Chapter 48. Only by Understanding Your Own Conditions Can You Walk the Right Track
There often exist in man some negative conditions. Among them are some conditions that can influence people or control them. There are some conditions that can even make someone diverge from the true way and head off in the wrong direction. What man seeks, what they pay attention to and what path they choose to take—these are all connected with their inner conditions. Even more is man’s weakness or strength connected directly with their inner conditions. For example, many people now lay particular emphasis on the day of God; they all desire it, yearning for the day of God to swiftly arrive so that they can extricate themselves from this suffering, these illnesses, this persecution and more. People think that when the day of God arrives then they will be exonerated from this suffering, they will never again suffer hardships, and they will be free.
If someone is to seek to understand God or seek the truth from within this kind of condition, then their seeking will be limited. When any setback or anything unpleasant befalls them, then all the weakness, the negativity and rebelliousness inside them comes to the fore. So if someone’s condition is abnormal or incorrect, then the purpose of their seeking will also be incorrect and will certainly be impure. Some people seek to enter from within incorrect conditions, yet they think they are doing well in their seeking, that they are doing things in accordance with God’s requirements and are practicing in accordance with the truth. They don’t believe that they have gone against God’s intention or deviated from His will. You may feel that way, but when some unpleasant event or difficult environment causes you suffering, then it touches your weak spots and touches the things you yearn for deep in your soul. Your hopes evaporate and your dreams come to nothing so you naturally become weak. So your condition at that time will decide whether you are strong or weak. Now there are many who feel that they are very strong and have some stature, or that they have more faith than before, that they are already on the right track and no longer need anyone to drag them along or spur them on. So why is it they can become weak when faced with difficult environments? Why could these environments result in them losing their faith? To the point where they even return to the world? Furthermore, there are those who acknowledge that there is a God but are not willing to believe in Him. This shows that everybody has some abnormal conditions. Even though you believe in God and seek the truth, you still are not able to entirely relinquish those things inside you. Some of the impure things inside man are not easily relinquished, so man can only change gradually once they have an understanding of them through God’s revelations. Some people think they still experience no change after talking about their conditions and that they are still the same! After pointing it out they perceive that the condition isn’t right and they will be able to recognize it as abnormal when it reappears in the future. They will also recognize that, with a heart like this, their seeking to enter and the doing of their duties cannot reach the level that God requires, much less can they satisfy God. Many people begin believing by their seeking based on a false premise, with the result that they are most often negative and weak, and cannot remain standing. To take an example: Some people feel in their conceptions that God gives them a promise that they will not be caught, or that now they have abandoned their family, God will guarantee to look after them for the rest of their lives. They feel that God should be this way, until one day something arises that falls short of their desires; it could be an illness, and living with their host family is not as comfortable as living with their own family had been, when they had been able to eat what they wanted and lie down when they wanted, and they feel unable to cope if others’ care of them is a little bit lacking, so they become weak under these conditions. Something like this can lead to them becoming disheartened and weak, and they will complain for a long time, even to the point where they cease to seek the truth and deny the significance of belief in God. So if people don’t understand some conditions within them or if they don’t feel that they are wrong, then no matter how hard they seek the truth or how enthusiastic they are, they may fall one day. Very few people can obtain the truth, after all. Understanding the truth is not a simple matter. It takes a long time to understand even a little, a long time to have a little understanding through experience, to realize a little pure understanding or to gain a little light. If you don’t resolve all the impurities within you, then that little bit of light can be drowned at any time or place. The key difficulty with man now is that every person has within them some imaginings, conceptions, desires and empty ideals that they are themselves unable to discover. These things constantly accompany people, mixing them up on the inside. This is certainly very dangerous and they will perhaps go wrong at any moment, speaking nonsense or beginning to grumble. There is so much impurity inside man. Although they may harbor good desires, such as “I must seek the truth, I must be a good believer in God,” they are still not able to fulfill their aims. This kind of thing happens often in everyone’s experience. Other people may think that such small matters can be easily relinquished, but why is it that you cannot relinquish them? Why do those who are ordinarily relatively experienced, who look comparatively strong to others, and who have a clear head, fall when they encounter a small matter, and fall so quickly? It really is that man is subject to the fickleness of fortune; how can they possibly predict it? Inside every person there are some things they are willing to pursue and obtain, and everyone has their own likes. More often than not, people cannot perceive this themselves, or they believe these things are fine, that there is nothing wrong with them. Then one day something like this comes along and they stumble, they become negative, weak, and cannot get back up. They may not know themselves what the problem is, only feeling that they are justified and that it is God who has wronged them. If you don’t understand yourself then you will never be able to know where your own difficulties lie, nor will you know how you meet your end. It is pitiable. It looks as if the impurities in man can at times bring them to ruin.
Many people have said this before: “I understand all the truth, it’s just that I cannot put it into practice.” This sentence reveals the root problem, which is also a problem within people’s natures. If someone’s nature is bored of the truth then they will never put the truth into practice. Those who are bored of the truth will most certainly harbor extravagant desires with their belief in God; no matter what they do, their own intentions are always present. For example, some who have suffered persecution and cannot return home yearn and say: “Oh, I still cannot go home after all this time. But I know that one day God will give me a better home. He will keep me from suffering and He will give me food to eat no matter where I live. God will not lead me into a dead end. If He did then He would have done wrong, He would have made a mistake. It wouldn’t be my mistake.” Do people not have these thoughts within them? Or there are some who think, “I am spending much for God, so He shouldn’t put me into the hands of the ruling authorities.” Or they think, “I have abandoned much and I earnestly seek the truth, so it is only right for God to treat me by doing such-and-such” or “We are so looking forward to the day of God to arrive, so the day of God should arrive soon and God should make our wishes come true.” Furthermore, people make extravagant demands on God, such as: “We have done this, so it is only right for God to do such-and-such. We have achieved some things so God should grant us some reward and give us some blessings.” Many people harbor these ideas within themselves. When they see others leaving their homes, leaving their husbands and their families, then spending for God in a relaxed way, they feel low and think: “Others have left their home for so long, how can they overcome it? What is their secret? Why can’t I ever overcome it? Why do I always miss home? Why can’t I ever let my family, my husband and my children go?” Finally, they think: “Why is God kind to her but not to me? Why do I always miss home? Why does the Holy Spirit not bestow grace on me? Why is God not with me?” What condition is this? People are so unreasonable. They don’t put the truth into practice but instead complain about God. They have none of their subjective efforts nor anything they should subjectively achieve. They have given up on the choices they should subjectively make and the road they should walk. They always demand God to do this or do that, and want God to be kind to them blindly, to blindly grace them, guide them, to give them enjoyment. They think: “I have left my home, I have abandoned so much, I perform my duty and I have suffered so much. God should therefore grace me, make me not miss home, give me the resolution to abandon things, and make me stronger. Why am I so weak? Why are others so strong? God should make me strong.” Seeing someone say these words, it is clear that they are completely unreasonable, much less do they have any truth. How do people’s complaints come about? “Ah, how come other people have a host family to go to when they cannot return home? Why do I have nowhere to host me? Why can’t I have the same? Other people can all go home, but why are there adverse circumstances at my home?” These are the thoughts that arise from within people and they are entirely representative of their natures. These things inside them, regardless of what environment they encounter, can lead them to abandon the true way and betray God at any time. No matter how great their stature, no matter how much truth they understand, if they don’t cast out these things within them, they will never have any assurance to remain standing. It will be possible for them to betray God, for them to blaspheme against Him and for them to abandon the true way at any time and in any place. This is something that can happen very easily. Do you see clearly now? People must understand and master what their natures can reveal at any time; they must approach this problem conscientiously. Those with a comparatively good understanding of the truth will at times become a little aware. They can then discover the problem and carry out deep introspection. Sometimes, however, they will not be aware of the problem and so there will be nothing they can do. They can then only wait for God to disclose to them or to reveal the facts to them. Thoughtless people will at times become aware, but will just humor themselves, saying: “Oh, people are all like this so it doesn’t mean anything. God will forgive me and will not remember it. This is just normal.” What they should choose and what they should do they do not do and do not achieve. They are all muddleheaded, severely inert, and they are very dependent, even aspiring after the impossible: “If God changes us utterly one day, we won’t be inert anymore. We can then walk on without help. God then won’t need to bother that much about us.” So, you must see clearly now. Walking this path means that you should have your own choices, and how each person chooses is crucial. You have such awareness, so how strong are you when it comes to exercising self-restraint? How strong are you when it comes to forsaking yourself? This is the premise to practicing the truth and is the key element. Whenever you encounter something or whenever you do something in a situation where you are aware of how to do it in conformity with the truth, what choice do you make? What should you put into practice? Only by clarifying the matter for yourself will you know how to proceed. If you can be aware of the rights and wrongs of your own conditions but cannot be entirely clear and you just carry on in your muddleheaded way, then you will never make any progress or experience any breakthrough. If you are not serious about entry into life, then you are only holding yourself back, and this can only prove that you don’t love the truth. Previously, some people thought: “We yearn for a swift downfall of the great red dragon and we yearn for the day of God to hurry up and arrive. Are these not proper demands? Is not yearning for the day of God to come soon the same as yearning for the swift glorification of God?” People bring into play their own disguised yet pleasant-sounding interpretations when, actually, people only do this for themselves. What do they yearn for that isn’t for themselves? Nothing. They do this only so they themselves can quickly be freed from their difficult surroundings, to quickly be freed from this painful world. There are some people in particular who see the promise given before to the firstborn sons of God and they have an incredible thirst for this. Whenever they read those words, it is like consoling themselves with false hopes. The lusts and selfish desires within man have not yet been entirely relinquished, so no matter how you seek the truth, it will only ever be half-hearted. When some converts yearn for the day of God but it doesn’t come, how they holler and howl! As distressed as though they were themselves being scorched and burned by fire, they almost shout loudly: “Oh! I can’t take it anymore! When will the day of God arrive? We can’t stand it anymore! Oh, won’t the day of God come quickly? Let us pray together.” They feel as though these two years have been unbearable. How can those veterans of the church who have always followed God still be following God now? Are these words not sustaining them? Is it okay for you to have so much impurity inside but not to accept refinement? How can you change unless you endure suffering? Only by being refined to a certain level will you be able to willingly abide by God’s arrangements and never again have any complaint. When that time comes, you will have changed completely.