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17 We Should Pay Attention to Seeking God’s Intention

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17 We Should Pay Attention to Seeking God’s Intention

Fenjin    Lanzhou City, Gansu Province

Seeking God’s intention in everything is God’s requirement for each of us and is even more a requirement everyone who serves God has to meet. However, most of us have little entering in in this aspect. No matter whether we eat and drink God’s word, perform duties, carry out the work arrangements, or encounter difficulties, we all act in whatever way we like and do not seek God’s will at all. Sometimes even though we seek, we do it as a mere formality. For example, when we eat and drink God’s word, though we also pray before God, we do not have a thirsty and seeking heart and merely read unconcernedly with our brains and qualities, contenting ourselves with understanding the literal meaning and the general idea of it. When we perform our duties, we act according to our nature most of the time and seldom seek and ponder: What should I do to perform my duty properly? What should I do to avoid perfunctoriness and satisfy God? When we carry out the work arrangements from above, we are not serious about seeking the intention of the above, or seeking what results the arrangements are to achieve and what principles we should grasp, but we usually just read to get a general idea of them and then arrange and carry them out according to our own understanding. When we encounter difficulties in doing the work, we do not come before God to seek his intention and the principles of doing things, but often handle them arbitrarily according to our own will and preferences. And so on.

Our paying no attention to seeking God’s will in everything is directly related to our arrogant and self-conceited nature. Directed by our arrogant nature, we exalt ourselves and have no regard for God. At any time, we consider ourselves the chiefs and make our own decisions. We put God aside and do everything arbitrarily according to our own will and preferences, as if we were capable of everything and were able to do everything. We are unwilling to submit under God’s dominion, obey God’s manipulation, or act according to God’s requirements at all. Because of our arrogant and self-conceited nature, though we also “perform our duties” actively, we do them by our good intentions, zealousness, and subjective efforts rather than after seeking God’s intention and understanding God’s requirements. Because of our arrogant and self-conceited nature, we tend to do the work with our brains, qualities, abilities, and the experience we have summed up over many years, and think that everything we do is right, is in conformity with the truth, and is without any deviations. As a result, we never seek God’s will when doing things, nor do we do them to the best of our abilities to satisfy God’s desire. Because of our arrogant and self-conceited nature, we are unwilling to seek God’s will and act according to God’s requirements but always follow our own nature and act in whatever way we like. Little do we realize that actually all these that we do have nothing to do with the truth, and that we are disobeying and resisting God and are doing our own work and engaging in our own management. We can say that, though we believe in God, we have no place for God in our hearts, nor do we have reverence for or obedience to God. We only pay attention to satisfying God and ingratiating ourselves with God with practices, but have never had the belief of “seeking God’s intention in everything to satisfy God and be in conformity with the truth.” Thus, our outward practices, however good, are condemned by God.

Another reason for our paying no attention to seeking God’s intention is that we do not understand the importance of seeking God’s intention. In the man’s fellowship attached to Christ’s Talks with Church Leaders and Workers, it says: “To seek God’s will is to understand the substance of God’s word. In other words, understanding the truth is achieved by seeking God’s will. If one does not seek God’s will in God’s word but only understands the words literally and knows doctrines, it is too superficial. … Only by seeking God’s will can one understand the truth and receive life.” “Sensing God’s intention and seeking God’s will is the pathway to pursue to know God. To pursue learning to sense God’s intention and seek God’s will in God’s work and in everything is most after God’s heart, and is a shortcut to gaining the truth and entering into life. Whoever loves the truth has to pursue in this way to come to know God. Whoever treats practicing the truth seriously especially should learn to sense God’s intention and seek God’s will. Actually, one must understand God’s will to practice the truth accurately. Seeking God’s will is the prerequisite for practicing the truth. One cannot practice the truth without seeking God’s will. One who serves God must learn to sense God’s intention. If he does not understand God’s intention, he will inevitably frustrate and rebel against God’s work and do things of resisting God. There are so many workers who have been eliminated because of violating the work arrangements from above and acting their own way, doing things contrary to God’s intention.” From these words we see that, if we want to understand the truth, touch the substance of God’s word, and gain knowledge of God, we must seek the truth and seek God’s will. Only if we seek God can we understand the meaning of the truth in God’s word, sense God’s intention, and do things by principles and in conformity with the truth. Only if we seek God can we understand the purpose of each work arrangement from above and the results to be achieved, and act accurately according to God’s intention. Only if we seek God can we, in performing our duties, understand God’s intention, understand the principles of God’s doing things, receive the Holy Spirit’s working, receive revelation and guidance from the Holy Spirit, and thus achieve good results in doing the work. Only if we seek God can we see in God’s work more of God’s deeds, God’s almightiness, wisdom, and wonder, and see God’s true image. Only if we seek God can we understand God’s intention and obey God in the matters that we encounter and that are not in conformity with our notions, and know from them our deficiencies and our disobedience and resistance. Only if we seek God can we understand God’s intention in various circumstances, discern satan’s temptations and schemes, and overcome satan’s temptations and uphold testimony. Only if we seek God can we understand what God is pleased with, what God hates, what kind of people God saves, and what kind of people God eliminates. Only then can our service be according to God’s heart’s desire. Therefore, it is very important to seek God’s will in everything. Seeking God’s will is not only the prerequisite for our practicing the truth but also the shortcut to our gaining the truth and entering into reality. The more we seek God in everything, the more God will inspire and bless us, so that we can understand and gain more truths, receive God’s leading and guidance in performing our duties and have ways to go forward in practice, and understand God’s intention and have God’s care and keeping with us in the various trials and refining we encounter. In a word, as long as we pay attention to seeking God’s will in everything, we will receive God’s revelation and blessing, and all our deficiencies will be made up and perfected by God. As God says: “Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness and who seek with a sincere heart, I will enlighten and inspire. …so that you will have ways to go forward, get rid of the corrupt old disposition as soon as possible, and be matured in life and be fit for me to use….” “Whoever seeks me with a sincere heart will have new light, new revelation, and new seeing. Each and every thing is new. My words will appear to you at any time and open your spiritual eyes….” On the contrary, if we do not seek God, we will never understand the real meaning of the truth, and will only live in letters and doctrines and thus be more and more arrogant and more and more resistant to God. If we do not seek God, we will not understand God’s intention or know how to practice when encountering things, and will only observe some regulations and will not act according to God’s intention. If we do not seek God, we will have no knowledge of God and will only disobey and resist God, and even less will we gain the truth and the way and the life from God. If we do not pay attention to seeking God’s will and sensing God’s intention, we will have no true obedience. If we do not seek God, we will not understand God’s intention in the various circumstances we encounter, will not learn the lessons we should learn, and will only misunderstand God and complain against God, being fooled by satan and failing to uphold testimony. If we do not seek God, we will frustrate God’s work in our service and do things of seriously resisting God, thus losing the chance to serve God. If we believe in God yet do not seek God, it proves that we have no place for God in our hearts and have no reverence for God. Such belief as ours has nothing to do with God, will never be commended by God, and will thus lose its meaning. Therefore, it is very important to seek God in everything.

The more we pay attention to seeking God, the more quickly we will grow in life; our relationship with God will be more and more normal, and our performances in our duties will be more and more after God’s heart. By contrast, those who pay no attention to seeking God will not grow in life, will not gain revelation in eating and drinking God’s word, and will not achieve results in the duties they perform. Each of us has more or less tasted this in our experience. We can make a comparison: When we eat and drink God’s words, if we have a thirsty and seeking heart, we will receive revelation and enlightenment from the Holy Spirit and understand God’s intention and the actual meaning of those words, and also be able to relate them to our actual states and know how to practice to satisfy God in our practical life. If we do not have a heart that seeks God, when eating and drinking God’s words, we will only understand the literal meaning of those words and equip us with some doctrines to enrich ourselves. We will in no way touch the real meaning of God’s words and will be unlikely to have a true knowledge of God and of ourselves. Thus, our life entering will come to a standstill. When we perform duties, if we pay attention to seeking God’s will, we will receive revelation and guidance from the Holy Spirit and feel clear and brightened up within about how to perform duties and what principles to grasp. Then, we will have fewer intentions of our own and less perfunctoriness in performing our duties, our relationship with God will be closer, and the results we achieve in our duties will be better and better. If we do not seek God’s will, we will perform our duties according to our own will and preferences and by our own abilities and qualities, and will feel that we are capable of this and that. Then, without our knowing it, we will frustrate the work of God’s family and thus be loathed and hated by God. When we carry out a work arrangement, if we seek God’s will, we will understand God’s intention and know why the above makes this arrangement, what results are to be achieved, what the requirements for us are, and how we should cooperate so as to act accurately according to God’s intention. If we do not seek, we will only work according to our own will and imaginations, frustrate and disturb the work of God’s family, and cause losses to the work. Take, for example, the work of selecting leaders. If we seek God’s will, we will see how important it is to select the leaders properly. Only if the leaders are selected properly can the brothers and sisters be led into the reality of God’s word, so that the true way can take root in them and they will not fall in various trials and tribulations or be deceived by false christs and antichrists. If we see this, we will do our best to cooperate with God in the reality and select the leaders properly according to the requirements from above. If we do not seek God’s intention, we will select the leaders according to our own will and preferences and are likely to select those who are crafty, who try never to offend anybody, or who have the working of evil spirits, thus causing the church work and the life of the brothers and sisters to suffer loss. When we encounter difficulties, if we seek God’s intention, we will understand that all the circumstances are under God’s manipulation and that God uses the circumstances around us to perfect us. As long as we have faith and do our best to cooperate with God, he will lead us out of the difficulties. Then, we will not be passive or weak in the difficulties. If we do not seek God, we will lose faith in God in the circumstances we encounter, live in a passive state, and will even be in danger of forsaking God. For example, when a false christ appears in the church to deceive people, if we come before God and seek, we will understand God’s intention and see that God has arranged all this for us to train and perfect us, so that we can gain insight and discernment in this spiritual warfare, see through satan’s schemes, see God’s wisdom and almightiness, and also see that we lack too many truths, having no knowledge of God, and thereby be impelled to spend effort on God’s word, the truths. If we do not seek God, we will be passive, utter complaints, and even throw up our duties and forsake God when encountering such circumstances. Then, we will lose the testimony and become a laughingstock of satan. These show us that the results of seeking God’s intention in doing things are entirely different from those of not seeking God but doing things according to our own will. If we pay attention to seeking God’s will in everything, what we do will be more and more in conformity with the truth and God’s intention, and eventually we will be perfected and commended by God as Peter did. If we do not seek God’s will, we will have no truth and principles in doing things, and will only follow our nature and act arbitrarily. Then, all that we do is resistant to God and is condemned by God, and in the end we will fall into God’s punishment as Paul did.

Now that it is so important to seek God’s will, how should we enter into seeking God’s intention? In the man’s fellowship attached to Christ’s Talks with Church Leaders and Workers, it says: “How to seek God’s will? There is a way of doing it. You should investigate and ponder it in God’s word from various aspects. Put together the words regarding one aspect of the truth and read them carefully, then you will be relatively clear about it. Some matters are stated clearly in God’s word and are relatively easy to be clear about. Some are not pointed out directly, and this then requires you to sense God’s will through understanding the deep meaning of God’s word. … You can sense God’s will by investigating and deliberating on every sentence of God’s word, the tone of God’s word, God’s requirements for man, and the results God’s work is going to achieve.” “To seek God’s will is mainly to seek the revelation and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit and find out the exact meaning of God in his word. This is the only pathway to seeking the truth. You absolutely should seek more of the substance of the truth in God’s word. All effort should be spent on God’s word. Sometimes your own knowledge is not necessarily accurate. So it is necessary for you to seek and fellowship more to get the verification so that you will not deviate in your practice because of your erroneous understanding.” From these words we see that to seek God’s will is mainly to spend more effort on God’s word. We should put together the words regarding one aspect of the truth to eat and drink, and when eating and drinking, we should, from every sentence of God’s word, the tone of God’s word, and God’s requirements for man, seek God’s will and sense God’s intention: Why does God speak in this way? Why does God use that tone? What are God’s requirements for man? What results are to be achieved in man? How should we cooperate to meet God’s requirements? If we seek this way, we will have a fairly comprehensive and accurate knowledge of this aspect of the truth and will also have ways to practice. Then, we can understand God’s intention in the things we encounter in the real life and know how to practice to satisfy God. For example, when we eat and drink the truth concerning loving God, we put together the words regarding this aspect, eat and drink them seriously and carefully, and pay attention to pondering what is loving God, what the manifestations of loving God are, and what standards man should reach in loving God so as to be after God’s heart. By seeking, we understand that to love God is to have God alone in our hearts, never to love anyone else, to choose God in everything that happens and not to be occupied by anything else. Love for God should be pure, unblemished, without conditions and demands, and completely spontaneous. It is not to love with the lips but to love with the heart and to feel and care with the heart. It is like Peter’s love for God. When we have true knowledge of the truth concerning loving God, we will be able to understand God’s intention, give up what we care for, and choose to satisfy God when we have to make a choice between our family and God and between our personal interests and God in our practical life. Therefore, as long as we spend more effort on God’s word and often seek and ponder God’s intention, we will be able to understand the truth and know God and act accurately according to God’s intention.

In addition, no matter what we do, we should think carefully before acting. We should examine ourselves and see whether our practices are according to God’s requirements and for the sake of satisfying God, and whether there are things from our will contained. In the matters we cannot discern, we should seek and fellowship more with the brothers and sisters. As long as we can treat each matter seriously in this way, our practicing the truth will be more and more accurate and more and more after God’s heart. As God says: “If you seek and examine it in advance and then do it after a thorough examination, will you not have the assurance? Though sometimes you are in a bad state, you will not make a great error if you seriously investigate and seek every matter you are going to do before God. … But now, quite a lot of people do things only with their two hands; according to the imaginations from their own brains, they do things in this or that way. They seldom ponder: Is my practicing in such a way actually after God’s heart or not? Will God be pleased with my doing so? Will God have confidence in me if I do so? Am I practicing the truth by doing so? If God hears it, will he say ‘This is right. Well done. Just do it!’? Can you examine every matter seriously like this? Can you deal with every matter strictly? Or you can ponder whether God will detest it if you do so, what others will feel if you do so, whether you are doing it according to your own will, to satisfy your own desires…. Think more in this way, ask more questions, and seek more, then you will make smaller errors in doing this matter. …” Furthermore, we need to have faith and perseverance in seeking God. Since God has his time to inspire and enlighten us, we need to seek and wait patiently. As long as we have a heart that thirsts for and seeks the truth, God will surely inspire us and let us understand his intention.

We have fellowshipped about the importance of seeking God’s intention and the ways of doing it. Let us from now on exercise to seek God’s intention in everything, so that we will not do things according to our own will and can act accurately according to God’s intention, thus achieving being saved and perfected by God in the end.

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