664 God Perfects Man in Many Ways
1 The Holy Spirit has a path to walk in each person, and gives each person chances to be perfected. Through your negativity you are made to know your own corruption, and then through throwing off negativity you will find a path to practice, and this is the perfection of you. Further, through the continuous guidance and illumination of some positive things inside of you, you will proactively fulfill your function and grow in insight and gain discernment. When your conditions are good, you are especially willing to read the word of God, and especially willing to pray to God, and can relate the sermons you hear to your own states. At such times God enlightens and illuminates you within, making you realize some things of the positive aspect. This is perfection of you in the positive aspect.
2 In negative states, you are weak and negative, and feel that you don’t have God in your heart, yet God illuminates you, helping you find a path to practice. Coming out of this is attainment of perfection in the negative aspect. God can perfect man in both positive and negative aspects. It depends on whether you are able to experience, and on whether you pursue being perfected by God. If you truly seek being perfected by God, then the negative cannot make you suffer loss, but can bring you things that are more real, and can make you more able to know that which is lacking within you, more able to come to grips with your real states, and see that man has nothing, and is nothing; if you do not experience trials, you will always feel that you are above others and better than everyone else. Through all this you will see that all that came before was done by God and protected by God.
3 Entry into trials leaves you without love or faith, you lack prayer, and are unable to sing hymns—and, without realizing it, in the midst of this you come to know yourself. God has many means of perfecting man. He employs all manner of environments to deal with the corrupt disposition of man, and uses various things to lay man bare; in one regard He deals with man, in another He lays man bare, and in another He reveals man, digging out and revealing the “mysteries” in the depths of man’s heart, and showing man his nature by revealing many of his states. God perfects man through many methods—through revelation, dealing, refinement, and chastisement—so that man may know that God is practical.
Adapted from “Only Those Who Focus on Practice Can Be Perfected”
in The Word Appears in the Flesh