God’s work and word are meant to bring about a change in your disposition; His goal isn’t merely to make you understand or recognize it and have that be the end of it. As one with the ability to receive, you should have no difficulty in understanding the word of God, as most of God’s word is written in human language that is only too easy to understand. For instance, you can know what God wants you to understand and practice; this is something that a proper person who has the faculty of understanding should be able to do. What God says now is especially clear and transparent, and God points out many things that people have not considered or the various circumstances of man. His words are all-embracing, as clear as the light of a full moon. So now, people understand many issues; what they lack is putting His word into practice. People must experience all aspects of truth in detail, and explore and seek it out in greater detail, not simply wait to take in what’s readily given to them; otherwise they become little more than freeloaders. They know God’s word, but don’t put it into practice. This kind of person doesn’t have a love of the truth, and will ultimately be eliminated. Having a style like a Peter of the 90s means that each one of you should practice the word of God, have true entry in your experiences and gain even more and even greater enlightenment in your cooperation with God, bringing even more of His assistance into your life. If you’ve read a lot of God’s word but only understand the meaning of the text and you do not have first-hand knowledge of God’s word through your practical experience, you won’t know God’s word. As far as you are concerned, God’s word is not life, but just lifeless letters. And if you only hold fast to lifeless letters, you cannot grasp the essence of God’s word, nor will you understand His will. Only when you experience His word in your actual experiences will the spiritual meaning of God’s word open itself up to you, and it is only in experience that you can grasp the spiritual meaning of many truths, and only through experience that you can unlock the mysteries of God’s word. If you do not put it into practice, then no matter how clear His word, the only thing you’ve grasped a hold of is empty letters and doctrines, which has become religious regulations to you. Isn’t this what the Pharisees did? If you practice and experience God’s word, it becomes practical to you; if you do not seek to practice it, then God’s word to you is little more than the legend of the third heaven. In fact, the process of believing in God is the process of you experiencing His word as well as being gained by Him, or to put it more clearly, to believe in God is to have the knowledge and understanding of His word and to experience and live out His word; that is the reality of your belief in God. If you believe in God and hope for eternal life without seeking to practice the word of God as something you have within you, then you’re foolish; it’s like going to a feast only to take note of what’s there to eat without actually trying it. Isn’t a person like that foolish?
The truth that man needs to possess is found in the word of God, a truth that is the most beneficial and helpful to mankind. It is the tonic and sustenance that your body needs, something that helps you restore your normal humanity, a truth that you should be equipped with. The more you practice God’s word, the more quickly your life will blossom; the more you practice God’s word, the clearer the truth becomes. As you grow in stature, you will see things of the spiritual world more clearly, and you will be more powerful to triumph over Satan. Much of the truth that you don’t understand will be made clear when you practice the word of God. Most people are satisfied to merely understand the text of God’s word and focus on equipping themselves with doctrines without experiencing its depth in practice; isn’t that the way of the Pharisees? How can the phrase “The word of God is life” be true for them, then? Only when man practices the word of God can his life truly blossom; it cannot grow simply by reading His word. If it is your belief that to understand God’s word is all that is needed to have life, to have stature, then your understanding is warped. Truly understanding God’s word occurs when you practice truth, and you must understand that “only by practicing truth can it ever be understood.” Today, after reading the word of God, you can merely say that you know God’s word, but you can’t say that you understand it. Some say that the only way to practice truth is to understand it first, but this is only half right and not entirely accurate. Before you have knowledge of a truth, you have not experienced that truth. Feeling that you understand what you hear is not the same thing as truly understanding. To equip yourself with the truth as it is seen in text isn’t the same as understanding the true meaning therein. Just because you have a skin-deep knowledge of the truth doesn’t mean you actually understand it or recognize it; the true meaning of truth comes from having experienced it. This is why I say that only when you experience truth can you understand it, and only when you experience truth can you grasp the hidden parts of it. To experience it in depth is the only way to grasp the connotations of truth, to understand the essence of it. Therefore, you can go everywhere with truth, but if there is no truth in you, don’t even think of trying to convince religious people, much less your family. You will be like fluttering snow without truth, but with truth, you can be happy and free, where none can attack you. No matter how strong a theory is, it cannot overcome truth. With truth, the world itself can be swayed and mountains and seas moved, whereas a lack of truth leads to ruin by maggots; this is simply fact.
What’s important now is to first know the truth, then put it into practice, and to equip yourself further with the true meaning of truth. That should be what you aim for, not merely to have others follow your words but to have them follow your actions, and only in this can you find something meaningful. No matter what befalls you, no matter what person you come across, you can only stand firm with truth. The word of God is that which brings life to man, not death. If after reading the word of God you do not come alive, but you are still dead after reading His word, then there is something wrong with you. If after some time you’ve read much of God’s word and have heard many practical sermons, but you are still in a condition of death, this is proof that you are not one who values truth, nor are you a person who seeks truth out. If you truly sought to gain God, you wouldn’t focus on equipping yourself with high doctrines and using them to exhort others, but would instead focus on experiencing God’s word and putting truth into practice; isn’t that what you should currently enter into?
There is a limited time for God to do His work in you, but what outcome can there be if you do not cooperate with Him? Why is it that God always wants you to practice His word once you understand it? It’s because God has revealed His words to you, and your next step is to actually practice them, and God will carry out the work of enlightenment and guidance as you practice these words. That is how it is. The word of God is meant to allow man to blossom in life without causing deviations or negativity. You say you’ve read God’s word and practiced it, but you still haven’t received any work of the Holy Spirit—what you say could only deceive a child. Man doesn’t know if your intentions are proper, but you think God won’t know? How is it that others practice the word of God and receive the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, yet you somehow practice His word and don’t receive the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit? Is God emotional? If your intentions are truly good and you’re cooperative, then God’s Spirit will be with you. Why is it that some people always want to take center stage, and yet God does not let him rise up and lead the church? Why is it that some people merely fulfill their function and without realizing it, they gain God’s approval? How can that be? God examines the heart, and people who seek the truth must do so with good intentions—people who do not have good intentions cannot stand. At its core, your goal is to let God’s word take effect within you. In other words, it is to have a true understanding of God’s word in your practice of it. Perhaps your ability to receive God’s word is poor, but when you practice the word of God, He can supplement the flaw of your poor ability to receive, so not only must you know many truths, but you must also practice them. This is the greatest focus that cannot be ignored. Jesus suffered much in His 33½ years because He practiced the truth. Why is it always said in the records that He was persecuted? It is to explain how much He suffered because He practiced the truth and carried out the will of God. Suffering He would not have undergone had He known the truth without practicing it. If Jesus had followed the lessons of the Jews, followed the Pharisees, then He would not have suffered. You can learn from Jesus’ practice that the effectiveness of God’s work on man comes from his cooperation, and this is something you must recognize. Would Jesus have suffered as He did on the cross if He had not practiced the truth? Could He have prayed such a sorrowful prayer if He had not acted in accordance with God’s will? This means then that this is the kind of suffering a person should endure.