19. The Principles of Safeguarding a Normal Relationship With God
(1) One should give their heart over to God and let Him be its master. In all matters, one should pray to Him and open up their heart to Him, and be able to safeguard a normal relationship with Him;
(2) It is necessary to eat and drink of God’s words normally, to frequently fellowship with others on the truth, to focus on putting it into practice, and to requite God’s love by doing one’s duty well;
(3) You must also accept God’s scrutiny at all times. Prioritize the interests of God’s house, and do not machinate for personal benefit, but submit to all that God arranges;
(4) Seek the truth principle in all matters, fear God and shun evil, seek to know God, and practice loving Him. In this way, you will naturally not be separated from Him.
Relevant Words of God:
How Is Your Relationship With God?
(A Selected Chapter of God’s Word)
In believing in God, you must at least resolve the issue of having a normal relationship with God. If you do not have a normal relationship with God, then the meaning of your belief in God is lost. The establishment of a normal relationship with God is entirely achievable with a heart that is quiet in God’s presence. Having a normal relationship with God means being able not to doubt and not to deny any of His work and being able to submit to His work. It means having correct intentions in God’s presence, not making plans for yourself, and considering the interests of God’s family first in all things; it means accepting God’s scrutiny and obeying God’s arrangements. You must be able to quiet your heart in God’s presence in all that you do. Even if you do not understand God’s will, you must still fulfill your duties and responsibilities to the best of your ability. Once God’s will has been revealed to you, act on it, and it will not be too late. When your relationship with God has become normal, then you will also have normal relationships with people. Everything is built on the foundation of God’s words. Eat and drink the words of God, then put God’s requirements into practice, correct your views, and avoid doing anything to resist God or disturb the church. Do nothing that does not benefit the lives of your brothers and sisters, say nothing that is unhelpful to others, and do nothing shameful. Be just and honorable in everything you do and ensure that your every action is presentable before God. Although the flesh may sometimes be weak, you must be able to put the interests of God’s family first, without greed for personal profit, and you must be able to act righteously. If you can practice in this way, then your relationship with God will be normal.
In everything you do, you must examine whether your intentions are correct. If you are able to act according to the requirements of God, then your relationship with God is normal. This is the minimum standard. Look into your intentions, and if you find that incorrect intentions have arisen, be able to turn your back on them and act according to the words of God; thus will you become someone who is right before God, which in turn demonstrates that your relationship with God is normal, and that all that you do is for God’s sake, not your own. In all you do and all you say, be able to set your heart right and be righteous in your actions, and do not be led by your emotions, nor act according to your own will. These are principles by which believers in God must conduct themselves. Small things can reveal a person’s intentions and stature, and so, for someone to enter onto the path of being made perfect by God, they must first rectify their intentions and their relationship with God. Only when your relationship with God is normal can you be made perfect by Him; only then can God’s dealing, pruning, discipline, and refinement achieve their intended effect in you. That is to say, if human beings are able to keep God in their hearts and do not pursue personal gain or give thought to their own prospects (in a fleshly sense), but instead bear the burden of entering life, do their best to pursue the truth, and submit to God’s work—if you can do this, then the goals you pursue will be correct, and your relationship with God will become normal. Making right one’s relationship with God can be called the first step of entry into one’s spiritual journey. Although man’s fate is in God’s hands and is predestined by God, and cannot be changed by man, whether you can be made perfect by God or be gained by Him depends on whether your relationship with God is normal. There may be parts of you that are weak or disobedient—but as long as your views and your intentions are correct, and as long as your relationship with God is right and normal, then you are qualified to be made perfect by God. If you do not have the right relationship with God, and act for the sake of the flesh or your family, then regardless of how hard you work, it will be for nothing. If your relationship with God is normal, then everything else will fall into place. God looks at nothing else, but only at whether your views in your belief in God are correct: whom you believe in, for whose sake you believe, and why you believe. If you are able to see these things clearly and practice with your views well disposed, then you will make progress in your life, and you will also be guaranteed entry onto the right track. If your relationship with God is not normal, and the views of your belief in God are deviant, then all else is in vain, and no matter how hard you believe, you will receive nothing. Only after your relationship with God becomes normal will you win praise from Him when you forsake the flesh, pray, suffer, endure, submit, help your brothers and sisters, expend more of yourself for God, and so on. Whether what you do has value and significance depends on whether your intentions are right and your views correct. Nowadays, many people believe in God as if they were tilting their heads to look at a clock—their perspectives are skewed, and they must be righted with a breakthrough. If this problem is resolved, everything will be fine; if not, everything will come to nothing. Some people behave well in My presence, but behind My back, all they do is resist Me. This is a manifestation of crookedness and deceitfulness, and this type of person is a servant of Satan; they are the typical embodiment of Satan, come to test God. You are only a correct person if you are able to submit to My work and My words. As long as you are able to eat and drink the words of God; as long as everything you do is presentable before God and you behave justly and honorably in all that you do; as long as you do not do shameful things, or things that would harm the lives of others; and as long as you live in the light and do not allow yourself to be exploited by Satan, then your relationship with God is in proper order.
Believing in God requires you to put your intentions and views in proper order; you must have a correct understanding of, and a correct way of treating, the words of God and God’s work, all the environments that God arranges, the man for whom God testifies, and the practical God. You must not practice according to your own ideas or devise your own petty schemes. Whatever you do, you must be able to seek the truth and, in your position as a created being, submit to all of God’s work. If you wish to pursue being perfected by God and enter upon the right track of life, then your heart must always live in God’s presence. Do not be dissolute, do not follow Satan, do not allow Satan any opportunities to carry out its work, and do not let Satan make use of you. You must give yourself to God completely and let God rule over you.
Are you willing to be Satan’s servant? Are you willing to be exploited by Satan? Do you believe in God and pursue Him so that you may be perfected by Him, or so that you may become a foil for God’s work? Would you prefer a meaningful life in which you are obtained by God, or a worthless and empty life? Would you prefer to be used by God, or exploited by Satan? Would you prefer to let God’s words and truth fill you, or let sin and Satan fill you? Consider these things carefully. In your daily life, you must understand which words you say and which things you do might cause abnormality in your relationship with God, and then rectify yourself to enter into the correct manner. At all times, examine your words, your actions, your each and every move, and all your thoughts and ideas. Gain a proper understanding of your real state and enter into the manner of the Holy Spirit’s work. This is the only way to have a normal relationship with God. By assessing whether your relationship with God is normal, you will be able to correct your intentions, understand the nature essence of man, and truly understand yourself, and, in doing so, you will be able to enter into real experiences, forsake yourself in a real way, and submit with intention. As you experience these matters concerning whether or not your relationship with God is normal, you will find opportunities to be perfected by God and become able to grasp many states of the Holy Spirit’s work. You will also be able to see through many of Satan’s tricks and penetrate its conspiracies. Only this path leads to being perfected by God. You put right your relationship with God, that you may submit to His arrangements in their entirety, and that you may enter even more deeply into real experience and receive even more of the Holy Spirit’s work. When you practice having a normal relationship with God, in most cases, success will be achieved by forsaking the flesh and through real cooperation with God. You should understand that “without a cooperative heart, it is difficult to receive the work of God; if the flesh does not suffer, there will be no blessings from God; if the spirit does not struggle, Satan will not be put to shame.” If you practice these principles and understand them thoroughly, the views of your belief in God will be put right. In your current practice, you must discard the mindset of “seeking bread to satisfy hunger”; you must discard the mindset of “everything is done by the Holy Spirit, and people are unable to intervene.” Everyone who says so thinks, “People can do whatever they want, and when the time comes, the Holy Spirit will do His work. People have no need to restrain the flesh or cooperate; all that matters is that they be moved by the Holy Spirit.” These opinions are all absurd. Under such circumstances, the Holy Spirit is unable to work. It is this kind of viewpoint that greatly hinders the work of the Holy Spirit. Often, the work of the Holy Spirit is attained through human cooperation. Those who do not cooperate and are not resolved, yet wish to achieve a change in their disposition and receive the work of the Holy Spirit and enlightenment and illumination from God, have extravagant thoughts indeed. This is called “indulging one’s self and pardoning Satan.” Such people do not have a normal relationship with God. You should find many revelations and manifestations of satanic disposition within yourself and find any practices you have that run contrary to what God now requires. Will you now be able to forsake Satan? You should attain a normal relationship with God, act in accordance with God’s intentions, and become a new person with a new life. Do not dwell on past transgressions; do not be unduly remorseful; be able to stand up and cooperate with God, and fulfill the duties that are yours to fulfill. In this way, your relationship with God will become normal.
If after reading this, you merely claim to accept these words, yet your heart remains unmoved, and you do not seek to make your relationship with God normal, it proves you do not attach importance to your relationship with God. It proves that your views have not yet been put right, that your intentions are not yet set on being gained by God and bringing glory to Him, but are set instead on allowing Satan’s conspiracies to prevail and achieving your own goals. Such people harbor wrong intentions and incorrect views. No matter what God says or how He says it, such people remain completely indifferent and are not in the least transformed. Their hearts feel no fear and they are unashamed. Such a person is a spiritless dolt. Read God’s every utterance and put them into practice as soon as you understand them. Perhaps there were occasions when your flesh was weak, or you were rebellious, or you resisted; regardless of how you behaved in the past, it is of little consequence, and it cannot hinder your life from maturing today. So long as you can have a normal relationship with God today, there is hope. If there is change in you every time you read God’s words, and others can tell your life has changed for the better, it shows that your relationship with God is now normal, that it has been put right. God does not treat people according to their transgressions. Once you have understood and become aware, as long as you can cease to rebel or resist, then God will still have mercy on you. When you have the understanding and the resolve to pursue being perfected by God, then your state in God’s presence will become normal. No matter what you are doing, consider the following when you are doing it: What will God think if I do this? Will it benefit my brothers and sisters? Will it be beneficial to the work in God’s house? Whether in prayer, fellowship, speech, work, or in contact with others, examine your intentions, and check if your relationship with God is normal. If you cannot discern your own intentions and thoughts, this means you lack discrimination, which proves that you understand too little of the truth. If you are able to understand clearly everything God does, and can perceive things through the lens of His words, standing on His side, then your views will have become correct. Therefore, establishing a good relationship with God is of the utmost importance to anyone who believes in God; everyone should regard it as a task of paramount importance and the biggest event in their life. Everything you do is measured by whether you have a normal relationship with God. If your relationship with God is normal and your intentions are correct, then act. To maintain a normal relationship with God, you must not be afraid of suffering losses to your personal interests; you cannot allow Satan to prevail, you cannot allow Satan to gain a purchase on you, and you cannot allow Satan to make you a laughing stock. Having such intentions is a sign that your relationship with God is normal—not for the sake of the flesh, but rather for peace of spirit, for gaining the work of the Holy Spirit, and for satisfying the will of God. To enter the right state, you must establish a good relationship with God and put right the views of your belief in God. This is so that God may gain you, and so that He may manifest the fruits of His words in you and enlighten and illuminate you even further. In this way, you will have entered into the right manner. Continue eating and drinking God’s words of today, enter into the Holy Spirit’s current manner of working, act according to God’s demands of today, do not observe old-fashioned methods of practice, do not cling to old ways of doing things, and enter into today’s manner of working as soon as possible. Thus, your relationship with God will become completely normal and you will have embarked on the right track of belief in God.
from The Word Appears in the Flesh
Right now, the path taken by the Holy Spirit is the current words of God. As such, if people are to set foot upon the path of the Holy Spirit, they must obey, and eat and drink, the current words of God incarnate. The work He does is the work of words; everything begins from His words, and all is built upon His words, upon His current words. Whether being certain about the incarnate God, or knowing the incarnate God, each requires spending more effort on His words. If not, people can accomplish nothing and will be left with nothing. Only by building upon the foundation of eating and drinking God’s words, and thereby coming to know Him and to satisfy Him, can people gradually build a normal relationship with God. For man, there is no better cooperation with God than eating and drinking His words and putting them into practice. Through such practice they are best able to stand firm in their testimony of God’s people. When people understand and are able to obey the essence of God’s current words, they live on the path of being guided by the Holy Spirit, and have set foot on the right track of God’s perfection of man. Previously, people could gain God’s work simply by seeking God’s grace, or by seeking peace and joy, but things are different now. Without the words of the incarnate God, without the reality of His words, people cannot gain God’s approval and will all be eliminated by God. To achieve a normal spiritual life, people should first eat and drink God’s words and put them into practice, and then, upon this foundation, establish a normal relationship with God.
Excerpted from “People Whose Dispositions Have Changed Are Those Who Have Entered Into the Reality of God’s Words” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The way that people believe in God, love God, and satisfy God is by touching the Spirit of God with their heart and thereby obtaining His satisfaction, and by using their heart to engage with God’s words and thus being moved by the Spirit of God. If you wish to achieve a normal spiritual life and establish a normal relationship with God, then you must first give your heart to Him. Only after you have quieted your heart before Him and poured your whole heart into Him will you gradually be able to develop a normal spiritual life. If in people’s belief in God, they do not give their heart to Him and if their heart is not in Him and they do not treat His burden as their own, then everything they do is an act of cheating God, an act typical of religious people, and cannot receive God’s praise. God cannot gain anything from this kind of person; this kind of person can only serve as a foil to God’s work, like a decoration in the house of God, something superfluous and useless. God does not make use of this kind of person. In such a person, not only is there no opportunity for the work of the Holy Spirit, there is not even any value in their being perfected. This type of person is, in truth, a walking corpse. Such people have nothing that can be used by the Holy Spirit, but on the contrary, all of them have been appropriated and deeply corrupted by Satan. God will weed these people out. Currently, in making use of people the Holy Spirit not only employs those parts of them that are desirable in order to get things done, He also perfects and changes their undesirable parts. If your heart can be poured into God and remain quiet before Him, then you will have the opportunity and the qualifications to be used by the Holy Spirit, to receive the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit, and even more, you will have the opportunity for the Holy Spirit to make good your shortcomings. When you give your heart to God, on the positive side, you can attain deeper entry and attain a higher plane of insight; on the negative side, you will have more understanding of your own faults and shortcomings, you will be more eager to seek to satisfy God’s will, and you will not be passive, but will actively enter in. Thus, you will become a correct person. Assuming your heart is able to remain quiet before God, the key to whether or not you receive praise from the Holy Spirit, and whether or not you please God, is whether you can actively enter in. When the Holy Spirit enlightens a person and makes use of them, it never makes them negative but always makes them actively progress. Even though this person has weaknesses, they can avoid basing the way they live their lives on those weaknesses. They can avoid delaying growth in their life, and continue to seek to satisfy God’s will. This is a standard. If you can attain this, it is sufficient proof that you have obtained the presence of the Holy Spirit. If a person is always negative, and if, even after receiving enlightenment and coming to know themselves, they remain negative and passive and unable to stand up and act in concert with God, then this type of person just receives the grace of God, but the Holy Spirit is not with them. When a person is negative, this means that their heart has not turned to God and their spirit has not been moved by God’s Spirit. This should be understood by all.
Excerpted from “It Is Very Important to Establish a Normal Relationship With God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
If you want to have a normal relationship with God, then your heart must turn to God. With this as a foundation, you will also have a normal relationship with other people. If you do not have a normal relationship with God, then no matter what you do to maintain your relationships with other people, no matter how hard you work or how much energy you exert, it will all just pertain to a human philosophy for living. You are maintaining your position among people through a human perspective and a human philosophy so that people will praise you, but you are not following the word of God to establish normal relationships with people. If you do not focus on your relationships with people but maintain a normal relationship with God, if you are willing to give your heart to God and learn to obey Him, then naturally your relationships with all people will become normal. This way, these relationships are not established in the flesh, but on the foundation of God’s love. There are almost no fleshly interactions, but in the spirit there is fellowship, mutual love, mutual comfort, and provision for one another. This is all done on the foundation of a heart that satisfies God. These relationships are not maintained by relying on a human philosophy for living, but are formed very naturally through carrying a burden for God. It does not require man-made effort. You need only practice according to God’s word principle. Are you willing to be considerate of the will of God? Are you willing to be a person who is “without reason” before God? Are you willing to completely give your heart to God and to disregard your position among people? Of all the people you have contact with, with whom do you have the best relationships? With whom do you have the worst relationships? Are your relationships with people normal? Do you treat all people equally? Are your relationships with others maintained according to your philosophy for living, or are they built on the foundation of God’s love? When a person does not give their heart to God, then their spirit becomes obtuse, numb and unconscious. This kind of person will never understand God’s words and will never have a normal relationship with God; this kind of person’s disposition will never be changed. Changing one’s disposition is the process of giving one’s heart completely to God, and of receiving enlightenment and illumination from the words of God. God’s work can allow a person to actively enter in, as well as enable them to purge their negative aspects after gaining knowledge about them. When you reach the point of giving your heart to God, then you will be able to perceive every subtle movement within your spirit, and you will know every enlightenment and illumination received from God. Hold onto this, and you will gradually enter into the path of being perfected by the Holy Spirit. The quieter your heart can be before God, the more sensitive and delicate your spirit will be and the more your spirit will be able to perceive how the Holy Spirit moves it, and then your relationship with God will become ever more normal. A normal relationship between people is established on the foundation of giving their hearts to God, and not through human effort. Without God in their hearts, interpersonal relationships between people are merely relationships of the flesh. They are not normal, but rather, are an abandonment to lust. They are relationships that God detests, that He loathes. If you say that your spirit has been moved, but you always want to have fellowship with people who you like, with whomever you think highly of, and if another person is seeking but you do not like them, even hold a bias against them and will not engage with them, this is more proof that you are subject to your emotions and you do not have a normal relationship with God at all. You are attempting to deceive God and cover up your own ugliness. Even if you can share some understanding yet you carry wrong intentions, then everything you do is good only by human standards. God will not praise you—you are acting according to the flesh, not according to God’s burden. If you are able to quiet your heart in front of God and have normal interactions with all those who love God, only then are you fit for God’s use. This way, no matter how you associate with others, it will not be according to a philosophy for living, but it will be before God, living in a way that is considerate of His burden. How many people like this are there amongst you? Are your relationships with others really normal? On what foundation are they built? How many philosophies for living are there within you? Have they been cast off? If your heart cannot completely turn to God, then you are not of God—you come from Satan, and you will be returned to Satan in the end. You are not worthy of being one of God’s people. All of this requires your careful consideration.
Excerpted from “It Is Very Important to Establish a Normal Relationship With God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh