Discussing Church Life and Real Life
People feel that they are only able to transform within their church life, and that if they are not living within the church, transformation is not possible, that they are unable to achieve transformation in their real life. Can you recognize what this issue is? I have talked about bringing God into real life, and this is the path for those who believe in God to enter into the reality of God’s words. In fact, the life of the church is only a limited way to perfect men. The primary environment for perfecting men is still real life. This is the actual practice and actual training that I talked about, which allows men to achieve a life of normal humanity and to live out the likeness of a true person during daily life. One aspect is that one must become educated in order to elevate his own educational level, be able to understand God’s words, and achieve the capability to understand. Another aspect is that one must be equipped with the basic knowledge required to live as a human being in order to achieve the insight and reason of normal humanity, because men are almost entirely lacking in these areas. Furthermore, one must also come to savor God’s words through church life, and gradually come to have a clear understanding of the truth.
Why is it said that in believing in God, one must bring God into real life? Not only can the life of the church transform man, but more importantly, man should enter into reality in real life. You used to always talk about your spiritual state and spiritual matters while neglecting training in many things, as well as neglecting your entry into them. You wrote every day, you listened every day, and you read every day. You prayed while you were cooking: “Oh God! May You become my life within me. How should I pass this day? Please bless me, enlighten me. Whatever You enlighten me on today, please allow me to understand it in this moment, so that Your words may act as my life.” You also prayed while you were eating dinner: “Oh God! You have bestowed this meal upon us. May You bless us. Amen! Please allow us to rely on You for our lives. May You be with us. Amen!” After you finished your dinner and were washing the dishes, you started rambling again: “Oh God, I am this bowl. After this bowl has been used it has become like us, corrupted by Satan, and now it must be washed with water, and You are the water, Your words are the living water that provides for my life.” After having said that, when it was time for bed, you started rambling again: “Oh God! You have blessed me and guided me through the day. I am truly grateful to You….” This was how you passed your day and entered into your slumber. Most people lived like this every day, and even until now, they have not paid attention to actual entry, but only focus on paying lip service in their prayers. This is man’s previous life—this is their old life. Most people are like this, lacking any actual training, and they have very few real transformations. They only pay lip service in their prayers, approaching God through their words but lacking transformations in understanding. Let us take the simplest example—tidying your home. You see that your home is messy, so you sit there and pray: “Oh God! Look at the corruption that Satan has wrought on this home. Oh God! I praise and thank You. I am just as dirty as this home, and without Your salvation and enlightenment, I would not have realized this fact.” You only sit there and ramble on, praying for a long time, and then you act as if nothing has happened, behaving like a rambling old woman. You pass your spiritual life this way without any true entry into reality at all, with too many superficial practices! In the training of entry into reality, it involves people’s real lives and it involves their practical difficulties—only this can transform them. Without real life, men cannot be transformed, and what then is the use of paying lip service in their prayers? Without understanding the nature of men, everything is a waste of time, and without a path for practice, everything is a waste of effort! Proper prayers can maintain a proper state within people, but it cannot thoroughly transform them. Knowing human self-righteousness, arrogance, conceit, hubris, and corrupt disposition—knowledge of these things does not come through prayers, but they are discovered through savoring God’s words, and they are known through enlightenment by the Holy Spirit in real life. People nowadays are all able to speak well, and they have listened to the loftiest preaching, loftier than any others through the ages, yet very little of it is actually implemented in their real life. That is to say, in people’s real life there is no God, and they are lacking the life of a new man after transformation. There is no living out the truth in real life, and there is no bringing God into real life. People’s lives are lived as if they are the sons of hell. Is this not an obvious deviation?
In order to restore the likeness of a normal person, that is, to achieve having normal humanity, people cannot merely please God with their words. They are harming themselves by doing so, and it brings no benefit to their entry and transformation. Therefore, to attain transformation, people must practice little by little, enter slowly, seek and explore bit by bit, enter in from the positive, and live a practical life of truth, a life of the saints. From now on, it involves real matters, real things, and real environments, allowing people to have practical training. It does not require them to pay any lip service; instead, it requires training in real environments. People come to realize that they are of poor caliber, and then they have the proper eating and drinking of God’s words, proper entry, and proper practice; this is how they obtain reality, and this is how entry may occur even more rapidly. To transform people, there must be some practicality, they must practice with real matters, real things, and real environments. By merely relying on church life, is it possible to achieve true training? Could man enter into reality? No. If man is unable to enter into real life, then he is unable to transform his old ways of doing things and living life. It is not entirely due to the laziness of man or his strong dependency, but rather it is because man simply does not have the capacity for living, and moreover, he has no understanding of the standard of the likeness of a normal man that God requires. In the past, people were always talking, speaking, having fellowship, and they even became “orators”; yet none of them were seeking transformations in life disposition; they only insisted on seeking profound theories. Therefore, today you must change this religious life of believing in God. You must enter in and practice by targeting one thing, one matter, one person. You must do things with focus—only then can you attain results. To transform people, it must begin with their substance. The work must be targeted on people’s substance, their life, on the laziness, dependency, and slavishness of people, and only in this way can they be transformed.
Even though the life of the church can produce results in some areas, the key is still that real life can transform people, and their old nature cannot be transformed without real life. Let us take the work of Jesus during the Age of Grace. When Jesus abolished the previous laws and established the commandments of the new age, He spoke through examples of real life. When Jesus led His disciples through the wheat field on a Sunday, when the disciples got hungry and they plucked and ate ears of grain, the unbelievers saw this and said that they did not observe the Sabbath. They also said that people were not allowed to save the calves that had fallen into a pit on the Sabbath, saying that no work might be performed during the Sabbath. Jesus used these incidents to gradually promulgate the commandments of the new age. At the time, He used many practical matters to have people understand and transform. This is the principle by which the Holy Spirit performs His work, and it is only this way that can transform people. When lacking practical matters, people can only gain understanding in theory and they are only able to understand things intellectually—this is not an effective way to transform people. Speaking of acquiring wisdom and insight through training, how could this be achieved? Could man acquire wisdom and insight simply from listening, reading, and advancing his knowledge? How does this lead to the acquisition of wisdom and insight? Man must strive to understand and experience through real life. Therefore, training cannot be lacking and one cannot depart from real life. Man must pay attention to different aspects and have entry in various aspects: educational level, expressiveness, the ability to see things, discernment, the ability to understand God’s words, common sense and rules of humanity, and other things relating to humanity that man must be equipped with. After understanding has been attained, man must focus on entry, and only then can transformation be attained. If man has attained understanding yet neglected practice, how can transformation occur? Now, man has understood much, but he does not live out reality, thus he is able to have only a little substantive understanding of God’s words. You have only been marginally enlightened; you have received a little illumination from the Holy Spirit, yet you have no entry in real life, or you might not even care about entry, thus you will only have little transformation. After such a long time, people have understood a lot and they are able to talk a lot about their knowledge of theories, but their external disposition remains the same, and their original caliber lingers without the slightest elevation. If this is the case, when will you finally enter in?
Church life is only a kind of life where men gather to savor God’s words, and it takes up only a small sliver of a person’s life. If a person’s real life could also be like his church life, including a proper spiritual life, properly savoring God’s words, praying and being close to God properly, living a real life where everything is carried out in accordance with God’s will, living a real life where everything is carried out in accordance with the truth, living a real life of practicing prayers and being quiet before God, of practicing the singing of hymns and dancing, only such a life would bring man into a life of God’s words. Most people only focus on the several hours of their church life without “tending to” their life outside those hours, as if it is of no concern to them. There are also many people who only enter into the life of the saints when eating and drinking God’s words, singing hymns or praying, and then they revert to their old selves outside those times. Such lives cannot transform people, and they will not allow them to know God. In believing in God, if man desires transformation in his own disposition, then he must not detach himself from real life. In real life, you must know yourself, forsake yourself, practice the truth, as well as learn the principles, common sense and rules of self-conduct in all things before you are able to achieve gradual transformation. 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. The purpose of God’s working man is not to allow him to have a proper human life only several hours out of the entire day while living in the flesh the rest of the time. And it is not to transform man’s knowledge of theories. Rather, it is to change his old disposition, to change all of his old life, to change all of his outdated thinking and his mental outlook. Focusing only on church life will not change man’s old life habits or change the old ways he has lived for a long time. No matter what, man must not become detached from real life. God asks that people live out normal humanity in real life, not just in church life; that they live out the truth in real life, not just in church life; that they fulfill their functions in real life, not just in church life. To enter into reality, one must turn everything toward real life. If believers in God cannot enter into real life and know themselves or live out normal humanity in real life, they will become failures. Those who disobey God are all people who cannot enter into real life. They are all people who speak of humanity but live out the nature of demons. They are all people who speak of the truth but live out doctrines instead. Those who cannot live out the truth in real life are those who believe in God but are detested and rejected by Him. You have to practice your entry in real life, know your own deficiencies, disobedience and ignorance, and know your abnormal humanity and weaknesses. That way, all your knowledge will be integrated into your actual situation and difficulties. Only this kind of knowledge is real and can allow you to truly grasp your own condition and achieve your dispositional transformation.
Now that the perfecting of mankind has formally begun, one must enter into real life. Therefore, to achieve transformation, one must start from entry into real life, and transform little by little. If you avoid man’s normal life and only talk about spiritual matters, then things become dry and flat, they become unrealistic, and how could man transform? Now you are told to enter into real life to practice, in order to establish a foundation for entering into true experience. This is one of the things that man should do. The work of the Holy Spirit is mainly guidance, while the rest depends on people’s practice and entry. Everyone may attain entry into real life through various paths, such that they can bring God into real life, and live out a real normal humanity. Only this is a life with meaning!