15. The Principles of Serving God
1. You must possess a God-loving heart, be able to be considerate toward God’s will, be of one mind with God in all things, and work hard to be God’s intimate;
2. You must seek the truth in all things and be able to grasp God’s will, cooperate closely in the work of the Holy Spirit, and keep pace with the Holy Spirit’s work;
3. As you perform your duties, you must practice the truth and use the truth to resolve problems in order to exalt God and bear witness for God, and to bring God’s chosen people before Him;
4. Be always able to be quiet before God, to examine and know yourself, and promptly correct any transgression or mistake you discover to ensure that God’s will is carried out without obstruction.
Relevant Words of God:
Those who serve God should be God’s intimates, they should be beloved by God, and capable of the utmost loyalty to God. Regardless of whether you act behind people, or in front of them, you are able to gain the joy of God before God, you are able to stand firm before God, and regardless of how other people treat you, you always walk your own path, and give every care to God’s burden. Only this is an intimate of God. That God’s intimates are able to serve Him directly is because they have been given God’s great commission, and God’s burden, they are able to take God’s heart as their own, and God’s burden as their own, and they give no consideration to whether they gain or lose prospect: Even when they have no prospects, and they will gain nothing, they will always believe in God with a loving heart. And so, this kind of person is God’s intimate. God’s intimates are also His confidants; only God’s confidants could share His restlessness, and His wants, and although their flesh is painful and weak, they are able to endure pain and forsake that which they love to satisfy God. God gives more burdens to such people, and that which God shall do is expressed through these people. Thus, these people are beloved by God, they are servants of God who are after His own heart….
You should take advantage of having just entered onto the right track of serving God to first give your heart to God, without divided loyalties. Regardless of whether you are before God, or before other people, your heart should always face God, and you should be resolved to love God like Jesus. In this way, God will make you perfect, so that you become a servant of God who is after His heart. If you truly wish to be made perfect by God, and for your service to be in harmony with His will, then you should change your previous views about faith in God, and change the way you used to serve God, so that more of you is made perfect by God; in this way, God will not abandon you, and, like Peter, you will be at the vanguard of those who love God. If you remain unrepentant, then you will meet the same end as Judas. This should be understood by all those who believe in God.
from “How to Serve in Harmony With God’s Will” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Jesus was able to complete God’s commission—the work of all mankind’s redemption—because He gave every care to God’s will, without His personal plans and considerations. So, too, was He the intimate of God—God Himself, something which you all understand very well. (Actually, He was the God Himself who was testified to by God; I mention this here to use the fact of Jesus to illustrate the issue.) He was able to place God’s management plan at the very center, and always prayed to the heavenly Father and sought the will of the heavenly Father. He prayed, and said: “God the Father! Accomplish that which is of Your will, and act not according to My intentions; would that You act according to Your plan. Man may be weak, but why should You care for him? How could man be the subject of Your concern, man who is like an ant in Your hand? In My heart, I wish only to accomplish Your will, and I would that You can do what You would do in Me according to Your own intentions.” On the road to Jerusalem, Jesus felt in agony, as if a knife were being twisted in His heart, yet He had not the slightest intention of going back on His word; always there was a powerful force compelling Him onward to where He would be crucified. Ultimately, He was nailed to the cross and became the likeness of sinful flesh, completing that work of the redemption of mankind, and rising above the shackles of death and Hades. Before Him, mortality, hell, and Hades lost their power, and were vanquished by Him. He lived for thirty-three years, throughout which He always did His utmost to fulfill God’s will according to God’s work at the time, never considering His own personal gain or loss, and always thinking of the will of God the Father. Thus, after He was baptized, God said: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Because of His service before God that was in harmony with God’s will, God placed the heavy burden of redeeming all mankind upon His shoulders and made Him go forth to accomplish it, and He was qualified and entitled to complete this important task. Throughout His life, He endured immeasurable suffering for God, and He was tempted by Satan countless times, but He was never disheartened. God gave Him such a task because He trusted Him, and loved Him….
If, like Jesus, you are able to give every care to God’s burden, and turn your back on your flesh, God will entrust His important tasks to you, so that you will meet the conditions of serving God.
from “How to Serve in Harmony With God’s Will” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
If you pray to God and eat and drink of His words every day, are always thinking of the work of the church, if you show consideration for God’s will, use your heart to genuinely love Him and satisfy His heart, then your heart will belong to God. If your heart is occupied by a number of other things, then it is still occupied by Satan and it has not truly turned to God. When someone’s heart has truly turned toward God, they will have genuine, spontaneous love for Him and will be able to consider God’s work. Although they will still have foolish and senseless states, they will be able to have consideration for the interests of the house of God, for His work, and for a change in their disposition. Their heart will be entirely correct. Some people are always waving the flag of the church no matter what they do; the truth is that this is for their own benefit. That kind of person does not have the right kind of motive. He is crooked and deceitful and most of the things that he does are to seek his own personal benefit. That kind of person does not pursue loving God; his heart still belongs to Satan and cannot turn toward God. God has no way to obtain that kind of person.
from “Genuine Love for God Is Spontaneous” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
No matter what you do, you should first understand why you are actually doing it and what the nature of the matter is. If it is categorized as fulfilling your duty, then you should ponder: How should I do this? How should I fulfill my duty well so that I am not doing it perfunctorily? This is a matter in which you should draw close to God. Drawing close to God is seeking the truth in this matter, it is seeking the way to practice, it is seeking the will of God, and it is seeking how to satisfy God. These are the methods for drawing close to God while doing things; it is not performing a religious ceremony or an outward action; it is done for the purpose of practicing in accordance with the truth after seeking God’s will. If you always say “Thank God” when you are not doing anything, but when you are doing something, you still do it according to your own will, this type of thanks is an outward action. When fulfilling your duty or working on something, you should always think: How should I fulfill this duty? What is God’s intention? Through matters, you draw close to God, and through drawing close to God, you seek the principles and truths to do things, you seek God’s will from within and do not leave God in all that you do. This is a person who truly believes in God.
from “Seeking God’s Will and Putting Truth Into Practice to the Greatest Extent Possible” in Records of Christ’s Talks
What God wants are people who follow His footsteps. No matter how wonderful and pure what you understood before is, God does not want it, and if you are unable to put aside such things, then they will be a tremendous obstacle to your entry in the future. All those who are able to follow the present light of the Holy Spirit are blessed. … Those who can follow the present work of the Holy Spirit, and who are able to follow the footsteps of God, such that they follow God wherever He leads them—these are people who are blessed by God. Those who do not follow the present work of the Holy Spirit have not entered into the work of God’s words, and no matter how much they work, or how great their suffering, or how much they run about, none of it means anything to God, and He will not commend them. … Service that is divorced from the present utterances of the Holy Spirit is service that is of the flesh, and of conceptions, and it is incapable of being in accordance with God’s will. If people live among religious conceptions, then they are unable to do anything that is fit for God’s will, and even though they serve God, they serve in the midst of their imagination and conceptions, and are totally incapable of serving in accordance with the will of God. Those who are unable to follow the work of the Holy Spirit do not understand the will of God, and those who do not understand the will of God cannot serve God. God wants service that is after His own heart; He does not want service that is of conceptions and the flesh. If people are incapable of following the steps of the Holy Spirit’s work, then they live amid conceptions, and the service of such people interrupts and disturbs. Such service runs contrary to God, and thus those who are unable to follow the footsteps of God are incapable of serving God; those who are unable to follow the footsteps of God most certainly oppose God, and are incapable of being compatible with God.
from “Know the Newest Work of God and Follow the Footsteps of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
In their work, workers must pay attention to two points: One is to do the work exactly according to the principles stipulated by the work arrangements. Workers must not violate these principles, not work according to their own imaginations, and not according to their own will. They should show concern for the work of God’s family, and put the interests of the family of God first in everything they do. The other point is also key, and that is, in everything they do, to pay attention to following the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and to do everything strictly in keeping with the word of God. If you disobey the guidance of the Holy Spirit or if you stubbornly follow your own mind and do things according to your own imagination, this constitutes a most serious opposition to God. Frequently disobeying the enlightenment and guidance of the Holy Spirit leads to a dead end. There is no way to go on with work if one has lost the work of the Holy Spirit, and though one does work, nothing is accomplished. It is these two main principles to abide by while at work: One is to perform the work exactly according to the arrangements from the above, and to perform tasks with the principles that have been set forth by the above. The other point is to follow guidance from the Holy Spirit within. Once these two points are grasped, work is very unlikely to miss its mark. For you whose experience in this area is still limited, your own will adulterates your work more. At times, you may not understand the enlightenment or guidance from the Holy Spirit within; at others, you appear to understand it, but you are likely to ignore it. You always imagine or deduce in a human way, doing as you think appropriate, with no concern at all for the intention of the Holy Spirit. You go about your work solely according to your own ideas, setting aside enlightenment from the Holy Spirit. Such situations occur frequently. Inner guidance from the Holy Spirit is not at all transcendental. It is in fact very normal: The inner reaches of your soul know this is the right way to do it, and that this is the best way. Such an idea is very clear; it is not the result of cogitation, and sometimes you do not fully understand why to do it this way. This is often none other than enlightenment from the Holy Spirit. Such a situation is what occurs most commonly in most people. The Holy Spirit guides you to act in the most appropriate way. It is not the result of your consideration, rather you have a feeling in your heart and you intuit that this is the best way to do it. Perhaps this is from the Holy Spirit. One’s own will is often the result of the thought process and is colored by their own ideas: What’s in it for me, how I will benefit—these are part of anything that people determine to do themselves. Guidance from the Holy Spirit in no way contains such adulterations. It is necessary to pay careful attention to the guidance or enlightenment from the Holy Spirit; particularly in key issues you must be careful in order to grasp it. People who think too much, who like to act on their own ideas are most likely to miss it. Good workers, promising workers, pay attention to the work of the Holy Spirit. People who obey the Holy Spirit fear God and seek truth tirelessly.
from “The Main Principles of How Workers Work” in Records of Christ’s Talks
The work of a qualified worker can bring people to the right way and allow them to go deeper into the truth. The work he does can bring people before God. In addition, the work he does can vary from individual to individual and is not bound by rules, allowing people release and freedom. Moreover, they can gradually grow in life, go progressively deeper into the truth. The work of an unqualified worker falls far short; his work is foolish. He can only bring people into rules; what he demands of people does not vary from individual to individual; he does not work according to the actual needs of the people. In this type of work, there are too many rules and too many doctrines, and it cannot bring people into reality or into normal practice of growth in life. It can only enable people to stand by a few worthless rules. This kind of guidance can only lead people astray. He leads you to become what he is like; he can bring you into what he has and is.
from “God’s Work and Man’s Work” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
To satisfy God and bear witness for Him, one should investigate one’s own work for elements of adulteration and intentions, and try to see how much is motivated by personal wishes, how much is born of enlightenment by the Holy Spirit, and how much is in keeping with the word of God. You must constantly and in all circumstances examine your words and deeds. To practice often in this way will put you on the right track of serving God. It is necessary to have in command many truths to achieve service to God which is after His heart. People have the ability to make distinctions only after they have understood the word of God, and are able to recognize what emerges from their own will and the things that indicate their motivation. They are able to recognize human impurity, and what it means to act according to truth. Only then will you know how to obey more purely. Without truth it is impossible for people to make distinctions. A muddleheaded person might believe in God his whole life without knowing the meaning of revealing corruptions, nor does he know what opposing God means, because he does not have truth, this thought does not exist in his mind. This is like repairing an electric appliance. How can one repair it if he does not know which circuit is faulty? Within you there are also many circuits. Sometimes the malfunction is in your intentions, or where your own will is involved. Sometimes the malfunction is a distortion of your understanding or knowledge. Or it may be due to following your own will or to believing and being misled by others. Sometimes you follow the flesh as you try to protect your reputation or status. Malfunctions such as these occur frequently, thus putting work off course and bringing loss to the work of God’s family and to the life of the brothers and sisters. What is the value of this kind of work? It is simply interruption, disturbance, and destruction.
from “The Main Principles of How Workers Work” in Records of Christ’s Talks
The Man’s Fellowship:
If a worker who leads the church can bring the majority of people in the church to the point where they can obey God and will no longer leave God, this is bringing people to God. In fact, this standard is not too difficult to achieve. As long as leaders can absolutely obey the work arrangements of the above, and if they then can do their utmost to pursue the truth themselves, pay attention to the transformation of disposition and guide people with the truth according to God’s requirements, they can ultimately achieve this effect. Guiding people with the truth is doing the utmost to exalt God, to witness for God, guiding and supplying people with God’s word, so that they all know God and are gained by God. The effect of guiding people with the truth is to make them all know God from God’s word. To put it more clearly, it is to communicate God’s word more without talking about one’s own doctrines and to bring people to God by communicating God’s word. True service is so simple.
from the fellowship from the above
A true servant of Christ will always bring the chosen people of God to Christ. The purpose of the words he or she communicates and the work that they serve is to bring God’s chosen people to God, so that they can know Christ, obey Christ, and worship Christ. Therefore, such a person doesn’t show off, or exalt themselves. They don’t care whether they have standing in the hearts of God’s chosen people, they don’t care about how they are treated by the people they water and lead. They don’t care who is good to them, who agrees with them, who opposes them, or who speaks negatively of them. They are only concerned about who pursues the truth, who can be made perfect, who is burdened with the work of the church, who is good enough to lead, who is worth training, and who should be promoted. These are the only things they care about. They are only concerned about the work of God’s house. The work they do is to maintain the work of God’s house, to provide for God’s chosen people and lead them into God’s words. They don’t care a whit about anything that is irrelevant to the work. Such a person is someone who really serves God, someone who really leads the chosen people of God. Only such a person can be commended by God for their work, and receive the work of the Holy Spirit.
from the fellowship from the above
To be a leader serving God you must have principles. Some say, “For many truths, no matter how I try to fellowship, I still lack clarity about them.” You lack clarity, but your intentions still need to be right; no matter what, you still need to testify and exalt God. Say as much as you understand, exalt and testify God to the greatest extent that you can, and under no circumstances exalt yourself or allow others to worship you. This is the first and the most fundamental rule to follow. Secondly, never try to find tricks or rely on your own ideas. Follow the arrangements from above strictly. If you are truly earnest in your work and want to achieve results, you must spend a lot of time and energy on all work arrangements and devote the maximum effort. Thirdly, remember, it’s nearly impossible for anyone to avoid making errors at work, so if you find transgressions or errors, always seize the opportunity to reflect on yourself. Go before God, check and analyze your actions against God’s word, and try to avoid repeating your transgressions in the future. If you become rash as you serve God, your own ideas will emerge. You will become careless, sloppy, and take reckless, overly ambitious steps. This is dangerous. When you discover this nature in yourself, inspect it and get it under control immediately, especially where ideas concerning money, status, and relations between opposite sexes appear. Control yourself to prevent problems from occurring. Sometimes a certain person doesn’t do a good job and ruins things, and as you deal with him, your temper becomes heated and you speak roughly or become angry. This should not be considered a major problem and does not constitute a transgression. This is simply being quick-tempered, and all you need to do is be careful of it and overcome it. At other times you might make an error and cause harm to God’s house. At times like this, simply absorb what lessons you can, but only so long as no major damage is done. All these things are impossible to avoid. Everyone has problems at work, and no one is immune to making minor transgressions, but don’t make major transgressions. Why do leaders have to meet periodically to receive pruning and dealing? Because this is most helpful and beneficial. But the most important thing is that we must seek more understanding of the truth in God’s word. We must strive to understand the truth, pursue a change in our life disposition. This is positively seeking entry. Doing so will gradually reduce the transgressions you make in your work and produce change within you as you work, making your state more and more normal. This is the most effective way to avoid transgressions. If you do not pursue the truth in your work, and if the more you do, the more you think, “I know how to do these things, I can do these things well relying purely on my own experience,” this is a bad sign. This is dangerous. When you feel this way, you should come before God and reflect on yourself, or you are certain to fall, because experience is not a substitute for truth or dispositional change. Shallow knowledge of the truth is not understanding of the truth, and if you lack knowledge of God, you will resist God.
from “One Must Have Principles in Serving God” in Collection of Sermons—Supply for Life