Daily Words of God: Knowing God | Excerpt 11
How God Determines People’s Outcomes and the Standards by Which He Does So
Before you settle on any views or conclusions, you should first understand what God’s attitude toward you is, and what He is thinking, and then you can decide whether or not your own thinking is correct. God has never used time as a unit of measurement to determine a person’s outcome, nor has He ever based such determination on how much a person has suffered. What, then, does God use as a standard to determine a person’s outcome? Determining it based on time would be what most conforms to people’s notions. Moreover, there are those people you often see who at one point devoted a great deal, expended a lot, paid a huge price, and suffered greatly. These are the ones who, the way you see it, can be saved by God. All that these people demonstrate and live out is precisely in line with people’s notions of God’s set standards for determining a person’s outcome. Whatever you believe, I will not list these examples one by one. To put it briefly, anything that is not a standard within God’s own thinking comes instead from the human imagination, and all such things are human notions. If you blindly insist on your own notions and fancies, what will be the result? It is quite obvious that the consequence of this can only be God spurning you. This is because you always flaunt your qualifications before God, compete with Him, and argue with Him, and you do not try truly to comprehend His thinking, nor do you try to comprehend His will or His attitude toward humankind. Proceeding in this manner honors yourself above all; it does not magnify God. You believe in yourself; you do not believe in God. God does not want such people, nor will He bring them salvation. If you can let go of this sort of viewpoint and, furthermore, rectify those incorrect viewpoints you had in the past, if you can proceed according to God’s demands, if you can practice the way of fearing God and shunning evil from this point on, if you can manage to honor God as One who is great in all things and refrain from using your own personal fancies, viewpoints, or beliefs to define yourself and God, and if you can instead seek out God’s intentions in all respects, come to a realization and understanding of His attitude toward humanity, and satisfy Him by meeting His standards, that will be wonderful! It will signify that you are about to embark on the way of fearing God and shunning evil.
If God does not use people’s various thoughts, ideas, and viewpoints as standards by which to determine their outcomes, what sort of standard does He use to determine people’s outcomes? He uses trials to determine their outcomes. There are two standards to God’s use of trials to determine people’s outcomes: The first is the number of trials that people undergo, and the second is the results these trials have on people. It is these two indicators that establish a person’s outcome. Now, let’s elaborate on these two standards.
To begin, when a person is faced with a trial from God (note: It is possible that in your eyes, this trial might be a minor one, not worth mentioning), He will make you distinctly aware that this is His hand upon you, and that it is He who arranged this circumstance for you. While you are still immature of stature, God will arrange trials in order to test you, and these trials will correspond to your stature, what you are able to comprehend, and what you can withstand. What part of you will be tested? Your attitude toward God. Is this attitude very important? Of course it is important! It is of special importance! This attitude in humans is the result God desires, so, as far as He is concerned, it is the most important thing of all. Otherwise, God would not spend His efforts on people by engaging in such work. By way of these trials, God wants to see your attitude toward Him; He wants to see whether or not you are on the right path. He also wants to see whether or not you fear God and shun evil. Therefore, whether you understand much or little of the truth at any particular time, you will still be faced with God’s trials, and following any increase in the amount of truth you understand, He will continue to arrange relevant trials for you. When you are once again faced with a trial, God will want to see whether your viewpoint, your ideas, and your attitude toward Him have experienced any growth in the intervening period of time. Some people wonder, “Why does God always want to see people’s attitudes? Hasn’t He already seen how they put the truth into practice? Why would He still want to see their attitudes?” This is mindless drivel! Given that God works in this manner, His will must lie therein. God constantly observes people from the side, watching their every word and action, their every deed and movement; He even observes their every thought and idea. God makes a note of everything that happens to people—their good deeds, their faults, their transgressions, even their rebellions and betrayals—as evidence with which to determine their outcomes. Step by step, as God’s work is elevated, you will hear more truths and come to accept more positive things and information, and you will gain more of the reality of the truth. Throughout this process, God’s requirements of you will also increase, and as they do, He will arrange more serious trials for you. His goal is to examine whether your attitude toward Him has progressed in the meantime. Of course, when this happens, the viewpoint God demands of you will conform to your understanding of the reality of the truth.
As your stature gradually builds up, so will the standard that God demands of you. While you are still immature, He will set a very low standard for you to meet; when your stature is a little greater, He will raise your standard a bit higher. But what will God do after you have gained an understanding of all of the truth? He will have you face even bigger trials. Amid these trials, what God wishes to obtain from you, what He wants to see from you, is a more profound knowledge of Him, an actual reverence of Him. At this time, His requirements of you will be higher and “harsher” than they were when your stature was more immature (note: People might view them as harsh, but God actually views them as reasonable). When God is trying people, what kind of reality does He wish to create? He is constantly asking that people give Him their hearts. Some people will say, “How can I give that? I have fulfilled my duty; I abandoned my home and livelihood, and I have expended myself. Are these not all instances of my giving my heart over to God? How else could I give my heart to God? Could it be that these weren’t actually ways of giving my heart to Him? What is God’s specific requirement?” The requirement is very simple. In fact, there are some people who have already given their hearts to God to varying degrees during various stages of their trials, but the vast majority of people never give their hearts over to God. When God tries you, He sees if your heart is with Him, with the flesh, or with Satan. When God tries you, He sees whether you are standing in opposition to Him or are in a position that is compatible with Him, and He also sees whether your heart is on His side. When you are immature and facing trials, you have little confidence, and you cannot know exactly what it is you need to do to fulfill God’s intentions, for your understanding of the truth is limited. However, if you can still pray to God genuinely and sincerely, and if you can be willing to give your heart over to Him, make Him your sovereign, and be willing to offer unto Him all those things that you believe to be most precious, then you will have already given God your heart. As you listen to more sermons and understand more of the truth, your stature will also gradually grow. At this time, the standard of God’s demands will not be the same as it was when you were immature; He will demand a higher standard of you. As people gradually give their hearts over to God, their hearts grow slowly nearer to Him; as people can genuinely grow nearer to God, then their hearts will revere Him ever more. What God wants is just such a heart.
When God wants to obtain someone’s heart, He will put that person through numerous trials. During these trials, if God does not obtain that person’s heart or see that this person has any attitude—that is to say, if God does not see this person practicing or behaving in a way that shows reverence to Him, and if He also does not see in this person an attitude and resolution that shuns evil—then, after numerous trials, God’s patience with them will be withdrawn, and He will no longer tolerate them. He will no longer try this person, and He will no longer work on them. So, what does this signify for this person’s outcome? It means they have no outcome. Perhaps this person has done no evil; perhaps they have done nothing disruptive and caused no disturbance. Perhaps they have not openly resisted God. However, this person’s heart remains hidden from God; they have never had a clear attitude and viewpoint toward God, and God cannot clearly see that their heart has been given to Him or that they are seeking to fear Him and shun evil. God loses patience with such people, and will no longer pay any price for them, extend any mercy to them, or work on them. Such a person’s life of faith in God has already ended. This is because, in all of the many trials that God has given them, God has not obtained the result He wants. Thus, there are a number of people in whom I have never seen the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit. How can this be seen? These people may have believed in God for many years, and on the surface, they have behaved with vigor; they have read many books, handled many affairs, filled a dozen or so notebooks, and mastered a great many words and doctrines. However, there is never any visible growth in them, their views on God remain invisible, and their attitudes are still unclear. In other words, their hearts cannot be seen; they are always wrapped up and sealed—they are sealed off from God. As a result, He has not seen their true hearts, He has not seen in these people any true reverence for Him, and, what is more, He has not seen how these people walk in His way. If God still has not gained such people by now, can He gain them in the future? He cannot! Will He keep pushing for things that cannot be obtained? He will not! What, then, is God’s current attitude toward such people? (He spurns them and ignores them.) He ignores them! God does not heed such people; He spurns them. You have memorized these words very quickly, and very accurately. It appears as though you have understood what you have heard!
There are some people who, when they begin to follow God, are immature and ignorant; they do not understand His will, nor do they know what it is to believe in Him. They adopt a human-conceived and mistaken way of believing in and following God. When such people are faced with trials, they are not aware of it; they remain numb to God’s guidance and enlightenment. They do not know what it means to give their hearts over to God or what it means to stand firm during a trial. God will give such people a limited amount of time, and during this time, He will let them understand the nature of His trials and what His intentions are. Afterward, these people must demonstrate their points of view. For those at this stage, God is still waiting. As for those who have some views yet still waver, who want to give their hearts over to God but are not reconciled to doing so, and who, despite having put some basic truths into practice, try to hide and give up when faced with major trials—what is God’s attitude toward them? He still expects a little from them, and the result depends on their attitude and performance. If people are not active in progressing, what does God do? He gives up on them. This is because, before God gives up on you, you have already given up on yourself. Thus, you cannot blame God for doing so. It is wrong of you to hold a grievance against God.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. How to Know God’s Disposition and the Results His Work Shall Achieve