Daily Words of God: Entry Into Life | Excerpt 495
Today, as you seek to love and know God, in one respect you must endure hardship and refinement, and in another, you must pay a price. No lesson is more profound than the lesson of loving God, and it can be said that the lesson that people learn from a lifetime of belief is how to love God. Which is to say, if you believe in God you must love God. If you only believe in God but do not love Him, have not attained the knowledge of God, and have never loved God with a true love that comes from within your heart, then your belief in God is futile; if, in your belief in God, you do not love God, then you live in vain, and your entire life is the most lowly of all lives. If, throughout your whole life, you have never loved or satisfied God, then what is the point of you living? And what is the point of your belief in God? Isn’t that a waste of effort? Which is to say, if people are to believe in and love God, then they must pay a price. Rather than trying to act in a certain way externally, they should seek true insight in the depths of their hearts. If you are enthusiastic about singing and dancing, but incapable of putting the truth into practice, can you be said to love God? Loving God requires seeking God’s will in all things, and that you probe deep within when anything happens to you, trying to grasp God’s will, and trying to see what God’s will is in this matter, what He wishes you to achieve, and how you should be mindful of His will. For example: Something happens that requires you to endure hardship, at which time you should understand what God’s will is, and how you should be mindful of His will. You must not satisfy yourself: First put yourself to one side. Nothing is more abject than the flesh. You must seek to satisfy God, and must fulfill your duty. With such thoughts, God will bring especial enlightenment to you in this matter, and your heart will also find comfort. Be it big or small, when something happens to you, you must first put yourself to one side and regard the flesh as the most lowly of all things. The more you satisfy the flesh, the more liberties it takes; if you satisfy it this time, next time it will ask for more, and as this carries on, you come to love the flesh even more. The flesh always has extravagant desires, it always asks that you satisfy it, and that you gratify it within, whether it be in the things you eat, what you wear, or in flying off the handle, or pandering to your own weaknesses and laziness…. The more you satisfy the flesh, the greater its desires become, and the more debauched the flesh becomes, until it gets to the point when people’s flesh harbors even deeper conceptions, and disobeys God, and exalts itself, and becomes doubtful about the work of God. The more you satisfy the flesh, the greater the weaknesses of the flesh; you’ll always feel that no one sympathizes with your weaknesses, you’ll always believe that God has gone too far, and you’ll say: How could God be so harsh? Why won’t He give people a break? When people are too indulgent of the flesh, and cherish it too much, then they forfeit themselves. If you truly love God, and do not satisfy the flesh, then you’ll see that everything God does is so right, and so good, and that His curse of your rebelliousness and judgment of your unrighteousness is justified. There will be times when God chastens and disciplines you, and raises up an environment to temper you, forcing you to come before Him—and you will always feel that what God is doing is wonderful. Thus you will feel as if there isn’t much pain, and that God is so lovely. If you pander to the weaknesses of the flesh, and say that God goes too far, then you’ll always feel in pain, and will always be depressed, and you will be unclear about all of the work of God, and it will seem as if God is not sympathetic to man’s weakness at all, and unaware of man’s difficulties. And thus you will feel miserable and alone, as if you have suffered great injustice, and at this time you will begin to complain. The more you pander to the weaknesses of the flesh in this way, the more you will feel that God goes too far, until it gets so bad that you deny the work of God, and begin to oppose God, and become full of disobedience. Thus, you must rebel against the flesh, and not pander to it: Your husband, wife, children, prospects, marriage, family—none of them matter! You need to have this resolve: “In my heart there is only God, and I must try my best to satisfy God, and not satisfy the flesh.” If you are always possessed of such resolve, then when you put the truth into practice, and put yourself aside, you will be able to do so with but a little effort. It is said that there was once a farmer who saw a snake on the road that was frozen stiff. The farmer picked it up and held it to his breast, and after the snake was revived it bit the farmer to death. Man’s flesh is like the snake: Its essence is to harm their lives—and when it completely gets its own way, your life becomes forfeit. The flesh belongs to Satan. Within it are extravagant desires, it thinks only for itself, it wants to enjoy comfort, and revel in leisure, wallowing in sloth and idleness, and having satisfied it to a certain point you will ultimately be eaten up by it. Which is to say, if you satisfy it this time, next time it will come asking for more. It always has extravagant desires and new demands, and takes advantage of your pandering to the flesh to make you cherish it even more and live among its comforts—and if you don’t overcome it, you will ultimately forfeit yourself. Whether you can gain life before God, and what your ultimate end will be, depends on how you carry out your rebellion against the flesh. God has saved you, and chosen and predestined you, yet if today you are unwilling to satisfy Him, you are unwilling to put the truth into practice, you are unwilling to rebel against your own flesh with a heart that truly loves God, ultimately you will ruin yourself, and will thus endure extreme pain. If you always pander to the flesh, Satan will gradually gobble you up inside, and leave you without life, or the touch of the Spirit, until the day comes when you are completely dark inside. When you live in darkness, you will have been taken captive by Satan, you will no longer have God, and at that time you will deny God’s existence and leave Him. Thus, if you wish to love God, you must pay the price of pain and endure hardship. There is no need for external fervency and hardship, reading more and running about more; instead, you should put aside the things within you: the extravagant thoughts, personal interests, and your own considerations, conceptions, and motivations. Such is God’s will.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God