Chapter 5. The Significance of Obeying God
Which Aspects Are Included in Obeying God
Obeying God includes several aspects. The first aspect, which is the most important, is to obey the work of God. Obeying the work of God includes eating and drinking and enjoying the entire word of God, especially the words of judgment and chastisement, the words of pruning and dealing, and the words that reveal mankind’s corrupt essence. These are the most important, but there are also various kinds of words of trials and refinements, such as the trial of “service-doers” and the trial of death. There are also words of particular judgments of God, words that have the quality of God’s chastisements and the quality of refining people, all of which are words that can cause men to undergo refinements. It takes some time for man to accept these words and obey them. He cannot obey them immediately after reading them. This involves obeying the work of God. If man is not able to properly obey the word of God, then he has no hope of being saved, for this is the most crucial point of obedience. To obey the work of God is to obey the judgments and chastisements of God, to obey the pruning and dealing of God, and to obey the trials and refinements of God in order to be saved. This is the first part of obeying God. The second aspect of obeying God is to obey God’s requests and put into practice the word of God. In carrying out His work, God requests many things from man, and each and every one of these words where God is requesting man to do something should be properly eaten, drunk and contemplated over by man. These requests by God should be met by man. This is the second aspect of obedience. This second aspect also includes putting the word of God into practice. God’s request for men “to be honest” is a major one, but receiving the judgments and chastisements of God is also His request. God also requests that you conduct yourself, that you stand witness for God, and that you follow Him to the end. There are many words from God that are requests for man. You ought to sort out all of the requests that God has of man, all of the things that He requires man to do, you should be able to know this by heart, and you should obey and enter into these words of requests. This is the second aspect of obedience. The third aspect of obedience is obeying the work of the Holy Spirit. This is also very crucial. Obeying the work of the Holy Spirit includes submitting to the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Submitting to the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit primarily refers to submitting to the work of the Holy Spirit in such aspects as understanding the word of God, fellowshiping the truth, the entry of man, and man’s knowledge of God. These aspects of obedience are the most crucial link to guarantee that you will be saved and enter into the word of God. Also included among the aspects of obeying the work of the Holy Spirit is obeying the arrangements of the man used by the Holy Spirit. This also constitutes an item of the work carried out by the Holy Spirit. This is the third aspect of obedience. The fourth aspect of obedience is to submit to the sovereignty and arrangements of God. Your environment, your family, these are what have been preordained by God long ago. In addition, the duties that you ought to perform in the house of God, the duties that you are suited to perform, are also preordained by God. For the duties that God’s family arranges for you to perform, you should carefully submit to them. For this aspect of obedience, the most important thing is that you should know the arrangements and predestination of God.
How to Pursue Entry Into the Truth of Obeying God
When it comes to the issue of obeying God, we should see which difficulties we are actually facing within ourselves and which things are obstructing us from obeying God. That is, we should examine ourselves and think back on what it is that makes it most difficult for us to obey God. In the past we did not obey God in many things, and we even rebelled against and resisted God. Think back on the fact of these failures. After examining these things, we ought to discover the practical problems and the actual things that are causing us to be unable to obey God, that are causing us to rebel against and resist God. We should dig out at the source what things are controlling us and causing us to betray and resist God. So, in order to enter into obeying God, you also need to have the experience and the true entry of knowing yourself. You ought to attain these things. If you do not have knowledge of yourself, you will not achieve true obedience to God. To have knowledge of yourself, you should examine your own nature and substance and see what it actually is within yourself that is obstructing you from obeying God. What is it that’s causing you to be unable to submit to God? Where is the source? This can only be settled by knowing yourself, by digging to the source. For some things, you are aware that you are not obeying God, but for some other things you are unaware of it. Even if you know where your failures lie, you may not be able to see clearly its source or its essence. You are only aware of the outward appearance. So, you need to know your substance and nature. Why are people unable to obey God? People want to obey God, and, what’s more, they do not have big trials to face nor do they have a huge price they must pay. So, why is it that they are unable to submit to God? What is the actual reason? When it comes to these questions, you should always examine yourself. So, entry into the truth of obeying God truly is not simple. Do not look at this as too simple of a thing. Do not expect that you can obey God if you try your best, just like a duck can fly onto a perch with all its strength. That is impossible. What do you think is the most difficult part of obeying God? Primarily it is the strong inner workings of a nature that betrays God. A nature that betrays God is a haughty and arrogant nature. A haughty and arrogant nature always makes you haughty and arrogant, and insistent on your own ways, which enables you to do whatever you please. This makes you rely on your own ideas for everything and always pander to the flesh. You always have a reason for everything you do. You always think that you are right. You always believe that you are doing things correctly, so then you do them your way. You always handle everything based on the philosophy of Satan, and as a result you cannot see wherein the true significance of obeying God lies. You cannot see what the actual significance will be if you obey and act on the will of God. You always believe that you are doing things correctly while you act on the philosophy of Satan. You always believe that to follow the philosophy of Satan is fitting, good and pleasing to you, and as a result you are unable to obey God. The reason for this is that you do not have a thorough understanding of the nature of Satan and of the nature of betraying God. In addition, you are unable to distinguish between what is good and what is bad. You are also unaware of the true significance of obeying God, why you ought to obey God, what harm could come from following Satan, what the consequences could be, and wherein lies the corrupt essence within these issues. As a result, you are unable to obey God. Once you understand these things thoroughly, you will know how to conduct yourself in a suitable manner, you will be able to make your choices over again and choose the right path. So, you ought to see clearly your own corrupt essence and nature and the consequences of following Satan, and you ought to be aware of the significance of obeying God. Within these things there are many truths you ought to be aware of, and only after receiving many truths can you settle these issues. It will not work if you’re aware of only a few truths. If you are looking to become someone who truly obeys God, you ought to enter into many truths now. If you do not enter into these many truths or figure them out, you will not be able to enter very far into your obedience to God. Now it may be becoming clear to you that achieving true obedience to God is not easy. It is not as simple as you imagined, but you still do not see clearly why obeying God is this difficult and what truths you should understand. If you could see this point clearly, if you could further pursue the truth for some time and resolve such difficulties, then afterward you would be able to obey God more easily and enter into the truth more quickly. So, successful entry into any truth requires you to pursue the truth and have knowledge of your corrupt essence. If you can see clearly the nature of Satan, the essence of Satan, the philosophy of Satan and the poison of Satan, then you will have no difficulties in truly forsaking Satan and obeying God. Why can people not truly forsake Satan now? Everyone says that they hate Satan, everyone says that they want to forsake Satan, but they are unable to forsake it in actuality. Why is it that they are unable to forsake it? Because in their hearts they are still thinking about their own interests, they feel that the interests of the flesh are greater than everything else. Everyone regards the interests of the flesh as important. However, for longer-term interests, God is the source of everything, God is the Creator. As the Creator and the true God, He is able to bring about all happiness for mankind, He is able to bless mankind. He alone is the true Provider of existence for mankind, yet people are still unable to see this clearly. When they do not see this clearly, they feel that they would not be able to survive if they were to rid themselves of the philosophy and logic of Satan. If people knew that it is God who blesses man and has been leading man, and that God is almighty, then they would not rely on Satan, they would start to rebel against Satan. It is because people are unaware of these things that Satan is able to confuse them with small favors and benefits, so that they regard Satan as the true God, their Lord, and they believe that they could not survive without it. They give themselves up to the enemy. This is because they do not see through Satan! If you see that God is almighty, then you would say: “I will forsake you old Satan; even if that were to mean I would have nothing at all, I would still choose to forsake you.” If you are able to see these things clearly, then you will be able to truly hate Satan and forsake it. The results will turn out much better than you can even imagine, for God’s blessings are even greater. It is God, not Satan, who is able to truly bless mankind, supply mankind, and guide mankind. This is to understand the actual facts thoroughly. So, how much truth do you need to understand in order to see this actual fact clearly? People who have not pursued the truth for several years cannot gain an insight into it, so they are kept in the dark by Satan, stuck thinking that Satan is almighty, that Satan gives mankind everything and is able to guide people, and that they will only be able to fulfill their extravagant desires by worshiping Satan. So, people who do not possess the truth are blind, they do not see God’s deeds, they just have blind faith in Satan and worship it, and as a result they will ultimately be ruined by Satan. They will be devoured by Satan without ever realizing what happened, they will not know how they perished; this is how pitiful people are. Now it is only through pursuing the truth that you will come to have a thorough understanding of the actual fact of Satan’s oppression, abuse and devouring of mankind. It is only through pursuing the truth that you will be able to see that God is the Creator of man, that only God is able to guide mankind, provide for mankind, and save mankind, that only God is able to bless mankind and enable people to exist in eternity. Everything that we have today, everything that the entire human race has possessed up to now, the fact that mankind has been able to survive up to today, this is all due to God’s guidance, God’s supply and God’s protection of mankind. This is the truth of the matter. However, if you do not pursue the truth, then how can you gain such knowledge? So, we should now pursue the truth. Through pursuing the truth, you can achieve a true understanding of God, you can see clearly the actual facts of Satan’s corruption of mankind, its abuse of mankind and its devouring of the human race. Only in this way are we able to truly rebel against Satan, fully submit to God, and completely return to God. These things are all achievable through pursuing the truth. Now, although we have a little bit of obedience to God, we are still very far from achieving full obedience to God. To achieve this, we still need to pursue the truth. The more we understand of the truth, the more clearly we can see the philosophy and poison of Satan; the more clearly we can see the nature of Satan, the easier we can forsake Satan, and as a result this will make it easier to obey God. So why are there so many things where man does not obey God? To put it bluntly, they are unable to forsake Satan. Why are they unable to forsake Satan? It’s because they cannot discern or see clearly the ugliness and evil nature of Satan. If we do not forsake Satan, we cannot obey God. This is the root cause of our betrayal of God and our inability to truly submit to God, so we should pursue the truth in order to settle this issue. If you do not pursue the truth, this issue will never be settled. If you believe muddleheadedly, even if you believe for another 10 or 20 years, you will still not be able to obey God. … The pursuit of this truth will take you a long period of time. You should know what it means to obey God; if you can understand this truth, you will be aware of what God’s will is within the things that you encounter, and you will understand what God’s real requirements of man are. Then, in order to satisfy God, you will put God’s requirements into practice. This is called being truly obedient to God. That is to say, if you do not understand the truth of obeying God, you will not be able to obey God. When you go your own way, you are still under the impression that you are obeying God, but you actually are not. We can take the example of Job as an example. This kind of trial befell Job. Within a single day his abundance of livestock was robbed from him by bandits. How would you obey God and practice in this kind of event? If such a specific event befell you, how should you obey God? First of all, you should ascertain this: “These bandits making off with my property, does this actually stem from God? Was this actually permitted by God?” You need to clear this up, it will be bad if you do not. If you do not clear this up, then you will rely on your notions and imagination and say to yourself: “God gave me all of this property, so I cannot tolerate bandits making off with all of it. These things were not taken away by God, they were given to me by God, so I must chase after the bandits at all costs, I must fight them, I must file a lawsuit against them.” But wouldn’t it be a big nuisance to get yourself into this mess? Would you really be able to get your way? Would you really be able to strike down those bandits? If you chased after those bandits, they might beat you to death whenever you caught up with them. Do you know how Job understood this? When this event befell him, he certainly pondered it carefully. He must have thought about it, prayed about it and sought out answers for many hours. Perhaps he thought about it for half a day, or even a full day. But finally he ascertained that it was God who wanted to strip him of his property. It was God who permitted this, it was God who took away his property. “So if it is God who took away this, then what should I do about it? There’s nothing else to say, there’s no other choice. I should just submit to it, for I believe in God, I worship God; how could I complain to God? I cannot do that, I can only submit.” So, through seeking answers, through prayer, through pondering the issue over carefully, he finally ascertained that this event stemmed from God, that it was permitted by God, and that therefore he must submit to it. As a result, he declared, “the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” If Job had not sought the truth in the things that he encountered, then he could not have had this kind of testimony. If he had been unaware of God’s will, then he wouldn’t have known what to do to satisfy God. So then, how should we deal with the things that we encounter? How should you obey God? For this, you should also first seek the truth. If you do not seek the truth, you will not be able to hold God in reverence. If whenever you realize that your property has been robbed, you immediately grab a knife or a gun and chase after the bandits, then won’t you be done for? That would be proof that you are not someone who holds God in reverence, nor are you someone who seeks the truth. So whenever you encounter something, you ought to seek the truth. You cannot just rely on your own notions and think over the event. It’s not that simple. That’s not the way it is. Your own notions, your own imagination, your own thoughts are imprecise. You ought to search for the truth, look into what God’s intentions are, examine how the Holy Spirit enlightens you, and see what knowledge you should have of this. After you ascertain the truth, you can then show your attitude and choose the right path to obey God and satisfy God. If you do not seek the truth, if you rely on your notions and imagination, that would be troublesome and you would have no testimony and fall for Satan’s tricks. So, obeying God is not a simple matter. Nowadays there are many families that have fallen under hard times. Whenever people fall under hard times, those who have no truth would deal with it according to the ideas of nonbelievers. However, people that truly understand a little bit about the truth are able to see that it comes from God, they are able to carry out their obedience to God and deal with the situation based on the word of God. So, whenever something happens to them, people who understand the truth act differently from those who do not. When trials befall them, those who understand the truth can stand witness, grasp God’s will, and know what actions can satisfy God and bring shame upon Satan. Those who do not understand the truth would rely on their own notions and imagination and deal with things in the methods of nonbelievers, thus they cannot possess obedience or stand witness. Today we believe in God and pursue the truth in order that these issues can be solved. Later on a variety of calamities will come down upon us; we can say that all those who pursue salvation, all those who are among God’s chosen people, will face many calamities and undergo many trials. At that time, all will be determined by whether you can submit to God and truly stand witness. If you are pursuing the truth now, then when that day comes you will be able to stand witness. If you can bear resounding testimony to God like Job and satisfy God, then you will be saved. But if you do not seek the truth, whenever these trials come down upon you, you will collapse under their weight. You will not stand witness in any way whatsoever. You will be eliminated just the same as the nonbelievers. Since your actions all fully follow the philosophy, notions, and imagination of Satan, God will not acknowledge that you believe in Him, and as a result you will be eliminated. … So, if we want to become people who are truly obedient to God, we must pursue the truth to achieve true knowledge of God. The deeper your knowledge of God grows, the better you will be able to stand witness to God and the less able Satan will be to strike you down. You will be able to withstand whatever trials you face. No matter what Satan says, no matter what kind of environment you are in, you will not be defeated, because you have true knowledge of God. Job was someone who had knowledge of God, he had true faith, so even with the circumstances he faced he was not defeated. The witness he stood was very true. So, now if we want to achieve true obedience to God, we need to rely on our pursuit of the truth, and we need to pursue the truth for many years in order to achieve true knowledge of God. At that time our obedience to God will become more and more absolute, and more and more true.