When establishing a proper relationship with God, where should we start? The most important thing is to speak from the heart when praying to God. Do you understand? For example, you say, “O God, I see that many of my brothers and sisters dedicate their entire selves to You, but my stature is too small. I’m thinking about my livelihood, my future and whether my flesh can endure hardships in the future. I can’t give everything up. I am in debt to You. May You save me, enlighten me, and enable me to sacrifice for You even sooner. I want to give my all to You.” What do you think of this prayer? Someone said it’s very true. When you pray, you say, “How can they have so much stature? We come from the same types of families. They can expend themselves for God full time, why can’t I? I severely lack the truth. I’m always concerned with my flesh. I don’t have enough faith. O God, I wish for You to enlighten me, enable me to truly believe in You and sacrifice for You earlier. Your greatest wish is for us to understand the truth, enter the reality of the truth and eventually become ones who have the truth and humanity. This way, we will be able to bear witness to You, offer our entire selves to carry out Your will and let You gain glory. God, may You be gracious to me and lead me. You know I’m ignorant, small of stature and lack faith.” This is speaking from the heart. If you communicate with God like this every day, from the heart, He’ll know you’re sincere and not trying to fool Him or sweet-talk and deceive Him. Then the Holy Spirit will do His work. This is what it means to establish a proper relationship with God. We are creations, and He is the Creator. What should creations possess when they stand in front of their Creator? True obedience, acceptance, faith and worship. They must give their hearts to God completely. They must seek to let Him lead, dominate and plan. Praying and seeking like this is correct. This is what it means to establish a proper relationship with God. When people have a proper relationship with God, their prayers and fellowship with God become more and more real and genuine; their talks become more and more sincere. God will say, “Ah! This person is honest and speaks from the heart. I can’t help but be gracious to them. I need to lead them, enlighten them, make them complete and let them understand the truth.” When God inspects your heart, He should perform work on you, and the Holy Spirit should lead you, right? If people still want to use God to obtain blessings and conduct transactions with God, then can they still establish a proper relationship with God? Definitely not.
Some people have the following belief: “Isn’t the point of believing in God to receive blessings? If I don’t receive blessings, what’s the point in believing in God?” What kind of a viewpoint is this? Why can’t people like this establish a proper relationship with God? Because they are trying to make deals with God. Then, when they say prayers to God, what do they say? They say like this, “O God, You once gave Abraham Your biggest blessing. I am also human. Why can’t You give me a bigger blessing?” What do you think of this prayer? Is it good? Someone said no. Why not? Doesn’t it follow the example of Abraham? It’s intentionally wrong, isn’t that so? When your intentions are wrong, people can see through you, no matter what you say. Thus, it’s even easier for God to figure it out by searching your heart. Will God accept these kinds of prayers? When He hears these kinds of prayers, what will He say? He will say, “Do you have the faith of Abraham? Do you have his humanity? Are you even fit to be compared with him? You should look in the mirror and see what kind of person you are. You’re not even fit to lick Abraham’s boots.” That’s what God will probably say. The description above is just our attempt to use our hearts and our human language to describe God’s heart. God may not necessarily say it in the same way, and our words may not be totally correct, but the basic meaning is the same. Describing it this way allows you to understand it. God’s heart is this kind of heart. God hates those kinds of prayers. Here’s another example. There are people who pray like this, “O God, You promised to lead us into the kingdom of heaven and reveal Yourself to us. You promised to raise us up to meet with You in the air. Why haven’t You honored this promise yet after all this time? Why is this?” What do you think of this prayer? Does this person have a proper relationship with God? Someone said no. Why not? Where is it improper? You know it’s wrong but you can’t put your finger on it. What’s the problem here? You can’t see the true nature of the problem. When he prays like this, he’s questioning God! “Why? Why?” When he speaks to God like this, he’s treating God as his equal, right? God is the Creator. How can you talk to your Creator as if He’s your equal? You can certainly talk to another person like this, “What did you tell me last time? Why haven’t you honored your agreement? Why don’t you make good on your promise?” You can get away with talking to other people like that, regardless of your attitude, because you are equals. However, if someone talks to the Creator like that, it’s a different story. Their relationship with God is improper. They want to be on an equal level with God. If you speak this way, you might as well be Satan, because you’re speaking Satan’s words. People who seek to be equals with God do not have a proper relationship with God. Can you cite some examples showing how people have improper relationships with God? What kinds of prayers, what types of prayers reflect an improper relationship with God? There are people who pray like this, “Lord, I heard some people in the Church of Almighty God say that they were brought before You and are now feasting with You. They also said that You have made a group of overcomers among them. I don’t understand this. I have believed in You my entire life. I love You more than anyone. Why didn’t You reveal Yourself to me first? Why did You reveal Yourself to them?” What do you think of this prayer? Does this person have a proper relationship with God? No. Some religious people pray to the Lord like this, “Lord Jesus, why did You reveal Yourself to them and not to us? We have endured so many hardships for You. We’ve followed You for all these years, through the wind and rain, bearing witness to You all along the way. Yet, You pay us no mind; You do not listen to our prayers. Instead, You revealed Yourself to them. Now I understand. If You cannot raise me into the kingdom of heaven, then I refuse to accept any witnesses to Your coming!” A person who says a prayer like this, do they have a proper relationship with God? No. Still other people pray like this, “O Lord, I’ve believed in You for twenty or thirty years and sacrificed much for You! I gave up a good job for You! I didn’t earn any money for twenty plus years, just for You! I’ve eaten bland food and worn ordinary clothes, all for You! I’ve suffered persecution, tribulation, ridicule and slander, all for Your sake! Today, I hope You can raise me into the kingdom of heaven when you return, but I’ve already waited all of these years without hearing anything or feeling anything from You. Lord, have You forsaken me? If You really have forsaken me, then You have no credibility. I cannot continue to believe in You or follow You any longer.” What do you think of this prayer? This prayer is completely unreasonable.
Let’s continue reading God’s words. “People believe in God, love God, and satisfy God by touching the Spirit of God with their heart,” that is, they should give their heart to God. Giving your heart to God, using your heart to pray to God, using your heart to communicate with God, this is what it means to have a proper relationship with God. Using your heart to communicate with God is just like how you would have a heart-to-heart talk with another person. In both cases, you’re speaking from the heart. When people speak from the heart, how do they feel? They feel free and happy, as if a burden has been lifted. Isn’t that right? You see, when some people encounter difficulties, they mull over them, but can’t see to the heart of the matter. They’re too embarrassed to even talk to others, and they do not give their hearts to God when praying. Instead, they ponder about the problem, bearing all of the suffering and pressure alone until they finally break down. Are these types of people true believers in God? If they have that big of a problem, why don’t they pray to God about it? What are the possibilities here? The first possibility is that they can’t bring this thing before God. It’s something done behind people’s back, something dark, evil or sordid. They are bound by their sins, so they don’t pray to God or tell anyone else. They find it difficult to talk about it. Are these not the ones who suffer the most? They are under too much pressure. Another possibility is that they think God cannot solve their problem, which is an inherently human problem. This is also possible. Well, are there any other possibilities? Maybe they are unwilling to seek the truth or act in accordance with God’s demands for fear of suffering losses. In all three of these situations, the people involved do not have proper relationships with God. They do not give their hearts to God. There are many things that make people unwilling to give their hearts to God. Do these kinds of people have proper relationships with God? For people who do not have proper relationships with God, there are many things that they cannot bring to God. Therefore, they do not have faith in God, and they do not love the truth. They are living in sin, but they do not want to give it up. They’d rather enjoy the pleasures of sin, so they do not pray to God. These people are wracked with sin. They are not free and liberated people, right? Now if you encounter these problems, how will you solve them? Do you want to pursue the truth? If you want to pursue the truth, you’ll have the courage to let go of these things and put them down. If you don’t seek the truth, if you think letting go represents a loss, then you may cling onto these things as hard as you can, and see what the end result will be. Some people who follow God fall in love with someone halfway down the path. They hold onto their love. They’re unwilling to let it go. The end result is they follow God for three years without obtaining any truth. Is this a loss? They do not dare to pray to God. They know that they will be accused by their conscience and they will feel ashamed. They know that praying to God means they will have to give that stuff up and forsake the flesh. Therefore, they can’t pray to God. They want to cling onto their love and enjoy it for a while. Does this kind of person have a proper relationship with God? No. Some people believe in God but then meet temptation along the way. Non-believers find a good job for them or they stumble upon an opportunity to gain wealth, “Wow! This is a rare opportunity! The end times aren’t here yet. I should earn money while I can!” Can they pray to God about these things? Can they pursue the truth in them? Someone said no. Why not? They say, “If I pray to God, will He still allow me to have this opportunity? God will probably say, ‘You’d better throw it away quickly!’ I can’t pray to Him about this, or I’ll have to throw away the opportunity. If I don’t throw away the opportunity, God won’t be satisfied. If I don’t want to throw away this opportunity, I’d best not bring it to God, not pray to God. This is my own business. It’s private, and I can’t bring it to God.” If you encountered a problem like this, how would you deal with it? If believers in God have their own private matters that they cannot bring to God, how does that impair their ability to enter into life? Picking up a mate along the way, holding onto them for three years. What do people lose during these years? Can you see to the heart of this matter? You find an opportunity to gain wealth, hold onto it for three years, and in the end it’s still taken away and you’re eternally regretful. It’s easy for people to establish a proper relationship with God. They only have to give their hearts to God. However, Satan will occasionally tempt them, and if they cannot rid themselves of this temptation, they will be struck down by it. After they are struck down by it, their relationship with God is no longer proper. They avoid God and hide from Him. It’s just like Adam and Eve. After they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God called for them, and they hid from Him. Sometimes people hide for a year or more. Sometimes it’s a month or so. They take detours and start to avoid God, unable to stand before Him. When they pray, they have nothing to say; they don’t know where to start. Isn’t this just delaying their life growth? Have you had such an experience before? You all have. What did you pick up along the way? Did any of you find a mate? Did any of you have opportunities to acquire wealth? Were you tempted by promotions? This is Satan’s temptation. If you haven’t rid yourself of it, you’ve been struck by it. People that are struck by it do not have a proper relationship with God.