5. How to resolve the problem of the fleshly pleasures of family

God’s Words From the Bible

“If any man come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26).

“Whoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:33).

“Truly I say to you, There is no man that has left house, or parents, or brothers, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting” (Luke 18:29–30).

Words of Almighty God of the Last Days

Pernicious influences that thousands of years of “the lofty spirit of nationalism” have left deep in the human heart, as well as the feudal thinking by which people are bound and chained, without an iota of freedom, with no will to aspire or persevere, no desire to make progress, remaining instead passive and regressive, entrenched in a slave mentality, and so on—these objective factors have imparted an indelibly filthy and ugly cast to the ideological outlook, ideals, morality, and disposition of humanity. Humans, it would seem, are living in a dark world of terrorism, which none among them seeks to transcend, and none among them thinks of moving on to an ideal world; rather, they are content with their lot in life, to spend their days bearing and raising children, striving, sweating, going about their chores, dreaming of a comfortable and happy family, and dreaming of conjugal affection, of filial children, of joy in their twilight years as they peacefully live out their lives…. For tens, thousands, tens of thousands of years until now, people have been squandering their time in this way, with no one creating a perfect life, all intent only on mutual slaughter in this dark world, on the race for fame and fortune, and on intriguing against one another. Who has ever sought after God’s will? Has anyone ever heeded the work of God? All the parts of humanity occupied by the influence of darkness have long since become human nature, and so it is quite difficult to carry out the work of God, and people have even less heart to pay attention to what God has entrusted to them today.

—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Work and Entry (3)

Who can truly and completely expend themselves for Me and offer up their all for My sake? You are all half-hearted; your thoughts go around and around, thinking of home, of the outside world, of food and clothing. Despite the fact that you are here before Me, doing things for Me, deep down you are still thinking of your wife, children, and parents at home. Are all these things your property? Why do you not entrust them into My hands? Do you not have sufficient faith in Me? Or is it that you are afraid I will make inappropriate arrangements for you? Why do you always worry about the family of your flesh? You always pine for your loved ones! Do I have a certain place in your heart? You still talk about allowing Me to have dominion within you and occupy your entire being—these are all deceptive lies! How many of you are wholeheartedly committed to the church? And who among you think not of yourselves, but are acting for the sake of the kingdom of today? Think very carefully about this.

—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Utterances of Christ in the Beginning, Chapter 59

You have followed Me all these years, yet have never given Me one iota of loyalty. Instead, you have revolved around the people you love and the things that please you—so much so that at all times, and wherever you go, you keep them close to your hearts and have never abandoned them. Whenever you become eager or passionate about any one thing that you love, it happens while you are following Me, or even while you are listening to My words. Therefore, I say you are using the loyalty that I ask of you to instead be loyal to and cherish your “pets.” Though you may sacrifice a thing or two for Me, it does not represent your all, and does not show that it is Me to whom you are truly loyal. You involve yourselves in undertakings about which you are passionate: Some people are loyal to sons and daughters, others to husbands, wives, riches, work, superiors, status, or women. You never feel weary or annoyed toward the things you are loyal to; instead, you grow ever more eager to possess these things in greater quantity, and higher quality, and you never give up. I and My words are always pushed back behind the things you are passionate about. And you have no choice but to rank them last. There are even those who leave this last place for things they are loyal to that they have yet to discover. Never has there been the slightest trace of Me in their hearts. You may think that I ask too much of you or am wrongfully accusing you—but have you ever given any thought to the fact that while you are happily spending time with your family, you have never once been loyal to Me? At times like this, does it not pain you? When your hearts are filled with joy, and you are rewarded for your labors, do you not feel disheartened at not having furnished yourselves with sufficient truth? When have you wept for not having received My approval? You rack your brains and take great pains for the sake of your sons and daughters, yet still you are not satisfied; still you believe that you have not been diligent on their behalf, that you have not done everything you can for them. Toward Me, however, you have always been remiss and careless; I am only in your memories, but I do not endure in your hearts. My devotion and efforts forever go unfelt by you, and you have never had any appreciation of them. You merely engage in brief reflection and believe that this will suffice. Such “loyalty” is not what I have long yearned for, but that which I have long despised.

—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. To Whom Are You Loyal?

It is not Me who is in your thoughts at each and every moment, nor the truth that comes from Me, but rather your husband or wife, your sons, daughters, and the things you eat and wear. You think of how you can gain ever greater, ever higher enjoyment. But even when you have filled your stomach to bursting, are you still not a corpse? Even when, outwardly, you adorn yourselves in such beautiful apparel, are you not still a walking corpse devoid of life? You toil for the sake of your stomach, until your hair is streaked with gray, yet none of you sacrifice a single hair for My work. You are constantly on the go, taxing your body and racking your brain, for the sake of your own flesh, and for your sons and daughters—yet not one of you shows any worry or concern for My will. What is it that you still hope to gain from Me?

—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Many Are Called, but Few Are Chosen

Those who follow God must, at the very least, be able to forsake all that they have. God once said in the Bible, “Whoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:33). What does it mean to forsake all that one has? It means to forsake one’s family, to forsake one’s work, to forsake all one’s worldly entanglements. Is this an easy thing to do? It is very difficult. Without the will to do so, it absolutely cannot be accomplished. When one has the will to forsake, they naturally possess the will to endure hardship. If one cannot endure hardship, they will not be able to forsake anything, though they may wish to. There are some who, having forsaken their families and distanced themselves from their loved ones, become homesick after performing their duties for a while. If they really cannot bear it, they may run home in secret to have a look, then return to perform their duties. Some who have left their homes to perform their duties cannot help but miss their loved ones on New Year’s and other holidays, and when everyone else is asleep at night, they cry in secret. When they are done, they pray to God and feel much better, after which they go on doing their duties. Though these people were able to forsake their families, they are unable to endure great pain. If they cannot even cast off their feelings for these relations of the flesh, how will they be able to truly expend of themselves for God? Some people are able to forsake all they have and follow God, forsaking their jobs and their families—but what is their goal in doing this? Some people are trying to gain grace and blessings, and some are like Paul, only pursuing a crown and a reward. Few people forsake all they have in order to gain the truth and life, and to attain salvation. So, which of these pursuits is in line with God’s will? It is, of course, the pursuit of the truth and gaining life. This is entirely in line with God’s will, and it is the most important part of believing in God. Can one gain the truth if they cannot let go of worldly things or wealth? Absolutely not. … You will only be able to enter God’s kingdom if you can forsake everything that is most important to you to follow God and perform your duty, and to pursue the truth and gain life. What does it mean to enter God’s kingdom? It means that you are able to forsake all that you have and follow God, heed His words, and submit to His arrangements, obeying Him in all things; it means that He has become your Lord and your God. To God, that means you have entered His kingdom, and no matter what disasters befall you, you will have His protection and be able to survive, and you will be one of the people of His kingdom. God will acknowledge you as His follower, or offer you His promise to perfect you—but as your first step, you must follow Christ. Only thus will you have a part to play in the kingdom’s training. If you do not follow Christ and are outside of God’s kingdom, God will not acknowledge you. And if God does not acknowledge you, even if you wish to be saved and to gain God’s promise and His perfection, will you be able to attain these things? You will not. If you wish to gain God’s approval, you must first be qualified to enter His kingdom. If you can forsake all that you have in order to pursue the truth, if you can seek the truth in the performance of your duty, if you can act according to the principles, and if you have true experiential testimony, then you are qualified to enter God’s kingdom and to receive His promise. If you cannot forsake all that you have to follow God, you are not even qualified to enter His kingdom, and you have no claim at all to His blessing and His promise. There are many people now who have forsaken all that they have and are performing duties in God’s house, yet they will not necessarily be able to gain the truth. One must love the truth and be able to accept it before they can gain it. If one does not pursue the truth, they cannot gain it. Not to mention those who perform their duty in their spare time—their experience of God’s work is so limited that gaining the truth will be harder for them. If one does not perform their duty or pursue the truth, they will miss out on the wonderous opportunity to attain God’s salvation and perfection. Some people claim to believe in God, but do not perform their duties, and pursue worldly things. Is this forsaking all that they have? If one believes in God in this way, can they follow Him to the very end? Look at the Lord Jesus’ disciples: among them were fishermen, peasants, and a tax collector. When the Lord Jesus called to them and said, “Follow Me,” they laid down their jobs and followed the Lord. They gave no thought to the issue of their employment, nor to the problem whether they would have a path of survival in the world afterward, and they followed the Lord Jesus at once. Peter devoted himself wholeheartedly, fulfilling the Lord Jesus’ commission until the end and upholding his duty. For his whole life, he pursued the love of God, and in the end, he was perfected by God. There are some people now who cannot even forsake all that they have and yet they wish to enter the kingdom. Are they not dreaming?

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three

(Answering questions from brothers and sisters)

(I’m still being constrained by my affection for my family while fulfilling my duty. I often miss them, and it affects the fulfillment of my duty. My state has improved a bit lately, but I still sometimes worry about the great red dragon arresting my family members in order to threaten me, and I’m afraid that I won’t be able to stand firm then.) These are groundless fears. When you think about these things, you need to seek the truth for a resolution. You need to understand that whatever circumstances you face, God has orchestrated and arranged it. You must learn to submit to God and be able to seek the truth and stand firm when faced with situations. This is a lesson that people have to learn. You should contemplate often: How are you experiencing God’s watering and shepherding during this period of time? What is your actual stature? How should you fulfill the duty of a created being? You have to figure these things out! If you can think about the great red dragon threatening you, then why don’t you think about how to enter into the truth? Why don’t you contemplate on the truth? (When these thoughts occur to me, I do pray to God and make a commitment that if one day I really come to face these circumstances, I’ll stay true to God unto death. But I do fear I won’t be able to make it with my small stature.) Then you pray, “God, I fear that I won’t be able to make it with my small stature. I’m scared to death. Please do not do that. You can do it when I have the stature.” Is this a good way to pray? (No.) You should pray like this: “God, I’m small in stature and small in faith now, I’m afraid of having to face something; in fact, I don’t really believe that all matters and all things are in Your hands. I haven’t placed myself in Your hands; what rebellion this is! I’m willing to submit to Your arrangements and orchestrations. Whatever You do, my heart is willing to bear witness for You. I’m willing to stand firm in my witness without disgracing You. Please, do as You will.” You need to place your aspirations and what you want to say before God—this is how you produce true faith. If you’re hesitant even to pray like this, how small your faith must be! You need to pray like this often. Even if you do pray like this, God will not necessarily respond. God doesn’t burden people with more than they can bear, but if you make your attitude and your resolve clear, God will be pleased. When God is pleased, your heart will no longer be disturbed and constrained by this matter. “Things like husband, children, family, property—these are all in God’s hands. They mean nothing. The whole universe is in God’s hands; isn’t my family in His hands, too? What’s the use of me worrying about them? I have no say in it, I’m not capable, and I can’t shield them. Their fate and everything about them are in God’s hands!” You have to have the faith to come before God and pray, resolving firmly and making up your mind to submit to God’s arrangements. Then the state within you will change. You won’t have any more worries, and you won’t feel worried anymore. You won’t be exceedingly cautious and brimming with apprehension in everything you do. While everyone else charges forward, you hang back, always wanting to get away—isn’t this what a coward does? When God’s people fulfill their duty in the kingdom and created beings fulfill their duty before the Creator, they should move forward calmly with a God-fearing heart. They shouldn’t be fumbling about, shrinking back, or walking on eggshells. If you know that this state is wrong and worry about it constantly instead of seeking the truth to resolve it, then you’re being constrained and bound by it, and you won’t be able to fulfill your duty. You want to fulfill your duty as a created being with all your heart, all your mind, and all your strength, but can you achieve this? You can’t reach the point of giving all your heart because your heart isn’t on your duty—you’ve at best committed only one-tenth of your heart. Without all your heart, how could you give all your mind and your strength? Your heart isn’t on your duty, and all you have is a bit of willingness to fulfill it. Can you really fulfill your duty with all your heart and mind? You don’t have the resolve to practice the truth, so you’re bound to be constrained by family and your affection for them. They will bind you hand and foot; they will control your thinking and your heart, and you will fall short of the truth and God’s requirements—you will be willing, but lack the strength. So, you must pray before God, understanding God’s will on the one hand while also knowing where you should stand as a created being; you must take the resolve and the attitude that you ought to have and place them before God. This is the attitude you must have. Why don’t other people have these worries? Do you think that other people don’t have family or difficulties like these? In fact, everyone has certain fleshly and familial entanglements, but some people are able to resolve them by praying to God and seeking the truth. After a period of seeking, they see through these affections of the flesh and let them go from their heart; then, these things are no longer difficulties for them, and they cannot be controlled or constrained by them. They don’t affect their fulfillment of their duties, and so they become liberated. There is a line of God’s words in the Bible that says, “Whoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:33). What is this forsaking all that one has? What does “all” mean? Things like status, fame and fortune, family, friends, and property—all of these are included in the word “all.” So what things take up an important place in your heart? For some it’s children, for some it’s parents, for some it’s wealth, and for others it’s status, fame and fortune. If you treasure these things, then they’ll control you. If you don’t treasure them and you completely let them go, then they can’t control you. It just depends on what your attitude toward them is and on how you handle these things.

You have to understand that no matter what time or what stage God is doing His work, He always needs a portion of people to work with Him. That these people cooperate with God’s work or cooperate in spreading the gospel is predestined by Him. So does God have a commission for each person He’s predestined? Everyone has a mission and a responsibility; everyone has a commission. When God gives you a commission, this becomes your responsibility. You need to take up this responsibility; it is your duty. What is duty? It’s the mission that God has given you. What is a mission? (God’s commission is man’s mission. One’s life should be lived for God’s commission. This commission is the only thing in their heart, and they shouldn’t live for anything else.) God’s commission is man’s mission; this is the correct understanding. People who believe in God have been put on earth to complete God’s commission. If all you pursue in this life is to climb the social ladder, amass wealth, live a good life, enjoy being close to family, and revel in fame, fortune, and status—if you gain social status, your family becomes prominent, and everyone in your family is safe and sound—but you ignore the mission God has given you, is there any value to this life you’re living? How will you answer to God after you die? You won’t be able to, and this is the greatest rebellion; it is the greatest sin! Which of you is fulfilling your duty in God’s house right now by accident? Whatever background you came from to fulfill your duty, none of it was by chance. This duty can’t be fulfilled by just finding a few believers at random; this was something predestined by God before the ages. What does it mean for something to be predestined? What specifically? It means that in His entire management plan, God long ago planned how many times you would be on earth, which lineage and which family you would be born into during the last days, what the circumstances of this family would be, whether you would be male or female, what your strengths would be, what level of education you would have, how articulate you would be, what your caliber would be, and what you would look like. He planned the age that you would come to God’s house and begin fulfilling your duty and what duty you would perform at what time. God predestined each step for you early on. When you weren’t yet born and when you came to earth in your last several lives, God had already arranged for you what duty you would be fulfilling in this final stage of work. This is certainly no joke! The fact that you’re able to hear a sermon here was preordained by God. This is not to be taken lightly! Additionally, your height, your appearance, what your eyes look like, your figure, the state of your health, what your life experiences are and which duties you’re capable of taking on at a certain age, and what sort of caliber and ability you possess—these were preordained for you by God long ago, and are certainly not being arranged now. God has long since preordained them for you, which is to say, if He intends to use you, He will have already prepared you before giving you this commission and this mission. So is it acceptable for you to run from it? Is it acceptable for you to be halfhearted about it? Both are unacceptable; that would be letting God down! It’s the worst kind of rebellion for people to forsake their duty. It is a heinous deed. God labored thoughtfully and earnestly, preordaining since time immemorial for you to make it to today and be given this mission. Isn’t this mission your responsibility then? Isn’t it what gives value to living this life of yours? If you don’t complete the mission that God gives to you, you lose the value and meaning of living; it’s as if you’ve lived in vain. God arranged the right conditions, environment, and background for you. He bestowed on you this caliber and ability, prepared you to live to this age, and prepared you to have all the qualifications you would need to fulfill this duty of yours, He has arranged all of this for you, and yet you’re not diligently performing this duty. You can’t withstand temptation and you choose to escape, always looking to live a good life and pursue worldly things. You take the gift and ability that God has given you and serve Satan with it, living for Satan. How does this make God feel? With His hopes for you let down like this, would He not despise you? Would He not hate you? He would unleash great wrath upon you. And would this matter be considered settled then? Could it be as simple as you imagine? Do you think that if you don’t complete your mission in this life, it all ends with your death? It doesn’t end there; your soul will then be in peril. You didn’t fulfill your duty, you didn’t accept God’s commission, and you fled God’s presence. Things have become dire. Where can you run to? Can you escape from God’s hands? How does God classify this kind of person? (These are people who have betrayed Him.) How does God define people who have betrayed Him? How does God classify people who have run from His seat of judgment? These are people who will suffer perdition and be destroyed. There will never be another life or another rebirth for you, and God will not possibly grant you any other commission. There is no longer any mission for you, and you have no chance to receive salvation. This is serious trouble! God will say: “This person has escaped before My eyes once, escaping from My seat of judgment and My presence. They did not carry out their mission or complete their commission. Their life ends here. It is over; it has come to a close.” What a tragedy this is! For you to be able to fulfill your duty in God’s house today, whether it’s big or small, whether it’s physical or mental, and whether it’s handling external issues or internal work, no one’s performing of their duty is happening by accident. How could this be your choice? This is all led by God. It’s only because of God’s commissioning you that you’re moved like this, you have this sense of mission and responsibility, and you can fulfill this duty. There are so many among unbelievers with good looks, knowledge, or talent, but does God favor them? No, He doesn’t. God did not select them, and He favors only the lot of you. He has all of you undertake every kind of role, fulfill all kinds of duties, and take up different kinds of responsibilities in His management work. When God’s management plan finally comes to an end and is achieved, what a glory and a privilege this will be! So then, when people suffer a little hardship while they fulfill their duty today; when they have to give some things up, expend themselves a little, and pay a certain price; when they lose their status and their fame and fortune in the world; and when these things are all gone, it seems like it’s all been taken from them by God, but they’ve gained something more precious and more valuable. What have people gained from God? They’ve gained the truth and life by fulfilling their duty. Only when you’ve fulfilled your duty, you’ve completed God’s commission, you live your whole life for your mission and the commission God’s given you, you have a beautiful testimony, and you live a life that has value—only then are you a real person! And why do I say you’re a real person? Because God has selected you and had you fulfill your duty as a created being within His management. This is the greatest value and the greatest meaning in your life.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three

When you have heard many sermons, many truths, and many of God’s words, and you have already ascertained that this path is the correct one, and the right path in life, what do you need at this time? You need to ask God to arrange a suitable environment for you that is edifying and helpful for your life and can make you grow in life. This environment may not be very comfortable—one’s flesh must endure hardship, and one must renounce and let go of many things. This is something that you have all experienced by now. For example, say that you were persecuted and unable to return home, to see or get in touch with your children or spouse, to meet with your relatives or friends, or to receive any news from them. In the dead of night, you would begin to think about home: “How is my father doing? He’s old, and I have no way to honor him. My mother is in poor health, and I don’t know how she’s doing now.” Wouldn’t you always be thinking about these matters? If your heart is always constrained by such things, what consequences will it bear on the performance of your duty? It is beneficial to your life progress if you do not get mixed up or concern yourself so much with worldly, fleshly matters. Your thinking and worrying will not serve any function; these matters are all in the hands of God, and you cannot change the fates of your family members. You must understand that your top priority as a believer in God is to be considerate of His will, to fulfill your duty, to gain true faith, to enter the reality of God’s words, to grow in life, and to gain the truth. This is what matters most. On the surface, it seems as if people actively forsake the world and their families, but what is actually going on? (It is God who rules over and arranges this.) It is arranged by God; it is He who prevents you from seeing your family. To put it more aptly, God deprives you of them. Aren’t these the most practical words? (They are.) People always say that God rules over and arranges things, so how does He rule over this matter? He brings you out of your home, not letting your family turn into a burden that encumbers you. So, where does He take you? He takes you to an environment where there are no entanglements of the flesh, where you cannot see your loved ones. When you worry about them, and want to do something for them, you cannot, and when you want to offer your filial piety, you cannot. They cannot entangle you anymore. God has moved you away from them, and deprived you of all these entanglements, otherwise you would still be filial to them, render service for them, and slave away for them. Is God moving you away from all these external entanglements a good or bad thing? (A good thing.) It is something good, and there is no need to regret it. Since it is a good thing, what should people do? People should thank God, saying: “God loves me so much!” One cannot overcome the bondage of affection on their own, because people’s hearts are all constrained by affection. They all wish to be united with their family, for their whole family to gather together, with everyone safe, healthy, and happy, and to spend every day like this, without ever separating. But there is a bad side to this. You will devote all of your life’s energy and efforts, your youth, your greatest years, and all the best parts of your life to them; you will give your whole life for the sake of your flesh, family, loved ones, work, fame and fortune, and all kinds of complicated relationships, and you will consequently completely destroy yourself. So, how does God love man? God says: “Don’t destroy yourself in this mud pit. If both of your feet are stuck, you won’t be able to pull yourself out no matter how you exhaust yourself. You don’t have the stature or the bravery, not to mention the faith. I will bring you out Myself.” This is what God does, and He does not discuss it with you. Why doesn’t God ask for people’s opinions? Some people say: “God is the Creator, He does whatever He wants. Humans are like ants and bugs, they are nothing in the eyes of God.” This is how things are, but is that how God treats people? No, it isn’t. God expresses so many truths and gifts them to man, enabling people to be cleansed of their corruption, and to gain a new life from Him. God’s love for man is so great. These are all things that people can see. God has intentions for you, His purpose in bringing you here is to make you embark on the correct path in life, to live out a life of meaning, a path that you would not be able to choose on your own. People’s subjective wish is to spend their lifetime safe and sound, and even if they don’t make a fortune, at least they want to be united with their family forever, and enjoy this kind of familial happiness. They don’t understand how to be considerate of God’s will, nor do they understand how to give thought to their future destinations or to God’s will to save humanity. But God does not make a fuss over their lack of understanding, and He does not need to say too much to them, because they don’t understand, their stature is too small, and any discussion would only reach an impasse. Why would it reach an impasse? Because the great matter of God’s management plan to save humanity is not something that people can understand with just one or two sentences of explanation. Since that is the case, God makes decisions and acts directly, until the day comes when people eventually understand.

When God takes some of His chosen people out of the adverse environment of mainland China, His good intentions are in this, which everyone can now see. In regard to this matter, people must often show gratitude and thank God for showing them grace. You have emerged from that family environment, broken away from all the complicated interpersonal relationships of the flesh, and extricated yourself from all worldly and fleshly entanglements. God has brought you out of a complex snare and into His presence and into His house. God says: “It is peaceful here, this place is very good, and it is well-suited for your growth. This is where God’s words and guidance are, and where the truth reigns. God’s will to save humanity lies here, and the work of salvation is centered here. So, grow to your heart’s content here.” God brings you into this kind of environment, an environment that may not contain the comfort of your loved ones, where your children are not around to care for you when you get sick, and where there is no one for you to confide in. When you are by yourself, and you think about the suffering and difficulties of your flesh and everything you will face in the future, in those times, you will feel alone. Why will you feel alone? One objective reason is that people are too small in stature. What is the subjective reason? (People do not completely let go of their fleshly loved ones.) That’s right, it is that people are unable to let go of them. People who live in the flesh take as pleasures the various relationships and family bonds of the flesh. They believe that people can’t live without their loved ones. Why is it that you do not think of how you came into the world of man? You came alone, originally without relations to others. God brings people here one by one; when you came, you were, in fact, alone. You did not feel alone at that time, so why do you feel alone when God brings you here now? You think that you are missing a partner that you can confide in, whether it be your children, your parents, or your other half—your husband or wife—and so, you feel alone. Then, when you feel alone, why don’t you think of God? Is God not a companion to man? (Yes, He is.) When you feel the most suffering and sadness, who can truly comfort you? Who can truly resolve your difficulties? (God can.) Only God can truly resolve people’s difficulties. If you are sick, and your children are by your side, pouring you drinks, and waiting on you, you will feel quite happy, but in time your children will get fed up and no one will be willing to wait on you. In times like those you will feel truly alone! So now, when you think that you have no partner, is that really true? It is actually not, since God is always keeping you company! God does not leave people; He is someone they can rely on and find shelter in at all times, and their only confidant. So, no matter what difficulties and suffering befall you, no matter what grievances, or matters of negativity and weakness you are confronted with, if you come before God and pray at once, His words will give you comfort, and resolve your difficulties and all your different problems. In an environment like this, your loneliness will become the basic condition for experiencing God’s words and gaining the truth. As you experience, you will slowly come to think: “I am still living a good life after leaving my parents, a fulfilling life after leaving my husband, and a peaceful and joyous life after leaving my children. I am no longer empty. I will no longer rely on people, I will rely on God instead. He will provide for me and help me at all times. Although I cannot touch Him or see Him, I know that He is by my side at all times, and in all places. As long as I pray to Him, as long as I call on Him, He will move me, and make me understand His will and see the proper path.” At that time, He will truly become your God, and all of your problems will be resolved.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three

Some people want to both understand and obtain the truth; they want to expend themselves for God, but they cannot let go of anything. They cannot let go of their futures, they cannot let go of the comforts of the flesh, they cannot let go of their family togetherness, their children and their parents, nor can they let go of their intents, their objectives, or their desires. No matter what befalls them, they always put themselves, their own affairs, and their own selfish desires first, and put the truth last; satisfying the interests of the flesh and their satanic, corrupt dispositions takes first place, and practicing God’s word and satisfying God is secondary and takes last place. Can such people meet with God’s approval? Can they ever enter into the truth reality, or satisfy God’s will? (They never can.) Is it following the way of God if, to all appearances, you have done your duty and have not been idle, but your corrupt disposition has not been fixed in the least? (It is not.) You all understand these things, but when it comes to putting the truth into practice, it’s hard work. Your suffering and paying the price must be spent on practicing the truth, not on abiding by rules and following processes. It is worth it no matter how much you suffer for the truth, and the suffering you endure for practicing the truth to satisfy God’s will is acceptable to Him and approved of by Him.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three

If you can devote your heart, body, and all of your genuine love to God, place them before Him, be completely obedient toward Him, and be absolutely considerate of His will—not for the flesh, not for family, and not for your own personal desires, but for the interests of God’s household, taking God’s word as the principle and foundation in everything—then by doing so, your intentions and your perspectives will all be in the right place, and you will then be a person before God who receives His praise. The people God likes are those who are absolute toward Him; they are the ones who can be devoted solely to Him. Those whom God loathes are the ones who are half-hearted toward Him and who rebel against Him. He loathes those who believe in Him and always want to enjoy Him while yet being unable to completely expend themselves for His sake. He loathes those who say they love Him but who rebel against Him in their hearts; He loathes those who use eloquent, flowery words to engage in deception. Those who are not genuinely dedicated to God or who have not truly submitted before Him are treacherous and overly arrogant by nature. Those who cannot be genuinely submissive in front of the normal, practical God are even more arrogant, and they especially are the dutiful progeny of the archangel. People who truly expend themselves for God dedicate their entire being to Him and put themselves before Him; they can submit to all of His words and work, and are able to put His words into practice. They can accept God’s words and take them as the foundation of their existence, and they are able to search earnestly within God’s words to find out which parts to practice. Such are people who truly live before God.

—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Those Who Truly Love God Are Those Who Can Submit Absolutely to His Practicality

Man must pursue to live out a life of meaning, and should not be satisfied with his current circumstances. To live out the image of Peter, he must possess the knowledge and experiences of Peter. Man must pursue things that are higher and more profound. He must pursue a deeper, purer love of God, and a life that has value and meaning. Only this is life; only then will man be the same as Peter. You must focus on being proactive toward your entry on the positive side, and must not submissively allow yourself to backslide for the sake of momentary ease while ignoring more profound, more specific, and more practical truths. Your love must be practical, and you must find ways to free yourself from this depraved, carefree life that is no different from an animal’s. You must live out a life of meaning, a life of value, and you must not fool yourself or treat your life like a toy to be played with. For everyone who aspires to love God, there are no unobtainable truths and no justice for which they cannot stand firm. How should you live your life? How should you love God, and use this love to satisfy His desire? There is no greater matter in your life. Above all, you must have such aspirations and perseverance, and should not be like those who are spineless, those who are weaklings. You must learn how to experience a meaningful life and experience meaningful truths, and should not treat yourself perfunctorily in that way. Without you realizing it, your life will pass you by; after that, will you have another opportunity to love God? Can man love God after he is dead? You must have the same aspirations and conscience as Peter; your life must be meaningful, and you must not play games with yourself. As a human being, and as a person who pursues God, you must be able to carefully consider how you treat your life, how you should offer yourself to God, how you should have a more meaningful faith in God, and how, since you love God, you should love Him in a way that is more pure, more beautiful, and more good. … You must suffer hardship for the truth, you must give yourself to the truth, you must endure humiliation for the truth, and to gain more of the truth you must undergo more suffering. This is what you should do. You must not throw away the truth for the sake of a peaceful family life, and you must not lose your life’s dignity and integrity for the sake of momentary enjoyment. You should pursue all that is beautiful and good, and you should pursue a path in life that is more meaningful. If you lead such a vulgar life, and do not pursue any objectives, do you not waste your life? What can you gain from such a life? You should forsake all enjoyments of the flesh for the sake of one truth, and should not throw away all truths for the sake of a little enjoyment. People like this have no integrity or dignity; there is no meaning to their existence!

—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment

Today, you do not believe the words I say, and you pay no attention to them; when the day comes for this work to spread and you see the entirety of it, you will regret, and at that time you will be dumbfounded. There are blessings, yet you do not know to enjoy them, and there is the truth, yet you do not pursue it. Do you not bring contempt upon yourself? Today, although the next step of God’s work has yet to begin, there is nothing exceptional about the demands that are made of you and what you are asked to live out. There is so much work, and so many truths; are they not worthy of being known by you? Is God’s chastisement and judgment incapable of awakening your spirit? Is God’s chastisement and judgment incapable of making you hate yourself? Are you content to live under the influence of Satan, with peace and joy, and a little fleshly comfort? Are you not the lowliest of all people? None are more foolish than those who have beheld salvation but do not pursue to gain it; these are people who gorge themselves on the flesh and enjoy Satan. You hope that your faith in God will not entail any challenges or tribulations, or the slightest hardship. You always pursue those things that are worthless, and you attach no value to life, instead putting your own extravagant thoughts before the truth. You are so worthless! You live like a pig—what difference is there between you, and pigs and dogs? Are those who do not pursue the truth, and instead love the flesh, not all beasts? Are those dead ones without spirits not all walking corpses? How many words have been spoken among you? Has only a little work been done among you? How much have I provided among you? So why have you not gained it? What do you have to complain of? Is it not the case that you have gained nothing because you are too in love with the flesh? And is it not because your thoughts are too extravagant? Is it not because you are too stupid? If you are incapable of gaining these blessings, can you blame God for not saving you? What you pursue is to be able to gain peace after believing in God, for your children to be free from illness, for your husband to have a good job, for your son to find a good wife, for your daughter to find a decent husband, for your oxen and horses to plow the land well, for a year of good weather for your crops. This is what you seek. Your pursuit is only to live in comfort, for no accidents to befall your family, for the winds to pass you by, for your face to be untouched by grit, for your family’s crops to not be flooded, for you to be unaffected by any disaster, to live in God’s embrace, to live in a cozy nest. A coward such as you, who always pursues the flesh—do you have a heart, do you have a spirit? Are you not a beast? I give you the true way without asking for anything in return, yet you do not pursue. Are you one of those who believe in God? I bestow real human life upon you, yet you do not pursue. Are you no different from a pig or a dog? Pigs do not pursue the life of man, they do not pursue being cleansed, and they do not understand what life is. Each day, after eating their fill, they simply sleep. I have given you the true way, yet you have not gained it: You are empty-handed. Are you willing to continue in this life, the life of a pig? What is the significance of such people being alive? Your life is contemptible and ignoble, you live amid filth and licentiousness, and you do not pursue any goals; is your life not the most ignoble of all? Do you have the gall to look upon God? If you continue to experience in this way, will you not acquire nothing? The true way has been given to you, but whether or not you can ultimately gain it depends on your own personal pursuit.

—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment

Now is the time when My Spirit performs great work, and the time when I commence My work among the Gentile nations. More than that, it is the time when I classify all created beings, putting each one into their respective category, so that My work may proceed more swiftly and effectively. And so, what I ask of you is still that you offer up your whole being to all My work, and, furthermore, that you clearly discern and make certain of all the work I have done in you, and put all your strength into My work so it can become more effective. This is what you must understand. Desist from fighting amongst yourselves, looking for a way back, or seeking fleshly comforts, which would delay My work, and delay your wonderful future. Far from protecting you, doing so would bring destruction upon you. Wouldn’t this be foolish of you? That which you greedily enjoy today is the very thing that is ruining your future, whereas the pain you suffer today is the very thing that is protecting you. You must be clearly aware of these things, so as to avoid falling prey to temptations from which you will be hard put to extricate yourself, and to evade blundering into the dense fog and being unable to find the sun. When the dense fog clears, you will find yourself amid the judgment of the great day.

—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Work of Spreading the Gospel Is Also the Work of Saving Man

Today, I love whomever can do My will, whomever can show consideration for My burdens, and whomever can give their all for Me with a true heart and sincerity. I will constantly enlighten them, and not let them slip away from Me. I often say, “To those who sincerely expend for Me, I shall surely bless you greatly.” What does “bless” refer to? Do you know? In the context of the current work of the Holy Spirit, it refers to the burdens I give to you. For all who are able to carry a burden for the church, and who sincerely offer themselves up for My sake, their burdens and their earnestness are both blessings that come from Me. In addition, My revelations to them are also a blessing from Me.

—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Utterances of Christ in the Beginning, Chapter 82

I am now walking abroad amongst My people and I live in their midst. Today, those who bear genuine love for Me—such people are blessed. Blessed are those who submit to Me, they will surely stay in My kingdom. Blessed are those who know Me, they will surely wield power in My kingdom. Blessed are those who seek after Me, they will surely escape from Satan’s bonds and enjoy My blessings. Blessed are those who are able to forsake themselves, they will surely enter into My possession and inherit My kingdom’s bounty. Those who run around for Me I will remember, those who make expenditures for Me I will joyfully embrace, and to those who make offerings to Me I will grant enjoyments. Those who find enjoyment in My words I will bless; they will surely be the pillars that hold up the ridgepole in My kingdom, they will surely have matchless abundance in My house, and no one can compare with them. Have you ever accepted the blessings that you were given? Have you ever sought the promises that were made for you? You will surely, under the guidance of My light, break through the stranglehold of the forces of darkness. You will surely not, in the midst of darkness, lose the light guiding you. You will surely be the master of all creation. You will surely be an overcomer before Satan. You will surely, at the downfall of the kingdom of the great red dragon, stand up amid the myriad throngs to bear witness to My victory. You will surely stand firm and unwavering in the land of Sinim. Through the sufferings you endure, you will inherit My blessings, and will surely radiate My glory throughout the entire universe.

—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Words to the Entire Universe, Chapter 19

Related Experiential Testimonies

Escaping My Family Cage

Related Hymns

Give All of Yourself Up to God’s Work

You Should Forsake All for the Truth

People Should Seek to Live Out a Meaningful Life

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Question: Please share detailed fellowship on what is obeying and following God, and what is obeying and following man. Understanding this aspect of the truth is critical for us.

Almighty God says, “The most important thing in following God is to do everything according to God’s present word. Whether you pursue to enter into life or to satisfy God’s heart’s desire, you have to focus on God’s present word. If what you fellowship and what you pursue to enter into are not centered around God’s present word, you are one outside God’s word and absolutely do not have the work of the Holy Spirit. … Those who can keep up with the Holy Spirit’s present work, walk in God’s footsteps, and follow wherever God leads will have God’s blessing."

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