33. A Turn for the Better on the Road of Believing in God
Although I had believed in God and followed God for many years, I had made almost no progress with my entering into life, and I felt very anxious. Especially when I heard the brother from the above talking with brothers and sisters in recordings of sermons, I felt filled with anxiety hearing him say this kind of thing, “You now believe in God and have tasted the sweetness of the pursuit of truth. You have started to enter onto the right track and are full of faith in your pursuit of salvation.” I thought, “These people have not believed in God for very long and yet have already had entry and are so full of faith about being saved. Yet here I am having so far believed in God and I still haven’t obtained the truth and my disposition in life has undergone no change whatsoever. Never mind attaining salvation, I haven’t even started to enter onto the right track!” I thought of how the brother from the above fellowshiped that the truth can resolve all of man’s corruptions, but I had never experienced this at all. I even felt that the truth could resolve other people’s corruptions but not my own, and the more I thought like this the more dispirited I felt, and I felt that pursuing a change in my disposition was just too hard, and so I lost faith in my pursuit of the truth and of salvation. Although I was aware that my own condition was not right, there was no way I could escape it, so I could only cry to God for help.
One day, I saw these words of God: “Growth in man’s life and changes in his disposition are all achieved by entering into reality and, moreover, through entering into detailed experiences” (“The Difference Between the Ministry of the Incarnate God and the Duty of Man” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “If you only focus on the knowledge in theories and only live among religious ceremonies without going deep into reality, without entering into real life, then you will never enter into reality, you will never know yourself, the truth, or God, and you will always be blind and ignorant” (“Discussing Church Life and Real Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Only through the enlightenment of God’s words did I realize that my disposition had not undergone much change, despite the many years I had believed in Him, and that this was mainly because when I read God’s words I focused only on understanding the literal, theoretical meaning, and had only a thinking understanding. I was not focusing on putting the truth into practice or entering into reality, nor was I focusing on experiencing God’s words through practical experience. Thinking back on these years of my belief in God, no matter what aspect of the truth, I always stopped at having a literal understanding, and I never sought to have a deeper understanding of the essence of the truth, much less did I plan to practice and enter into it. Instead, I thought it was enough just to have a theoretical knowledge and understanding. For example, in real life I always struggled for fame and gain, always wanted to make others listen to me. After revealing corruptions, I just thought for a while, and prayed before God, acknowledging my own corruption and knowing that it was an expression of an arrogant and self-right nature, and nothing more. I did not seek for the relevant truths to resolve this problem. The result was that, no matter how many times I “felt remorse or confessed my sins” before God, I still did not change. Within each environment God arranged, through praying and seeking I came to know that God was using it to deal with my corruption. After I came to this understanding, I just acknowledged that all of God’s trials and refinements, all of God’s dealing with me and pruning me was His salvation, was His love, that God’s heart is always good, period. But afterward, I never paid any attention to practicing the truth or resolving my own corruption. The outcome was that, although I underwent some hardship, I had not undergone any change. In addition, each time I finished listening to the sermons, I felt that they were indeed what I needed in my life entry, and that they had allowed me to understand the truth that I had not previously understood. But all I did was just store the content of the sermons in my head, and I never applied it to real life, which resulted in the little bit of understanding I’d obtained disappearing after a while.
The facts had revealed me as someone who simply did not pursue the truth. I had believed in God for many years but had never put any effort into practicing the truth or entering reality, to the extent that I had so far still not obtained the truth, nor had my disposition undergone any change. This was entirely the revelation of God’s righteous disposition, as God has said: “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” (“You Ought to Live for the Truth Since You Believe in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God is righteous. God has never treated anyone unfairly, and has never wantonly given to man, much less given to man unconditionally. I do not practice the truth, have not made any effort to live out His words, with the result that today, I must reap as I have sown. At this time I couldn’t help but feel extreme remorse, regretting bitterly that, although I had believed in God for years, today I still had nothing to show for my belief and I really hadn’t lived up to God’s salvation. And yet I did not wish to continue degenerating in such a way, but instead I wished to start again, to make effort in my practice of the truth and to implement God’s words on myself.
Afterward, I began to train in practicing the truth and in entering reality. When I revealed the corruption of vying with others for status in my work, I was then no longer as I had been before, when I had just prayed and confessed to God, and nothing more. Instead, I looked for the relevant words of God to read and I accepted the judgment and chastisement of God’s words. From His words I came to realize that my pursuit of fame, gain and status was my satanic disposition at work. In the beginning, because the archangel vied with God for His position, it was cast into the air. This also happened to mankind after it was corrupted by Satan; people want to be the leader in any group and make others listen to them. In particular, the CCP, the king of devils, vies with earth and with heaven in the vain hope of having mastery over all the world. People, as created beings, cannot keep to their own place and always want to become exceptional and great, to be equal to God—this really is too wicked. After I realized that, disgust and loathing for my own nature spontaneously arose. Afterward, I equipped myself with the truth about raising God up, about bearing witness to God, and in real life I trained for entry. Through this practice, I saw even more clearly the ugliness and contemptibility of myself standing on high and telling people what was what. I loathed and cursed myself even more, and made up my mind to forsake the flesh and practice the truth in order to satisfy God. After training in this way for a while, I discovered that the expressions of my own arrogant disposition reduced a great deal.
In normal interpersonal relationships, in the past I knew I had to practice tolerance, patience, to use wisdom, have principles, and be an honest person. But in reality I never entered these five aspects. Now, when I took unkindly to others due to their expressions of corruption, I prayed to God and practiced according to these five aspects. Under God’s guidance, it occurred to me that my brothers and sisters are now in the process of seeking change, so expressions of corruption are inevitable, and that maybe so-and-so isn’t aware of the corruption he reveals, or maybe he is dominated involuntarily by his own nature and is not acting this way toward me on purpose. It was just the same as when my usually arrogant and conceited disposition had been disgusting to others, yet I myself had remained unaware before I really understood the truth and came to know myself. This is all harm that is done to man by Satan. It is Satan that I should hate, and I should not form opinions about my brothers and sisters. Sometimes my brothers and sisters would be constrained by their corrupt dispositions in their actions toward me, and yet brothers and sisters they remain—they are sincere believers in God, not wicked people or antichrists. So I should imitate what God is, and however God forgives me, that is how I should forgive other people, and I should treat people with the heart and the love of God. When I thought like this, the resentment and grudges I had held inside me disappeared in a flash, and were replaced by hatred for Satan and sympathy and forgiveness for my brothers and sisters; I even wanted to find suitable opportunities to help them. When I tried voluntarily to help them, I found that my relationship with them became a lot friendlier and I got a taste of the happiness that comes from helping others.
When I practiced applying the words of God I understood into real life, not only did I gain some practical experience of and entry into various aspects of the truth, and I was able to perform my duty and handle matters with some principles according to God’s words, I also came to have some true knowledge of the various states I possess from being corrupted by Satan, how one’s satanic nature can bind one, and the extent to which people have been corrupted by Satan. I felt God’s leadership and guidance and tasted the sureness, peace and joy that practicing the truth had given to my heart. I felt that my life was enriched, that there was a lesson to be learned every day, feeling that pursuing the truth was so meaningful, that the truth really could save and change people!
Once I had this bit of personal experience and understanding, I felt that my own road of believing in God has taken a turn for the better, never again to feel that salvation was beyond my grasp. I believe that, so long as I work with God, continually equip myself with truth and practice and enter the truth, I will certainly reach a change in my corrupt disposition. I believe that God’s work is able to save man and God’s words are able to change man: I have this faith because I have tasted it already. From this day on, I wish to pursue the truth with my feet planted firmly on the ground, and to bring God’s words into real life to practice and enter, so that I may soon achieve a change in my disposition, and live out the manner of a true person in order to bear witness for God, to bear witness to God’s work to save me, to bear witness to God’s power to save man, and to bear witness to God’s wonderful deeds!