The Attitude Man Should Have Toward God (Part One)

To see if someone believes in God with true faith, the most important thing is to observe their attitude toward God. If they treat God with a heart of fear and submission toward God, then they have true faith in God. But if they have no fear or submission toward God, then they do not have true faith. What attitude should people have toward God? They should fear and submit to Him. Those who can fear God are capable of seeking and accepting the truth. Those who can submit to God are capable of showing consideration for God’s intentions; they strive to satisfy God in everything they do. Anyone who pursues the truth possesses these two qualities. Those without a heart of fear or submission toward God are certainly not pursuers of the truth.

Just how should pursuit of the truth be practiced? Do you experience God’s work in the daily performance of your duty? Have you prayed to God when faced with problems, and can you resolve them by seeking the truth? This relates to the issue of life entry. When you reveal your corruption while performing your duty, are you able to self-reflect and resolve the problem of your corrupt disposition according to God’s words? If you cannot practice and experience it this way, then it has nothing to do with believing in God. No matter what duty you are performing nor what you are doing, you must try to fathom which aspects of God’s words are involved, as well as your own thoughts, opinions, or incorrect intentions, all of which are parts of man’s state. What does man’s state include? It includes people’s standpoints, attitudes, intentions, and views, as well as some satanic philosophies, logic, and knowledge—and all these things, in brief, are related to people’s usual modes and methods of action and treatment of others. When faced with a situation, one must first examine what their view is—this is the first step. The second step is to examine whether that view is correct. How, then, should one determine whether their view is correct or not? It is determined once with God’s words, and again according to the principles of the sort of situation in question. For instance, the work arrangements, interests, and rules of God’s house, as well as the explicit words of God—use these things to determine whether a view is correct. They are the standards of measurement. Do you examine your views when faced with a situation? Regardless of whether you can actually identify them or not, the first step is that you must practice this way. No matter what it is that people do, they all have a certain view about it. How is this view formed? It is how you see the situation, what you base your perspective on, how you plan to handle it, and what you base your method of handling it on. These are all part of your view. For instance, what do you think of humankind’s corruption? What is your perspective based on? How do you approach this issue? These all touch upon one’s views on matters. This is also true of one’s view on a matter; regardless of the situation, everyone has a view behind their attitude and method of handling every matter. This view will guide and govern how they act. And it is the origin of this view that determines whether it is right or wrong. For instance, if your view is based on satanic philosophy and logic, and the intention behind your speech is to gain fame and pride, to let more people know and understand you, remember and approve of you, then this is your starting point for taking action. If you have a wrong intention like this, then the views and methods that arise from it will surely also be wrong and definitely not accord with the truth. When you generate wrong views, attitudes, and methods, can you identify them? If you can evaluate their rightness or wrongness, then you meet a basic condition for satisfying God’s intentions; but this is not the absolute condition. What is the absolute condition? When you’ve evaluated that your views are wrong, when you have incorrect intentions and personal plans and desires, what can you do to not act according to these wrong views? This requires letting go of your incorrect intentions and views, and, at the same time, seeking the truth. Knowing full well that your views are incorrect, that they conform neither to the truth nor to God’s intentions, that God detests them, you should therefore rebel against them. What is the purpose of rebelling against the flesh? It is to do things according to God’s intentions, to do things that conform to the truth, and thereby being able to practice the truth. However, if you are unable to rebel against your mistaken views, then you cannot put the truth into practice or live out the truth reality; this means that what you understand is only doctrine. The things you speak about can’t constrain your behavior, guide your actions, or correct your mistaken views, which further proves it is mere doctrine. Therefore, the first step is to examine your views. The second step is to gauge the rightness of those views: Mistaken views must be rebelled against and discarded; correct views must be adhered to and upheld. Where does the difficulty lie for you now? On the one hand, you very seldom examine yourself, it is not a habit for you. On the other, even when you do examine yourself, you don’t know whether your intentions and views are correct or not. They seem both correct and incorrect to you, so in the end you are left feeling befuddled and confused, and do things your own way—this is one type of situation. What other situations are there? (Sometimes I do identify my own intentions and views, and I desire to rebel against them, but I cannot overcome my corrupt disposition. So I compromise, making up reasons and excuses to accommodate myself. I fail to practice then, and feel regretful afterward.) This is lacking the heart to submit to the truth and love the truth. If one’s heart bears a great love for the truth, they will often be able to overcome some of their wrong intentions and views, and be able to rebel against them. Of course, there are some special circumstances where most people find it difficult to overcome. It is normal if you also have not overcome. But if most average people can overcome, but you find it very difficult, what does this prove? It shows that your love for the truth is not great, and practicing the truth is just not that important to you. What is important to you? Persisting with your own views, putting your own mind at ease, satisfying your own desires—these are what matter to you. Meeting God’s requirements, practicing the truth, satisfying God’s heart, and submitting to God—none of these are important in your heart. This reveals your inner intentions and the views you pursue.

What does a person’s state primarily consist of? (Their intentions, standpoints, and views.) Their state primarily includes these things. What is most common in people’s states? It appears frequently in people’s hearts when they encounter something, and it is something they can consciously recognize in their thoughts—what would you say it is? (Their intentions.) That’s right. Intentions are a clear part of people’s state, and one of the most common; in most matters, people have their own thoughts and intentions. When such thoughts and intentions occur, people think them legitimate, but most of the time they are for their own sake, for their own pride and interests, or else to cover something up, or to satisfy themselves in some way. At such times, you must examine how your intention came about, why it was produced. For example, God’s house asks you to do the work of cleansing the church, and there is one individual who has always been perfunctory in their duty, always looking for ways to slack off. According to principle, this person should be cleansed away, but you have a good relationship with them. So what kinds of thoughts and intentions will arise in you? How will you practice? (Acting according to my own preferences.) And what produces these preferences? Because this person has been good to you or has done things for you, you have a good impression of them, and so at this time you want to protect them, and to defend them. Is this not the effect of feelings? You feel emotional toward them, and so take the approach of “While the higher authorities have policies, the localities have their counter-measures.” You’re double-dealing. On the one hand, you say to them, “You must try a little harder when you do things. Stop being perfunctory, you have to suffer a little hardship; this is our duty.” On the other, you reply to the Above and say, “They have changed for the better, they are more effective now when they perform their duty.” But what you’re actually thinking in your mind is, “This is because I worked on them. If I hadn’t, they’d still be like they were.” In your mind, you’re always thinking, “They have been nice to me, they can’t be cleared out!” What state is it when such things are in your intention? This is harming the work of the church by protecting personal emotional relationships. Does acting in this way accord with the truth principles? And is there submission to your doing this? (No.) There is no submission; there is resistance in your heart. In the things that happen to you and the work you are supposed to do, your own ideas contain subjective judgments, and here emotional factors are mixed in. You are doing things based on feelings, and yet still believe that you are acting impartially, that you are giving people the chance to repent, and that you are giving them loving assistance; thus you do as you wish, not as God says. Working in this way is selling the work short, it reduces effectiveness, and harms the church’s work—which is all the outcome of acting according to feelings. If you do not examine yourself, will you be able to identify the problem here? You never will. You might know that it is wrong to act in this way, that this is a lack of submission, but you think it over and say to yourself, “I must help them with love, and after they have been helped and they get better, there will be no need to clear them out. Does God not give people the chance to repent? God loves people, so I must help them with love, and I must do as God asks.” After thinking these things, you do things your own way. Afterward, your heart feels at ease; you feel that you are practicing the truth. During this process, did you practice according to the truth, or did you act according to your own preferences and intentions? Your actions were wholly according to your own preferences and intentions. Throughout the whole process, you used your so-called kindness and love, feelings, and philosophies for worldly dealings to smooth things over, and you tried to walk the fence. It seemed like you were helping this person with love, but in your heart you were actually constrained by feelings—and, fearing the Above would find out, you tried to win them over with compromise, so that no one was offended and the work got done—which is the same way that the nonbelievers try to walk the fence. In actuality, how does God appraise this situation? He will classify you as one who does not submit to the truth, who often adopts a scrutinizing, analytical attitude toward the truth and God’s requirements. What role does your intention play when you approach the truth and God’s requirements using this method, and when you perform your duties with this attitude? It serves to protect your own interests, your own pride, and your interpersonal relations without any regard for God’s demands, nor having any positive impact on your own duties or the church’s work. Such a person is living entirely by philosophies for worldly dealings. Everything they say and do is to safeguard their own pride, feelings, and interpersonal relations, yet they have no genuine submission toward the truth and God, nor do they make any attempt to declare or own up to these problems. They feel not a shred of self-reproach and remain wholly ignorant as to the nature of the problems. If people lack God-fearing hearts, and if God has no place in their hearts, then they can never act on principle no matter what duties they are performing or what problems they are dealing with. People living within their intentions and selfish desires are incapable of entering the truth reality. For this reason, if they encounter a problem, and they do not examine their intentions and cannot recognize where their intentions are erroneous, but instead they use all kinds of justifications to manufacture lies and excuses for themselves, what happens in the end? They do quite a good job of protecting their own interests, pride, and interpersonal relationships, but they have lost their normal relationship with God. Some people have believed in God for a long time, but when asked to fellowship on some of their personal experience, they have nothing to say, they cannot share any experiential testimony regarding their dispositional change. What is the reason for this? They very seldom examine themselves, and they very seldom practice according to truth principles. They prefer instead to walk their own path, living within a corrupt disposition, their actions guided by their own intentions, views, desires, and plans, all the while remaining unrepentant. It is God they believe in, and God’s words to which they listen; it is the truth that they receive, and also the truth which they fellowship and preach—but what is it they actually practice? They practice only according to their own intentions and imaginings, not according to God’s demands. So, what is their attitude toward God’s words? How do they treat God’s requirements? In which aspect of experiencing God’s work should people most be conscientious? How they should experience God’s words and practice the truth—this is the most crucial issue. If someone, after hearing God’s words and listening to sermons, does not go and put them into practice, are they really believing in God? Are they really experiencing His work? Why are they not being conscientious where they should be? Why do they doubt God and doubt His words when they should be practicing the truth? “Why does God have these demands? Do they align with His words? Is God still love if He makes demands like this? Having these demands doesn’t seem like something He would do, right? I can’t accept it. God’s demands are rather inconsiderate, they go much against human notions and imaginings.” Tell Me, can one who weighs matters like this be able to accept the truth? (No.) This is not the attitude of accepting the truth. Gauging and approaching God’s demands with this attitude and these intentions—is this opening or closing one’s heart to God? (Closing.) It is not an attitude of acceptance, but one of resistance. In regard to God’s demands, such people first scrutinize and some of them even sneer: “God hasn’t interacted much with the brothers and sisters of the church; He doesn’t know the church’s affairs. Isn’t the house of God handling things a bit too dogmatically? This is not how we do things. We do things based on the brothers’ and sisters’ situations, affording them opportunities. And besides, God incarnate should be understanding of human weakness! If He won’t be considerate, we will. There are some things God does not show consideration for, but we will.” What kind of attitude are they adopting? It is an attitude that resists, judges, and condemns. They subject matters to scrutiny and then cast their judgment. And how do they judge? They say: “In any case, God is righteous, and it’s God I believe in, not a human. God scrutinizes people’s innermost hearts.” What does this mean? (They deny the God incarnate.) That’s right. In their hearts, they deny the Christ, implying that the Christ’s words don’t necessarily represent God. Wherever the Christ’s actions and words contradict or contravene their own interests, intentions, and views, they deny God. “Anyway, it’s God I believe in, and God is righteous. He scrutinizes people’s innermost hearts.” What are these statements? Are they judgments? What is the nature of these statements? (Blasphemy.) To talk about people behind their backs is judgmental. To talk about God behind His back is not merely judgmental; it is blasphemy. Can people who are capable of blaspheming God be true believers? Are they people with conscience and reason? Are they people God will save? These people are purely Satan’s lackeys, they are evil people, and they should be rejected and eliminated.

In the churches, are there manifestations of commenting about God and judging His work? They aren’t prevalent, but they certainly occur, because in any church there exist some disbelievers and evil people. Now, in specific circumstances, could this type of state arise in the hearts of those who genuinely believe in God? If things like judgment, resistance, and blasphemy arise in you, what is your internal response? Are you able to grasp the severe nature of the problem? For instance, let’s say you’ve never married, but you’re in an appropriate environment and you meet a nice potential partner that you’d like to date. Although you’ve previously promised God that you’ll dedicate your entire life to Him and not seek a partner, in your heart you still have a good feeling about this person, so you decide to date them. But after dating you discover there are many obstacles, and you realize dating them is not appropriate, that God does not allow it. You want to give them up, but you cannot let go, so you pray to God and curse and rebel against yourself, and in the end the two of you do break up. After the breakup, you are in immense mental anguish. This is normal. This is the normal weakness of humanity. But you mustn’t complain about God. Could most people go through this experience and be able to not complain about God? Most could not, and this reflects their attitude toward the truth and God. What erroneous thoughts must one have to complain about God in a situation like this? (If I didn’t believe in God, I’d be able to find a partner.) Is a thought like this a large problem? They somewhat don’t want to believe in God, they want to give up. They think: “Why did I have to choose the path of believing in God? Not believing in God would be great, I could do whatever I wanted. It’s not easy finding such a suitable partner; if I pass them up now, I’ll soon be too old for anyone to want me. Should I never try to find someone again? Is this how I’ll spend the rest of my life?” Negative, regretful thoughts rear their head, even to the point where this person doesn’t want to believe anymore. These are manifestations of rebelling against and betraying God. But this is not the most serious. Which thoughts are more serious than this? Have you experienced this kind of thing? (No.) Not having experienced it is really quite dangerous. Those who have experienced such things are able to see certain aspects of them clearly; they are relatively safer, although it’s not an absolute guarantee. The temptation faced by those without such experiences is not trivial. They must be vigilant, for any lapse in vigilance and they will succumb to temptation! Some people ponder: “It is good to be born in the last days and be chosen by God. What’s more, I’m young, with no family entanglements, leaving me free to do my duties—this is God’s grace. It’s too bad there’s just one downside, which is that even if I meet a suitable partner, I can’t pursue them or get married. But why can’t I look for one? Is marriage a sin? Aren’t there many brothers and sisters with spouses and children? And don’t they believe in God too? Why is it that I’m not allowed to seek a partner? God is not righteous!” Their judgment of God and dissatisfaction with Him emerge. They make up their minds that this is all God’s doing, that it all comes from God, so they resent Him and vent their complaints: “God is so unfair to me! He is so inconsiderate! Other people can marry, why can’t I? Other people can have children, why can’t I? God gives other people this opportunity, why doesn’t He give it to me?” Complaints and judgments emerge. What state is this? (A resistant, oppositional state.) Resistant, dissatisfied, reluctant. There is not the slightest intention of accepting or submitting to what God is doing; they just wish He would do otherwise. Nevertheless, they are still reluctant to choose to get married, fearing that if they got married and had entanglements, they wouldn’t be as free and wouldn’t be able to perform their duty well anymore, thus preventing them from later being saved and entering the kingdom of heaven. What would they do with such regret then? Actually, this is the path you choose yourself. God grants humans free will. You can choose, whether you want to find a partner and get married or pursue the truth and salvation. This is entirely a personal choice; whether or not you choose correctly bears no relation to God, so why do you complain about Him? Why do you complain that He is not righteous? Why do you have so many complaints? (Because my own interests were not satisfied.) When it touches upon your own interests, you become dissatisfied inside. You feel you’ve suffered a loss, so you blame God and even look for reasons to vent. What kind of disposition is this? (A malicious one.) This is maliciousness. Blaming God, complaining that He is not righteous, and complaining that His arrangements are unsuitable whenever one’s own interests cannot be satisfied—this is a disposition that is malicious and intransigent, and unloving of the truth. How do these states and thoughts arise in people? If it weren’t for these situations, would these things still arise and be revealed? (No.) When you are not facing such a situation, your relevant interests will not clash with God’s demands and your interests will not in any way be compromised, so you think your love and pursuit of God are better and stronger than everybody else’s. But when you are faced with this situation and your interests become involved, you cannot let go of your interests, so you complain about God. What can be seen from this issue? What is it that frequently causes people to complain about and judge God? (When their own interests are not satisfied.) When it touches upon their own interests, when their own intentions, desires, and plans cannot be met, people resist, judge, and complain about God, and may even blaspheme. In fact, judgment itself is a type of resistant state; blasphemy is even more serious. When their interests are harmed, the more they think about it the angrier they get, the more dissatisfied they become, and the more they feel wronged. They begin to resist, and with these thoughts in their mind, complaints come spilling from their lips and they start to judge. This is a sign of opposing God.

What are some concrete manifestations of a person’s resistance to God? (Not doing one’s duty diligently; being perfunctory in their duty.) This is one aspect. Before, this person could devote 70 percent or 80 percent of their energy to performing their duty and devote themselves to whatever they were doing, but now they harbor thoughts about God, and feel they haven’t received God’s blessings or grace despite performing their duty. Aside from judging God as unrighteous, there is also reluctance in their heart, so they only put in 10 percent or 20 percent of their effort when performing their duty, acting in a completely perfunctory manner. This is a type of resistant behavior caused by a rebellious state. What else is there? (Reckless abandonment.) How does this manifest? For instance, let’s say someone, when acting as a group leader, used to wake up at 5 a.m. for an 8 a.m. gathering in order to pray, engage in spiritual devotions, and prepare. Then they would record the content to fellowship at the gathering. They had a serious attitude toward performing duty, devoting themselves to it fully. After being pruned one time, however, they started to ponder: “What’s the point of getting up early? God doesn’t see it, and nobody praises me for it. There isn’t a single person who says I do my duty loyally. Besides, I’m always being pruned despite my hard work. And I haven’t received God’s approval either; it seems that even future rewards are now at risk.” So at the next gathering they don’t prepare in advance or fellowship enthusiastically, and they stop keeping records. What attitude is this? (An irresponsible one.) They are irresponsible and perfunctory, and no longer want to devote all their heart and strength. Why are they like this? There is something inside them causing trouble. They resist and contend with God, thinking: “Your pruning me has made me uneasy, so this is just how I treat you. I used to devote all my heart and mind, but God didn’t approve of me. God treats people unjustly, so I won’t do my best to perform my duty anymore!” What disposition is this? Their beastliness is showing; in their heart they deny God’s righteousness, deny that God scrutinizes man’s innermost heart, deny that God truly loves man, deny God’s essence, and treat God solely on the basis of their own notions. What behaviors arise from treating God this way? Carelessness, reckless abandonment, and irresponsibility, as well as complaints and misunderstandings. They will even spread their notions, instigating others: “Believing in God doesn’t ensure you will receive blessings. And what blessings, anyway? Has anyone seen them? We’re all walking the path of Paul; how many of us can be like Peter? Good luck getting made perfect by God.” What is it they are spreading? Their judgment and notions of God, as well as their dissatisfaction with Him. What is the nature of this behavior? Is it confrontational? (Yes.) Why can they be so confrontational? Because the views they hold are incorrect. They misunderstand God’s attitude toward people, His requirements for them, and His approach toward them—they lack understanding of these things. When God works in them, they cannot accept and submit, nor can they seek the truth. What is it that ultimately arises because of this? Resistance, judgment, condemnation, and blasphemy. Everyone with a corrupt disposition will naturally display these; the only difference is to what extent. It is absolutely not the case that only evil people behave this way. Would you agree? (Yes. Everyone who does not pursue the truth behaves this way.) That’s right. People who do not pursue the truth and those with a venomous humanity all exhibit and reveal these traits to varying degrees. Those who are relatively genuine seekers will also generate abnormal states when something undesirable happens to them, but they can turn themselves around by praying, examining themselves against God’s words, and seeking the truth. After turning themselves around, there will be repentance, allowing them to stop misunderstanding God and develop some submission. Although this submission sometimes has some impurities, is somewhat forced, or falls somewhat short of the standard, as long as they are willing to submit and can put even a bit of the truth into practice, they will gradually gain clarity about all aspects of the truth. But if you have no desire to submit whatsoever, and even after examining yourself and realizing this problem you do not seek or accept the truth—much less accept the way God treats you—then there will be trouble. What consequences will this produce? You will voice complaints, recklessly cast judgment, and speak without restraint, lacking all trace of a God-fearing heart. In milder cases, you’ll complain at home and smash tableware to vent your anger. You’ll be estranged from God, and unwilling to come before Him and pray. In more severe cases, you will spread your negativity and notions when seeing the brothers and sisters, causing disruptions and disturbances. If you still do not repent then, you will likely provoke their indignation, and you will be cleared out or expelled from the church.

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