Whenever I heard some people who did evil were punished or some who refused to perform duty suffered God’s discipline, I thought, “God’s nature is really not allowed to be offended by man! As we men are so weak and small, what good results can we get if we stand up to God? I cannot do things in opposition to God!” Therefore, I constantly warned myself never to do things to offend God. Sometimes when I was refined half dead because of my corrupt nature and wanted to leave God, I immediately reminded myself of the living examples of the punished people, and then I flinched and stopped thinking about that. I thought, “Ay, forget it. Wherever I flee, I can’t escape from God’s hand! I’d better continue to follow submissively.” Just like that, I often warned myself and followed cautiously, and always performed my duty in an attitude of “not aspiring to be meritorious but blameless.”
Just when I was following God negatively and passively, God’s love came upon me. One day, I read these words of God: “God’s substance is not only for man to believe in, but much more for man to love. Yet many people who believe in God cannot discover this ’‘secret.’ People ’‘do not dare’ to love God and do not know to love God. People have never discovered that God’s lovely aspects are too many and never discovered that God is a God who loves man and God is a God for man to love.” “If people’s attitude toward God is only admiring or keeping a respectful distance but having no love at all, this is what those who do not have a heart of loving God achieve. Such people lack the qualifications for being perfected. If God cannot gain people’s true love after so many works, this is the manifestation of their not gaining God and the manifestation of their not having a heart of truly pursuing the truth. Those who do not love God do not love the truth, and they cannot gain God, much less receive God’s approval. …”
God’s word gave my heart quite a start: Wasn’t my manifestation exactly the state pointed out by God’s word? Although I had believed in God and followed God for many years, I did not pursue the truth or the knowledge about God, so that I had no adoration for God and knew nothing about God’s lovely aspects and God’s substance of beauty and good. It was only because of fearing God’s nature and fearing to be punished by God that I dared not leave God and had to perform some duty but perfunctorily. I did not follow God actively, but negatively and passively. I thought that God was a God who punished man and struck down man, so I guarded against God in everything and stayed at a respectful distance from God. How greatly I had misunderstood and blasphemed God! Think about the work God did on me: Although sometimes what came upon me was severe word of judgment and sometimes merciless smiting and discipline, isn’t all this in order to wake up my numb heart and spirit and cleanse away my inner filthiness and corruptions so as to deliver me from satan’s power of darkness soon? Doesn’t all this contain God’s considerate intention and God’s love? Besides, by disciplining those who disobey him and by punishing those who do evil, hasn’t God made us see his righteousness and holiness and know his nature that is not allowed to be offended by man and develop our fear of him? If God had not done so, how could I watch my steps because of fearing God’s nature? Doesn’t this cause me to be imperceptibly kept by God? However, I did not realize God’s love and God’s salvation; on the contrary, I misunderstood God and guarded against God. I really hurt God’s heart too much!
Now, I realize that God’s substance is love and all that his nature manifests is love. Whatever comes upon man, whether it is dealing and pruning, or chastisement or curse or punishment, is love and salvation for man. In the future, I will no longer guard against God or follow God so passively. I will pursue the truth and pursue to know God’s beauty, good, and lovely aspects so as to get rid of my satanic corrupt nature soon and be in harmony with God.
Heze City, Shandong Province