Daily Words of God: Knowing God | Excerpt 9
God Makes Use of Various Trials to Test Whether People Fear God and Shun Evil
In every age, while working among humans, God bestows some words upon them and tells them of some truths. These truths serve as the way people should adhere to, the way they should walk in, the way that enables them to fear God and shun evil, and the way that people should put into practice and adhere to in their lives and over the course of their life journeys. It is for these reasons that God expresses these utterances to humanity. These words that come from God should be adhered to by people, and to adhere to them is to receive life. If a person does not adhere to them, does not put them into practice, and does not live outin their life, then this person is not putting the truth into practice. Furthermore, if people are not putting the truth into practice, then they are not fearing God and shunning evil, nor can they satisfy God. People who are incapable of satisfying God cannot receive His praise, and such people have no outcome. So, how, then, in the course of His work, does God determine a person’s outcome? What methods does God use to determine a person’s outcome? Perhaps you are still a bit fuzzy on this at the moment, but when I tell you of the process, it will become quite clear, because a lot of you have already experienced it yourselves.
Over the course of His work, ever since the beginning, God has set out trials for every person—or you could say, every person who follows Him—and these trials come in various sizes. There are those who have experienced the trial of being rejected by their families, those who have experienced the trial of adverse environments, those who have experienced the trial of being arrested and tortured, those who have experienced the trial of being faced with choices, and those who have faced the trials of money and status. Generally speaking, each of you has faced all manner of trials. Why does God work like this? Why does He treat everyone this way? What sort of result does He seek? Here is the point I wish to communicate to you: God wants to see whether or not this person is the type who fears Him and shuns evil. What this means is that when God is giving you a trial, and facing you with some circumstance or other, His intention is to test whether or not you are a person who fears Him and shuns evil. If someone is faced with the duty of safekeeping an offering, and this duty leads to coming into contact with God’s offering, would you say that this is something that God has arranged? It undoubtedly is! Everything you encounter is something that God has arranged. When you are faced with this matter, God will observe you in secret, watching what choices you make, how you practice, and what thoughts you have. What God cares about the most is the end result, since it is this result that will help Him to measure whether or not you have lived up to His standard in this particular trial. However, whenever people encounter a problem, they often do not think about why they are being faced with it, what standard God expects them to meet, what He wants to see in them or what He wishes to obtain from them. When faced with this problem, such people merely think, “This is something I’m faced with; I have to be careful, not careless! No matter what, this is God’s offering, and I can’t touch it.” Equipped with such simplistic thoughts, people believe that they have fulfilled their responsibilities. Would the result of this trial bring satisfaction to God or not? Go ahead and talk about it. (If people fear God in their hearts, then when faced with a duty that allows them to come in contact with God’s offering, they will consider just how easy it would be to offend God’s disposition, and that will make them be sure to proceed with caution.) Your response is on the right track, but it is not quite there yet. Walking in God’s way is not about observing superficial rules; rather, it means that when you are faced with a problem, you view it first and foremost as a situation that has been arranged by God, a responsibility He has bestowed upon you, or a task that He has entrusted to you. When facing this problem, you should even see it as a trial God has put to you. When you encounter this problem, you must have a standard in your heart, and you must think that this matter has come from God. You must think about how to deal with it in such a way that you can fulfill your responsibility while remaining loyal to God, as well as how to do it without infuriating Him or offending His disposition. A moment ago we spoke about the safekeeping of offerings. This matter involves offerings, and it also touches upon your duty and your responsibility. You are duty-bound to this responsibility. However, when faced with this problem, is there any temptation? There is! Where does this temptation come from? This temptation comes from Satan, and it also comes from humans’ evil, corrupt dispositions. Given that there is temptation, this issue involves standing the testimony that people ought to stand, which is also your responsibility and duty. Some people say, “This is such a minor matter; is it really necessary to make such a big deal out of it?” Yes, it is! This is because in order to keep to God’s way, we cannot let go of anything that happens either to us or around us, even the little things; whether we think we should pay attention to it or not, as long as any matter is facing us, we must not let it go. All things that happen should be viewed as tests God has given us. What do you think about this way of looking at things? If you have this kind of attitude, then it confirms one fact: Deep down, you fear God and are willing to shun evil. If you have this desire to satisfy God, then what you put into practice will not be far off meeting the standard of fearing God and shunning evil.
There are often those who believe that matters people do not pay much attention to and do not usually mention are but minor trifles that have nothing to do with putting the truth into practice. When faced with just such an issue, these people do not give it much thought, and then they let it slide. In actual fact, however, this matter was a lesson you should study—a lesson on how to fear God and how to shun evil. Moreover, what you should be even more concerned with is knowing what God is doing when this matter arises to face you. God is right by your side, observing your every word and action, and watching everything you do and what changes take place in your thoughts—this is God’s work. Some people ask, “If that’s true, then why haven’t I felt it?” You have not felt it because you have not adhered to the way of fearing God and shunning evil as your primary way; you therefore cannot sense the subtle work God does in people, which manifests itself according to people’s various thoughts and actions. You are a scatterbrain! What is a major matter? What is a minor matter? The matters that involve walking in God’s way are not divided between major or minor ones, they are all a big deal—can you accept that? (We can accept it.) In terms of everyday matters, there are some which people view as very major and significant, and others that are viewed as minor trifles. People often see these major matters as being very important, and they consider them to have been sent by God. However, as these major matters play out, due to people’s immature stature and because of their poor caliber, people are often not up to fulfilling God’s will, cannot obtain any revelations, and cannot acquire any actual knowledge that is of value. As far as minor matters are concerned, these are simply overlooked by people and left to slip away one bit at a time. As such, people have lost many opportunities to be examined before God and to be tested by Him. What does it mean if you always overlook the people, events, and objects, and situations that God has arranged for you? It means that every day, and even at every moment, you are constantly renouncing God’s perfection of you, as well as His leadership. Whenever God arranges a situation for you, He is watching in secret, looking upon your heart, observing your thoughts and deliberations, watching how you think, and waiting to see how you will act. If you are a careless person—one who has never been serious about God’s way, His words, or the truth—then you will not be mindful of or pay attention to what God wishes to complete or the requirements He expected you to meet when He arranged a certain environment for you. Neither will you know how the people, events, and objects that you encounter relate to the truth or God’s will. After you face repeated circumstances and repeated trials like this, with God not seeing any results in you, how will He proceed? After having repeatedly faced trials, you have not magnified God in your heart, nor have you seen the circumstances God arranged for you for what they are: trials and tests from God. Instead, one after the other, you have rejected the opportunities that God bestowed upon you, letting them slip away time and time again. Is this not extreme disobedience that people exhibit? (It is.) Will God feel hurt because of this? (He will.) Wrong, God will not feel hurt! Hearing Me say such a thing has shocked you once more. You may be thinking: “Was it not said earlier that God always feels hurt? Will God not therefore feel hurt? When, then, does He feel hurt?” In short, God will not feel hurt in this situation. So, then, what is God’s attitude toward the type of behavior outlined above? When people reject the trials and tests that God sends them, and when they shirk from them, there is only one attitude that God has toward such people. What attitude is this? God spurns this kind of person, from the bottom of His heart. There are two layers of meaning for the word “spurn.” How should I explain it from My point of view? Deep down, the word “spurn” carries connotations of loathing and hate. What about the other layer of its meaning? That is the part that implies giving up on something. You all know what “give up” means, right? In a nutshell, “spurn” is a word that represents God’s ultimate reaction and attitude toward those people who are behaving in such a way; it is extreme hatred toward them, and disgust, and, thus, it results in the decision to abandon them. This is God’s final decision toward a person who has never walked in God’s way and who has never feared God and shunned evil. Can all of you now see the importance of that saying I mentioned earlier?
Now do you understand the method God uses to determine people’s outcomes? (He arranges different circumstances every day.) “He arranges different circumstances”—these are things that people can feel and touch. So, what is God’s motive for doing this? His intention is to give each and every person various sorts of trials at different times and in different places. What aspects of a person are put to the test during a trial? A trial determines whether or not you are the type of person who fears God and shuns evil in every issue you face, hear about, see, and experience personally. Everyone will face this kind of trial, because God is fair toward all people. Some of you say, “I’ve believed in God for many years, so how come I haven’t faced any trials?” You feel that you have not yet faced any because whenever God has arranged circumstances for you, you have not taken them seriously and have not wanted to walk in God’s way. Thus, you simply do not sense God’s trials at all. Some people say, “I’ve faced a few trials, but I don’t know how to practice properly. Even when I have practiced, I still don’t know whether I have stood firm during God’s trials.” People in this type of state are definitely not in the minority. What, then, is the standard by which God measures people? It is just as I said moments ago: It is whether or not you fear God and shun evil in everything you do, think, and express. This is how to determine whether or not you are a person who fears God and shuns evil. Is this concept simple, or not? It is simple enough to say, but is it easy to put into practice? (It’s not so easy.) Why is it not so easy? (Because people don’t know God, and they don’t know how God perfects people, so when they’re faced with matters, they don’t know how to seek out the truth to solve their problems. They have to go through various trials, refinements, chastisements, and judgments before they can possess the reality of fearing God.) You might put it that way, but as far as you are concerned, fearing God and shunning evil seems very easily doable right now. Why do I say this? It is because you have listened to a lot of sermons and received no small amount of watering from the reality of the truth; this has allowed you to theoretically and intellectually understand how to fear God and shun evil. As for how to actually put that fear for God and shunning of evil into practice, this knowledge has all been very helpful and made you feel as though such a thing is easily achievable. Why, then, can people never actually achieve it? This is because humans’ nature and essence does not fear God, and it likes evil. This is the real reason.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. How to Know God’s Disposition and the Results His Work Shall Achieve