Now how do you experience being obedient to God? This is also a similar process. At the start someone might declare: “Right now I am a little obedient to God, haven’t you seen that I’ve cast away my family and the world?” But in the end they are not being obedient to many aspects of the truth, they are not being obedient to many of God’s words. On the surface they have met the requirements with all the effort they can expend, and in a basic way they’ve met all of them. However, they are still somewhat lacking when it comes to being obedient to the word of God. In addition, within their obedience there are the notions and imaginations of man, they can submit a little to the things that they understand, they can submit a little to the things that are in line with their notions, but they still can’t submit to things that are not in line with their notions or that they can’t understand. They say, “Alas, I am still lacking in the reality of truth when it comes to being obedient to God.” Someone asks, “In ten years you have been able to cast away everything, you have been able to submit to general truths, and you have basically been able to submit to the dealing and pruning of God. So where are you still falling short?” “I am still falling short when it comes to being absolutely obedient to God’s authority, I still feel disobedience inside.” “If major trials befall you, God will deliver you to Satan, so will you be able to be obedient?” “I still can’t be completely obedient, but I do not resist. Still, even though I do not resist, I feel complaints within me.” “That is not okay, you can’t be obedient till death.” Does it not take your whole life to experience the truth of being obedient to God? It does. This is the most profound truth! There is no limit to the truth of knowing God, and the truth of being obedient to God is the most profound.
There’s also the truth of loving God. When I first started believing in the Lord, I relied completely on my enthusiasm, everywhere I’d go I would spread the gospel to bear witness to the Lord. I would also run into a lot of barriers and do a lot of ignorant things. Now looking back on it I can see that I was blindly spreading the gospel without basing it on principles. If I heard someone was near death with cancer in some place, I would think, “Quick, let’s go spread the gospel there.” If I heard someone was possessed by evil spirits in some place, I would think, “Quick, let’s go cure them and drive away the demons with our prayers.” Was this not stupid and ignorant? At that time, I did not pray to sense the will of God under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In this way I was relying on my enthusiasm to do work for the Lord, until one day I would be able to cast away my work and my family for the Lord, that made me feel like a person that loves the Lord. After receiving God’s work in the last days, I experienced the judgment and chastisement from the word of God, where man’s nature and substance is disclosed. How would that make me feel? That inside I was paralyzed, and no longer willing to say that I was a person that loves God, nor willing to say that I was a person who submits to God. Before the disclosure and judgment of the word of God, I felt that I was not deserving. On the outside I would do little things for God because I thought this was loving God, but is loving God that easy of a thing to do? Do you have true knowledge of God? To put it as simply as possible, when it comes to the loveliness of God, how much can you see? How much do you know? How much work does God do to save man, why must God chastise and judge man, why does God allow mankind to face this much suffering, trials and refinement? These things all incorporate God’s love, they are all pondered earnestly by God. How much of this is man able to know and see? If a man doesn’t feel that God is too lovely, then will he be able to truly love God? That would be impossible. In this world there is no love without reason, and there is no hate without reason. So, a lot of people that enthusiastically spent their efforts for the Lord felt that they loved the Lord, and that they submitted to Him and followed His will. In the end, after accepting God’s work, they come to an understanding of man’s nature and substance through the word of God. At this time they finally see that they have nothing at all, that they are poor and pitiful. Their former understanding of the word of God was just empty words and doctrines, it was an understanding not based on experience. How could they have the reality of the truth? So, to be conquered by God is not a simple matter. People at present think they are good in this and that part, then one day will come when they have undergone the chastisement and judgment of the word of God for about one year and gone through the dealing and pruning, and they will be knocked down by God all at once. And at that time they will see that they have no saving grace, and that they are poor and pitiful. They will no longer believe that they obey God, nor will they boast that they love God, nor will they boast like Peter that “whosoever shall fall, I will never fall away.”
Question 1: When performing my duty, I act very passively. It’s a little better when I am spurred by others but I’m kind of passive when there is no one to spur me. Sometimes I only realize that God says man has a particularly strong slave mentality and that man can’t always be forced to carry on in performing his duty. So I try to forsake my flesh through prayers and cooperate with God consciously. Sometimes it will be a little better, sometimes it will feel like my devotion has not reached its peak, but I’m never able to actively devote myself to fulfilling my duties. It feels like this circumstance is not only something I experience myself, but also something that brothers and sisters experience, but I don’t know how to resolve this situation. Brother, I ask you to please fellowship about it briefly.
Answer: Let’s fellowship about this state, why is it that man’s slave mentality is so strong? There are two situations. First, man does not possess the truth and is not aware of God’s intentions, so he doesn’t know what to do and he just waits passively. It’s the same as a child eating food, they wait for an adult to feed them and if the adult doesn’t feed them there’s nothing they can do besides cry and make noises. There’s no other road for them to go down. Isn’t this how it is? If a man loves the truth and pursues the truth, then they will begin to actively better themselves. They don’t need someone else to push them, drag them, pull them or scoot them along. How old would you say is it when a child usually becomes aware that they will have to actively help their parents by working? Perhaps at the very least once they are a teenager, right? So as to all those who perform duties passively, they won’t do something if no one tells them to, they will do something only when they are told to, they will be okay as long as someone leads them, and they will do nothing when no one leads them. Such people are lifeless. They just started believing in God and have not obtained life, so they do not know how to strive forward for the truth. When a person has their own burden to bear and is the same whether or not there is someone else to help them, such is a sensible man who has stature. If there is someone to help, they are able to perform their duty as usual, and if there is no one there to help, they still know what duty they need to perform. For example, imagine if a young child of five or six is at home alone and their parents are working in the farm, and if a thief comes into the house, will they be able to stop him? The thief comes in and coaxes the child by giving them some candy, so the child looks at him wanting to call him papa. Then the thief runs off with their things, but the child is still looking at him wanting to call him papa. Isn’t this troublesome? Because the child is so young they don’t understand things. Some of God’s chosen people neither know how to protect the work in the house of God nor actively perform their duties, and they are passive but will perform some of their duties when someone is watching over and restricting them, that is because they are with small stature. This is one of the situations.
Now some people say that they have believed for almost a decade, and that they have always been this way. It’s normal that some new believers act like this. But if there are some people who have believed for a decade and are still like this, they are the ignorant people who don’t pursue the truth at all. This is the way that people who don’t pursue the truth to the slightest degree are, they say, “I come to perform my duty, when I do my work that’s one day and when I don’t do my work that’s also one day. I simply let things take their course, and drift along through the day.” These people don’t care if any progress is made in the work of God’s house, it doesn’t matter to them whether or not there are any results, they won’t feel any regrets. Is this kind of person someone who is truly obedient to God? This is not a person that is truly obedient to God, they do not strive forward. So if these people have never strived to better themselves during several years of belief and have never made any progress, what outcome can they have? They are just the service-doers. If after doing the service they are not the faithful service-doers, they will also die and can’t survive. They do not have any humanity. You see some people perform their duties with no interest in the word of God, they do not eat and drink the word of God, and they do not strive toward the truth. All day long they just waste their time, stuffing their faces and waiting to die. Does this kind of person have life? This kind of person is not a proper man. They are not a proper man, and if they perform their duties in this way they will not grow, they will not have life. If they do not strive toward the truth this is where their life will end. So, it looks as though there are many people who do not understand the spirit, and they don’t strive toward the truth. If they never strive toward the truth, then they are a man who does not love the truth, they are an ignorant man. If you do strive toward the truth, then after a few years you will receive rewards, you will have changes, isn’t that correct? If a normal person strives toward the truth, will they be able to go through a transformation after a few years? They will certainly be able to have changes. So if they strive for many years but with no results that would certainly be very troublesome, and surely there is something wrong there.
When we experience God’s work today, if we truly are men in pursuit of the truth, then after some time we will make progress. If after a few years no progress has been made and someone has not come to any understanding whatsoever, then this kind of person has not experienced the work of the Holy Spirit. A man who does not have the work of the Holy Spirit but who serves here is just Satan’s slave, and they will obtain nothing. If they do not pursue the truth, do they not belong to Satan? If man pursues the truth then it will be alright, slowly they will be able to obtain the truth. If they never pursue the truth, they will be finished and they will obtain nothing for they are an ignorant man. If people watch after them or lead them they will follow them down the same path, if nobody is watching after them or leading them then they will disappear all alone. Men who are truly considerate of God’s intentions will focus on pursuing the truth, regardless of what duty they have to perform they will always think hard about it: “How can I perform my duties in a way that will satisfy God? How can I perform my duties in a principled way? How can I perform my duties as testimony for God? How can I perform my duties in a way that shows I am truly obedient to God, that shows my love for God and that satisfies God?” If man always thinks things through in this way then they will make progress in their life, this is what it means to be a man who truly considers God’s intentions. This is a man in pursuit of the truth, and this is the kind of behavior that a man who is truly obedient to God ought to manifest.