“The Truly Obedient Shall Surely Be Gained by God.” Here “truly” is very important! So what is meant when you say that it is not true? To be not true is to deliberately have some different aim or some different intention. For example, some people spend for God in order to obtain a laurel or in order to obtain rewards; some people spend for God in hope of bringing status to themselves, to become an outstanding person or to satisfy their own desires; and some people spend for God because they just want everlasting life and to avoid catastrophe. With these kinds of intentions, are people being truly obedient to God? It is very bad for people to have these kinds of intentions, because they will inevitably incur the hatred and anger of God. So what should be done? You should pray to God, open up your heart to God, allow God to look upon you, accept the judgment and chastisement of God, and allow yourself to be cleansed. This is correct. These false intentions obstruct people from obeying God. Look at some people: When God judges and chastises them by saying that they are arrogant and conceited and are of the same sort as Satan, they say, “The same sort as Satan? Not me!” It is too much trouble, they will not accept it. If someone discovers that the words of God’s judgment do not completely conform to their notions, they will reject it, not accept it, argue against it or put it over someone else’s head. They will not put it on themselves. Is that person being truly obedient to God? Some people expend for God and perform their duties but you cannot deal with them, because as soon as you do they will resist and firmly reject you. If you do not deal with them they will work in obscurity, burying themselves in their work and undertaking their tasks despite any hardship. If you do deal with them, they will immediately become a devilish figure filled with fury. Is that a person who is being truly obedient to God? People who are truly obedient to God allow themselves to be put to death by God, like sheep. However God decides to treat them, they will always be obedient, they will not talk about their reasons. Whenever a person is able to not talk about their reasons, whenever they are able to submit to whatever God asks of them or does to them, then they will have become someone who is obedient to God.
“The Truly Obedient Shall Surely Be Gained by God.” But what shall be gained? How do you go about being gained by God? Many brothers and sisters have experienced the work of God for 20 plus years, but from the very start they have not been obedient, always talking about reasons, and acting on their own notions and imaginations. Whenever they are pruned and dealt with, they jump up and rebel, revealing their nature, and afterward nobody pays attention to them. A couple days go by and they settle down, they feel bad and ask themselves, “How have you behaved these past few days? You were resisting like the devil, you were not being obedient. What did you do to be disobedient? You talked about your reasons, you took your own notions and imaginations as the truth, you refuted the word of God and contradicted the word of God, and in this way you were resisting God.” Is it possible to feel no regrets after this? Is it possible to not repent? For these past few days there was nobody to deal with you, but you felt so bad that you were at a loss for words! Do you know what the consequences are after resisting God? You will experience suffering. This bad feeling inside you won’t go away, you are suffering because you feel hate toward yourself, so then you declare: “Oh God, if You deal with me next time, I promise to submit myself to You, I will absolutely comfort You with my true obedience, I will not resist You, I will not state my reasons, and if I do again may You curse me, may You punish me.” After praying in this way, things will seem to have calmed down. But after a few days go by, the judgment and chastisement of God will suddenly come upon you, and before even three minutes have gone by, you will jump up again and get into a debate and try to reason with God. By debating and reasoning like this, others will not pay attention to you, saying, “You are rational, that’s fine, and if you are rational then you must be a good person.” Then after a while you will again feel paralyzed, you will feel like you are being refined like before, that you are being punished, and you will feel unpleasant for several days. The pain is not inflicted by another person, it is because of you. You will feel that you are suffering a lot, so then what will you feel inside? “How did I rebel again? Last time when I prayed did I not figure it out and resolve that I would be obedient? How is it that I fell off course again? What’s going on here? This is the nature of Satan, and the nature of Satan does not change. Even in the face of death I do not repent. Alas! This is a deep-rooted problem! It is easier to change mountains and rivers than to alter a person’s nature!” Once you arrive at this realization you will begin to snivel and then weep. Then you will feel the need to turn to God again and pray: “Oh God! I know now, I can see clearly now, Satan’s nature lies deep within me, there is no cure. Oh God, do not try to deal with me. You might as well go straight to punishing me, because if You punish me then I will at least feel a little bit better.” You will feel a little bit better after praying like this, thinking, “Then I will once again get into a fight to the death with the flesh, the old Satan, and it must be punished to death!” Then you will feel peaceful once again in your heart. But only after a few months go by you will again be confronted with an unusual circumstance where you have to be pruned and dealt with, and again you will resist. You will wonder: What is going on here? How is it that every time there is no change? Do you think this kind of experience is normal? Can these kinds of people be eliminated? This is a normal experience.
Some people will ask: “A normal experience might happen once or twice, but is it still normal after three or four times?” It depends. If you are fooling around promiscuously this is a transgression; it is limited to once or twice, but not allowed to happen three or four times. When it comes to the resolution of a corrupt disposition, you cannot talk about it in these terms; this kind of formula is not suitable. Do you understand? People must be cleansed of their satanic nature, but this is not something that just happens one, two, three or four times, it is something you accomplish through many years of laborious efforts, trials and tribulations. Look at the way a husband and wife live their lives. When they are young they get married and they are kind to and love one another, but before long things start to get worse. At first they start to bicker, then before too long things start to heat up, and eventually they are going at it all the time, but even after fighting for so many years they do not leave each other. To what age will they fight until they stop? In their 60s they will stop fighting, they will stop scolding, neither will pick a fight, neither will scold the other. Would you say that at this time this couple is truly committed to each other? They are able to live in harmony and they no longer quarrel. Why is this? Because they have no strength left, right? So, when people reach their 60s, they have already experienced everything in life, they have suffered all hardships there are to suffer, and at this time they are able to submit themselves to the will of God and to be equipped with normal humanity. Now thinking back to when you were young and would express your satanic nature and fiery temper, you will feel nauseated. “What is that!” No matter what, you aren’t willing to think about the past. But now everything is okay, you submit to everything. Regardless of what people say or how they treat you, in your heart you are obedient, and by feeling this way you think, “Ah, I finally know what normal humanity, conscience and rationality are!” The words you speak are true, the things you do are true, and there is humanity in the things you think. They are compatible with people’s thoughts, and everything seems to go according to your wishes. So what is going on here? Is this a mature life? When you were young you came to realize many truths through God’s work, and after experiencing countless failures you can put the truth into practice now. It doesn’t take any effort. Being obedient to God is easy. Coordinating with people, coming together harmoniously, being obedient to your brothers and sisters, all these things are easy. Forbearing with and forgiving your brothers and sisters is easy. Waiting in patience is easy. Handling your affairs in a principled way is easy. It feels like none of this takes any effort. And now when you are asked to do some bad things, to do some things for fame and profit, status or vanity you do not do it, you feel that it is disgraceful. Forsaking your flesh, renouncing those things that belong to the flesh is even easier. Practicing the truth is easy, rebelling against your flesh is even easier. Is this really what’s going on here? Practicing the truth and forsaking your flesh is most difficult when you first start believing in God. One day it is easy to forsake the flesh, which is something you have attained by practicing the truth. When going against your flesh is easy, it’s also easy for you to practice the truth; when you practice the truth easily, forsaking your flesh is also easy. The two things equal each other. When your life experience reaches a certain level, you feel that practicing the truth and going against the flesh is not difficult, and that renouncing your flesh is even less difficult. It is not difficult to delight in helping others. All of this is easy to do. It’s also not difficult to love others as you love yourself, it’s just doing a little something for someone else, it’s just meeting some of the responsibility you have toward others. You see someone that is just beginning to believe and you think, “Okay, now how can we help this person, we will help them in whatever area they need help, easy!” At this time if you are asked to do things for yourself, or doing things in order to meet your own goals, that makes you feel shameful and it makes your mind unsettled, because you think acting in that way is despicable. When your life experience gets you to this level, is this attained by being obedient to God? This is the result you achieve by submitting yourself to God. If you’re always obedient, being obedient to God will not be difficult; if you’re always practicing the truth, practicing the truth will not be difficult; if you’re always trying to be an honest person who doesn’t tell lies, a day will arrive where this too does not feel difficult. All of this will be easy.
Now what does it mean to have these kind of results? It means this person has been obtained by God. To be obtained by God means: 1. This person is truly obedient to God; 2. This person is able to practice the truth in all things, and does not feel that this is difficult; 3. This person is able to do real things for their love of God and in order to satisfy God. Now could this kind of person be able to leave God? 1. They are unable to leave God, they are inseparable from God; 2. They will never be able to rebel against God again; 3. Even more so, they will not be able to do things that resist God. Is this kind of person someone who has been obtained by God? This is someone who has been obtained by God. After being obtained by God your whole body will feel relaxed, you will feel that you have finally been obtained through your faith in God! Now what exactly is “obtained” referring to? In specific terms it means you have obtained much of the truth, and you have obtained life; in more general terms it means you have obtained God and been obtained by God. When someone is obtained by God, it means that they are not only inseparable from God, but also that they are only able to live for God and for carrying out His will. The only way for them to live a meaningful life is to honor God and be witness to God. Now these kinds of people are living out the most meaningful lives. So when these people say something or do something and God looks down upon them, what will He feel? God will be pleased, God will feel comforted. He will think about how this is what He envisioned when He created the human race. He will think about how this meets the condition that He wants the human race to ultimately reach. When the words of man are completely compatible with God, regardless of what is said by God, they will listen patiently and attentively, they will try to figure it out, and they will carry out their actions in accordance with God’s words and God’s commands without their own choices or preferences. This is the condition that God wants people to be in. So how can people arrive at this condition? These results can be achieved by experiencing and being truly obedient to the work of God. Look around and think about how many of your brothers and sisters there are who try to do their duty every day, who eat and drink the word of God every day, who gather in fellowship to discuss the truth every day. Is this not being obedient to the work of God? If this is how you experience things and carry out your actions, then in 10 or 20 years, you will be rewarded and you will be able to attain certain results. If you are of good caliber then you will have good results, but if you are of poor caliber then your results too will be poor. To experience a year is to have a year’s worth of results, to experience 10 years is to have 10 years of results, this is how it is.