Daily Words of God: Knowing God | Excerpt 9
God Makes Use of Different Trials to Test Whether People Fear God and Shun Evil
In every age, God bestows some words upon man when He works in the world, telling man of some truths. These truths serve as the way to be adhered to by man, the way that is to be walked in by man, the way that enables man 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’s for these reasons that God bestows these words on man. These words that come from God should be adhered to by man, 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 lives, then this person is not putting truth into practice. And if they’re not putting truth into practice, then they’re not fearing God and shunning evil, nor can they satisfy God. If someone can’t satisfy God, then they cannot receive God’s praise; this kind of person has no outcome. So how in the course of God’s work does He establish a person’s outcome, then? What method does God use to establish man’s outcome? Perhaps you’re not too clear on this right now, but when I tell you the process it will become quite clear. This is because a lot of people have already experienced it themselves.
Over the course of God’s work, from the beginning up until now, God has set out trials for every person—or you could say, every person who follows Him—and these trials come in different sizes. There are those who have experienced the trial of being rejected by their family; those who have experienced the trial of adverse environment; those who have experienced the trial of being arrested and tortured; those who have experienced the trial of being faced with a choice; and those who have faced the trials of money and status. Generally speaking, every one of you has faced all sorts of trials. Why does God work like that? Why does God treat everyone like that? What kind of result does He want to see? This is the important point of what I want to tell you: God wants to see whether this person is the type who is fearing God and shunning evil. What this means is that when God is giving you a trial, making you face up to some circumstance, He wants to test whether or not you are that person who fears God, that person who shuns evil. If someone is faced with the duty of safekeeping an offering, and they come into contact with God’s offering, then do you think this is something that God has arranged? No question! Everything you face is something God has arranged. When you’re faced with this matter, God will observe you in secret, watching how you choose, how you practice, what you’re thinking about. The end result is what God is most concerned with, since it’s the result that will allow Him to measure whether or not you have achieved God’s standard in this trial. However, when people are faced with some matter, they often don’t think about why they’re being faced with it, or the standard being demanded by God. They don’t think about what God wants to see of them, what He wants to obtain from them. When faced with this matter, this kind of person is only thinking: “This is something I’m faced with; I must be careful, not careless! No matter what, this is God’s offering and I can’t touch it.” This person believes that they can fulfill their responsibility possessing such a simplistic thinking. Would God be satisfied by the result of this trial? Or would He not be satisfied? You can discuss this. (If someone fears God in their heart, then when faced with the duty that allows them to contact God’s offering, they would consider just how easy it would be to offend God’s disposition, so they would be sure to proceed with caution.) Your response is on the right track, but it’s not quite there yet. Walking in God’s way is not about observing rules on the surface. Rather, it means that when you’re faced with a matter, first of all, you view it as a circumstance that has been arranged by God, a responsibility bestowed on you by Him, or something that He has entrusted to you, and that when you’re facing this matter, you should even view it as a trial from God. When facing this matter, you must have a standard, you must think that it has come from God. You must think about how to deal with this matter such that you can fulfill your responsibility, and be faithful to God; how to do it and not infuriate God, or offend His disposition. We just spoke about the safekeeping of offerings. This matter involves offerings, and it also involves your duty, your responsibility. You are duty-bound to this responsibility. Yet when you’re faced with this matter, is there any temptation? There is! Where does this temptation come from? This temptation comes from Satan, and it also comes from man’s evil, corrupt disposition. Since there’s temptation, this involves standing testimony; standing testimony is also your responsibility and duty. Some people say: “This is such a small matter; is it really necessary to make a big deal out of it?” Yes it is! Because in order to walk in God’s way, we cannot let go of anything to do with ourselves, or anything that happens around us, even the little things. No matter whether we think we should pay attention to it or not, as long as any matter is facing us we should not let it go. All of it should be viewed as God’s test for us. How’s this kind of attitude? If you have this kind of attitude, then it confirms one fact: Your heart fears God, and your heart is willing to shun evil. If you have this desire to satisfy God, then what you put into practice isn’t far from the standard of fearing God and shunning evil.
There are often those who believe that the matters which aren’t paid much heed by people, the matters that aren’t usually mentioned—these are merely minor trifles, and they don’t have anything to do with putting truth into practice. When these people are faced with just such a matter, they don’t give it much thought and let it slide. But in actual fact, this matter is a lesson for which you should be studying, a lesson on how to fear God, on how to shun evil. Moreover, what you should be even more concerned about is knowing what God is doing when this matter arises to face you. God is right at your side, observing every one of your words and deeds, observing your actions, your mind changes—this is God’s work. Some people say: “Then why don’t I feel it?” You haven’t felt it because the way of fearing God and shunning evil hasn’t been your most important way to be adhered to. Therefore, you can’t feel the subtle work of God in man, which manifests itself according to people’s different thoughts and different actions. You’re a scatterbrain! What’s a big matter? What’s a small matter? All matters that involve walking in God’s way aren’t divided into big or small ones. Can you accept that? (We can accept it.) In terms of everyday matters, there are some which people view as very big and significant, and others that are viewed as minor trifles. People often view these big matters as being the very important ones, and they consider them to be sent by God. However, over the course of these big matters playing out, owing to the immature stature of man, and owing to man’s poor caliber, man is often not up to God’s intentions, cannot obtain any revelations, and cannot acquire any actual knowledge that is of value. So far as the small matters are concerned, these are simply overlooked by man, left to slip away little by little. Thus, they have lost many opportunities to be examined before God, to be tested by Him. Should you always overlook these matters and circumstances that God arranges for you, what will this mean? It means that every day, even every moment, you’re always renouncing God’s perfection of you, and God’s leadership. Whenever God arranges a circumstance for you, He is watching in secret, looking upon your heart, looking upon your thoughts and considerations, looking at how you think, looking at how you will act. If you are a careless person—a person who has never been serious about God’s way, God’s word, or the truth—then you won’t be mindful, you won’t pay attention to that which God wants to complete, and that which God demands of you when He arranges circumstances for you. You also won’t know how these everyday matters relate to the truth or God’s intentions. After you face repeated circumstances and repeated trials like this, with God not seeing any achievements to your name, how will God proceed? After repeatedly facing trials, you don’t magnify God in your heart, and you don’t treat the circumstances God arranges for you as they are—as God’s trials or God’s tests. Rather you reject the opportunities that God bestows on you one after the other, and let them slip away time and time again. Is this not huge disobedience by man? (It is.) Will God be grieved because of this? (He will.) God won’t be grieved! Hearing Me speak like this has shocked you once more. After all, wasn’t it said earlier that God always grieves? God won’t be grieved? When will God be grieved then? Anyway, God will not be grieved by this situation. Then what’s God’s attitude toward the type of behavior outlined above? When people reject the trials, the tests, that God sends them, when they shirk from them, there’s only one attitude that God has toward these 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 do I explain them? Deep down, the word carries connotations of loathing, of hate. And as for the second layer of meaning? That’s the part that implies giving up on something. You all know what “give up” means, correct? In short, spurn means God’s ultimate reaction and attitude toward those people who are behaving in such a way. It is extreme hatred toward them, disgust, and thus the decision to abandon them. This is God’s final decision toward a person who has never walked in God’s way, who has never feared God and shunned evil. Can all of you now see the importance of this saying I have spoken?
Now do you understand the method God uses to establish man’s outcome? (Arranging different circumstances every day.) “Arranging different circumstances”—this is what people can feel and touch. Then what’s God’s motive for this? The motive is that God wants to give each and every person trials in different ways, at different times, and in different places. What aspects of man are tested in a trial? Whether or not you are the kind of person who fears God and shuns evil in every matter you face, you hear about, you see, and you personally experience. Everyone will face this kind of trial, because God is fair toward all people. Some people say: “I’ve believed in God for many years; how come I have not faced a trial?” You feel you haven’t faced a trial because whenever God has arranged circumstances for you, you haven’t taken them seriously, and haven’t wanted to walk in God’s way. So you just don’t have any sense of God’s trials. Some people say: “I’ve faced a few trials, but I don’t know the proper way of practice. Even though I practiced, I still don’t know whether I stood firm during the trials.” People with this type of situation are definitely not in the minority. So what is the standard by which God measures people then? It is just as I said moments ago: Everything you do, everything you think, and everything you express—is it fearing God and shunning evil? This is how to determine whether or not you’re a person who fears God and shuns evil. Is this a simple concept? It’s easy 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, don’t know how God perfects man, and so when they’re faced with matters they don’t know how to seek out truth to solve their problem; people must go through various trials, refinements, chastisements, and judgments, before they have the reality of fearing God.) You put it like that, but as far as you’re concerned, fearing God and shunning evil, seems easily doable right now. Why do I say this? Because you have listened to a lot of sermons, and received no small amount of watering of the reality of the truth. This has allowed you to understand how to fear God and shun evil in terms of theory and thinking. With regard to your practice of fearing God and shunning evil, this has all been helpful and made you feel like such a thing is easily achievable. Then why in actual fact can people never achieve it? This is because the essence of man’s nature does not fear God, and likes evil. That’s the real reason.