Submission to God Is a Basic Lesson in Gaining the Truth (Part One)

If you wish to submit to God in your faith, knowing yourself is extremely important. Without knowing yourself, you will be unable to cast off your corrupt disposition. Life entry begins with self-knowledge. If you display some corruption or do things that are disgusting or hurtful to God, if you do idiotic things, then you have to reflect on yourself afterward. How can reflection help you cast off corruption? Those who practice the truth consider this: “These things that happened really exposed me. I have a corrupt disposition, and I have to accept the judgment and chastisement of God’s words to cast it off. It’s great that God has exposed my corrupt disposition through this situation. No matter what other people think of me or how they treat me, I have to seek the truth, understand God’s will, and know what to do to practice the truth.” This is the right attitude, and it is an attitude of practicing the truth and obeying God. Faith in God requires accepting the truth—that’s the correct attitude. Those who do not accept the truth look for excuses and reasons when issues arise, pushing responsibility off onto someone else. They always complain about other people not treating them well, not thinking of them or caring for them. They find all sorts of rationales. What is the point of finding all of these reasons? Can it replace your practice of the truth? Can it replace your submission to God? No, it can’t. That is to say, no matter what sort of reasoning you have, even if you have grievances greater than the sky itself, if you don’t accept the truth then you are done for. God wants to see what your attitude is, especially regarding matters of putting the truth into practice. Is your complaining of any use? Can your complaints resolve the issue of a corrupt disposition? If you were to complain and feel yourself justified, what would that say about you? Would you have gained the truth? Would God approve of you? If God says, “You’re not someone who practices the truth, so get out of the way. I’m sick of you,” then aren’t you done for? God saying “I’m sick of you” would expose you and designate you. Why would God designate you? Because you don’t accept the truth; you don’t accept God’s orchestrations and His sovereignty. You’re always looking for external reasons, always putting things on other people. God sees you as lacking sense and love for the truth; as being unreasonable, willful, and untamable. You have to be set aside and ignored so that you can give it some thought. The point of having you listen to sermons and fellowship on the truth is so that you can understand the truth, resolve your problems, and cast off your corruption. Is the truth something for you to prattle on about? Is it something for you to give lip service to, and then be done with? Is understanding the truth supposed to act as a spiritual anchor to make up for the emptiness in your soul? No, it is not for you to use for this purpose. The truth is there so that you can resolve your corrupt dispositions. It is to give you a path, and when you encounter issues you can live by these truths, and take the proper path in life. Once you have understood the truth, you will no longer act based on your naturalness, your corruption, or those things in your satanic education. You will no longer live by satanic logic or philosophies for living. Instead, you will live by the truth, you will act by the truth. Only this can satisfy God’s will. Some people say: “I haven’t been a believer for very long. I don’t have much experience. I don’t understand the truth, and my stature is small. So, I can’t practice the truth.” These are actually just factual excuses. Even if your stature is small, there are truths that are not beyond you. You should practice just as much as you understand; you should implement just as much as you are capable of. If you don’t even practice the truths you understand, there is a problem there. No matter how long or short your time as a believer has been, as long as you’ve been listening to sermons for a few years, you will understand some of the truth. If you know plenty of truths but don’t put any of them into practice, that will condemn you. What an attitude of submitting to the truth is, what submitting to the truth is, how to submit to the truth, how to submit to God’s orchestrations, and what attitude people should have—if you know these things, you should put them into practice. No matter what happens, you have to learn how to practice the truth and behave with principle. If you don’t practice the truth, then the truth is meaningless to you; it is nothing but doctrine, a slogan in your mouth. You will not have reality until you are able to put the truth into practice; only then can the truth become your life. When things happen and you go by your preference—thinking that this person is mistaken, that person is wrong, always seeing yourself as right and disagreeing with others no matter what they say—then is it possible that you’re blameless and without corruption? That’s called being arrogant and self-righteous, and it is a more seriously corrupt disposition.

How can a corrupt disposition be resolved? The first step is to see if you can submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements; if you can submit to the various situations that God sets up for you. In peaceful times, you don’t have any notions toward God and you don’t show an obvious corrupt disposition. So you feel that you’re not so bad, and that you’re someone who is able to obey God. But when something happens, your heart is stirred, and you have your own thoughts and ideas. Especially when you’re able to suffer and pay a price in your duty, you feel that you’re someone who loves God, so when you’re pruned unexpectedly and someone says you are willful and unprincipled in your duty, will you be able to accept that? (It’s not easy to accept.) What do you do if it’s not easy to accept? How can you achieve acceptance and submission? There are a few principles of practice here. First, you have to reflect on yourself, and let go of your own thoughts and reasoning to seek the truth. You should understand that your own thoughts and reasoning don’t necessarily align with the truth. If you possess reason, you should first listen to what others have to say and then give it careful thought. If their input lines up with the truth, you should accept it—this is what a person with reason should do. If you always believe that your own thinking is correct and you cling to your own perspective, and do not accept what others say, no matter how right they are or how much what they say aligns with the truth, then you are being rebellious and unreasonable. The reason of a created being is to submit to the truth, to submit to God’s words, to submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements, to submit to all that comes from God, and to submit to the work arrangements of God’s house. In performing your duty, you must seek what God requires and what His house has arranged. Once you know those things, you can act as God requires. These are the principles of practice. First, you must submit. This is what a created being should do. Often, when people are unable to submit, it is because they have their own reasoning, excuses, and pretexts. They are very unlikely to submit with such reasoning. What can be done in that case? First, let go of your own reasoning and excuses, and act according to the requirements of God’s house. Once you have practiced that for a time, you’ll find that when you do your duty according to the truth principles, you become more and more effective in your duty. You become certain, in your soul, that this is obeying God, and your obedience becomes increasingly pure. But, if you always cling to your own notions and imaginings, if you are unable to submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements, if you are always oppositional with God and go against Him, then that is rebellion. That is a corrupt disposition. And even if you don’t commit any obvious evil, you still won’t have submitted in the slightest, and you will lack any bit of the truth reality.

The lessons of submission are the hardest, but they are also the easiest. In what way are they hard? (People have their own ideas.) People having ideas is not the problem—what person does not have ideas? People all have hearts and brains, they all have their own ideas. That is not the problem here. So, what is it then? The problem is man’s corrupt disposition. If you did not have a corrupt disposition, you would be able to submit no matter how many ideas you had—they would not be an issue. If one has this sense and says, “I must submit to God in all things. I won’t give excuses or insist on my own ideas, I won’t reach my own verdict on this matter,” is it not easy for them to submit? If a person does not reach their own verdicts, it is a sign that they are not self-righteous; if they do not insist on their own ideas, it is a sign that they have sense. If they can also submit, then they have achieved practice of the truth. Not reaching one’s own verdicts and not insisting on one’s ideas are preconditions for being able to submit. If you possess these two qualities, it will be easy for you to submit and achieve practice of the truth. So, before you submit, you must equip yourself with them, and figure out how you should act and what you should do in order to have an attitude of practicing the truth. This is not really that difficult—but it is not that easy, either. Why is it difficult? It is difficult because man has a corrupt disposition. No matter what mentality or state you have when practicing submission, if it hinders you from practicing the truth, then that mindset or state stems from a corrupt disposition. That is simply the fact of the matter. If you resolve the corrupt dispositions of self-righteousness, arrogance, rebelliousness, absurdity, prejudice, and intransigence, it will be easy for you to submit. So, how should these corruptions be resolved? You must pray when you are unwilling to submit, you must reflect on yourself and ask: “Why am I unable to submit to God? Why do I always insist on doing things my own way? Why can’t I seek the truth and put it into practice? What is the root of this problem? I should be practicing obedience to God, and I should be practicing the truth, not implementing my own will or my own desires. I should be able to obey God’s words and submit to His orchestrations and arrangements. Only that is in line with God’s will.” Achieving this kind of outcome requires praying to God and seeking the truth. When you have understood the truth, you will be able to put it into practice more easily; then, you will be able to forsake the flesh and let go of its concerns. If you understand the truth within your heart but can’t let go of the benefits of the flesh, status, vanity and face, then you’ll struggle to put the truth into practice. This is because, in your heart, you put the benefits of the flesh, vanity, and face above all else. This means that you do not love the truth—instead, you love status and reputation. So how should this issue be resolved? You must pray, seek the truth, and fully see the essence of things like status and reputation. You must be less preoccupied with these things, and it’s necessary to see practicing the truth as important, and to value this above all else. When you do all this, you will have the will to practice the truth. Sometimes people cannot practice the truth. They need to be pruned, and receive God’s judgment and chastisement, so that the essence of the problem is completely clear and it’s easier to practice the truth. In fact, the greatest obstacle to practicing the truth is when one’s own will is too great and comes before everything else—that is, when one’s own self-interest comes before anything else, when one’s own reputation and status come before anything else. That’s why such people are always willful when things come up, and do whatever will personally benefit them, without any consideration of truth principles. They’re always clinging to their own ideas. What does it mean to cling to one’s own ideas? It means to determine: “If you want this, I want that. If you want yours, I will insist on mine.” Is this a display of submission? (No.) This is not seeking the truth at all, but is insisting on one’s own way. It’s an arrogant disposition, and an unreasonable display. If, one day, you are able to become aware that your preferences and determinations are contrary to the truth; if you are able to deny and see through yourself, no longer believing in yourself, and after that gradually come to not do things your own way or blindly define things, but are able to seek the truth, pray to God and lean on Him, then that is the correct practice. Before you confirm what sort of practice conforms with the truth, you must seek. That is absolutely the correct thing to do, it is what should be done. If you wait until you are pruned to seek, it is a bit passive, and it is likely to delay things. Learning to seek the truth is so crucial. What are the benefits of seeking the truth? Firstly, one can avoid following their own will and acting rashly; secondly, one can avoid outpourings of corruption and evil consequences; thirdly, one can learn how to wait and be patient, and stop mistakes from occurring by perceiving things clearly and accurately. These things can all be achieved by seeking the truth. When you learn to seek the truth in all things, you will discover that nothing is simple, that if you are inattentive and do not make an effort, you will do things poorly. After training like this for a while, you will be more mature and seasoned when things befall you. Your attitude will be softer and more moderate, and instead of being impulsive, risk-taking, and competitive, you will be able to seek the truth, practice the truth, and submit to God. Then, the problem of your outpourings of corrupt dispositions will be resolved. So, it will be easy for you to submit, it is really not that difficult. It might be a little hard in the beginning, but you can be patient, wait and keep seeking the truth until you resolve that problem. If you always want to make your own decisions when things befall you, and you are always offering justifications, and you insist on your own ideas, this will become quite troublesome. This is because the things you are insisting on are not positive and are all things within a corrupt disposition. All of those things are outpourings of a corrupt disposition, and, in such circumstances, though you may wish to seek the truth, you will be unable to practice it, and though you may wish to pray to God, you will only be going through the motions. If someone fellowshiped with you about the truth and uncovered the adulterations of your intent, how would you make a choice? Could you easily submit to the truth? It would be very strenuous for you to submit at such a time, and you would be unable to submit. You would disobey and try to offer justifications. You would say, “My decisions are for the sake of God’s house. They are not wrong. Why do you still ask that I submit?” Do you see how you would be unable to submit? And apart from that, you would also resist; this is a deliberate transgression! Is this not extremely troublesome? When someone fellowships with you about truth, if you are unable to accept the truth and would even knowingly transgress, disobeying and resisting God, then yours is a serious problem. You are at risk of being exposed by God and cast out.

The lesson of submitting to God is really profound. It seems really difficult when you start entering into it, but after experiencing it for a while, it doesn’t feel so difficult. Practicing submission requires an adherence to principles, and if you fail quite a few times without finding the principles, then that means you haven’t learned the lesson; and submission is still a very difficult lesson for you to learn. Why is it difficult? Because there are many difficulties within corrupt humans. People have notions, imaginings, as well as various corrupt dispositions. If, on top of all that, they also have some knowledge and capital; if they have a college degree and are highly qualified; if they have money and status in society and show superiority in all sorts of aspects, then that’s a problem. Such people will be unlikely to accept the truth. Possessing too much knowledge will be troublesome, as people treat knowledge as the truth itself, so that knowing and accepting the truth becomes too taxing. If you don’t understand the truth, and you don’t have humanity or reason, then you are like a hedgehog. Hedgehogs are fearsome animals that no one can disturb or annoy. Corrupt people are this way—they absolutely will not accept the truth and do not obey God at all. Their hearts are full of evil, and they live entirely by their corrupt dispositions. As a result, every single issue people encounter presents them with many challenges, and they grow full of notions and imaginings, and are arrogant and self-righteous. When they are pruned, or when they encounter a barrier in something they do, they make excuses, misunderstand things, become negative, and complain. They are affected and misled by absurd tales and arguments. These are difficulties. If people can resolve these difficulties, they’ll be able to accept the truth and put it into practice, and submission to God will be easy. That is why, to achieve submission to God, one must first accept the truth and practice it, and one must submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements. That is the first hurdle. So, what do God’s orchestrations and arrangements consist of? They consist of the people, events, and things that God gives rise to around you. Sometimes these people, events and things will prune you, sometimes they will tempt you, or test you, or disturb you, or make you negative—but as long as you can seek the truth to resolve problems, you will be able to learn something, gain stature, and have the strength to resist. Submitting to the orchestrations and arrangements of God is the most fundamental lesson in submitting to God. God’s orchestrations and arrangements include the people, matters, things, and various situations that God gives rise to around you. So how should you react when faced with these situations? The most fundamental thing is to accept from God. What does “accept from God” mean? Complaining and resisting—is this accepting from God? Looking for reasons and making excuses—is this accepting from God? No. So how should you practice accepting from God? When something happens to you, first calm down, seek the truth, and practice submitting. Don’t come out with excuses or explanations. Don’t try to analyze or speculate about who is right and who is wrong, and don’t analyze whose mistake is more serious, and whose is less so. Is always analyzing these things an attitude of accepting from God? Is it an attitude of submission to God? It is not an attitude of submission to God, or of accepting from God, or of accepting God’s sovereignty and arrangements. Accepting from God is part of the principles for practicing submission to God. If you are certain that everything that befalls you is within God’s sovereignty, that those things happen because of God’s arrangements and good will, then you can accept them from God. Begin by not analyzing right and wrong, not making excuses for yourself, not finding fault with others, not splitting hairs, not parsing through the objective causes of what happened, and not using your human mind to analyze and examine things. These are the details of what you must do in order to accept from God. And the way to practice this is to begin with submission. Even if you have notions or if things are not clear to you, submit. Do not start off with excuses or rebelliousness. And after submitting, seek the truth, pray to God and seek from Him. How should you pray? Say, “Oh God, You have orchestrated this situation for me out of Your good will.” What does it mean when you say this? It means that you already have an attitude of acceptance in your heart and have acknowledged that God orchestrated that situation for you. Say: “Oh God, I don’t know how to practice in the situation I encountered today. I ask You to enlighten and guide me, and to make me understand Your will, so that I can act according to it, and be neither rebellious nor resistant, and not rely on my own will. I am willing to practice the truth and act according to the principles.” Having prayed, you will feel peace at heart, and you will naturally let go of your excuses. Is this not a change in your mindset? This paves the way for you to seek and practice the truth, and the only problem that remains is how you should practice the truth when you have understood it. If rebelliousness pours forth from you again when the time comes for you to practice the truth, you must pray to God again. Once your rebelliousness has been resolved, naturally it will be easy for you to practice the truth. When problems crop up, you must learn to quiet yourself before God and seek the truth. If you are constantly disrupted by external things, if your state is always erratic, what is that caused by? It is because you don’t understand the truth, and because your corrupt disposition is in charge within you—you can’t help yourself. At times like this, you have to self-reflect and find the problem within yourself. Look for the relevant words of God and see what they reveal. Then, listen to sermons and fellowships, or hymns of God’s words. Look at your own state in light of these words. That is how you can see what problems there are within you, and gaining clarity on these problems will make them easier to handle. Whatever issues other people have that cause you trouble, don’t pay them any attention. Focus on your own self-reflection. Don’t make mountains out of molehills, claiming that God is testing you. This has nothing to do with God. Corrupt human beings are completely lacking in self-knowledge and are most skilled at prettifying themselves. Don’t become overly sensitive. If you determine that this is a test from God then you need to reflect on your own issues even more; if you don’t thoroughly clear out your corrupt disposition, it will just keep playing you for a fool. What’s the solution, then? You have to pray, “God, I’m so willful and arrogant! I’m always thinking about catering to the flesh. I’m too rebellious! Please discipline me.” After your prayer, you’ll feel a little worried. “What if God truly disciplines me? No, I have to pray and set my resolve; no matter how God disciplines me, even if He makes me become ill or die, I will still obey Him.” Once you finish this prayer, you will become strong inside, and your state will be different. How will you feel? You’ll think: “After all these years as a believer, this is my first time experiencing a trial from God. His hand has come upon me and I feel He’s very close to me. God is personally leading me, personally arranging this kind of trial to train me, to purify me, allowing me to learn a lesson and gain the truth from it. God loves me so much!” Isn’t this God’s enlightenment and illumination? Don’t you have some stature at this point? (Yes.) This is a really down-to-earth understanding. You might wonder within yourself: “Since God is testing me, what kind of attitude should I have? What should I do to satisfy God?” When you think this way, and when you seek this way, you will achieve submission before long. You will stop arguing your case, and will think to yourself: “If I don’t submit, but always argue, if I always look for reasons in other people or objective circumstances, finding excuses and analyzing right and wrong, then I’m not even human. I’m a beast, not even on a par with swine!” Then, you will feel guilty and unsettled. You will think: “I have to submit to God right away. God is by my side, and this is how He is guiding me. It has often been said that this is how God’s good will is—I’ve gotten a taste of it today. God wills that I should learn a lesson, that I should change, not that I should be stuck between right and wrong. This is God’s love for me, His judgment and chastisement, His sustenance and guidance. God loves me so much, and His love is true!” You will be moved within your heart. Why will you be moved? Because you now understand God’s will; you have personally experienced God’s love; you have experience from continuously seeking the truth throughout these days. Can people still rebel against God while experiencing this? Yes, there can still be rebellion. Since people have corrupt dispositions, and all sorts of corrupt, absurd thoughts are constantly breaking out, they are always thinking: “God is testing me, so am I going to die? If God is really disciplining me, is He going to make me seriously ill? I’m scared!” Where does fear come from? It comes from not believing in God’s sovereignty and arrangements, from not wanting to allow His orchestrations and worrying: “What will happen if I die? I just don’t know where I stand!” People have too little faith in God. How much faith do people have at times like that? Zero! If one so much as wishes to escape from God’s hands, their betrayal of God is absolute. When things get to this point, people want to escape; they are not resigned to what is happening. What can be done then? You can’t just say: “I can submit; I’m kind of moved. I can feel the grace of God and God has cared for me. That’s good enough, and I’m content.” But that’s not enough. You have to keep moving forward, you have to continue seeking. Think: “How did Job get his faith? To what extent was he able to submit? Why am I so scared? Where is my fear coming from? It’s because I have too little faith in God. I don’t believe that I’m happiest and safest in God’s hands; that God is my refuge. I don’t believe these things. I am such a cunning, evil person! I have recognized that this is God testing me, and a trial doesn’t mean my life will be taken away. He’s not toying with me or intentionally exposing me either. It’s just a trial, meant to cleanse my corrupt disposition. I’m still not able to have true faith in God, to fully trust in God and put myself in His hands. I’m so evil, and guilty of the most horrible things! I don’t deserve this consideration from God. I don’t deserve God’s care.” What can you do after that? You have to pray and seek the truth from God; prune your rebelliousness and your motives. You understand the truth to this degree, but you still don’t have confidence in God or dare to place yourself in His hands. What is this? It is betrayal. Because of your deceitfulness, your arrogance, your suspicion, and your evilness, you lack trust in God. This is where fear comes from. What is the meaning of fear? It is a lack of faith in God. It is always being worried: “If I submit to God’s guidance, will He hand me over to Satan and allow me to die?” What sort of thought is this? Isn’t that nonsense? Why would someone think that of God? Without the truth, people can’t see anything clearly, but always misunderstand God and speculate about Him. Resolving this problem requires someone to understand the truth. It is only by understanding the truth that people can speak with reason, the way a human should. In spite of the fact that you have felt God’s care and protection, the fact that you have enjoyed the feeling of peace and joy given by God and the fact that you feel very secure, you are still reluctant to put yourself in God’s hands. You are still afraid. Isn’t this rebellion? What is the adulteration in this rebellion? What is it controlled by? Deceitfulness and arrogance. Isn’t this a truly demonic nature? If someone has a demonic nature, they have a satanic disposition. How can this issue be resolved? Doing so requires people to seek the truth. If people don’t love the truth, if they don’t seek the truth no matter how much corruption they display, their corrupt disposition can never be resolved. That kind of person will not achieve salvation easily.

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