Observing Regulations Cannot Transform One’s Nature
I was a person readmitted by God’s family. Because I had committed a serious transgression, after I came back to God’s family, in order not to relapse into my old transgression, I became timid and cautious in everything, and I practiced “forsaking the flesh” and “obeying God” in everything. In the meetings, I feared that if I fellowshipped much I would be considered as showing off, so I tried to restrain myself from fellowshipping about much knowledge of God’s word. When the brothers and sisters asked me to point out their deviations and defects, even though I had noticed some, I purposely did not tell them because I wanted to practice “denying the self” and reject my own opinions, lest I make too high demands on them. When I met someone of the opposite sex, I lowered my head and dared not talk to him, and I even deliberately put on a cold face and kept a good distance from him. When my state was abnormal, I dared not open myself and seek fellowship from others, for fear that my opening would develop into spreading passivity. Even when I heard some people’s sayings or fellowships not in accordance with the truth, I “accepted them from God” and blindly obeyed. … After I practiced “forsaking the flesh” like this for some time, I found that my original corrupt nature remained the same, without any changes. I was then very weary. I felt that it was too difficult to practice the truth and pursue the transformation of my nature, and thought that I could never be transformed no matter how hard I tried. Thereafter, I prayed less and could not quiet my heart to eat and drink God’s word.
One day, during my fellowship with the sister of the host family, I read in the man’s fellowship these words: “Only those who practice the truth are the ones who have the truth. Those who do not have the truth observe regulations instead…. If one always observes regulations and does not pursue the truth, he cannot gain the truth. To change from observing regulations to practicing the truth requires experience; this is a process of knowing, entering further into, understanding, and gaining the truth. Those who love the truth will receive life from God, and the truth will become their life. … Once something becomes what man’s life is and becomes a part of his life, no matter how painful it is, he will not feel pain but feel enjoyment. …to practice the truth is man’s life instinct, which can govern man’s everything. Once the truth is known and grasped by man, his living will be renewed and a true life will appear accordingly. … Observing regulations is like doing something that you are unwilling to do, like an extra burden, so of course you are constrained in doing it. In a bad mood, you cannot do a good job. Today you can observe them, but tomorrow you may break them. Thus, you feel great difficulty. Observing regulations is an outward practice; because you do not know the substance of the truth, you cannot achieve good results.…”
After reading these words, I examined my state and suddenly felt brightened in my heart. I was observing regulations in all my doings. I did not at all understand what it means to truly practice the truth. Actually, my practices have strayed from the path of God perfecting man, which is to practice the truth, pursue to enter further into the truth, and gain the transformation of my nature. I restrained myself with the regulations made by myself, just like doing something I was unwilling to do, so I felt weariness, difficulty, and pain of being not released. I always took my regulations as truths to practice. Consequently, not only has my corrupt nature not been transformed, but I have fallen into passivity, concluding that I could never be transformed. This shows that my ability to understand the truth is too poor. I am really foolish, ignorant, and muddle-headed to the extreme. I am an utter fool who does not understand the truth. If God had not inspired and guided me today, I don’t know how long I would continue to be bound by the regulations.
Thank God that his inspiration has corrected my deviation in practice and freed me from the bondage of the regulations. I have realized that if one believes in God but does not pursue to understand the truth, he cannot gain the true transformation in his nature. From now on, I will spend a great effort on the truth, and pursue to understand the truth and practice the truth, so as to gain the true transformation in my nature.
Datong City, Shanxi Province