Only With True Submission Can One Have Real Trust (Part Three)

In the process by which people come to have genuine faith in God, what does God do? (He enlightens, guides, orchestrates environments, and then takes the truth and works it into people.) When Peter received his rebuke from the Lord Jesus, that was God exposing, judging, and condemning him. Do people have to experience these things before they gain real trust in God? (Yes.) Why do they have to experience these things? Would it be impossible without these things? Is it possible to pass over judgment, exposure, reprimand, discipline, rebuke, and even cursing? (No.) Suppose the Lord Jesus had discussed the matter with Peter in a friendly manner, rather than rebuking him, saying, “Peter, I know that you mean well by what you say, but don’t speak like that in the future. Don’t hinder My plan out of human good intentions. Don’t speak on behalf of Satan and act as Satan’s outlet. In the future, be more careful and don’t talk nonsense. Before speaking, consider carefully whether your words are correct and whether they will grieve or anger God.” Would speaking this way work? (No.) Why not? Men have been too deeply corrupted by Satan, and the roots of their corrupt disposition run too deep. They live by their corrupt disposition. All their thoughts, acts, imaginings, notions, all the goals and directions of their lives, and all they say and do come from their corrupt disposition. Is it fine if God does not rebuke them? Will they realize the seriousness of this problem? Can the root cause of their sin be eradicated? (No.) If the root cause of their sin cannot be eradicated, can people submit to God? (No.) Is it now clear to you whether it is a good or a bad thing when God condemns and curses people? (It is a good thing.) Is it a good thing for God to reveal people? (Yes.) What does He reveal in people? (He reveals their weakness, stature, and trust in God.) He completely reveals people. The doctrines you hold, the catchphrase you constantly repeat, your beliefs, your outward zeal and well-meaning intentions are not what God approves of. These are not what He wants. No matter how zealous you are or how far you travel, can this show you possess the truth? Can it show you have genuine faith in God? (No.) These are not the things God approves of. Human goodness and imaginings are useless. To gain God’s approval and possess genuine faith in God, you must experience the various methods by which God works: exposing, judging, condemning, cursing—sometimes even disciplining and punishing are needed. Are these things to be feared? They are not things to be feared. They have in them God’s will, God’s good intentions, and God’s love. It is worthwhile to endure this hardship! God does these things and uses these methods to work on people. This shows that God expects things from these people and wants to gain something from them. God does not do these things at random, without reason, or based on imaginings. They completely reflect God’s will. What is God’s will? He wants to bring people to genuine faith in God and have people accept the truth, cast off their corrupt dispositions, and achieve salvation.

Tell Me, after Peter denied the Lord three times, did he reflect on his own faith? (Yes.) People with normal humanity, those who pursue the truth will reflect on themselves when they encounter failures and setbacks. Peter would certainly have reflected on himself in this way. People who do not love the truth will never reflect on themselves. If they encounter a situation like Peter’s, they will say, “Although I have denied the Lord three times, these were exceptional circumstances. Who would not feel worried, afraid, and weak under such exceptional circumstances? It’s not a big deal. My love for the Lord is still great, my heart is on fire with zeal, my spirit is strong, and I will never leave, never abandon the Lord! Denying the Lord three times is only a small blemish, and God probably won’t remember it. After all, my trust in God is quite considerable.” What sort of reflection is this? Is this the attitude of accepting the truth? Is this the way to attain real trust? (No.) What if Peter thought, “Lord Jesus, You know people too well, but how could You have wagered that I would do such a thing? You should not have predicted that I would deny You. Rather, You should have predicted that I would recognize You three times. That would have been great, and I could then have followed You with my head held high. In addition, it would have shown my great trust in You, and Your prediction would also have proved accurate. We would both be satisfied with that. How truly I believe in You. You must perfect me and give me my dignity! You shouldn’t rebuke me. You shouldn’t treat me in this manner. I am the dignified Peter. I should never have said words that denied God. It is too embarrassing and shameful! Why would You put such a thing on me? Why not somebody else? What You did was not fair! Although I admit that I denied You, did You have to reveal me like this so that everyone can see my embarrassment? Where will I go from here? Can I still receive a good destination in the future? Doesn’t this mean You have given up on me? In my heart, I feel this isn’t fair.” Is it right or wrong to reason with God like this? (It is wrong.) What sort of state is this? Here Peter has disobedience and complaints. Peter complains that God’s work does not conform to his notions and tastes. It causes him to lose face and standing so that he cannot hold his head up high. Here he has human choices, he has human complaints, disobedience, resistance, and rebellion. All of these things are corrupt dispositions. Thinking this way, acting in this way, and having such an attitude and state are obviously wrong. If people think and act like this and God does not reprimand them, can they develop genuine faith after being revealed? Can they possess real trust in God? (No.) What sort of result is in store for people who complain, rebel against, resist, and reject what God reveals in them and how God treats them such as this? What does this bring to the lives of such people? The first thing it brings is loss. What is the implication of “loss”? As God sees it, you are too much trouble to deal with. No matter what happens to you, you always have choices and you always have your own tastes, your own will, your own opinions, and your own imaginings, notions, and conclusions. So then, why do you still believe in God? For you, God is simply the object of your conviction and your spiritual support. You don’t need God, God’s words, God’s truth, or God’s life provision, and you certainly don’t need God to do any sort of judgment work on you that causes you a lot of pain. In response, God says, “That’s easy, I don’t have to do that to you. There’s just one thing: You must leave Me. You have the right to your choices, and I have the right to make choices as well. You can choose not to accept My manner of saving you, just as I can choose not to save you.” Does this mean you and God have nothing to do with each other? Is this God’s freedom? (Yes.) Does God have the right to do this? (Yes.) Do people have the right to choose not to accept God’s salvation? (Yes.) People also have this right. You can give up or you can reject the salvation God has for you, but in the end, it is you who suffers the loss. Not only will you not be perfected by God, but God will also spurn and eliminate you. In the end, you will be doubly punished. This is the outcome for you. That’s the trouble in store for you! Therefore, people who want to be saved must choose to submit to God’s work. Only in this way can people develop real trust in God and attain genuine faith in Him. Such faith is gradually produced in the process of submission to God’s sovereignty and arrangements.

People’s corrupt disposition is hidden in the intentions behind their speech and actions, in their outlook on things, in their every thought and idea, and in their views, understanding, notions, outlook, wishes, and demands regarding the truth, God, and God’s work. It is revealed from people’s words and acts without their knowing it. How, then, does God treat these things inside people? He arranges various environments to expose you. He will not only expose you, but He will also judge you. When you reveal your corrupt disposition, when you have thoughts and ideas that defy God, when you have states and viewpoints that contend with God, when you have states whereby you misunderstand God, or resist and oppose Him, God will rebuke you, judge you, and chastise you, and He will sometimes even discipline you and punish you. What is the aim of disciplining and rebuking you? (To have us repent and change.) Yes, it is meant to have you repent. What is achieved by disciplining and rebuking you is that it allows you to turn your course around. It is to make you understand that your thoughts are the notions of man, and that they are wrong; your motivations are born of Satan, they originate from human will, they are not in line with the truth, they are incompatible with God, they cannot satisfy God’s intentions, they are detestable and hateful to God, they incite His wrath, and even arouse His curse. After realizing this, you have to change your motivations and attitude. And how are they changed? First of all, you must submit to the way God treats you, and submit to the environments and people, events, and things that He sets out for you. Do not pick holes, do not give objective excuses, and do not shirk your responsibilities. Secondly, seek the truth that people should practice and enter into when God does what He does. God asks that you understand these things. He wants you to recognize your corrupt dispositions and satanic essence, for you to be able to submit to the environments He arranges for you and, ultimately, for you to be able to practice in accordance with His will and His requirements for you. Then you will have passed the test. Once you stop resisting and opposing God, you will then no longer argue with God and will be able to submit. When God says, “Get you behind Me, Satan,” you reply, “If God says I am Satan, I am Satan. Though I don’t understand what I’ve done wrong, or why God says I am Satan, He orders me to get behind Him, so I shall not hesitate. I must seek the will of God.” When God says the nature of your actions is satanic, you say, “I recognize whatever God says, I accept it all.” What attitude is this? This is submission. Is it submission when you are able to reluctantly accept God saying you are a devil and Satan, but cannot accept it—and are incapable of submitting—when He says you are a beast? Submission means total compliance and acceptance, not arguing or setting terms. It means not analyzing cause and effect, regardless of objective reasons, and only concerning yourself with acceptance. When people have attained submission such as this, they are close to genuine faith in God. The more God acts and the more you experience, the more real God’s sovereignty over all things becomes to you, the greater your trust in God will become and the more you will feel, “Everything God does is good, none of it is bad. I must not pick and choose, but should submit. My responsibility, my obligation, my duty—it is to submit. This is what I should do as a created being. If I can’t even submit to God, then what am I? I am a beast, I am a devil!” Does this not show that you now have genuine faith? Once you have gotten to this point, you will be without taint, and so it will be easy for God to use you, and it will also be easy for you to submit to the orchestrations of God. When you have God’s approval, you will be able to gain His blessings. Thus, there are many lessons to be learned in submission.

Peter possessed true submission to God. When God said, “Get you behind Me, Satan,” he kept quiet and reflected on himself. The people of today can’t do this. If God says, “Get you behind Me, Satan,” they will say, “Who are You calling Satan? It’s not okay to say that I’m Satan. Say I’m chosen by God—that would be pretty good. That I could accept and submit. If You say I’m Satan, I can’t submit.” If you can’t submit, then do you have real trust in God? Do you possess real submission? (No.) What is the relationship between submission and real trust? Only when you have genuine faith can you possess true submission. Only when you can truly submit to God can real trust in God gradually arise within you. You gain real trust in the process of truly submitting to God, but if you lack real trust, can you truly submit to God? (No.) These things are connected, and this is not a matter of regulations or logic. Truth is not philosophy, it is not logical. Truths are interrelated and absolutely inseparable. If you say, “To submit to God, you must have trust in God, and if you have trust in God, you must submit to God,” this is a regulation, a phrase, a theory, a high-sounding view! Matters of life are not regulations. You keep verbally acknowledging that Almighty God is your only Savior and the one true God, but do you have real trust in God? What do you rely on to stand firm when you meet with adversity? Many people accept Almighty God because He has expressed so many truths. They accept Him in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. However, when confronted with arrest and tribulations, many people withdraw, many people hide in their homes and do not dare to perform their duties. At this time, the words you spoke—“I believe in God’s sovereignty, I believe in God’s control over man’s destiny, and that my destiny is in God’s hands”—have long since disappeared without a trace. It was merely a catchphrase for you. Since you dare not practice and experience these words, and you do not live by these words, do you have real trust in God? The essence of having faith in God is not just believing in God’s name, but believing in the fact that God is sovereign over all things. You must turn this fact into your life, turn it into the actual testimony of your life. You have to live by these words. That means allowing these words to guide your behavior and guide the direction and goals of your actions when situations confront you. Why do you have to live by these words? For example, let’s say that you are able to go to a foreign country to believe in God and perform your duty, and you think this is quite good. The rule of the great red dragon does not exist overseas, and there is no persecution of beliefs; believing in God does not endanger your life, so you don’t have to take risks. Whereas, believers in God in mainland China are in danger of being arrested at any time; they are living in the demon’s den, and that is very dangerous! Then one day, God says, “You have been believing in God overseas for several years, and gained some life experience. There is a place in mainland China, the brothers and sisters there are immature in terms of life. You should return and shepherd them.” What would you do when confronted with this responsibility? (Submit to and accept it.) You might accept it externally, but your heart would feel uneasy. In your bed at night, you’d cry and pray to God, “God, You know my weakness. My stature is too small. Even if I return to the mainland, I would not be able to shepherd God’s chosen people! Can’t You choose someone else to go? This commission has come to me, and I do want to go, but I am afraid that, if I go, I will not carry it out well, that I will not be able to perform my duty satisfactorily, and that I will fail to satisfy Your will! Can’t I stay overseas for two more years?” What is the choice you are making? You are not completely refusing to go, but you are not fully agreeing to go either. This is tacit evasion. Is this submitting to God? This is a most clear rebellion against God. You not wanting to return means that you possess resistant emotions. Does God know this? (He knows.) God will say, “Don’t go. I am not being hard on you, I am just giving you a trial.” In this way, He has revealed you. Do you love God? Do you submit to God? Do you have real trust? (No.) Is this weakness? (No.) It is rebellion, it is opposing God. This trial has revealed that you do not have real trust in God, you do not have true submission, and you do not believe that God is sovereign over all things. You say, “As long as I am afraid, I am justified in choosing not to go. As long as my life is in danger, I can refuse. I do not have to accept this commission and can choose my own path. I can be filled with complaints and grievances.” What sort of trust is this? There is no real trust here. No matter how lofty the slogans you chant are, will they have any effect now? None at all. Will your oaths have any effect? Will it do any good if other people fellowship on the truth and work to persuade you? (No.) Even if you reluctantly go to the mainland after they work to persuade you, would this be true submission? This is not how God wants you to submit. If you go unwillingly, you will go in vain. God will not work in you, and you will gain nothing from it. God doesn’t force people to do things. You must be willing. If you don’t want to go, want to take a third way, and always seek to escape, reject, and evade, then you don’t have to go. When your stature is large enough and you have such trust, you will voluntarily request to go, saying, “I will go, even if no one else does. This time I am truly unafraid, and I will risk my life! Isn’t life given by God? What is so scary about Satan? It is a plaything in the hands of God, and I do not fear it! If I am not arrested, it will be thanks to God’s grace and mercy. If circumstances are such that I am arrested, it is because God allows it. Even if I die in prison, I must still testify for God! I must have this resolve—I will hand over my life to God. I will take what I have understood, experienced, and come to know in my life and fellowship on it with those brothers and sisters who lack understanding and knowledge. This way, they can have the same trust and resolve as I do, and can come before God and testify for Him. I must be considerate of God’s will and carry this heavy burden. Although carrying this heavy burden requires taking risks and sacrificing my life, I am not afraid. I no longer think of myself; I have God, my life is in His hands, and I willingly submit to His orchestrations and arrangements.” After you return, you will have to suffer in that environment. You may age quickly, with your hair going gray and your face wrinkling. You may get sick or be arrested and persecuted, or even find yourself in mortal danger. How should you confront these problems? This again involves real trust. Some people can return in a burst of determination, but what will they do when confronted by these hardships after their return? You must take the plunge and believe in God’s sovereignty. Even if you visibly age a bit or get a little sick, these are trivial matters. If you sin against God and refuse His commission, you will lose out on your chance to be perfected by God in this life. In your life, if you sin against God and reject His commission, that will be an eternal stain! Losing this opportunity is something you can’t buy back with any number of years of your youth. What use is it to have a healthy and strong body? What’s the use of having a pretty face and a good figure? Even if you live to be eighty and your mind is still sharp, if you can’t understand the meaning of even one sentence spoken by God, wouldn’t that be pathetic? It would be extremely pathetic! So, what is the most important and precious thing that people must obtain when they come before God? It is genuine faith in God. No matter what befalls you, if you first submit, even if you have some small misconceptions about God at the time, or you don’t quite understand why God is acting in that way, you will not be negative and weak. As Peter said, “Even if God were playing with humans as if they were toys, what complaint would humans have?” If you lack even this bit of trust, could you still be as submissive as Peter? Very often, what God does to you is appropriate and reasonable, in line with your stature, imaginings, and notions. God works according to your stature. If you still can’t accept it, can you achieve the submission of Peter? That would be even more impossible. Therefore, you have to pursue toward this direction and this goal. Only then can you achieve genuine faith in God.

If people lack genuine faith, can they submit to God? It’s hard to say. Only by having real trust in God can they truly submit to Him. That’s exactly it. If you do not truly submit to God, you will have no more opportunities to receive God’s enlightenment, guidance, or perfection. You have pushed away all these opportunities for God to perfect you. You don’t want them. You refuse, avoid, and are constantly dodging them. You always choose an environment with the comforts of the flesh and free from suffering. This is a problem! You can’t experience God’s work. You can’t experience God’s guidance, God’s leadership, and God’s protection. You can’t see God’s deeds. As a result, you won’t gain the truth and won’t gain real trust—you won’t gain anything! If you cannot gain the truth and you cannot gain the word of God to make it your life, can you be gained by God? Certainly not. What is the main thing you intend to gain by being enlightened, guided, and perfected by God? You gain the truth and the word of God. That is, God’s word becomes your reality, the source of your life, and the principle, basis, and criterion for your actions. When this is the case, what do you live out? Still a corrupt disposition? (No.) Will God say to you, “Get you behind Me, Satan”? (He will not.) What will God say? What was the definition God gave to Job? (He fears God and shuns evil, he is a perfect person.) It is appropriate to quote these words here. If you want to attain this title and definition God gave to Job, will it be easy to do so? (No.) It’s not easy. You have to satisfy God’s heart in all things, seek God’s will everywhere, act according to God’s will, and submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements. If you only say that you will submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangement, but then seek to analyze why certain circumstances, people, events and things befall you, have complaints and misunderstandings, and misinterpret God’s will, that would be very grievous to God! If you don’t want God, God won’t want you. You will have nothing to do with each other. Wouldn’t it be a problem if things were to go on like this? As you are not a created being, God is not your Sovereign, nor your God. How will God define you in the end? “Depart from Me, you that work iniquity.” Do you want to have these words said of you? (No.) What does it mean if this is said of you? (It means that we are condemned, eliminated, and punished by God.) That is not good at all! Once you are condemned and eliminated by God, it is not like being condemned by a leader or someone in authority—it is God! God bestows life on you and sustains your life. Now that God does not want you, can you still live? (No.) What does this mean? It signifies the final outcome for you, which is not a good thing. It is not a good sign at all. If I say that a person fears God and shuns evil and is a perfect person, this is a good sign, and God’s blessing will surely come to such a person. What should you make of the words with which God evaluated Job? If you think about what Job ate, what he wore, how he walked, and what temperament he had and try to imitate these things, you are going about it wrong. You have to quickly ponder and seek, thinking, “How did Job do it? What did he live out to receive God’s approval? God said that Job feared God and shunned evil, he was a perfect person. That is no small thing. That is what God Himself said. I must follow Job’s example, seek the way of fearing God and shunning evil, and strive to become a person who fears God and shuns evil as well. This will make it so God will approve of me and call me by this title as well. I want to be a perfect person in God’s eyes.” This thinking is in line with God’s will.

December 30, 2016

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