Daily Words of God: Knowing God | Excerpt 10
To Not Fear God and Shun Evil Is to Oppose God
You are now face-to-face with God, and face-to-face with God’s word. Your knowledge of God is much more than Job’s. Why do I bring this up? Why do I speak like this? I’d like to explain a fact to you, but before I do, I want to ask you a question: Job knew very little of God, yet he could fear God and shun evil. So why is it that people these days fail to do so? (Deep corruption.) “Deep corruption”—that’s the surface of the question, but I’ll never view it like that. You often take doctrines and letters that you commonly speak of, like “deep corruption,” “rebelling against God,” “disloyalty toward God,” “disobedience,” “not liking the truth,” and you use these catch phrases to explain the essence of every single question. This is a flawed way of practicing. Using the same answer to explain questions with differing natures inevitably raises suspicions of blaspheming the truth and God. I don’t like hearing this kind of answer. Think about it! None of you have thought about this matter, but every single day I can see it, and every single day I can feel it. Thus, you are doing, and I am watching. When you are doing it, you can’t feel the essence of this matter. But when I see it, I can see its essence, and I can feel its essence as well. So what is this essence then? Why can’t people these days fear God and shun evil? Your answers are quite a ways from being able to explain the essence of this question, and they can’t solve the essence of this question. That’s because there’s a source here that you don’t know about. What is this source? I know you want to hear about it, so I’ll tell you about the source of this question.
At the very beginning of God’s work, what did He regard man as? God rescued man; He regarded man as a member of His family, as the target of His work, as that which He wanted to conquer, to save, and as that which He wanted to perfect. This was God’s attitude toward man at the outset of His work. But what was man’s attitude toward God at that time? God was strange to man, and man regarded God as a stranger. It could be said that man’s attitude toward God was incorrect, and man wasn’t clear on how he should treat God. So he treated Him however he liked, and did whatever he liked. Did man have a viewpoint on God? In the beginning, man did not have any viewpoint on God. Man’s so-called viewpoint was just some conceptions and imaginings concerning God. That which conformed to people’s conceptions was accepted; that which did not conform was obeyed on the surface, but in their hearts people strongly clashed with and opposed it. This was man and God’s relationship in the beginning: God viewed man as a family member, yet man treated God as a stranger. But after a period of God’s work, man came to understand what God was trying to achieve. People came to know that God was the true God, and they came to know what man could obtain from God. What did man regard God as at this time? Man regarded God as a lifeline, hoping to obtain grace, obtain blessings, obtain promises. And what did God regard man as at this juncture? God regarded man as the target of His conquest. God wanted to use words to judge man, to test man, to give man trials. But as far as mankind was concerned at this point in time, God was an object that he could use to achieve his own goals. People saw that the truth issued by God could conquer and save them, and that they had an opportunity to obtain the things they wanted from God, the destination that they wanted. Because of this, a tiny bit of sincerity formed in their hearts, and they were willing to follow this God. Some time passed, and people had some superficial and doctrinal knowledge of God. It could be said that they were getting more and more “familiar” with God. With the word spoken by God, His preaching, the truth He had issued forth, and His work—people were more and more “familiar.” So, people mistakenly thought that God was no longer strange, and that they were already walking the path of compatibility with God. Up until now, people have listened to a lot of sermons on the truth, and have experienced a lot of God’s work. Yet under the interferences and obstructions of many different factors and circumstances, most people can’t attain putting truth into practice, and can’t attain satisfying God. People are increasingly slack, increasingly lacking in confidence. They increasingly feel like their own outcome is an unknown. They don’t dare have any extravagant ideas, and don’t seek to make any progress; they just reluctantly follow along, going forward step-by-step. With regard to the present state of man, what is God’s attitude toward man? God’s only desire is to give these truths to man, and imbue His way unto man, and then arrange various circumstances in order to test man in different ways. His goal is to take these words, these truths, and His work, and bring about an outcome where man can fear God and shun evil. Most people I’ve seen just take God’s word and regard it as doctrines, regard it as letters, regard it as regulations to be observed. When they go about things and speak, or face trials, they don’t regard God’s way as the way that they should observe. This is especially true when people are faced with major trials; I have not seen anyone who was practicing in the direction of fearing God and shunning evil. Because of this, God’s attitude toward man is full of extreme loathing and aversion. After God has repeatedly given trials to people, even hundreds of times, they still don’t have any clear attitude to demonstrate their determination—I want to fear God and shun evil! Since people don’t have this determination, and they don’t make this kind of display, God’s present attitude toward them is no longer the same as in the past, when He extended mercy, extended tolerance, extended forbearance and patience. Instead, He is extremely disappointed in man. Who caused this disappointment? The kind of attitude God has toward man, who does this depend on? It depends on every person who follows God. During the course of His many years of work, God has made many demands of man, and arranged many circumstances for man. But no matter how man has performed, and no matter what man’s attitude toward God is, man cannot practice in clear accordance to the goal of fearing God and shunning evil. Thus, I’ll sum it up in one saying, and use this saying to explain everything we just spoke of on why people cannot walk in God’s way—fear God and shun evil. What is this saying? This saying is: God regards man as the object of His salvation, the object of His work; man regards God as his enemy, as his antithesis. Are you clear on this matter now? What man’s attitude is; what God’s attitude is; what the relationship between man and God is—these are all very clear. No matter how much preaching you’ve listened to, those things that you’ve summed up for yourselves—like being faithful to God, obeying God, seeking the way of compatibility with God, wanting to spend a lifetime for God, living for God—to Me those things aren’t consciously walking in God’s way, which is fearing God and shunning evil. Instead, they’re channels through which you can attain certain goals. To achieve these goals, you reluctantly observe some regulations. And it’s precisely these regulations that take people even further from the way of fearing God and shunning evil, and place God in opposition to man once more.
The question we are discussing today is a little heavy, but no matter what, I still hope that when you go through the experiences to come, and the times to come, you can do what I’ve just told you. Don’t neglect God and regard Him as empty air, feeling like He exists at times when He is of use to you, but when He is of no use feeling like He does not exist. When you subconsciously hold this kind of understanding, you have already infuriated God. Perhaps there are people who say: “I don’t regard God as empty air, I always pray to God, I always satisfy God, and everything I do falls within the scope and standard and principles demanded by God. I’m definitely not proceeding according to my own ideas.” Yes, the manner in which you’re going about things is correct. But how do you think when you come face-to-face with a matter? How do you practice when you’re faced with a matter? Some people feel that God exists when they pray to Him, and appeal to Him. But when faced with a matter, they come up with their own ideas and want to abide by them. This regards God as empty air. This type of situation renders God non-existent. People think that God should exist when they need Him, and when they don’t need God He shouldn’t exist. People think that going by their own ideas to practice is enough. They believe they can do things however it pleases them. They simply think they don’t need to seek out God’s way. People who are currently in this kind of condition, this kind of state—are they not at the edge of danger? Some people say: “Regardless of whether I am on the edge of danger or not, I have believed for so many years, and I believe that God won’t abandon me because He couldn’t bear to abandon me.” Other people say: “Even from the time I was in my mother’s womb, I believed in the Lord, all the way up until now, forty or fifty years in all. In terms of time, I’m most qualified to be saved by God; I am most qualified to survive. Over this period of four or five decades, I abandoned my family and my job. I gave up all that I had, like money, status, enjoyment and family time; I have not eaten many delicious foods; I have not enjoyed many amusing things; I have not visited many interesting places; I have even experienced suffering that ordinary people couldn’t endure. If God can’t save me because of all this, then I am being treated unjustly and I can’t believe in this type of God.” Are there a lot of people with this kind of view? (There are a lot of them.) Then today I’ll help you understand a fact: Each and every one of those who hold this kind of view are shooting themselves in the foot. This is because they’re using their own imaginations to cover their eyes. It is precisely their imaginations, and their own conclusions that replace the standard of what God demands of man, holding them back from accepting God’s true intentions, making it so they cannot feel God’s true existence, and making them lose their opportunity to be perfected by God and have no part or share in God’s promise.