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Chapter 99. Principles of Carrying Out One’s Submission to God

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Chapter 99. Principles of Carrying Out One’s Submission to God

Have you ever communicated about the details of how Job sought the truth and how he experienced in order to bear such testimony? What was his daily life like? How did he live? How did he interact with God in his life? From everything he did, how do you see that he was a person who sought the truth, who submitted to God, and who accepted God’s orchestration and arrangements? Does this not touch upon the details? This touches upon the details of pursuing the truth; these are things people nowadays lack. People these days only know of Job’s words of wisdom, and that those words of wisdom of his did not come easily; he had spent a lifetime gaining it. He experienced a lifetime, saw God’s hand, saw God’s blessings, and saw that everything he owned had been bestowed upon him by God. He had experienced this. If one day these things were to vanish, he knew that God had taken them away. No matter what God did, His name should be praised; this was the conclusion Job came to. So how did he come to this conclusion? He had to go through a process, did he not? This touches upon the path by which people nowadays pursue the truth: how to reach this conclusion and how they can reap such gains. Such gains are not obtained within just a day or two, nor do they come after three or five years. This involves each and every detail of people’s lives.

For example, Job raised three ewes and two rams, and this was how he lived. After purchasing the sheep, he planned thusly: “Normally, one ewe gives birth to three lambs a year, so three can give birth to nine a year. If all goes well, they might even be able to give birth to ten.” This was how he planned. As it turned out, the following year he not only did not have more than ten lambs, but he actually had fewer than ten. He pondered, “This is no good; I need to think of a way to solve this. What can I do? Should I prepare some special feed for them? Should I give them some sort of medicine? I need to think of a way to get them to give birth to more than ten lambs; more than what I had originally planned for.” By the third year, his flock still had not multiplied to more than ten; the ewes had given birth to even fewer lambs than the previous year. He thought to himself gloomily, “How has this happened? How is it that the sheep I bought have given birth to so few lambs? Sheep bought by others have given birth to ten lambs in two years; how is it that the ones I bought have not given birth to more than ten in two years? How is it that, on the contrary, they have had so few?” He then mulled over human methods, and began with planning and calculating. What did these plans and calculations involve? They involved the mixture of human ideas, of not seeking, and of not seeking God’s will. First, Job had plans and calculations formed from human ideas; he had mixed in these human ideas. After that, based on his own plans and calculations, he used human methods to solve the problems and reach this standard he had set for his plans and this target. If he had done this, would he have been able to see God’s hand or not? If he had used human methods, thought of all that he could, racked his brains, gone everywhere in search of folk medicines, and sought ways of resolving the problems, then whether or not he could have reached his goal in the end, could he have seen God’s hand? (No.) What other negative effects would there be of his inability to see God’s hand? (He would feel that in his belief in God, he had not gained as much as people who did not believe in God.) Yes, he could have given rise to feelings of resistance: “Everyone says God exists; well, I believe in God and have raised three sheep. I was planning on obtaining ten in the first year, but God didn’t act in accordance with my plans. God did not bestow blessings upon me. I believe in Him, and worship Him every day, and offer sacrifice to Him daily, so why has God not blessed me? If God exists, then the blessings He bestows upon me should surpass what I ask for and what I want. Why have I still not reached this goal? It is difficult to say whether or not God exists, and whether or not there is a God.” For Job, there would be a question mark when it came to God’s existence. This would be a negative effect. On the one hand, in a positive respect, Job could not have seen God’s hand, nor could he have seen God’s rule or arrangements. On the other hand, he would be liable to complain to God, and would have given rise to misunderstanding, dislike, and disobedience toward God. These are two aspects. If a person who believes in God and is seeking the truth walks such a path, then could they, in the end, say the sort of words Job spoke: “Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah” (Job 1:21)? Could such a person give rise to this sort of experience and this sort of knowledge? Certainly not. Why not? How many aspects of the problem would there be? Does this not touch upon the path of practice, and how to carry it out? So wherein does this problem lie? (They try to solve it in their own way.) They try to use human methods to solve it, but what methods do people have? Such methods as scientific ones, folk ones, and other methods people imagine within their minds. How are these methods produced? Why do people rack their brains to think of ways, and rack their brains to think of human methods to help them reach their goals, rather than relying on God? (They do not have faith in God, so they resort to human methods.) They do believe in God; they believe that God will bless them. They are full of faith. While they are making their plans, do they seek God’s intentions? Do they have a submissive attitude? “I do not know how God works. First I make these calculations and plans; I’ll buy two rams and three ewes, so next year they should at least give birth to nine or ten lambs. However, whether or not I’ll be able to achieve this goal, I have no idea; this is just how I’ve calculated. If I can, then of course this will be due to God’s blessings; if I cannot reach it, then it is because I am blind, and my plans are not in line with God’s will.” Do they have this sort of attitude or not? (They do not.) So how does this come about? This is their notion and imagination; it is their desire; it is their unreasonable expectations on God; this is one aspect. This is produced by corruption. What else? Are they submissive toward God or not? (No.) How can you tell that they do not have a submissive heart toward God? (Even after they fail that first year, they still do not seek.) No; this is the sort of attitude they have before they fail. (They themselves want to achieve their goal, and then they decide that their plans will definitely succeed.) So what are these? (Their own ideas.) What disposition is it that relies on one’s own ideas? It is an arrogant, disobedient disposition. They believe God will bless them, but when they are forming their own desires and plans, they place God aside. This is an arrogant disposition. When they place God aside, do they submit? They do not; they do not have God within them. They do not consider thusly: “What arrangements has God made? How does God rule? How much can God give me?” Do they consider these things? They do not give even the slightest consideration to them. They do not consider how God rules, nor do they consider how God has arranged things; even less do they consider how God will handle this matter. Therefore, what have you seen from these events? They do not seek anything at all, they do not submit at all, and they do not have a God-fearing heart at all. They do not have even the tiniest bit of fear of God in their heart. How can you see this? They first make their own plans, and afterward, in accordance with these plans and relying on their own human methods, imagination, and notions, they act and try to achieve them, without the slightest consideration of how God will act. How is this lack of consideration for God’s methods expressed? (Even after they fail, they still do not stop; they continue to rely on their own ideas.) In this matter, in one’s heart, one must at least know, “I will do everything in my power and leave the rest to Heaven.” How can a person do everything in their power? Like this: “I am feeding my sheep normally, preventing them from getting sick, not letting them freeze or go hungry. I am not calculating how many lambs they will give birth to each year; I do not know how many they can—that is a matter for God to decide. I will just fulfill my responsibilities by feeding them until they are full and plump, and keeping them from lacking nutrients. By next year, as for which sheep can give birth to lambs and which cannot, or which of them can have however many lambs, and how many they can give birth to in total, all of this is in God’s hands. I do not know, nor have I made any requests. I also am not planning around it; these are God’s affairs.” If they have done this, haven’t they had a submissive attitude toward God? Between this way of doing things and the previous way, which originates from human ideas and which comes from seeking the truth? Which comes from the unbelievers, and which comes from those who sincerely believe in God? Both believe in God. You believe in God, and they believe in God; both of you have done the exact same thing—but the viewpoints, motives, origination, and objectives behind your actions are not the same; the principle is not the same. From this, you can discern about what path it is that people take. Is there not a difference? (There is). Wherein lies this difference? (In the motive, the origination, and the objective). So what is the essence of this motive, origination, and objective? What is the origination and objective of unbelievers? They completely act on their own ideas, and they make their plans using their own ideas, too. What ideas do they have? Why are they their own ideas? Whatever their plans are, those are what they want to accomplish; they do not seek and do not say, “I don’t know what God plans to do, and I will not make any plans.” They do not have this recognition; they go ahead and make their plans themselves. This is a human idea, is it not? They first make their plans, and after making their plans, what do they do? They act in accordance with their own desires. In order to satisfy their own desires and reach their own goals that they plan, they rack their brains and do whatever they can, at all costs. At the same time, they have a vague thought: “Since I believe in God, God will bless me.” Is this not shameful? What makes you think you deserve God’s blessings? How do you know God will bestow blessings upon you? How can God act according to your decision? Is this not an irrational way of thinking? How do you know God will bless you? If you know God will bless you, then does this mean you have submitted to God’s arrangements? If you know God will definitely bless you, and believe God will bless you, then is this the equivalent of submitting to God’s rule and arrangements? Many people confuse this and say, “I believe God will bless me; I believe God will protect me in all things. I believe God will satisfy this desire of mine.” They believe this is an attitude of submitting to God. Is this not erroneous? Not only is it wrong, but it is also disobedience to God. It represents a disobedient, arrogant, and conceited nature. These two methods of practicing are entirely different.

What is the essence of the way of practicing that is disobedient to God? Let us dissect the source of this. Does it involve a little practice of the truth? Is it a tiny bit submissive? Is there a place for God in such a person’s heart? Do they fear God? (No.) You all say no, but to which aspect of expression are you referring? You must bring yourself into line with it; you must be able to dissect yourself. If you can dissect yourself, then you will be able to gauge the state within yourself. You will be able to measure whether you have practiced in accordance with the principles, and whether your practice has been in search of the truth. First, when planning this, have people themselves submitted? They have not. Given that they have not submitted in this matter, what should submissive practice be like? (First seek God’s intentions.) In many matters, God will not give you a clear idea of His intentions. Sometimes there is no clear intention. If you raise three ewes and two rams, who stipulates for you that they must yield a certain number of lambs or volume of milk per year? No one stipulates this for you, so what can you do to practice the truth? (By praying to God, asking God for guidance, and seeking God’s intentions while making plans). So there is still an attitude you have to have. Is it right for you to make plans? Is this practice of making plans correct or not? With three ewes and two rams, you have calculated that by the following year they will have had nine to ten lambs. Is it right for you to calculate the number? (It is wrong). How can it be wrong? Can you reach this number? (No.) If you still calculate even if you cannot reach it, are you not being irrational? If you are irrational yet you continue to calculate like this, then does that not mean you harbor additional demands in your heart? A person like this ponders, “I’ll just plan for this many at first, and if God blesses me, I might get even more lambs.” In their heart, they believe they might just get lucky, and after that they just rush ahead. On the one hand they are hoping to get lucky, and on the other they just want to rush ahead; they are both arrogant and uncivilized; they have enormous desires, and great ambitions. Making plans and willful decisions is not something people should practice. They calculate that with three ewes and two rams, in the coming year they will yield nine to ten lambs. Is this plan correct? (No.) Why not? This is not something a person could decide. Can you decide which sheep will give birth and how many lambs they will have? (No.) Why can’t you? It is because these matters are in God’s hands; in these matters, you must see God’s hand. These matters are decided by God; humans cannot decide them. What should you clearly understand from this? That people should not make plans; making plans in itself is wrong.

So if they should not make plans, then what should people do? What way of practicing is correct? Watering the animals normally, breeding them as normal, and then treating whichever sheep might get ill, giving them medicine as necessary, and protecting them so that they do not get carried off by wolves, bitten by dogs, or stolen by other people. They should do all these things. If others ask, “How many lambs will they produce by next year?” “This is not known.” “How can you be so stupid? You don’t even know the answer to such a minor question. It’s not that you can’t calculate up to three sheep, after all. If one sheep has one lamb, then by next year there will be three. How do you not know this? Just how dumb are you?” You say, “This is not a matter of being smart or stupid; this matter is in God’s hands. If God allows three to be born, then I will receive three lambs. If God allows five to be born, then I will receive five. Perhaps God will even allow eight or ten to be born in a year; these would all be good results. I must accept this from God; it all depends on what God’s intentions are.” Is this not a submissive attitude? This would be correct; this is the attitude people should have. On the one hand, you are not making any plans; on the other, you still have to fulfill your human obligations and duties, you must not be slipshod. Yet another aspect of it is that if the results go beyond your expectations and surpass what you had imagined, what should you do? (Thank God.) If not even one lamb is born over two years, then what should you do? You must submit even more. You say, “Other people raise three sheep, and they yield ten or eight lambs within two years, so why have my three ewes not even given birth to one in that amount of time? I still just have these original three. Why is this so strange?” It is not strange, right? They are the same thing, but whether a ewe gives birth to lambs or not is in God’s hands, and none of this will change to suit the will of humans. It all depends on what God has arranged, and on how God rules. Sometimes many lambs will be birthed, sometimes only a few; sometimes there will be lambs, and sometimes there will be none. This all depends on God’s rule. During this time, what should you learn? (To submit.) Should you only learn to submit? What else? (To have a genuine recognition of God’s rule.) You should realize God’s rule through experience. It might be the case that you have planned for too few lambs, but God might give you more than that. You might plan for more, but you still do not get that many. In this back-and-forth, repetitive process, you will discover that nothing changes as a result of human will or plans; everything is in God’s hands. As such, little by little, what do people come to experience? That God’s rule over everything is real. Sometimes you plan quite well, taking good care of everything inside and out, and you do a great job of feeding and raising your sheep. You feel you have already fulfilled all of your responsibilities. However, one year the winter is extremely cold, and suddenly a huge snow falls, and the little lambs that have just been born freeze to death before they are even two or three months old. How many die? Some that should have frozen to death end up living, while some that should not have died end up dying. Even the older sheep have died, and not many are left. In your plans, you may have gotten more sheep this year than in past years, but why have they frozen to death? What happened? This is beyond your human expectations, is it not? It is beyond what you imagined in every way; it is beyond the scope of your plans. Many things have caught you by surprise, and made you unable to feel and sense what mistakes you may have made in your plans or what you have not been able to accomplish. Unconsciously, you are made to feel that many things cannot be predicted by humans; they are not within the scope of human plans or imagination. At this time, what conclusion can you draw? (That God rules all things.) God rules all things, and there are details in this. If God does not give any lambs to you, then no matter how careful you are, it is useless. If God wants to give them to you, then even if you are a bit careless, and a wolf might appear in front of your lambs and look slyly at them, it will not go over and eat them; instead it will go out of its way to snatch other people’s lambs, and it will not eat yours. Then you will discover that in this matter, God really does have the final say. God watches over your sheep for you. If God did not watch over them for you, then there is no telling what would happen. In short, all is in God’s hands. For example, during times of plague, ten or eight of someone else’s sheep might die, and the situation might look dire for your family’s sheep. After a couple of days, though, they recover and are fine; they have evaded this disaster. And what conclusion can you draw from this? You will have discovered that not only are the lives of humans in God’s hands, but the lives of sheep are, too. All things and living beings are in God’s hands; in this, humans do not have the final say. You will feel like, “This plague came on quite fiercely. I have not given my sheep any vaccinations or taken any preventive measures against epidemics, so what should I do? I’ll not worry about it; all is in God’s hands. If God wants to take them away, let Him take them away. If God bestows blessings upon me, that is God’s grace. If God takes away my sheep, that is God’s grace as well. I should thank and praise God.” This way, in your heart, you will unconsciously gain an accurate view and understanding of God’s rule. What accurate view and understanding is this? It is that the One who bestows things upon you is God. Whatever your circumstances, if God wants to take from you, then no matter how submissive you are to God or how much you want to know God, God will still take what He should take. All is in God’s hands; all follows its destiny set by God. All is arranged by God. You should not try to make your own choices. At this time, do your calculations, your plans, and your individual goals still dominate your heart? These will disappear without your even being aware; they will gradually become trivialized over time, unconsciously, and get stretched thinner and thinner. So how will these things be replaced? You will have begun to experience God’s rule. What is your experiencing God’s rule the equivalent of? You have seen God’s rule. Although God has not told you why He took these things from you, you have unconsciously come to realize it. When God bestows a thing upon you, or blesses you with a lot of wealth, you clearly feel that these are God’s blessings. God has not told you why He blessed you, but in your heart you have a sense and a spiritual feeling. You are aware that these are God’s blessings, and they cannot be earned by you. Once something of yours suddenly goes missing one day, and is gone, in your heart you will clearly be aware that God has taken it away. Once you are clearly aware of all of this, do you not sense that each day that you live, every step that you take, and every year that you live, you are being led by God? At the same time that you feel that it is God who is leading you in all things, you unconsciously come to sense that you are face to face with God. You have dealings with God on a daily basis, and gain new knowledge every day. Each year you reap major gains, and unconsciously your experience of God’s rule and arrangements becomes more and more profound. As this experience gets more and more profound, God lives in your heart, does He not? Can there be any argument or misleading speech or any notion or concept that can take God away from your heart? (No.) He cannot be taken from you. At this time, can you still become an unbeliever? If God resides in your heart, nothing can take Him away from you. How is this “residence” reached? (By experiencing God’s rule and seeing God’s rule.) If people are always letting their lives be guided and dominated by their own imagination and notions or calculations, plans, and desires, then can they achieve such knowledge of God? (They cannot.) Thus, to achieve the same submission to God as Job did, your path of experience and practice must be correct. If the path you practice deviates, then no matter how deep your faith is, it will do no good; no matter how profound your desires, this will do no good. No matter how resolved you are, it will do no good. No matter how high your aspirations, this will be useless. In many of life’s affairs, humans deviate in the way they practice. From a superficial point of view, people may seem to be very assiduous; they might seem to suffer hardship and pay the price, and they might seem to be quite resolved. Their hearts might seem to be like a pot of fire. However, why, after experiencing this and that, are others unable to see that in the end they have experience and knowledge of God’s rule and arrangements? Why are they unable to obtain this experience and knowledge? It is that people have deviated in the way they practice. It is that they are always dominated by their subjective consciousness, their notions and imagination, and their plans. As soon as they are dominated by these things, God becomes hidden to them. There is a line from God’s words; how does it go? (“I appear to the holy kingdom, and hide Myself from the land of filth.”) This is how it is. What does “the land of filth” refer to? The various desires, plans, and decisions of people. Even their good intentions, and what people see as being virtuous intentions, and what they believe to be correct intentions. These things hinder people from knowing God’s work; these things form what is like a wall in front of you that blocks you very sturdily, forever preventing you from seeing and experiencing God’s rule. If you cannot experience God’s rule, and if you cannot see God’s rule, then how can you recognize God’s rule? You will never be able to recognize God’s rule.

What attitude did Job have toward his children? (He entrusted them to God.) With regard to Job’s situation, he worshiped Jehovah—in today’s terms, he believed in God—yet his children did not. From others’ point of view, would this not have been quite humiliating for Job? (Yes.) According to human concepts, Job had such a large family, and he revered Jehovah God; however, his children were unbelievers, so Job must have felt so ashamed. Does such shame originate from human ideas? (Yes.) It comes from the human flesh. If he said, “I feel dishonored; I must think of a way to get them to believe, thereby restoring my honor,” then would this have come from a human idea? Did he do this? (No.) What is recorded in the Bible about it? (He offered sacrifices and prayed for them.) Job just offered sacrifices and prayed. In offering sacrifice and praying, what sort of attitude was he exhibiting? (One of submission.) This is generalization. He merely offered sacrifices for them; this is what was written in the Bible. From these words you cannot see what Job’s principles of practice were. You may ponder it over. Job offered sacrifices for his children, but did he stop them from feasting and making merry? (He did not stop them.) Did he interfere? (He did not interfere.) Did he participate? (He did not participate.) This was Job’s attitude; he merely offered sacrifices for them. Have you ever heard of Job saying something like, “Jehovah God, please move them; make them believe in You, too. Allow them, too, to receive Your grace; make them fear You and shun evil, as I do”? Did he pray like that? There is no record of such in the Bible. Job’s actions were to distance himself from them, and offer sacrifices for them. He was worried about them, and feared that they would offend Jehovah God; he practiced in these aspects. This was the principle behind his practice. What was the principle behind his practice? To not try to force them. So did he want them to believe in God? (He did.) As their father, he would have felt so hurt to see his children acting like this. This was not a matter of pride; he certainly would have wanted to get them all to come before Jehovah God, offer sacrifice just as he did, fear God and shun evil, and accept God’s rule and arrangements. Job must have wanted that so much, with his entire heart. However, they did not take such a path. Did Job force them or not? (He did not force them.) His attitude was not to force them. So what did he do? Would he have tried to forcibly persuade them against their will? He most certainly would not have. At the very most, he would just have occasionally spoken a few words of advice to them, and if they didn’t listen, then so be it; he would just have told them not to take things too far, and then parted ways with them. He would have set his boundaries, and they would all have lived in their own manner. The reason he offered sacrifices for them was because he was afraid that they would offend Jehovah God. He did this as a result of his reverence for God; he was not offering sacrifice in his children’s stead. Job did not force them or drag them into believing against their will. Was he well-intentioned enough to say, going on emotion, “These are my children; I must make them believe in God so that God can have a few more followers”? He did not have this sort of human idea or good intention, nor did he make such calculations or plans. What were these practices? They stemmed from human ideas. God does not want this. No matter how good your intentions are, God will not accept this. To have them believe, would God’s power to move them not have been stronger than any work you do? If God had wanted to make them believe, by moving them or by doing something, would that not have been easier than your doing something? It would be so easy! Therefore, this was how Job rationalized; he simply refused to force them. He let them do what they wanted, and parted ways with them; he drew a clear line, and they each lived in their own manner. This was Job’s rationality; this was a principle of practice. He refused to do anything based on human ideas or human good intentions that might offend God. Moreover, they did not believe, so God would not move them. From this what did Job see? Did he see God’s intention? (He saw it.) What intention of God did he see? “God is doing nothing, so I won’t pray or supplicate God. If I implore God, I will offend Him.” Did it carry this connotation? (Yes.) It did. Therefore, he did not pray, and absolutely would not cry his eyes out while supplicating for their salvation or for their going before Jehovah God to receive God’s blessings, nor would he fast for a few days for them. He absolutely would not do these things; he knew that such actions would offend God, and God would be displeased.

What have you seen from these details? Job’s submission was real, was it not? Could most people achieve this or not? Most people could not achieve it. These children were very dear to Job’s heart. They held feasts and made merry. Job saw that they would be taken away by the world and that they would rather follow evil trends than come before God. Job saw the true way and knew that they would lose this opportunity, and might be destroyed and suffer perdition. Emotionally, he could not get past this hurdle. In such a situation most people would not be able to achieve submission, but Job was able to. He merely did a single act: He offered burnt offerings for them, while at the same time, he felt worried about them; that was all. These were his closest kin! They were his children! He did not do anything else for his children, or anything that would have offended God. How was this principle of practice of Job’s? He was truly submissive. With regard to his children’s future, he did not pray at all or do anything out of human ideas. He did not do anything at all; he merely sent a servant on a few errands, but he himself did not go. One of the reasons he did not go was to not be contaminated, and another was to not mingle with them. What was another one? As soon as he got involved with them, he would have offended God, so he distanced himself from that place of evil. This was one of the reasons, was it not? Job’s practice was detailed, was it not? What details did it have? First let us talk about how he treated his children. His objective was to submit to God’s orchestration and arrangements in all things. He did not forcibly take the initiative to do anything God did not do, nor did he make any plans or calculations based on human ideas. In all things, he complied with and waited for God’s orchestration and arrangements. This was his general principle. As for his detailed methods of practice, in what ways did he treat his children? (The first was that he neither interfered with nor participated in his children’s feasting and merrymaking; he distanced himself from it.) He distanced himself, and offered burnt offerings for them. What else? (He did not try to force them into believing in God, nor did he try to drag them into doing so against their will. He did not pray for them, and he drew clear boundaries between him and them.) This is his principle of practice. Is this not a detailed practice? To make comparisons, how do most people act when faced with these issues? (Implore God to do work that will make their children believe in God.) What else? If God does not do it, then they will force, beat, or kick their children into joining the church to make up the numbers so that they may gain blessings. If there were no benefit, then they would not do it no matter what. They see great benefit in believing in God, such a great blessing as entering the kingdom of heaven, and they think, “If you do not believe in God, wouldn’t I feel terribly hurt? If you do not believe, then I will not feel at ease in my own faith.” They will rack their brains to think of every way possible to facilitate this. It would have been fine even just to get their children into God’s family in name; they do not care whether or not their children can obtain blessings. Job would not do this kind of thing, but most people will be unable to achieve this. Why can they not achieve this? Most people do not give any consideration to whether or not something is offensive to God. Their priority is to satisfy themselves first, to satisfy their own emotions and desires. They give no consideration to how God rules or arranges things, and they do not consider what God has done or what His intentions are. They do not consider these things. They give consideration to their own desires, their own emotions, their own motives, and their own benefits. They only consider these. As for how to treat his children, while they were still alive, Job’s attitude was to not try to drag them into believing in God against their will; he did not try to force them to believe, and he did not interfere, because they were walking a different path. He did not interfere with what they did, and did not interfere with what sort of path they were taking. Did Job seldom speak to his children about believing in God? He certainly would have had enough words with them about this, but they did not accept them, and refused to listen. What was Job’s attitude? He said, “I have fulfilled my responsibility; as for what kind of path they are able to take, that is up to God, and it is up to God’s guidance. If God does not work, or move them, I will not try to force them.” Therefore, Job had one other method of practice: He did not pray for them before God, or cry tears of anguish over them, or fast for them or suffer in any way at all. He did not do these things. Why did Job not do any of these things? None of these were ways of submitting to God’s rule and arrangements; they all came out of human ideas and were ways of actively forcing one’s way to the forefront. This was to do with his treatment of his children; this was the sort of attitude he had, given that his children would not take the same path as he. So when his children died, what was Job’s attitude? Did he cry or not? Did he vent his feelings? Did he feel hurt? (No.) So did he say it served them right, or not? There is no record of any of these things. So when Job saw his children die, did he feel heartbroken or sad? (He did.) What was he sad about? Did he feel regret for not having urged them to work hard at believing in God, and over their having been punished for not doing so? Speaking in terms of the affection he felt for his children, he certainly did feel that little bit of sadness, but he still submitted. How was his submission expressed? “These children were given to me by God. Whether or not they believed in God, the lives of humans are in God’s hands. If they had believed in God, then if God wanted to take them away, He would still have done so; if they had not believed in God, they still would have been taken away if God had said they would be taken away. All of this is in God’s hands; otherwise, who could take people’s lives away?” What line sums all of these words up? “Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah” (Job 1:21). This is why he maintained this attitude in the way he treated his children. Whether they were alive or dead, he continued to have this attitude. His method of practice was correct; in every way he practiced, in his views with which he treated everything, in his attitude, and in his state, he always submitted and waited, and then he achieved knowledge. This attitude is very important. If people never have this kind of attitude in anything they do, and have especially strong personal ideas and place personal motives and benefit before all else, then are they really submitting? In such people genuine submission cannot be seen; they are unable to achieve genuine submission.

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Next:Chapter 100. Obeying God Is a Basic Lesson of Gaining the Truth

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