Xiyue Jinan City, Shandong Province
Although at present, we all say that since we believe in God, we should live for the truth and for satisfying God and testifying God, and we are also all eager to bear a strong and resounding testimony for God in the future great trials, nevertheless, we do not pay attention to our practice and entering in in the real life. In everything we encounter daily or in cooperating in any work of God’s family, we are careless and incautious and often act according to our own will, not paying attention to seeking God’s will, not pursuing to know God, and much less having the willingness to practice rebelling against the flesh to satisfy God in everything. In this case, what we say that we will bear a good testimony for God in the great trials will become an empty word without reality.
The very reason why we live in such a state is that we only know we should bear a strong and resounding testimony for God in the future great trials but do not know how to achieve such a result. To deal with this, let us first read a passage from The Fellowship of the Man: “Job could manifest a true faith when he encountered the trials because he could truly worship God at ordinary times and had long since possessed the true faith. Abraham offered up Isaac because he had long since known God’s almightiness, known that God can call into being that which does not exist and make that which exists disappear, and he had a true faith in God. Peter could have himself crucified upside down for God because he had seen God’s true love for mankind and he had true knowledge of God. So, their testimonies were all true and were entirely based on their true knowledge of God; without having had true knowledge of God, they could by no means have had the true testimonies. A true testimony can fully represent the degree of a person’s true knowledge of God. The degree of the knowledge a person has of God determines the degree of the testimony he has; the level of the knowledge a person has of God determines the level of the testimony he has. It is no use sharpening one’s spear only before going into battle. As the saying goes, ‘an idle youth, a needy age.’” From these words, we can see that without having true knowledge of God, one can by no means bear a true testimony for God, and that some people could bear good testimonies for God all based on their having true knowledge of God. The reason why Job did not utter complaints but manifested a true faith in the trials was because he worshipped God and had a heart of fearing God at ordinary times and he had long since known that to receive blessings or to suffer calamities is permitted by God and that whatever God does is right and righteous; thus he stood the testimony for God in the trials. The reason why Abraham could be called the father of faith and could offer his beloved son to Jehovah was because he had already had the true knowledge of God’s ruling over everything and God’s almighty substance; thus he bore a testimony of obeying God. Again, the reason why Peter could bear a testimony of loving God to the utmost—having himself crucified upside down for God was because he paid attention to knowing God’s substance and God’s disposition from the work and word of Jesus at ordinary times, and thus he came to know that Christ is the truth, the way, and the life and saw that whatever God’s disposition expresses is love for man. It was because he had had true knowledge of God and seen that God had so many lovely aspects that he loved God spontaneously and eventually bore the highest testimony of loving God and became an exemplar for us to imitate. From these examples, we can see that how resounding the testimony one bears is has to do with his pursuit at ordinary times and with the degree of his true knowledge of God, and that the deeper he knows God, the truer and more resounding the testimony he bears is. So, to bear a good and resounding testimony for God in the future great trials, we cannot attain it by just thinking and talking about it; rather, we need to pay attention to pursuing the truth and pursuing to know God at ordinary times so that we can attain it by gradually having true knowledge of God.
However, we fail to realize this aspect. We simply dream of bearing testimony for God in the future but neglect to pursue the truth and pursue to know God at ordinary times. Therefore, when the people, matters, or things that do not fit our notions come, we lose the testimony time and time again, thus leaving behind so much regret and remorse. For example, when God’s family required us to select those who have the sense of justice, pursue the truth, and have the abilities for work as leaders, we did not realize that since God’s family made such a requirement, there must be such qualified persons in the churches, for God had long since predestined them; nor did we realize that whatever God requires of us is practical and realistic and we can meet it by a small effort, and that as long as we cooperate with God by faith, we will see God’s deeds. In this work, because we lived in our imagination and circumscription, neither seeking the truth nor pursuing to know God, and we had no faith, always thinking that the standard required by the above was so high that it would not be easy for us to find such qualified persons, therefore we did not truly cater to the requirement within so that this work could not be carried out properly even after so much delay and it failed to produce the due result. And we lost the testimony. For another example, some time ago, the works, such as making adjustments in the use of leaders, clearing up the churches, writing the articles on the knowledge about the seven examining questions, and so on, were assigned to us one after another. Facing these pressing works, we poured out endless grievances, complaining of difficulties and fatigue, and we did not realize that this was a special training God gave us through these special backgrounds and circumstances, as God hoped that we could shoulder the important tasks committed by God’s family soon, and that it was God’s special grace to us and uplifting of us. Because we did not understand God’s kind intention nor discover God’s lovely aspects from it, we were always passive and resistant, unwilling to cooperate with our all-out efforts. Thus, we lost the testimony once again. All these make us deeply realize this: If one does not pursue the truth and does not pursue to know God at ordinary times, he will have no testimony when encountering things. Because he does not know God, he can only live in his notions and imaginations and can only live according to satan’s viewpoints, he will do things that resist God and rebel against God at any time, and in the future trials he will not be able to stand at all, to say nothing of bearing a strong and resounding testimony. Eventually he will only fail in believing in God.
To bear a strong and resounding testimony for God in the future trials, we need to pay attention to practicing the truth in the practical life to satisfy God. Only by doing so can we build a good foundation for the future trials. It is just as God’s word says: “The future things you cannot see clearly; all you can do is to satisfy God in the present situation. And you cannot do any great work; you should pay attention to experiencing God’s word in your practical life to satisfy God and bear a strong and resounding testimony, putting satan to shame. Although your flesh is not satisfied and undergoes suffering, you have satisfied God and put satan to shame. If you always practice this way, God will make a way out for you ahead. One day when great trials come, even if others all fall, you will still be able to stand; because of your price, God will keep you standing, not falling. If at ordinary times you can practice the truth and satisfy God with a heart of truly loving God, God will surely keep you in the future trials. Although you are ignorant, small in stature, and poor in qualities, God will not treat you unfairly. This depends on whether your intent is right. If now you can satisfy God, not letting go even in small things but satisfying God in everything, have a heart of truly loving God, and offer up your true heart to God … and do everything for the sake of satisfying God … if you always practice like this, you will be kept when great trials come.” “So, if you want to be able to stand, better satisfy God, and follow God to the end in the future, you must lay a good foundation now, practicing the truth in everything to satisfy God and care for God’s will. If you always practice this way, you will have a foundation within, and God will stir up your love for him and give you faith. One day when trials truly come, you may undergo some sufferings, be sorrowful to a degree, and experience extreme grief, as if you were dead, but your love for God will not change and will even deepen. That will be God’s blessing. If now you can accept all that God says and does with an obedient heart, God will surely bless you. Then you will be one who inherits God’s blessings and promises. But if now you do not practice like this, one day when trials come, your love will be gone, and your faith will be gone. At that time, the trials will become temptations, and you will fall into satan’s temptations and will not be able to break free from them. Now when you encounter small trials, you may still be able to stand. One day when great trials come, you may not be able to stand.” From these words we can see that if we want to follow God to the end and bear a good testimony for God in the future trials, we have to pay attention to practicing the truth in the real life, and in everything we encounter, we should rebel against our flesh to satisfy God and requite God’s love with a heart of truly loving God. Only by doing so will we receive God’s care and keeping and have the faith and stature to stand the testimony in the trials. Just take Peter as an example. He could have himself crucified upside down for God in the end and thus bore a perfect and resounding testimony; this was not achieved in a short time. It had to do with his experience at ordinary times directly. He required himself to satisfy God’s heart even in the little small things in his life. He did not let go of any of his old disposition and always strictly required himself to be able to enter deeper in the truth. If he failed to satisfy God’s heart in any way in his life, he would feel no peace, and if he failed to satisfy God’s heart, he would feel remorse and then find a proper way to try to satisfy God. Peter’s such practices laid a solid foundation for his future testimony and eventually produced abundant fruit. If we can seek the truth and touch God’s will in everything and do everything with a heart of loving God and satisfying God as Peter did, then our heart will gradually be occupied by God, and we will be able to do things according to God’s word. When encountering major matters of principle, we will naturally be able to practice the truth to satisfy God and bear a good testimony.
But our actual state is this: We pay no attention to exercising or entering in in the practical life and disregard the people, matters, and things we encounter every day, feeling that they are all unimportant small things. Therefore in the real life, we often give in to ourselves, act according to our own will, and pay no attention to seeking the truth to satisfy God in everything we encounter, and we even often disobey and cheat God and yet think it nothing serious. As we pursue like this, “our wish to bear a great testimony for God in the future” will only be a fantasy and a pipe dream. Actually, everything we encounter in the real life is arranged by God for perfecting and gaining us. Outwardly, it is a small thing, but behind it there is a war in the spiritual realm, and we are required to stand the testimony for God. If we truly have knowledge of this and can stand on God’s side and pursue to rebel against our flesh and practice the truth to satisfy God when encountering everything, then God will surely bless us and we will receive more revelation and leading of the Holy Spirit and have an increasingly close relationship with God, and God will also keep us standing in the trials. On the contrary, if we, at ordinary times, do not pursue to satisfy God and do not pay attention to practicing the truth and rebelling against our flesh in the small things we encounter, but always think about our own interests in everything and covet and enjoy fleshly ease and comfort, then we will rebel against God and lose the testimony at a crucial moment. Take a sister as an example. At ordinary times, she paid too much attention to her fleshly enjoyment and coveted fleshly ease and comfort, but paid no attention to rebelling against her flesh and practicing the truth. When God’s family assigned her to a comparatively difficult environment to do an important work, she even ran away from her post because she could not get enjoyment for her flesh, with the result that the interests of God’s family suffered great losses and so did the life of the brothers and sisters. Besides, we have also seen that some people around us fell unknowingly in certain trials or refining though they had believed in God for many years and followed God zealously in the beginning. We may give it a serious thought: Didn’t they want to follow God to the end and stand the testimony for God at first either? But why did they fall and lose the testimony before the great trials come? Wasn’t it because they neglected to rebel against their flesh and practice the truth in everything at ordinary times and paid no attention to pursuing to satisfy God in everything they encountered? From this it can be seen that the circumstances and the things not fitting our notions we encounter every day are all very crucial to us, and we need to seriously face them, make choices, and take sides, and need to practice the truth and enter into the reality of God’s word in them. Only if we pay attention to practicing the truth to satisfy God at ordinary times will we be able to receive God’s care and keeping and stand the testimony when the future trials come.
Therefore, we should not just dream of how to bear testimony for God in the future while neglecting our practice and entering in in the real life. We should pay attention to seeking God’s will and pursuing to have the true knowledge of God in everything. Besides, in everything we encounter, we should act with a heart of loving God and satisfying God and should practice the truth and rebel against our flesh. Only by doing so will we be able to bear a strong and resounding testimony for God in the future trials.