Once You Understand the Truth, You Should Put It Into Practice
God’s work and word are meant to cause a change in your disposition; His goal is not merely to make you understand or know His work and word. That is not enough. You are a person who has the ability to comprehend, so you should have no difficulty in understanding the word of God, because most of God’s word is written in human language, and He speaks very plainly. For instance, you are perfectly capable of learning what it is that God wants you to understand and practice; this is something that a normal person who has the faculty of comprehension should be able to do. In particular, the words that God is saying in the present stage are especially clear and transparent, and God is pointing out many things that people have not considered, as well as all manner of human states. His words are all-encompassing, and as clear as the light of a full moon. So now, people understand many issues, but there is still something missing—people putting His word into practice. People must experience all aspects of the truth in detail, and explore and seek it out in greater detail, rather than simply waiting to absorb whatever is made available to them; otherwise they become little more than parasites. They know God’s word, yet do not put it into practice. This kind of person does not love the truth and will ultimately be eliminated. To be like a Peter of the 1990s, this means that each one of you should practice the word of God, have true entry in your experiences and gain even more and even greater enlightenment in your cooperation with God, which will be of ever increasing assistance to your own life. If you have read a lot of God’s word but only understand the meaning of the text and lack direct knowledge of God’s word through your practical experiences, then you will not know God’s word. As far as you are concerned, God’s word is not life, but just lifeless letters. And if you only live in observance of lifeless letters, then you cannot grasp the essence of God’s word, nor will you understand His will. Only when you experience His word in your actual experiences will the spiritual meaning of God’s word open itself to you, and it is only through experience that you can grasp the spiritual meaning of many truths and unlock the mysteries of God’s word. If you do not put it into practice, then no matter how clear His word, all that you have grasped are empty letters and doctrines, which have become religious regulations to you. Is this not what the Pharisees did? If you practice and experience God’s word, it becomes practical to you; if you do not seek to practice it, then God’s word to you is little more than the legend of the third heaven. In fact, the process of believing in God is the process of you experiencing His word as well as being gained by Him, or to put it more clearly, to believe in God is to have the knowledge and understanding of His word and to experience and live out His word; such is the reality behind your belief in God. If you believe in God and hope for eternal life without seeking to practice the word of God as something you have within you, then you are foolish. This would be like going to a feast and only looking at the food and learning the delicious things by heart without actually tasting any of it. Would such a person not be a fool?
The truth that man needs to possess is found in the word of God, and it is a truth that is the most beneficial and helpful to mankind. It is the tonic and sustenance that your body needs, something that helps man restore his normal humanity. It is a truth that man should be equipped with. The more you practice God’s word, the more quickly your life will blossom, and the clearer the truth will become. As you grow in stature, you will see things of the spiritual world more clearly, and the more strength you will have to triumph over Satan. Much of the truth that you do not understand will be made clear when you practice the word of God. Most people are satisfied to merely understand the text of God’s word and focus on equipping themselves with doctrines rather than on deepening their experience in practice, but is that not the way of the Pharisees? So how can the phrase, “The word of God is life” be real for them? A person’s life cannot grow simply by reading God’s word, but only when the word of God is put into practice. If it is your belief that to understand God’s word is all that is needed to have life and stature, then your understanding is warped. Truly understanding God’s word occurs when you practice the truth, and you must understand that “only by practicing the truth can it ever be understood.” Today, after reading the word of God, you can merely say that you know God’s word, but you cannot say that you understand it. Some say that the only way to practice the truth is to understand it first, but this is only partially correct, and is certainly not entirely accurate. Before you have knowledge of a truth, you have not experienced that truth. Feeling that you understand something you hear in a sermon is not truly understanding—this is just taking possession of the literal words of the truth, and it is not the same as understanding the true meaning therein. Just having a superficial knowledge of the truth does not mean that you actually understand it or have knowledge about it; the true meaning of the truth comes from having experienced it. Therefore, only when you experience the truth can you understand it, and only then can you grasp the hidden parts of it. Deepening your experience is the only way to grasp the connotations, and to understand the essence of the truth. Therefore, you can go everywhere with the truth, but if there is no truth in you, then do not think of trying to convince even your family members, much less religious people. Without the truth you are like fluttering snowflakes, but with the truth you can be happy and free, and none can attack you. No matter how strong a theory is, it cannot overcome the truth. With the truth, the world itself can be swayed and mountains and seas moved, whereas a lack of the truth can lead to strong city walls being reduced to rubble by maggots. This is an obvious fact.
At the current stage, it is of vital importance to first know the truth, and then put it into practice and equip yourself further with the true meaning of the truth. You should seek to attain this. Rather than merely seeking to make others follow your words, you should cause them to follow your practice. Only in this way can you find something meaningful. No matter what befalls you, no matter whom you come across, as long as you have the truth, you will be able to stand firm. The word of God is that which brings life to man, not death. If, after reading the word of God, you do not come alive, but you are still dead, then there is something wrong with you. If after some time you have read much of God’s word and have heard many practical sermons, but you are still in a condition of death, then this is proof that you are not one who values the truth, nor are you a person who pursues the truth. If you truly sought to gain God, you would not focus on equipping yourselves with doctrines and using lofty doctrines to teach others, but would instead focus on experiencing God’s word and putting the truth into practice. Is this not what you should now be seeking to enter into?
There is limited time for God to do His work in man, so what outcome can there be if you do not cooperate with Him? Why is it that God always wants you to practice His word once you understand it? It is because God has revealed His words to you, and your next step is to actually practice them. As you practice these words, God will carry out the work of enlightenment and guidance. That is how it is to be done. The word of God allows man to blossom in life and possesses no elements which could cause man to deviate or become passive. You say you have read God’s word and practiced it, but you still have not received any work from the Holy Spirit. Your words could fool only a child. Other people may not know if your intentions are right, but do you think it possible that God would not know? How is it that others practice the word of God and receive the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, yet you practice His word and do not receive the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit? Does God have emotions? If your intentions are truly right and you are cooperative, then God’s Spirit will be with you. Some people always want to plant their own flag, but why does God not let them rise up and lead the church? Some people merely fulfill their function and perform their duties, and before they know it, they have gained God’s approval. How can that be? God examines the innermost heart of man, and people who pursue the truth must do so with right intentions. People who do not have right intentions cannot stand firm. At its core, your goal is to let God’s word take effect within you. In other words, it is to have a true understanding of God’s word in your practice of it. Perhaps your ability to comprehend God’s word is poor, but when you practice the word of God, He can remedy this flaw, so not only must you know many truths, but you must also practice them. This is the greatest focus that cannot be ignored. Jesus endured many humiliations and much suffering in His thirty-three and a half years. He suffered so greatly simply because He practiced the truth, did the will of God in all things, and only cared for God’s will. This was suffering that He would not have undergone had He known the truth without practicing it. If Jesus had followed the teachings of the Jews and followed the Pharisees, then He would not have suffered. You can learn from Jesus’ deeds that the effectiveness of God’s work on man comes from man’s cooperation, and this is something you must recognize. Would Jesus have suffered as He did on the cross if He had not practiced the truth? Could He have prayed such a sorrowful prayer if He had not acted in accordance with God’s will? Therefore, you should suffer for the sake of practicing the truth; this is the kind of suffering a person should undergo.
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