What Is It, Exactly, on Which People Rely to Live? (Part One)

Which aspect of the truth do you most want to hear today? I’ll give you a few topics to choose from, and we can fellowship on whichever you’d like. Here’s the first question: How do you know yourself? What is the way to know yourself? Why should you know yourself? The second question is: What have people lived by in all their years of belief in God? Have you lived by God’s word and the truth, or have you lived by satanic dispositions and philosophies? What behavior demonstrates that you live by God’s word and the truth? If you live by satanic dispositions and philosophies, how will your corruption manifest and reveal itself? The third question is: What is a corrupt disposition? We previously discussed six aspects of corrupt dispositions, so I will talk about which states are the specific manifestations of these corrupt dispositions. Now it’s your choice. Which question do you understand least, but want to understand most, and find the most difficult to grasp? (We choose the second question.) Then we’ll fellowship on this topic. Contemplate for a moment. What have people lived by in all their years of belief in God, and what things does this topic involve? The main point of this sentence is the word “what.” What is included in the scope of this “what”? What of it can you understand? The things you think are most critical, should be practiced when believing in God, and should be possessed by human beings fall within the scope of this word “what.” Whatever things you come into contact with in your daily life, whatever things your caliber and comprehension ability allow you to grasp, that you think are positive, that you think are close to and aligned with the truth, that you think are the reality of positive things, and that you think are in line with God’s will, are the things you have been living by while following God and performing your duty over these years, so we can bring them out and fellowship on them. What are the things you can think of? (I think that, in my belief in God, I just have to suffer, pay a price, and get results in my duty in order to gain God’s salvation.) This view is something that you regard as positive. Then what is the difference between this view and Paul’s view? Isn’t the essence the same? (It is.) The essence is the same. Isn’t the essence of this view just an imagining? (Yes.) Over the years, you have lived by this imagining and what you think is right. You’ve also relied on this to believe in God, perform your duty, and live the church life. This is one situation. First, you need to confirm whether your thoughts and views are correct and whether they have a basis in God’s word. If you think they are correct, that they have a basis, and that what you do is practicing the truth, but you are actually wrong, that is what we will be discussing in our fellowship today.

The simplest way to fellowship on the aspect of the truth of exactly what people have lived by is to start with a subject that everyone can understand, the case of Paul, and then relate it to your own state. Why talk about Paul? Most people know the story of Paul. What stories or topics are there about Paul in the Bible? For example, what are Paul’s famous sayings, or what are his characteristics, personality, and talents? Tell Me. (Paul was educated by the doctor of the law Gamaliel, which was a good brand for him, equivalent to graduating from a prestigious university.) In modern terms, Paul was a theological student who graduated from a prestigious school of theology. This is the first relatively representative topic about Paul, regarding his background, education level, and social status. As for the second topic, what is Paul’s most well-known saying? (“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: From now on there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:7–8).) This is the motivation for his running about. In modern terms, Paul suffered and paid the price, worked, and preached the gospel, but his motivation was to gain a crown. This is the second topic. You can continue. (Paul said, “To me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).) This is also one of Paul’s classic sayings. This is the third topic. We just mentioned three topics. The first was that Paul was a student of the doctor of the law Gamaliel, the equivalent of a present-day seminary graduate. He was certainly more learned about the Bible than ordinary folks. Paul had knowledge of the Old Testament, having graduated from a school like that. That was the educational background Paul had. How did that sway his future preaching and provisioning of the churches? It may have had some benefit—but did it cause any harm? (Yes, it did.) Does theological learning line up with the truth? (No, it doesn’t.) Theological learning is all specious stuff, all empty theory. It’s not practical. What was the second topic? (Paul said, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: From now on there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness.”) Paul lived by these words; he pursued by them. Might we say, then, that they were Paul’s intent and aim in his suffering, in the price he paid? (Yes.) His intent, put plainly, was to be rewarded, which means that he ran his course, paid his price, and fought his good fight to trade those things in for a crown of righteousness. This goes to show that the years of Paul’s pursuit were about being rewarded and gaining a crown of righteousness. If this hadn’t been his intent and aim, would he have been able to undergo such suffering and pay such a price? Would he have been able to do the work he did and pay the price he did by merit of his own moral quality, ambition, and desires? (No.) Assume the Lord Jesus said to him in advance, “When I worked on the earth, you persecuted Me. People like you are punished and cursed. No matter what you do, you can’t make up for such mistakes; no matter how you repent, I will not save you.” What kind of attitude would Paul have? (He would have abandoned God and stopped believing.) Not only would he not have believed in God, he would have denied God, denied that the Lord Jesus was Christ, and denied the existence of God in heaven. So what did Paul live by? He didn’t love God sincerely, and he wasn’t someone who submitted to Him, so why was he able to persist through so many tribulations in preaching the gospel? It’s fair to say that his main support was his desire for blessings; that’s what gave him the strength. Also, back when Paul had seen God’s great light on the road to Damascus, he’d been blinded. He fell prostrate on the ground, trembling all over. He’d felt God’s greatness and His awesomeness, and was afraid of God smiting him, so he didn’t dare refuse God’s commission. He had to keep preaching the gospel, however great the hardships. He wouldn’t risk slackness. That was part of it. The greatest part of it, though, was his excessive desire to be blessed. Would he have done as he did without the desire to be blessed, that glimmer of hope? Certainly not. The third topic was that Paul testified that to him, to live is Christ. Let’s first take a look at the work Paul did. Paul had plenty of religious knowledge; he had a degree of renown and a fairly distinctive educational background. You could say he was more learned than ordinary folks. So, what did he rely on to do his work? (His gifts and talents, and his knowledge of the Bible.) By appearances, he may have been spreading the gospel and testifying to the Lord Jesus, but he testified only to the name of the Lord Jesus; he didn’t truly testify that the Lord Jesus was God manifest and at work, that the Lord Jesus was God Himself. So, who was Paul really testifying to, then? (He testified to himself. He said, “To me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”) What do his words imply? That Paul was the Christ, the Lord, and God, not the Lord Jesus. Paul was able to run around and preach in this way because of his intentions and ambitions. What was his ambition? To make all people, those who he preached to or those who heard of him, think that he lived as Christ and God. This is one aspect, he lived by his desires. Also, Paul’s work was based on his biblical knowledge. His preaching and words all displayed that he had knowledge of the Bible. He didn’t talk about the work and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit or the truth realities. These topics are nowhere to be found in his letters and he certainly didn’t have this type of experience. Nowhere in his work did Paul testify to the words the Lord Jesus spoke. Take the Lord Jesus’ teaching for how people should practice confession and repentance, for instance, or the many words of teachings that the Lord Jesus spoke to people—Paul never preached those. None of the work Paul did had anything to do with the Lord Jesus’ words, and everything he preached was stuff from the theological learning and theory he’d studied. What does that stuff of theological learning and theory consist of? Human notions, imaginings, philosophies, and inferences, as well as derivative experiences, lessons, and so on. In short, all that stuff arises from human thinking and reflects human thoughts and views; none of it is the truth, much less in line with the truth. It all flies in the face of the truth.

After hearing the example of Paul, compare yourselves to him. With regard to the topic we are talking about today, “What have people lived by in all their years of belief in God,” are you reminded of some of your own states and behaviors? (It makes me think of the fact that I believe if I never have a family, never betray God’s commission, make no complaints against God when great trials come to me, in the end, God won’t let me die.) That’s living by wishful thinking, which comes sort of close to the topic of today’s fellowship and touches on an actual state. It’s a view on practical pursuit in real life. Anything else? (I have a view: I feel that as long as I follow God to the end in my faith, I’m bound to be blessed and to obtain a wonderful outcome and destination.) Lots of people have such a view, don’t they? It’s basically a view that everyone can sort of agree on. Does anyone have a different view? Let’s hear it. I’ll point something out to you: Some people believe in God for many years, and based on their own personal experiences, imaginings, or some kind of experience and some examples that they have obtained from reading spiritual books, they summarize some approaches relating to practice, such as how believers in God should act in order to become spiritual, how they should act in order to practice the truth, and so on. They think what they do is practicing the truth, and that by doing these things, they can satisfy God’s will. For example, when some people suffer from sickness, this matter requires seeking God’s will and the truth. This is one of the most basic things believers in God should know. But how do they practice? They say, “This illness was orchestrated by God, and I have to live by faith, so I won’t take medicine, get injections, or go to the hospital. What do you think of my faith? Strong, isn’t it?” Does this kind of person have faith? (Yes.) You agree with this view, and this is also how you practice. You think that if you are sick, not getting injections, taking medicine, or going to a doctor is equivalent to practicing the truth to satisfy God’s will. So, on what basis do you say that this is practicing the truth? Is it correct to practice this way? What is the basis? Have you seen it verified? You aren’t certain. Since you don’t know whether this is or is not in accordance with the truth, why insist on practicing in this way? If you are sick, you just persist in praying to God, not getting injections, not taking medicine, not seeing a doctor, and you just inwardly rely on and pray to God, asking God to get rid of this sickness or putting yourself at His mercy—is practicing this way correct? (No.) Do you only think it is incorrect now, or did you realize that it was incorrect before? (In the past, when I got sick, I felt that seeing a doctor or taking medicine was an external method, and that this was an expression of faithlessness, so I was relying on prayer or other methods to handle the matter.) Does this imply that if God gives you a sickness, and you have it cured, then you are betraying God and not submitting to God’s arrangements for you? (That was my viewpoint.) So, do you think that this view is right or wrong? Or are you still confused, and don’t know if it is right or wrong, and think that, after all, that’s how you’ve always acted, and no one else has said that it’s wrong, and you don’t feel guilty about it, so you just keep practicing in that way? (I always practiced this way, and I didn’t feel anything in particular.) Then do you feel a bit confused about doing this? Let’s put aside whether you are right or wrong, but we can be sure of at least one thing, which is that practicing like this doesn’t accord with the truth. Because, if it did accord with the truth, you would at least know which truth principle you were following and under the scope of which principle such practice fell. But when we look at it now, we see that people act this way based on their own imaginings. It is a constraint they put on themselves. In addition, people set this as a standard for themselves based on their own imaginings, thinking they should do this when they are sick, yet they do not know exactly what God requires or means. They just act according to a method that they themselves imagine and determine, not knowing what result will come from acting in this way. What do people live by when they are in this state? (Their own imaginings.) Is there a notion within these imaginings? What is their notion? (That they can win God’s approval by practicing this way.) This is a notion. Is this the correct understanding of the matter? (No.) There is a definition and a result here: When you live by such a notion and such imaginings, you are not practicing the truth.

By this point, you will have pondered a fair amount on the topic of “What Is It, Exactly, on Which People Rely to Live,” and you know more or less what will be fellowshipped on in this topic. So, let’s talk about a few kinds of states. Listen carefully and contemplate as you listen. What is the aim of this contemplation? To compare the states I speak about to your own states, to grasp them, and to know that you have those kinds of states and problems, and then to seek the truth to resolve them, striving to live by the truth instead of living by various things that are completely unrelated to it. “What Is It, Exactly, on Which People Rely to Live” is a topic that touches on a lot of things, so let’s begin with gifts. Some people can speak clearly and eloquently. They talk and interact with people with glib, silver tongues, and they are particularly quick thinkers. In every situation, they know exactly what to say. In God’s house, they also perform their duties with their silver tongues and quick wits. Their false, sweet words turn ordinary problems into non-issues. They seem able to resolve lots of problems. With their bright minds, coupled with their experience in society and their insightfulness, they can see what’s going on with any ordinary thing that happens to them; all it takes is a few words from them to resolve the problem. Others admire them, thinking, “They can deal with things so easily. Why can’t I?” They also feel very pleased with themselves, and they think, “Look, God gave me this eloquence and glib tongue, this clever mind, this insight, and this ability to react quickly, so there’s nothing I can’t handle!” And this is where the problem arises. Someone who is glib-tongued and quick-witted may use their talents and abilities to perform some duties, and in the course of performing their duty, they solve some problems or do a few things for God’s house, but if you examine everything they do in detail, you will only come away with a question mark regarding whether everything they do accords with the truth, whether it accords with the truth principles, and whether it satisfies God’s will. Such people often don’t understand the truth or how to act in accordance with the truth, yet they still perform their duties. But no matter how well they perform their duties, what is it that they rely on? What is the point of origin of their performance of their duties? Their thinking, insight, and their silver tongues. Is there anyone like this among you? (Yes.) Does the person who lives by their mind, high IQ, or glib tongue know whether what they do accords with the truth principles? (No.) Do you have principles when you act? Or, to put it another way, when you act, do you do so by satanic philosophies, by your own wits, by your own intelligence and wisdom—or do you do so according to God’s words and the truth principles? If you’re always acting by satanic philosophies, by your own preferences and ideas, then there aren’t any principles to your actions. But if you’re able to seek the truth, and act according to God’s words, to the truth principles—that’s acting with principles. Is there anything in how you speak and act now that goes against the truth? Do you go against the principles? When you do, do you know it? (Sometimes.) What do you do at those times? (We pray to God, steel our resolve to repent, and swear to God we’ll never act that way again.) And the next time something similar happens to you, do you act that way again, and steel your resolve again? (Yes.) You always fall back on steeling your will whenever things happen to you—well, once your will is steeled, do you actually put the truth into practice? Do you actually act with principles? Is it clear to you? Many people don’t seek the truth when things happen to them, but live by their petty devices, by their gifts. Is having a good head on your shoulders and being a smooth talker the only sort of gift there is? How else does living by gifts manifest? For example, some people like to sing very much, and they can sing an entire song after listening to it two or three times. They therefore have duties in this field, and they think that this duty is given to them by God. This feeling is correct and accurate. Over the years, they learn many hymns, and the more they sing, the better they get. However, there is a problem they’re not aware of. What is it? Their singing gets better and better, and they regard this gift as their life. Isn’t this wrong? They live by their gift every day, and as they sing hymns every day, they believe they have gained life, but isn’t this just an illusion? Even if you are moved by the singing, others enjoy it, and others benefit from it, can this prove you have gained life? It’s hard to say. It depends on how much you understand the truth, whether you can practice the truth, whether you have principles in your actions and duty, and whether you have real experiential testimony. Only from these aspects can you judge whether people possess the truth realities. If they possess the truth realities, they are ones with life, especially those who can fear God and shun evil, as well as those who can truly love and submit to God. If a person has gifts and talents, and they also get good results in their duty, but they don’t pursue the truth and they only live by their gifts, show off their qualifications, and never obey anyone, can such a person possess life? The key to whether someone has life or not is whether they possess the truth realities. How can a person with talents and gifts gain the truth? How can they live without relying on gifts? How can they escape living in this way? They should seek the truth. First, they should clearly know the difference between what gifts are and what life is. When someone is gifted or has a talent, it means that they are inherently better at something or excel in some way compared with others. For example, you may react a little faster than others, understand things a little quicker than others, have mastered certain professional skills, or you may be an eloquent speaker, and so on. These are gifts and talents that a person may have. If you have certain talents and strengths, how you understand and handle them is very important. If you think that you are irreplaceable because no one else has your talents and gifts, and that you are practicing the truth if you use your gifts and talents to perform your duty, is this view right or wrong? (Wrong.) Why do you say it is wrong? What exactly are talents and gifts? How should you understand them, use them and deal with them? The fact is that no matter what gift or talent you have, it doesn’t mean that you have the truth and life. If people have certain gifts and talents, it is appropriate for them to perform a duty that utilizes these gifts and talents, but it does not mean that they are practicing the truth, nor does it mean that they are doing things according to the principles. For example, if you are born with a gift for singing, does your ability to sing represent the practice of the truth? Does it mean that you sing according to the principles? It does not. Let’s say, for example, that you have a natural talent for words and are good at writing. If you don’t understand the truth, can your writing accord with the truth? Does it necessarily mean that you have experiential testimony? (No, it does not.) Hence, gifts and talents are different to the truth and they cannot be compared. No matter what gift you have, if you do not pursue the truth, you won’t perform your duty well. Some people flaunt their gifts often and generally feel that they are better than others, so they look down on other people and are unwilling to cooperate with others when performing their duties. They always want to be in charge, and as a result they often violate the principles when performing their duties, and their working efficiency is also very low. The gifts have made them arrogant and self-righteous, made them look down on others, and made them always feel that they are better than other people and that no one is as good as them, and because of this they become smug. Have these people not been ruined by their gifts? They have indeed. People who are gifted and have talents are most likely to be arrogant and self-righteous. If they don’t pursue the truth and always live by their gifts, that is a very dangerous thing. No matter what duty a person performs in God’s house, no matter what kind of talent they possess, if they don’t pursue the truth then they will certainly fail to fulfill their duty. Whatever gifts and talents a person has, they should perform that kind of duty well. If they can also understand the truth and do things according to the principles, then their gifts and talents will have a role to play in the performance of that duty. Those who don’t accept the truth, and don’t seek the truth principles, and only rely on their gifts to do things won’t achieve any results from performing their duties, and risk being eliminated. Here’s an example: Some people are talented at writing but don’t understand the truth, and there’s no truth reality at all in the stuff they write. How can that edify others? It has less of an effect than someone who is uneducated but understands the truth talking about their testimony. Many people live amid gifts and think that they are useful figures in God’s house. But tell Me, if they never get around to pursuing the truth, are they still valuable? If someone has gifts and talents but lacks the truth principles, can they perform a duty well? Whoever truly sees through this issue and makes sense of it will know how gifts and talents are to be treated. What should you do, if your state is one where you’re always boasting of your gifts and thinking that you have the truth reality, that you’re better than others while privately looking down on them? You need to seek the truth; you must see through to the essence of boasting of gifts. Isn’t it the height of foolishness and ignorance, to boast of gifts? If someone’s a smooth talker, does that mean they have the truth reality? Does having gifts mean that someone has the truth and life? Isn’t someone who shows off with their gifts, despite having no reality at all, shameless? If they saw through these things, they wouldn’t brag. Here’s another question: What’s the greatest challenge these fairly gifted, talented people face? Do you have experience of such a thing or exposure to it? (Their greatest challenge is that they always think they’re better than others, that they’re good in every way. They’re so arrogant and conceited; they look down on everyone. It’s not easy for people like that to accept and practice the truth.) That’s part of it. What else? (It’s hard for them to let go of their gifts and talents. They always think that they can resolve a lot of problems by putting their gifts and talents to use. They just don’t know how to view things according to the truth.) (Gifted people always think they can handle things themselves, so when things happen to them, it’s hard for them to rely on God, and they’re unwilling to seek the truth.) What you’re saying are the facts, and nothing but the facts. People who are gifted and have talents think they are very clever, that they understand everything—but they do not know that gifts and talents do not represent the truth, that these things have no connection to the truth. When people rely on their gifts and imaginings in their actions, their thoughts and opinions often run contrary to the truth—but they can’t see this, they still think, “See how clever I am; I’ve made such smart choices! Such wise decisions! None of you can match me.” They forever live in a state of narcissism and self-appreciation. It is hard for them to quiet their hearts and contemplate what God asks of them, what the truth is, and what the truth principles are. So it is hard for them to understand the truth, and even though they perform duties, they are not able to practice the truth, and so, too, is it very difficult for them to enter into the truth reality. In short, if a person cannot pursue the truth and accept the truth, then irrespective of what gifts or talents they have, they will not be able to perform their duty well—of this there cannot be the slightest doubt.

Gifts and talents can be regarded as the same kind of thing. What talents are there? Some people are particularly proficient with a certain kind of technology. For example, some men like to fiddle with gadgets, and there are some people who are quite skilled with electronics, who are very much in their element when it comes to using those internal computer codes or software programs. They can master these things and remember them very quickly—that is, their ability to understand and memorize these things is extraordinary. This is a talent. Some people are good at learning languages. No matter which language they learn, they learn very quickly, and their memory exceeds that of ordinary people. Some people are good at singing, dancing, or art, some are good at makeup and acting, some can be directors, and so on. Regardless of the sort of talent, as long as someone engages in a kind of work, this touches on the topic of “What Is It, Exactly, on Which People Rely to Live.” Why do we need to dissect human gifts and talents? Because people enjoy living by their gifts and talents, and people regard them as capital, as the source of their livelihoods, as life, and as the value, pursuit goal, and significance of their lives. People feel that it’s natural for them to rely on these things to live, and see them as an indispensable part of human life. Almost everyone today lives by their gifts and talents. What kind of gifts do each of you live by? (I think I’ve got a gift with language. So I spread the gospel with that gift—when I’m talking with someone who’s investigating the true way, I can draw them in close, and they want to hear what I say.) Well, is it good or not that you have this gift? (Now that I’ve heard God’s fellowship, I think this gift would get in the way of my seeking the truth principles.) You’re saying that it’s not good to have a gift with language, and that you won’t want to use this gift anymore, is that right? (No.) What are you saying, then? You now need to understand what the focus of today’s discussion is, which of your problems it will resolve, what is wrong about living by these gifts, and what is right about it. You must be clear on these things. If you don’t understand these things, and if, in the end, after so much talking, you feel that the right things are wrong, and that the wrong things are also wrong, and that everything you do is wrong, can you resolve the problem of living by your gifts? (No. By relying on my gift with language to spread the gospel, I think that my intention is not to perform my duty well to satisfy God, and that it is instead to show off, admire myself, and feel good about myself.) You have just expressed the reason why living by your gifts is wrong. You think this gift is your capital, a realization of your self-worth, and these thoughts and this point of origin are wrong. How can you solve this problem? (I need to know that my gift is only a tool for performing my duty. The purpose of using my gift is to perform my duty well and to complete God’s commission.) After thinking in this way, will you suddenly be able to practice the truth? (No.) So how can you come to practice the truth and not live by these gifts? If, when you are performing your duty, you are using your gifts to show off your personal skills and abilities, then you are living by your gifts. However, if you use your gifts and knowledge to perform your duty well and show your loyalty, and you are then able to satisfy God’s will and achieve the results that God requires, and if you ponder on how to speak and what to say so that you can better testify to God, and do better at helping people to understand and be clear about what work God is doing, and finally help people to accept God’s work, then you are practicing the truth. Is there a difference here? (Yes.) Have you ever gotten carried away while flaunting your gifts, talents, or abilities, and forgotten that you were performing your duty, and instead showed off in front of others, just like an unbeliever? Has this ever happened to you? (Yes.) So in these situations, what is a person’s inner state like? It is a state of indulgence, where they lack a God-fearing heart, restraint, or guilt, where there are no goals or principles in their mind when they do things, and where they have already lost the basic dignity and decency that a Christian should have. What does this become? It becomes them showing off their skills and selling their personality. In the course of performing your duty, do you often experience states where you only care about displaying your talents and gifts, and where you do not seek the truth? When you are in such a state, can you realize it on your own? Can you reverse your course? If you can realize this and reverse your course, then you will be able to practice the truth. But if you are always like this, and experience this state time and time again, for a long period of time, then you are someone who lives entirely by their gifts and who does not practice the truth at all. Where do you think that your restraint comes from? What is the power of your restraint determined by? It is determined by how much you love the truth and how much you hate evil or negative things. When you’ve understood the truth, you won’t want to do evil, and when you hate negative things, you won’t want to do evil, either—and just like that, a sense of restraint comes about. It’s impossible for people who don’t love the truth to hate evil things. That’s why they have no sense of restraint, and without that, they’re liable to give in to dissolution, without restraint. They’re arbitrary and reckless, and they don’t care a bit about how much evil they do.

There is another state that people who live by relying on their gifts experience. No matter what talents, gifts, or skills people have, if they just do things and labor, and have never sought the truth, nor tried to grasp God’s will, as though the concept of practicing the truth does not exist in their minds, and their only impetus is to finish the job and get the task done, is this not living completely by their gifts and talents, and by their own abilities and skills? In their belief in God, they just want to labor so that they can gain blessings, and exchange their own gifts and skills for God’s blessings. This is the state that most people are in. Most people harbor this perspective especially when the house of God assigns them some kind of routine work—all they do is labor. In other words, they want to rely on labor to accomplish their goals. Sometimes it is by talking or taking a look at something; sometimes it is by working with their hands or running around. They think that by doing this, they have contributed a lot. This is what it means to live by relying on one’s gifts. Why do we say that living by your gifts and talents is laboring rather than doing your duty, to say nothing of practicing the truth? There is a difference. For example, say that the house of God gives you a task, and after you have taken it on, you think of how to complete the task as soon as possible, so you can report back to your leader and receive their praise. You may even have a fairly conscientious attitude and set out a step-by-step plan, but you only focus on completing the task and doing it for others to look at. Or, you may set yourself a standard while doing it, thinking about how to do the task in a way that satisfies you and makes you happy, and which meets the standard of perfection you seek. No matter how you set standards, if what you do bears no relation to the truth, if it is not done after seeking the truth, and coming to understand and confirm God’s requirements, and if it is instead done blindly and with a muddled mind, it is laboring. This is doing things by relying on your own mind, gifts, abilities, and skills while harboring a mindset of wishful thinking. What is the result of doing things this way? Maybe you complete the task, and no one points out any problems. You are very happy, but in the process of doing the task, for starters, you did not understand God’s will. Second, you did not do it with all your heart, mind, and strength; your heart did not seek the truth. If you had sought the truth principles and sought God’s will, then your performance of the task would have been up to standard. You also would have been able to enter into the truth realities, and would have been able to accurately understand that what you had done was in line with God’s will. However, if you do not put your heart into it, and do the task in a muddleheaded way, even though the job will be completed and the task done, you will not know in your heart how well you did it, you will not have any standards, and you will not know whether the task was done in line with God’s will or the truth. In that case, you’re not performing your duty, you are laboring.

Everyone who believes in God should understand His will. Only those who perform their duties well can satisfy God, and only by completing God’s commission can one’s performance of their duty be satisfactory. There is a standard for the accomplishment of God’s commission. The Lord Jesus said: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” “Loving God” is one aspect of what God requires of people. Where should this requirement manifest itself? In that you must complete God’s commission. In practical terms, it is performing your duty well as a human. So what is the standard for performing your duty well? It is God’s requirement that you do your duty well as a created being with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. This should be easy to understand. In order to meet God’s requirement, you mainly need to put your heart into your duty. If you can put your heart into it, then it will be easy for you to act with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. If you perform your duty by just relying on the imaginings of your mind, and by relying on your gifts, can you meet God’s requirement? Absolutely not. So, what is the standard that must be met in order to fulfill God’s commission, and to perform your duty loyally and well? It is to perform your duty with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. If you attempt to perform your duty well without a God-loving heart, it will not work. If your God-loving heart grows ever stronger and more genuine, then you will naturally be able to perform your duty well with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. All your heart, all your soul, all your mind, all your strength—the one that comes last is “all your strength”; “all your heart” comes first. If you’re not doing your duty with all your heart, how could you be doing it with all your strength? That’s why merely trying to do your duty with all your strength can’t achieve any results—or live up to the principles, either. What is the most important thing that God requires? (With all one’s heart.) No matter what duty or thing God entrusts to you, if you only labor, run around, and exert effort, can you be in accord with the truth principles? Can you walk in God’s will? (No.) Then how can you accord with God’s will? (With all our hearts.) The words “with all your heart” are easy to say, and people often say it, so how can you do it with all your heart? Some people say, “It’s when you do things with a little more effort and sincerity, think more, don’t let anything else occupy your mind, and just focus on how to do the task at hand, isn’t it?” Is it that simple? (No.) So let’s talk about a few fundamental principles of practice. According to the principles that you usually practice or observe, what should you do first to do things with all your heart? You must use all of your mind, use your energy, and put your heart into doing things, and not be perfunctory. If a person is unable to do things with all their heart, then they have lost their heart, which is just like losing one’s soul. Their thoughts will wander while they speak, they will never put their heart into doing things, and they will be mindless no matter what they do. Consequently, they won’t be able to handle things well. If you don’t perform your duty with all your heart and don’t put your whole heart into it, you’ll perform your duty badly. Even if you perform your duty for several years, you won’t be able to do so adequately. You can’t do anything well if you don’t put your heart into it. Some people are not diligent workers, they are always unstable and capricious, they aim too high, and they don’t know where they have left their hearts. Do such people have hearts? How can you tell if a person has a heart or not? If someone who believes in God rarely reads God’s words, do they have a heart? If they never pray to God no matter what happens, do they have a heart? If they never seek the truth no matter what difficulties they face, do they have a heart? Some people perform their duties for many years without getting any clear results, do they have hearts? (No.) Can people who don’t have hearts perform their duties well? How can people perform their duties with all their hearts? First of all, you should think of responsibility. “This is my responsibility, I have to bear it. I can’t flee now when I’m needed most. I have to do my duty well and give an account of it to God.” This means you have a theoretical basis. But does merely having the theoretical basis mean you are doing your duty with all your heart? (No.) You are still far from fulfilling God’s requirements of entering into the truth reality and doing your duty with all your heart. So, what does it mean to do your duty with all your heart? How can people come to do their duties with all their hearts? First of all, you need to think, “Who am I performing this duty for? Am I doing it for God, or the church, or some person?” This must be figured clearly out. Also: “Who commissioned this duty to me? Was it God, or was it some leader or church?” This needs clearing up, too. This may seem like a small thing, but still, the truth must be sought to resolve it. Tell Me, was it some leader or worker, or some church, that commissioned you with your duty? (No.) That’s good, so long as you’re sure at heart about it. You must confirm that it was God who commissioned you with your duty. It may seem to have been given to you by a church leader, but in fact, it all comes from God’s arrangement. There may be times when it clearly comes from human will, but even then, you must first accept it from God. That’s the right way to experience it. If you accept it from God, and deliberately submit to His arrangement, and step up to accept His commission—if you undergo it like that, you will have God’s guidance and work. If you constantly believe that everything is done by man and comes from man, if you experience things in this way, then you won’t have God’s blessing or His work, for you are too conniving for that, too lacking in spiritual understanding. You don’t have the right mindset. If you regard all matters with human notions and imaginings, you won’t have the work of the Holy Spirit, because it’s God who rules over all matters. No matter who God’s house arranges to do whatever kind of task, it comes from God’s sovereignty and arrangement, and God’s good will is in it. You must know this first. It’s very important to see it clearly; just understanding the doctrine won’t do. You must confirm in your heart, “This duty was entrusted to me by God. I am performing my duty for God, not for myself, not for anyone else. This is my duty as a created being, and it was entrusted to me by God.” Since this duty was entrusted to you by God, how did God entrust it to you? Does this involve doing things with all your heart? Is it necessary to seek the truth? You must seek the truth, the requirements, standards, and principles of the duty entrusted to you by God, and what God’s word says. If His words are put quite clearly, then it’s time for you to contemplate how to practice them and make them real. You should also fellowship with people who understand the truth, and then act according to God’s requirements. That’s what it means, to do it with all your heart. Furthermore, say that before you perform your duty, you seek God’s will, come to understand the truth, and know what to do, but when it comes time to act, there’re discrepancies and contradictions between your own thoughts and the truth principles. When this happens, what should you do? You must hold to the principle of doing your duty with all your heart, and put your whole heart into submitting to and satisfying God, without any personal adulterations, and certainly without acting on your own will. Some people say, “I don’t care about those things. This duty was entrusted to me after all, so I should have the final say. I have the right to act on my own initiative, I’ll do what I think should be done. I’m still doing my duty with all my heart, so what faults are there for you to pick at?” And then, they put some effort into figuring out what to do. Although the work gets done in the end, is this method of practice and this state correct? Is this doing their duties with all their hearts? (No.) What is the problem here? This is arrogance, being a law unto oneself, and being arbitrary and reckless. Is this performing their duties? (No.) This is engaging in personal enterprise, not performing their duties. It is merely doing what satisfies them and what they like based on their own will, it is not doing their duties with all their hearts.

Would you like to learn God’s words and rely on God to receive His blessing and solve the difficulties on your way? Click the button to contact us.

Connect with us on Messenger