609 The Meaning of Forsaking the Flesh
1 Whether you can gain life before God and what your ultimate end will be, depend on how you carry out your rebellion against the flesh. God has saved you and chosen you and predestined you, yet if today you are unwilling to satisfy Him, you are unwilling to put the truth into practice, you are unwilling to rebel against your own flesh with a heart that truly loves God, ultimately you will ruin yourself, and will thus endure extreme pain. If you always pander to the flesh, Satan will gradually swallow you up inside, and leave you without life, or the touch of the Spirit, until the day comes when you are completely dark inside. When you live in darkness, you will have been taken captive by Satan, you will no longer have God in your heart, and at that time you will deny God’s existence and leave Him.
2 Thus, if you wish to love God, you must pay the price of pain and endure hardship. There is no need for external fervency and hardship, reading more and running about more; instead, you should put aside the things within you: the extravagant thoughts, personal interests, and your own considerations, notions, and intentions. Such is God’s will. God asks people to put the truth into practice primarily to deal with the things inside them, to deal with their thoughts and notions that are not after God’s heart. It is because there are many things within people that are not fit for use by God, and because there is much of the rebellious disposition of the flesh, that people need to learn the lesson of rebelling against the flesh more profoundly. This is what God calls the suffering that He asked man to undergo with Him.
Adapted from “Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God”
in The Word Appears in the Flesh