You Ought to Live for the Truth Since You Believe in God
The common problem that exists in all people is that they understand the truth but fail to put it into practice. This is because, on the one hand, they are unwilling to pay the price, and on the other, because their discernment is too inadequate; they are unable to see many of the difficulties of everyday lives for what they are, and do not know how to practice properly. Because people’s experiences are too shallow, their caliber too poor, and the degree to which they understand the truth limited, they have no way of resolving the difficulties they encounter in their everyday lives. They believe in God in word only, and are incapable of bringing God into their everyday lives. That is to say, God is God, life is life, and it is as if people have no relationship with God in their lives. That is what everyone thinks. Believing in God thus, people will not, in reality, be gained and perfected by Him. In fact, it is not that the word of God has not found complete expression, but rather that people’s ability to receive His word is simply too inadequate. One could say that almost no one acts according to God’s original intentions; rather, their faith in God is according to their own intentions, the religious notions they held in the past, and their own way of doing things. Few are those who undergo a transformation following the acceptance of God’s word and begin to act in accordance with His will. Instead, they persist in their mistaken beliefs. When people begin to believe in God, they do so based on the conventional rules of religion, and they live and interact with others entirely on the basis of their own philosophy for living. One could say that this is the case for nine out of every ten people. There are very few who formulate another plan and turn over a new leaf after beginning to believe in God. Humanity has failed to regard the word of God as truth, or, taking it as truth, to put it into practice.
Take, for instance, faith in Jesus. Whether someone had just started to believe or had done so for a very long time, all simply put to use whatever talents they had and demonstrated whatever skills they possessed. People simply added “faith in God,” these three words, into their usual lives, yet made no changes to their disposition, and their faith in God did not grow in the slightest. Their pursuit was neither hot nor cold. They did not say that they would give up on their faith, but neither did they consecrate all to God. They had never truly loved God or obeyed Him. Their faith in God was a mixture of the genuine and the counterfeit, they approached it with one eye open and one eye shut, and were not earnest in practicing their faith. They continued in such a state of befuddlement, and ultimately died a muddled death. What is the point of all that? Today, to believe in the practical God, you must set foot on the right track. If you believe in God, you should not only seek blessings, but to love God and know God. Through His enlightenment, through your own individual seeking, you can eat and drink His word, develop a real understanding of God, and have a real love of God that comes from your inmost heart. In other words, when your love for God is most genuine, and no one can destroy or stand in the way of your love for Him, at this time you are on the right track in your belief in God. This proves that you belong to God, for your heart is already in God’s possession and nothing else can then take possession of you. Through your experience, through the price you have paid, and through the work of God, you are able to develop an unbidden love for God—and when you do, you will become free from the influence of Satan and will come to live in the light of God’s word. Only when you have broken free from the influence of darkness can you be said to have gained God. In your belief in God, you must try to seek this goal. This is the duty of each of you. None of you should be satisfied with the current state of affairs. You cannot be of two minds toward the work of God, nor can you regard it lightly. You should think of God in all respects and at all times, and do all things for His sake. And whenever you speak or act, you should place the interests of the house of God first. Only thus can you be after God’s heart.
In their faith in God, people’s greatest fault is that they believe in word only, and God is utterly absent from their everyday lives. All people, indeed, believe in the existence of God, yet God is not a part of their everyday lives. People’s mouths speak many prayers to God, but God has little place in their hearts, and so God tries them again and again. It is because people are impure that God has no alternative but to try them, so that they may feel ashamed and come to know themselves in the midst of these trials. If not, humanity would turn into the descendants of the archangel, and become increasingly corrupt. In the process of their faith in God, each person casts off many of their personal intentions and objectives under God’s ceaseless cleansing. If not, God would have no way of using anyone, and no way of doing in people the work that He ought. God first cleanses people, and through this process, they may come to know themselves and God may change them. Only then does God work His life into them, and only thus can their hearts be fully turned to God. And so I say, believing in God is not as simple as people say. As God sees it, if you only have knowledge but do not have His word as life, and if you are limited only to your own knowledge but cannot practice the truth or live out the word of God, then this is proof still that you do not have a heart that loves God, and it shows that your heart does not belong to God. One can come to know God by believing in Him: This is the final goal, and the goal of man’s pursuit. You must put effort into living out the words of God so that they may come to fruition in your practice. If you have only doctrinal knowledge, then your faith in God will come to naught. Only if you then also practice and live out His word can your faith be considered complete and in accord with God’s will. On this road, many people can speak of much knowledge, but at their time of death, their eyes brim with tears, and they hate themselves for having wasted a lifetime and lived to a ripe old age for naught. They merely understand doctrines, but cannot put the truth into practice or bear witness to God; instead, they simply run hither and thither, busy as a bee, and only on the brink of death do they finally see that they lack true testimony, that they do not know God at all. And is this not too late? Why do you not seize the day and pursue the truth that you love? Why wait until tomorrow? If in life you do not suffer for the truth or seek to gain it, can it be that you wish to feel regret in your dying hour? If so, then why believe in God? In truth, there are many matters in which people, if they put in just the slightest exertion, can put the truth into practice and thereby satisfy God. It is only because people’s hearts are ever possessed by demons that they cannot act for the sake of God, and constantly rush about for the sake of their flesh, with nothing to show for it in the end. For this reason, people are constantly afflicted by troubles and difficulties. Are these not the torments of Satan? Is this not the corruption of the flesh? You should not try to fool God by flapping your lips. Rather, you must take tangible action. Do not deceive yourself—what would be the point of that? What can you gain by living for the sake of your flesh and struggling for profit and fame?