Daily Words of God | "The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment" | Excerpt 525
God chastises and judges man because it is required by His work, and, moreover, because it is needed by man. Man needs to be chastised and judged, and only then can he achieve the love of God. Today, you have been utterly convinced, but when you encounter the slightest setback you’re in trouble; your stature is still too small, and you still need to experience more of such chastisement and judgment in order to achieve a deeper knowledge. Today, you have some reverence for God, and you fear God, and you know He is the true God, but you do not have a great love of Him, much less have you achieved a pure love; your knowledge is too superficial, and your stature is still insufficient. When you truly encounter an environment, you still have not borne witness, too little of your entry is proactive, and you have no idea how to practice. Most people are passive and inactive; they only secretly love God in their hearts, but have no way of practice, nor are they clear about what their goals are. Those who have been made perfect not only possess normal humanity, but are possessed of truths that exceed the measures of conscience, and that are higher than the standards of conscience; they not only use their conscience to pay back God’s love, but, more than that, they have known God, and have seen that God is lovely, and worthy of man’s love, and that there is so much to love in God that man cannot help but love Him. The love of God of those who have been made perfect is in order to fulfill their own personal aspirations. Theirs is a spontaneous love, a love that asks for nothing in return, and which is not a trade. They love God because of nothing other than their knowledge of Him. Such people care not whether God bestows graces upon them, and are content with nothing more than to satisfy God. They do not strike bargains with God, nor do they measure their love of God by conscience: You have given to me, thus I love You in return; if You do not give to me, then I have nothing for You in return. Those who have been made perfect always believe that God is the Creator, that He carries out His work upon them, and that, since they have this opportunity, and condition, and qualification to be able to be made perfect, their pursuit should be to live out a life of meaning, and they should satisfy Him. It is just like that which was experienced by Peter: When he was at his weakest, he prayed to God and said, “O God! Regardless of the time or place, You know that I always remember You. No matter the time or place, You know that I want to love You, but my stature is too small, I am too weak and powerless, my love is too limited, and my sincerity toward You is too meager. Compared to Your love, I am simply unfit to live. I wish only that my life is not in vain, and that I can not only repay Your love, but, moreover, that I can devote all I have to You. If I can satisfy You, then as a creature, I shall have peace of mind, and will ask for nothing more. Although I am weak and powerless now, I will not forget Your exhortations, and will not forget Your love. Now I am doing nothing more than repaying Your love. O God, I feel awful! How can I give back the love in my heart to You, how can I do all I can, and be able to fulfill Your wishes, and be able to offer all that I have to You? You know the weakness of man; how can I be worthy of Your love? O God! You know I am of small stature, that my love is too meager. How can I do the best that I can in this kind of environment? I know I should repay Your love, I know that I should give all that I have to You, but today my stature is too small. I ask that You give me strength, and give me confidence, so that I will be more able to possess a pure love to devote to You, and more able to devote all that I have to You; not only will I be able to repay Your love, but more able to experience Your chastisement, judgment and trials, and even more severe curses. You have allowed me to behold Your love, and I am incapable of not loving You, and though I am weak and powerless today, how could I forget You? Your love, chastisement and judgment have all caused me to know You, yet I also feel incapable of fulfilling Your love, for You are so great. How can I devote all that I have to the Creator?” Such was Peter’s request, yet his stature was too inadequate. At this moment, he felt as if a knife were being twisted in his heart and he was in agony; he knew not what to do under such conditions. Yet he still continued to pray: “O God! Man is of childish stature, his conscience is feeble, and the only thing I can achieve is to repay Your love. Today, I know not how to satisfy Your desires, or do all I can, or give all I have, or how to devote all I have to You. Regardless of Your judgment, regardless of Your chastisement, regardless of what You bestow upon me, regardless of what You take away from me, make me free from the slightest complaint toward You. Many times, when You chastised me and judged me, I grumbled to myself, and was incapable of achieving purity, or of fulfilling Your wishes. My repayment of Your love was born out of compulsion, and at this moment I hate myself even more.” It was because he sought a purer love of God that Peter prayed in this way. He was seeking, and entreating, and, furthermore, he was recriminating himself, and confessing his sins to God. He felt indebted to God, and felt hatred of himself, yet he was also somewhat sad and passive. He always felt thus, as if he was not good enough for God’s wishes, and unable to do his best. Under such conditions, Peter still pursued the faith of Job. He saw how great had been the faith of Job, for Job had seen that his all was bestowed by God, and it was natural for God to take everything from him, that God would give to whoever He wished—such was the righteous disposition of God. Job had no complaints, and could still praise God. Peter also knew himself, and in his heart he prayed, “Today I should not be content with repaying Your love using my conscience and with however much love I give back to You, because my thoughts are too corrupt, and because I am incapable of seeing You as the Creator. Because I am still unfit to love You, I must accomplish the ability to devote all that I have to You, which I would do willingly. I must know all that You have done, and have no choice, and I must behold Your love, and be able to speak Your praises, and extol Your holy name, so that You may gain great glory through me. I am willing to stand fast in this testimony to You. O God! Your love is so precious and beautiful; how could I wish to live in the hands of the evil one? Was I not made by You? How could I live under the domain of Satan? I’d prefer that my entire being live amid Your chastisement. I am unwilling to live under the domain of the evil one. If I can be made pure, and can devote my all to You, I am willing to offer up my body and mind to Your judgment and chastisement, for I detest Satan, and am unwilling to live under its domain. Through Your judgment of me, You show forth Your righteous disposition; I am happy, and have not the slightest complaint. If I am able to perform the duty of a creature, I am willing that my entire life be accompanied by Your judgment, through which I will come to know Your righteous disposition, and will rid myself of the influence of the evil one.” Peter always prayed thus, always sought thus, and reached a higher realm. Not only was he able to repay God’s love, but, more importantly, he also fulfilled his duty as a creature. Not only was he not accused by his conscience, but he was also able to transcend the standards of conscience. His prayers continued to go up before God, such that his aspirations were ever higher, and his love of God was ever greater. Though he suffered agonizing pain, still he did not forget to love God, and still he sought to attain the ability to understand God’s will. In his prayers were uttered the following words: I have accomplished nothing more than the repayment of Your love. I have not borne testimony to You before Satan, have not freed myself from the influence of Satan, and still live amid the flesh. I wish to use my love to defeat Satan, and shame it, and thus satisfy Your desire. I wish to give my entirety to You, to not give the slightest bit of myself to Satan, for Satan is Your enemy. The more he sought in this direction, the more he was moved, and the higher his knowledge of these matters. Without realizing it, he came to know that he should free himself of the influence of Satan, and should completely return himself to God. Such was the realm he attained. He was transcending the influence of Satan, and ridding himself of the pleasures and enjoyments of the flesh, and was willing to experience more profoundly both God’s chastisement and His judgment. He said, “Even though I live amid Your chastisement, and amid Your judgment, regardless of the hardship that entails, still I am unwilling to live under the domain of Satan, still I am unwilling to suffer Satan’s trickery. I take joy from living amid Your curses, and am pained by living amid the blessings of Satan. I love You by living amid Your judgment, and this brings me great joy. Your chastisement and judgment is righteous and holy; it is in order to cleanse me, and even more to save me. I would prefer to spend my entire life amid Your judgment to be under Your care. I am unwilling to live under Satan’s domain for a single moment; I wish to be cleansed by You, to suffer hardship, and am unwilling to be exploited and tricked by Satan. I, this creature, should be used by You, possessed by You, judged by You, and chastised by You. I should even be cursed by You. My heart rejoices when You are willing to bless me, for I have seen Your love. You are the Creator, and I am a creature: I should not betray You and live under the domain of Satan, nor should I be exploited by Satan. I should be Your horse, or ox, instead of living for Satan. I’d rather live amid Your chastisement, without physical bliss, and this would bring me enjoyment even if I were to lose Your grace. Though Your grace is not with me, I enjoy being chastised and judged by You; this is Your best blessing, Your greatest grace. Though You are always majestic and wrathful toward me, still I am incapable of leaving You, still I cannot love You enough. I’d prefer to live in Your home, I’d prefer to be cursed, chastised, and smitten by You, and am unwilling to live under the domain of Satan, nor am I willing to rush and busy about only for the flesh, much less am I willing to live for the flesh.” Peter’s love was a pure love. This is the experience of being made perfect, and is the highest realm of being made perfect, and there is no life that is more meaningful. He accepted God’s chastisement and judgment, he treasured God’s righteous disposition, and nothing about Peter was more precious. He said, “Satan gives me material enjoyments, but I do not treasure them. God’s chastisement and judgment comes upon me—in this I am graced, in this I find enjoyment, and in this I am blessed. Were it not for God’s judgment I would never love God, I would still live under the domain of Satan, would still be controlled by it, and commanded by it. If that were the case, I would never become a real human being, for I would be incapable of satisfying God, and would not have devoted my entirety to God. Even though God does not bless me, leaving me without comfort inside, as if a fire is burning within me, and with no peace or joy, and even though God’s chastisement and discipline is never apart from me, in God’s chastisement and judgment I am able to behold His righteous disposition. I take delight in this; there is no more valuable or meaningful thing in life. Though His protection and care have become ruthless chastisement, judgment, curses and smiting, still I take enjoyment in these things, for they can better cleanse me, can change me, can bring me closer to God, can make me more able to love God, and can make my love of God purer. This makes me able to fulfill my duty as a creature, and takes me before God and away from the influence of Satan, so that I no longer serve Satan. When I do not live under the domain of Satan, and am able to devote everything I have and all that I can do to God, without holding anything back—that will be when I am fully satisfied. It is God’s chastisement and judgment that has saved me, and my life is inseparable from God’s chastisement and judgment. My life on earth is under the domain of Satan, and were it not for the care and protection of God’s chastisement and judgment, I would have always lived under the domain of Satan, and, moreover, I would not have had the opportunity or means to live out a life of meaning. Only if God’s chastisement and judgment never leaves me, will I be able to be cleansed by God. Only with the harsh words and righteous disposition of God, and God’s majestic judgment, have I gained supreme protection, and lived in the light, and gained the blessings of God. To be able to be cleansed, and free myself from Satan, and live under the dominion of God—this is the greatest blessing in my life today.” This is the highest realm experienced by Peter.
Excerpted from The Word Appears in the Flesh