Throughout Peter’s experiences, he had endured hundreds of trials. Though people now are aware of the term “trial,” they do not at all understand its true meaning or circumstances. God tempers the determination of man, refines his confidence, and perfects his every part, achieving this mostly through trials. Trials are also the hidden work of the Holy Spirit. It seems that God has forsaken man, and so man will, if not careful, see them as Satan’s temptations. In fact, many trials can be considered temptations, and this is the principle and rule of God’s work. If man truly lives before God, he will see them as trials by God and not let them slip. If someone says that because God is with him Satan will surely not approach him, this is not entirely correct. How can it be explained that Jesus faced temptations after He had fasted in the wilderness for forty days? So if man has truly put right his views on believing in God, he will see many things much more clearly and will not have skewed and fallacious understanding. If one is truly resolved to be made perfect by God, he needs to approach matters he is faced with from many different angles, neither leaning to the left nor the right. If you do not have knowledge of God’s work, you will not know how to cooperate with God. If you do not know the principles of God’s work and are unaware of how Satan works on man, you will have no path of practice. A mere zealous pursuit will not allow you to attain the results God demands. Such way of experience is akin to that of Lawrence, not differentiating and only focusing on experience, utterly unaware of what Satan’s work is, of what the work of the Holy Spirit is, what man is like without the presence of God, what kind of people God wants to perfect. How to behave toward different people, how to grasp God’s present will, how to know God’s disposition, at which people, which circumstances, and which age, God’s mercy, His majesty and righteousness are directed—he does not differentiate these. If man does not have many visions as his foundation, a foundation for his experiences, then life is out of the question, even less so is experience; he just foolishly keeps submitting to everything, enduring everything. All such people are very difficult to be made perfect. It may be said that having none of the visions touched on above is ample proof you are being a fool, akin to a pillar of salt, always standing in Israel. Such people are useless, they are good-for-nothings! Some people only ever submit blindly, they always know themselves and always use their ways of conducting themselves when dealing with new matters, or use “wisdom” to deal with trivial matters that are unworthy of mention, those are people who are devoid of discernment, as if they by nature were to resign themselves to adversity, always being the same, never changing; this is a fool with no discernment whatsoever. They never suit measures to the circumstances or to different people. Such people do not have experience. I see that some people know themselves to a certain point that when confronted with those who have the work of the evil spirit they even lower their heads and admit guilt, not daring to stand up and condemn them. When faced with the obvious work of the Holy Spirit, they do not dare obey, either, believing that evil spirits are also in the hands of God, and not in the slightest do they dare to rise in resistance. These are people who do not have the dignity of God, and they are definitely unable to bear heavy burdens for God. Such muddled people do not differentiate. This way of experience ought therefore to be abandoned as it is untenable in the eyes of God.
God indeed does a lot of work on people, sometimes trying them, sometimes creating environments to temper them, and sometimes speaking words to guide them and amend their shortcomings. Sometimes the Holy Spirit leads people to environments prepared by God for them to unknowingly discover many things that they lack. Through what people say and do, the way that people treat others and deal with things, without their knowing it, the Holy Spirit enlightens them to understand many things that were not understood before, allowing them to comprehend many things or people more thoroughly, allowing them to see into many things of which they were previously unaware. If you are in contact with the world, you gradually become more discriminating about the things of the world, and as you approach death you might conclude: “It is truly hard to be a person.” If you experience for some time in the presence of God, and come to understand God’s work and His disposition, you will unwittingly gain much insight, and your stature will gradually grow. You will understand many spiritual things better, and you will be more clear about God’s work in particular. You will be able to accept God’s words, God’s work, God’s every action, God’s disposition, and what God is and has as your own life. If all you do is wander in the world, your wings will become harder and harder, and the aspect of you that resists God will become ever greater. It will be hard for God to find a use for you. Because there is too much of that “as I see it” aspect in you, it is hard for God to find a use for you. The more you are in the presence of God, the more experiences you will have. If you are still in the world like a beast, your mouth professing belief in God but your heart somewhere else, and learn worldly philosophies of life, would this not be undoing all the previous work? Therefore, the more that people are in the presence of God the easier they are to be perfected by God. This is the path by which the Holy Spirit does His work. If you do not understand this, it will be impossible for you to enter onto the right track, and being perfected by God will be out of the question. You will not be able to have a normal spiritual life, and you will be as if disabled, with only your own hard work and none of God’s work. Would this not be something wrong with your experience? You don’t necessarily have to pray to be in the presence of God. Sometimes it is in your contemplating God or pondering His work, sometimes in your dealing with some matter, and sometimes through your being revealed in an event, that you come into God’s presence. Most people say, am I not in the presence of God, since I often pray? Many people pray endlessly “in the presence of God.” The prayers may be always on their lips, but they do not really live in God’s presence. This kind of person can only maintain their condition of being in the presence of God in this way. They cannot contact God with their hearts constantly, or use the method of experience to come into God’s presence, be it through pondering, silent contemplation in their hearts, or contacting the God of their hearts with their own hearts by considering God’s burden. They offer prayers up to the sky with their mouths. Most people do not have God in their hearts, and they have God only when they get close to God, but most of the time they don’t have God at all. Is this not an expression of not having God in one’s heart? If they really have God, would they be likely to do things that robbers or beasts do? If a person really reveres God, they will bring their true heart in contact with God, and their thoughts and ideas will always be occupied by God’s words. They will be unlikely to make mistakes in the outward things that people are capable of achieving, not doing anything that obviously opposes God. Only this is the standard of being a believer.