holy Spirit moves you again and you still ignore it and do not wish to write it down in your notes, then you will soon forget it. You will not have gained this light, this practical thing, and that will be a great shame. Diligent people take things down in their notes and feel wonderful when they look at their notes again later. They are able to gain some light on this foundation. Someone who is careless and has no spiritual understanding cannot feel this light—they do not even know what light is. This light flashes inside them and is gone, and if they are always like this, the Holy Spirit will not work in them. To pursue the truth, you must be sensitive and subtle of thought; you must not be lazy. You must also cooperate promptly. When you get a perceptual understanding, you should grab hold of it, hurry to contemplate it, and pray to God. How should you pray? Center your prayer on the enlightenment you have gained. Sometimes it may feel like your own thoughts, and that is fine. As long as you feel enjoyment and clarity, then you should pray and seek. Figuring out this new light and getting it right is what matters most. If the words flow particularly well while you pray, and you feel at ease, you are enlightened again, and your mind is illuminated, then you should make note of this new light. This is because sometimes you can remember when you are in a good state, but you forget when you are in a bad state. People can write several pages when they write an article, but they cannot write a single word when it comes to experiential testimony or their knowledge of God. They still lack reality. Those who love the truth focus on the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit. Those who do not love the truth do not treasure the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, which shows that they do not know what is important, what is secondary, what is crucial, or what they should be gaining. Because of this, they lose the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. It is best to carry a small notebook with you, so that whenever the Holy Spirit enlightens you and you gain new light, you can immediately take hold of it and note it down. The Holy Spirit works at any time and in any place. Whatever situation someone is in, as long as they contemplate God’s words and can seek the truth, then the Holy Spirit enlightens them. Even when you are busy with work and feel very tired, the Holy Spirit enlightens you if you seek and pray. The Holy Spirit enlightens you when you read God’s words or fellowship on the truth. He enlightens you when you contemplate God’s words and reflect on yourself. When the Holy Spirit enlightens you, write it down and go on to contemplate it, and your heart will be made clear. When you truly come to understand the truth, you will be completely liberated. When you experience God’s work in this way, the harvest you reap will grow and grow. The fact is that much of the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment is ruined by you. You are like children of a rich family squandering your inheritance, missing all the work the Holy Spirit does on you, losing so many chances to be made perfect by God! The Holy Spirit has done plenty of work, yet you fail to grab onto it. Can you really say that God is not kind to you? The fact is not that God has not shown you enough kindness—it is that you have not gained it.

There is a pattern to the work of the Holy Spirit, and conclusions need to be drawn about it. If one applies themselves to drawing conclusions, they will be able to conclude many things. There is surely something to be gained. Take prayer, for example. There are times when you can gain much enlightenment from prayer, but if you are inattentive, then you will not be aware. Though some words of enlightenment may come from your mouth, you will not notice if you do not pay attention. You will know only that you had a good prayer, when in fact there were words within your prayer that were enlightened and illuminated by the Holy Spirit. These were all new light, but you let them slip away. The way the work of the Holy Spirit helps people the most is by enlightening and illuminating them, allowing them to understand the truth and God’s intentions, to be able to do things according to God’s demands, and not to stray from the right path. What is the goal of the Holy Spirit’s work of enlightening people? Sometimes, its function is to guide the way; sometimes, it serves as a reminder, to make you have some reason; sometimes, it illuminates you and helps you understand the truth, and gives you a path to practice. When you have strayed onto your own path, He supports and helps you like a crutch, leading you onto the right path and guiding you. Whatever light and knowledge the Holy Spirit enlightens people with, which might vary because of people’s personal backgrounds, it does not contradict or conflict with the truth at all. If everyone were to experience in such a way as has true seeking and prayer, and genuine submission, with the Holy Spirit continually working to enlighten and guide them, and if they are keen and subtle of thought, and able to practice and enter those things the Holy Spirit enlightens, then their stature would grow very quickly. They would then have seized the opportunity. One characteristic of the work of the Holy Spirit is that it is very fast. It is over in a flash, unlike the work of evil spirits, which is always urging and forcing people to do things, such that they cannot act in any other way. Sometimes the Holy Spirit works by giving people a feeling when they are on the verge of danger, making them feel uneasy and extremely anxious. This happens under special circumstances. Usually, whenever people draw near to God, and seek the truth, or when they read God’s words, the Holy Spirit gives them a feeling, or a subtle thought or idea. Or, He may convey to you a statement or a message. It is as if there is a voice, but as if it were voiceless, too; it is like a reminder, and you can understand what it means. If you go on to take the meaning you have understood and express it with the appropriate words, you will gain something, and it will edify others, too. If people always experience in this way, they will gradually come to understand many truths. If people always have the work of the Holy Spirit at their side, and there is always a new light leading them, then they are sure never to stray from the true way. Even if no one ever fellowships with you, and no one guides you, and you have no work arrangements, if you walk in the direction the Holy Spirit guides you to, then you are sure not to go astray. Peter saw the Lord Jesus after He resurrected and ascended to heaven, but only a scant few times. He could not, as people imagine, see the Lord Jesus often, or see Him whenever he wished, nor did he see Him whenever he prayed about anything he did not understand. It was not like this. Is it that easy to see God? God does not readily appear to people. Most of the time, God had Peter understand things through the work of the Holy Spirit. Why can’t you achieve what Peter could? What does this prove, when all is said and done? It proves that your caliber is insufficient, that you have no power of understanding, and that you are unable to figure things out through contemplation. No matter what you face, you must always regard it according to the truth in God’s words. If people always live inside their own thoughts and brains when things happen to them, and they handle those things with human means, then they will gain nothing. What did Peter think when something happened to him? He considered it and contemplated it according to the words of the Lord Jesus, and was thus able to figure out God’s intentions. And later, when the Lord Jesus had ascended to heaven, why was Peter still able to figure out God’s intentions? He managed to do that through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. If he had been unable to sense the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment, and the Lord Jesus had not appeared to him after His resurrection and ascent to heaven, how would he have been able to understand God’s intentions? God in the flesh does not work as people imagine, personally and unceasingly guiding people every day in order to perfect them. It is not like that. The work of the Holy Spirit is there in partnership. The partnered work of the Spirit does the majority. The flesh does the leading work, and when that work is done, the remaining minor issues are what the Holy Spirit enlightens people to understand. If people cannot take hold of this and are only able to gain a part, they will not be able to gain the further details—and if they cannot gain those, they will not change, and they will make no progress.

It is not easy for those who have not experienced the work or enlightenment of the Holy Spirit to understand those things. The fact is that there is a pattern to the Holy Spirit’s work and enlightenment. Whenever the work and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit are mentioned, people always misunderstand, thinking they have to suffer a great deal and pay a great price before they can obtain the work of the Holy Spirit. Is this not a human notion? Because people are lazy and their hearts are so coarse, they ordinarily never focus on the feelings in their spirits, and when there is a bit of light and enlightenment there, they dismiss it as nothing. If you live all day amid your affairs, sticking to the words and doctrines and to regulations, living a life of the flesh and of romantic love, then the Holy Spirit cannot enlighten and guide you. There is no way He can do this. You must pray more, seek the work of the Holy Spirit, seek how to take in the work of the Holy Spirit and not let it slip away. Pray to God: “Oh God! Please work on me, make me perfect and change me, allow me to understand Your intentions in all things and submit to Your desires. Your great love and Your intention are in Your salvation of me. Although people are rebellious and resist You, although their nature is one of betraying, I now understand Your intention in saving people, and I wish to cooperate with You. May You give me more situations, trials, and hardships, allowing me to see Your hand in these hardships, and to see Your deeds, so that I may be someone who can understand Your intentions and submit to them. Let me not be dissolute, but be someone with their feet planted firmly on the ground.” Pray like this, and do so often; ask for the Holy Spirit to always work on you and lead you. When the Holy Spirit sees that you are walking the right path and attending to what you should, He first gives you some situations to test you and a weighty trial to see if you can overcome it. Some may not be able to withstand it. They will say, “Oh God, this situation is too much—I can’t bear it!” They will then have failed in this matter. If you truly feel that the situation you are in is too much for you, then pray to God like this: “Oh God, the situation You have given me is too much. I cannot bear it, but I am willing to strive. Please provide for me according to my stature and allow me to understand Your intentions, whether I’m going through severe suffering or light suffering, without betraying You or complaining. Make me able to submit completely, such that it satisfies You. Whether I’m going through severe suffering or light suffering, as long as it is Your desires, then I am willing to submit to them, without any complaint. I’m not willing to go against Your desires, and no matter how severe the suffering gets, as long as I can bear it, I ask that You give it to me.” You must pray confidently and boldly. Do not run away or cower. When the Holy Spirit sees that you are walking the right path, that you are very much doing what is yours to do, that you really want God in your heart, and that you pursue the truth, He may give you a weighty situation and great strength for you to overcome it—and then you will have won. For you to overcome an especially onerous situation is a much higher thing than just understanding some words and doctrines. It is a matter of bearing witness.

In everyday life, people come into contact with all kinds of people, events, and things, and if they do not have the truth and do not pray and seek it, then they will find it hard to cast off temptation. Take relations between men and women, for example. Some people are unable to resist such temptations, and they fall as soon as they face this kind of situation. Does this not show that they are too small in stature? People who do not have the truth are pitiful like this and they do not bear any witness at all. Some people fall into temptation when they encounter situations related to money. When they see someone else with money, they complain, “How come they have so much money and I’m so poor? It’s not fair!” They complain when this happens to them, and they cannot accept it from God or submit to His orchestration and arrangement. There are also some people who are always focused on status, and when faced with this kind of temptation, they are unable to overcome it. For example, a nonbeliever wants to hire them for an official position, giving them many advantages, and they are unable to stand firm. They think, “Should I do it?” They pray, and they contemplate, and then: “Yes—I have to!” They have made up their mind, and there is no point in their seeking anymore. They have clearly decided to take up this official position and gain its benefits, but they also want to come back and believe in God, fearful of losing the blessings of belief in God. So they pray to Him: “Please test me, God.” What’s left to test you about? You have already decided to take up your official position. You did not stand firm in this matter, and you have already fallen. Do you still need to be tested? You are not worthy of God’s testing. Would you, with your pitifully small stature, be up to it? There are even some despicable people who compete for any advantage they see. The Holy Spirit is right beside them, watching them to see what views they express and what their attitude is and begins to test them. Some people think to themselves, “I don’t want it, even if it is God’s kindness toward me. I have enough already, and God shows too much kindness to me. I don’t care about being well-fed and well-dressed, I only care about pursuing the truth and being able to gain God. The truth I have received was given to me by God for nothing. I’m not worthy of these things.” The Holy Spirit scrutinizes their hearts and enlightens them even more, allowing them to understand more, and to be more invigorated, and making the truth more transparent to them. Those despicable people, however, see a benefit being given out and think, “I’ll fight for it before anyone else can. If they give it to someone else and not me, I’ll give them a good scolding and give them a hard time. I’ll show them what I’m made of, and then we’ll see who they give it to next time!” The Holy Spirit sees that they are this sort and reveals them. Their ugliness is exposed, and this kind of person must be punished. However many years they may believe, it will do nothing for them. They can gain nothing! Many times, when the Holy Spirit shows kindness to people, they gain it when they do not expect it. If God does not show you kindness, your punishment will also happen when you do not expect it. This is how dangerous things are for those who do not pursue the truth.

When people lack insight into things that happen to them and do not know the appropriate thing to do, what is the first thing they should do? They should first pray; prayer comes first. What does prayer demonstrate? That you are devout, that you have somewhat of a God-fearing heart, and that you know to seek God, proving that you put God first. When God is in your heart and has a place there, and when you are able to submit to God, you are then a devout Christian. There are many elderly believers who kneel down in prayer at the same time and place every day. They kneel for an hour or two each time, but however many years they have knelt like this, it hasn’t solved many of their problems of sin. Let us first put aside whether or not such religious prayer is useful. At least these elderly brothers and sisters are a little devout. They are much better than young people on this point. If you want to live before God and experience God’s work, then the first thing you should do when something happens to you is pray. Praying is not just a matter of mindlessly chanting memorized phrases, and nothing more; you won’t get anywhere like this. You have to train at praying with your heart. You might pray like this eight or ten times without much to show for it, but do not be discouraged: You must keep training. Pray first when something happens to you. First tell God and let Him take over. Let God help you, let Him guide you and show you the way. This will prove that you have a God-fearing heart and that you put God first. When something happens to you or you encounter some difficulty and you are negative and get angry, this is a manifestation of God’s absence in your heart and your lack of fear for God. Whatever difficulties you face in real life, you must come before God. The first thing to do is to kneel down in prayer. This is what is most crucial. Prayer demonstrates that God has a place in your heart. When you have trouble, looking up to God and praying to Him and seeking from Him show that you have somewhat of a God-fearing heart; you wouldn’t do this if God were not in your heart. Some people say, “I prayed, but God still didn’t enlighten me!” That’s not the way to put it. You must first look at whether the intention behind your prayer is right. If you are sincerely seeking the truth and often pray to God, then there may well be a certain matter in which God enlightens you and allows you to understand. In any case, God will make you understand. If God does not enlighten you, you will not be able to understand on your own. There are some things human thought cannot achieve, whether or not you have power of understanding and however your caliber is. When you do understand, does that come from your thinking? With the intentions of God and of the work of the Spirit, if the Holy Spirit does not enlighten you, you will not find anyone who knows. You will only know when God Himself tells you what He means. And so, the first thing to do when something happens to you is pray. When you pray, you should express your thoughts, views, and attitude to God, and seek the truth from Him, with a mentality of submission; this is what people should practice. You won’t achieve any results if you just go through the motions, and you should not then complain that the Holy Spirit has not enlightened you. I have found some people just observe religious ceremonies and do religious activities in their belief in God. There is no place for Him at all in their hearts; they even deny the work of the Holy Spirit. They don’t pray or read the words of God. They just keep going to assembly and nothing more. Is this faith in God? They go on believing as they do, yet there’s no God in their belief. God is not in their hearts, they no longer want to pray to God, and they are no longer willing to read the words of God. Have they not then become nonbelievers? There are some leaders and workers in particular who often take care of general affairs. They never focus on life entry but take the work of general affairs as their main job. They have become nothing more than task managers and do none of the essential work of leaders and workers. As a result, after believing in God for twenty or thirty years, they have no words to offer about their life experience and they have no true knowledge of God. They can only speak a few words and doctrines. Have they not thus become false leaders? This is because in their belief in God, they do not attend to their proper duties or pursue the truth. Merely relying on one’s understanding of some words and doctrines will not solve anything. They complain against God as soon as they are tested, hit by disaster, or get sick. They do not have any true knowledge of themselves, and they have no experiential testimony at all. This shows that they have not pursued the truth in these years that they have believed in God, that they have only been busying themselves with externalities, and ruined themselves as a result. No matter how many years people believe in God, they must at the very least come to understand some truths if they are to ensure that they will not fall, commit evil, or be eliminated. This is the very least with which they should be equipped. Some people are half-hearted when they listen to sermons and do not contemplate God’s words. They do not seek the truth no matter what happens to them. They are content just with understanding the words and doctrines, assuming they have gained the truth. Then, when a trial comes, they have no knowledge at all, and their hearts are full of grievances and complaints that they dare not say out loud, though they would like to. Aren’t such people just so pathetic? Many people are always perfunctory in performing their duty. They do not reflect or try to understand themselves when they are pruned. They are always rationalizing, and so their ugliness emerges in many different ways, and they are revealed and eliminated, incapable of knowing themselves to the end. What is the point in their understanding those doctrines then? There is no point at all. No matter how many years people believe in God, merely understanding and being able to speak doctrine is useless. They have not gained the truth but gone astray. So then, when something happens to you and you pray to God, searching for His intentions, the key is to come to an understanding of the truth if the problem is to be solved. This is the correct path, and you should consistently persist in such practice.


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