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Listen to God’s voice and welcome the return of Lord Jesus!
So, how do you practice being quiet before God? When you encounter certain matters, when you have a burden, when you are faced with problems, you feel the need to fellowship with God; before you pray, you should first collect yourself in your mind, you should think, and you should be fully prepared. Regarding the difficulties of such matters and regarding the things you need God to clarify for you, you should develop a simple outline of how you should seek help from God, how you should fellowship with God. And then, you should find a suitable opportunity and the appropriate environment to kneel before God and pray. This way, it shall be easy to quiet your heart before God; is this not the case? Is this not a good way to practice being quiet? Everyone said that it’s good. Then some might say: “I have no issues most of the time. Based on what you said, wouldn’t I have no opportunity to practice being quiet before God?” Are there situations like that? Are there people who would say this? “Most of the time, I have no problems. I already have a wife, I already have a good job, I already have a house, I have no difficulties in my life. How do I practice being quiet before God?” On hearing this, some are being reminded: “Oh, so you have a wife, you have a car and a house, but I don’t! Now I am faced with issues, and now I must quiet my heart before God.” Is this what I am referring to? To be quiet before God does not involve such things. All this mess of yours, you must find the truth in them on your own, either by praying, seeking the truth on your own, looking for answers from within God’s words, fellowshiping with others, or asking people for advice. When you need to fellowship with God, once you are able to quiet your heart before God, then when you come before God and quiet your heart, you shall gain the results. Then some might say: “I do not have any real difficulties, and I don’t have any painful experiences, then I should have no need to quiet my heart before God? Just living capriciously in this world, living before other people?” How should such a situation be resolved? If you are someone who truly loves the truth, then there are many things that you need to fellowship with God. If you do not have the need to fellowship with God from the depth of your heart and your spirit, you can practice reading God’s words, pondering God’s words, practice fellowshiping the truth, as well as practice the singing of hymns and giving praise to God. Sometimes, people become moved when reading God’s words, and they are enlightened by the Holy Spirit, “When I am reading God’s words today, these words that I read are talking precisely about me. They have thoroughly described my situation. Oh, I am moved, and once I am moved, I must pray to God.” At this time, their heart and spirit begin to have needs, and they now have the need to pray to God. At this time, if they are to pray to God, would you say that they can quiet their heart before God? Everyone says that they can. Yes, they have been moved by the Holy Spirit, and it is the perfect opportunity to practice quieting their heart before God. Some say: “I don’t have any issues now, and in my heart, I don’t have any need to pray. I also have not fulfilled any duties. Under this circumstance, let me sing some hymns and give praise to God.” And then they become quiet before God, saying: “I must sing to God, I must whole-heartedly praise God.” As they are sincerely praising God and singing hymns of God’s word, they are moved by God’s words. Once they have been moved, tears start to flow, and they feel that the hymns are reading their mind, that the hymns are saying things they have wanted to say to God for many years. This time, when they sing, why do they feel this way? As they are singing, with tears flowing, and giving praise to God, they find God to be so loveable, that God must be praised. Should they then pray to God at this time? They should. After they sing, they pray: “God, You have treated me with kindness, and You are with me. Once I sang this hymn, I have found that You are beside me. It is You who guided me to sing this hymn. This hymn has expressed that which was in my heart. So many years of prayers, yet I have never been able to say these words to You. This hymn is marvelous; this hymn has edified me. God, I can see that Your love has not left me.” Once they pray thus, they quiet their heart before God. Sometimes, when we are all fellowshiping the truth, someone may intentionally or unintentionally listen in. As he listens, some of the things that we fellowship become stuck in his mind. Once these things are stuck in his mind, they hit his vital spots, and his head starts dropping: “Oh, today, I have come to understand myself from these words. These words, aren’t they my judgment? These words are revealing me. How come I never felt this way when reading these words before? Why do I feel them so acutely today? Oh, this is me encountering God’s love. I must pray to God and tell Him the truths in my heart.” As everyone is fellowshiping the truth, he has his head bowed down, tears streaming down his cheeks. “What happened?” Others don’t know, “He has been moved.” In fact, he is praying to God in his heart. He doesn’t say anything, he is praying in his heart, he is getting in touch with God’s Spirit through his heart. Is this not an act of quieting one’s heart before God? Sometimes, during a walk, a question may pop into a person’s head: “Yesterday, the brother was talking about this matter during the sermon, and it seems to fit my situation perfectly....” See, he is just going on a walk, yet he ponders, he thinks about the sermon, he is reminded of something from God’s words, he thinks of a practical problem, he thinks of a problem that presents itself regarding the fulfillment of his duties. Therefore, he ponders, and ponders, and ponders, and ultimately he is enlightened and illuminated, and he comes to understand God’s words. Look, even when he is taking a walk, his mind never leaves God, still pondering God’s words, the matters of spirit, his actual conditions, and he is moved: “Now I understand, I can see a bright light. Now I know what to do.” Is this not quieting the heart before God? Now the heart is quiet before God, what are his legs doing? Has he knelt down? No, he is not kneeling, he is taking a walk, yet his heart is able to be quiet before God. For some brothers and sisters, even when they are cooking in the kitchen, their heart is able to be quiet before God. No matter what you are doing, no matter the work that your hands are carrying out, yet sometimes your heart is able to pray to God, and you are able to commune with God, you are able to ponder God’s words. Is this not an act of being quiet before God? Tell me, the way to be quiet before God, is it only through praying? Is it only at times when you are bowing down on the ground and praying? Is it only when you are at church, praying to God during a gathering? It can be said that, we can practice being quiet before God at any time, and there are always opportunities to be found. Can you understand what I am saying? Everyone says that you can. Now that you have accepted what I said, go on and practice as I said. If you continue to practice thus, you will often be moved by God. You will be moved by God when pondering God’s words; you will be moved by God when reading God’s words; you will be moved by God when singing hymns; you will be moved by the Holy Spirit when fellowshiping the truth with several others and solving issues; you will be moved by the Holy Spirit when reflecting and thinking on the issues that you have encountered; you will be moved by the Holy Spirit when silently giving thought to the love of God; you will be moved by the Holy Spirit when thinking of all the grace that God has bestowed upon you; you will be moved by the Holy Spirit when your corruptions have been revealed and you are praying to God, seeking to grasp God’s will. When someone is being moved by the Holy Spirit in so many things, when someone is being moved by the Holy Spirit under so many complicated environments, is this person not living before God?
What is it like to live before God? On the outside, this person looks ordinary, normal, without any unusual behaviors, yet he is already living before God. As for some people, when they are lying in bed, praying to God in their heart, giving thought to God’s love, they feel that they have owed God. Look at them, with their eyes closed, as if they are asleep. Yet when you look again after some time, “They are not asleep, their tears are flowing.” What is happening? Their heart is quiet before God, and they have been moved by the Holy Spirit. As they reflect on all the things that they have done in a day, they realize that not many of those things have been done while living before God. Some words that they have said, and some things that they have done, these are all manifestations of profligacy of the flesh, and they do not deserve to be called men. Once they think about this, they feel remorse, and they are disquieted. “When will my stature grow, when will I live as a true man?” That is why they are lying there, with their eyes closed, with tears flowing. If a person can be quiet before God like this several times during the day, regardless of what he is doing, whether he is praying, or working, or taking a walk, he will have the ability to be close to God at any moment. Once he is close to God, the issues that he talks about become practical, the words that he says become practical, they all now come from his heart, therefore he becomes moved by the Holy Spirit at all times. And what are the conditions necessary for you to be moved by the Holy Spirit? To come into contact with God’s Spirit with your heart, tell the truths that are in your heart, say practical things, talk about practical issues. If you have conscience and good sense, and if you commune with God with your heart, then you will be moved by the Holy Spirit at all times. In this way, you will achieve the results of being quiet before God and living before God. Do you understand, now that I put it this way?
When should you not be close to God? Do not be close to God when crossing the road, for it is dangerous; when walking on an icy road, for the road is slippery, you must keep your eyes open. Don’t get into an accident. When crossing the road, if all that you have on your mind is to be close to God, “bam,” you might then get hit by a car. Wouldn’t that be unfortunate? If you should finish crossing this dangerous road before being close to God, it would be much safer. Now you know when not to be close to God. On the other hand, in what situation is it necessary to be close to God, where you might risk losing your life at any moment if you are not close to God? You must always be close to God when living among the unbelievers, you must always be careful and vigilant. When you are living before evil-doers, when you are in contact with evil-doers, when you are in close proximity to evil-doers, you must be close to God. At places where evil spirits are at work, you must be even closer to God, pray to God, ask God for protection. Evil spirits are formidable, and you would be in trouble if they should leap out of the body that they possessed and jump in front of you. These things are terrifying. That is to say, you must be close to God when you are in a dangerous environment. If you should be captured by the great red dragon, then you must be close to God at all times, never venture far away from God, always pondering God’s words, always seeking the truth. Then some might say: “Isn’t it exhausting, always being so close to God, always being diligent?” Are there those who ask this question? Let me tell you, it is not exhausting to be close to God, you may even live longer by doing so. No one has said that he has lived a shorter life by being close to God, not one, only those who have sins on their mind make their life grow short. The closer you are to God, the longer you shall live. With God’s blessing, God will not let you die. God wants you to be close to God, to be forever near God, this is God’s blessing. Therefore, you will not become exhausted by being close to God, and you will not become sick by doing so. Do you understand now? Yet you can see that it is not the case for some religions. In some religions, how do they pray to God, and how do they become close to God? They crane their neck, extended long and straight, straining to cry out to God: “Oh, Lord Jesus, Amen! Oh, Lord Jesus, we thank You!” And they keep shouting, straining their neck as they shout, raising their volume as loud as it is possible, opening their mouth as wide as possible, shouting with all their might. Is this a good way to be close to God? This frivolous shouting is useless. When being quiet before God, there is no need to shout. God will know even without any sounds. Is that not the case? God is almighty, God can examine the heart of men. Even if you do not shout, He knows all that is in your heart, He can see through your nature and disposition. Therefore, there is no need to shout. You simply need to be quiet before God, to keep in touch with God through your heart. Once you think this way, tears would fall from your eyes, and you shall be moved. Look, how wonderful is this result, how joyous it is! This is the right path.
If one has believed in God for many years, yet he is unable to quiet his heart before God, yet he is unable to live before God, then he is not someone who has truly communed with God. Does such a man know God? He does not know God. Some people have believed in God for decades, yet they have not once told God the truths in their heart, they have never truly reflected on themselves before God, they have never earnestly pondered God’s words and grasped God’s will. While they may believe in God, are they pious? Are they someone who lives before God? Some might ask: “Some people have a particularly strong confidence in their belief in God. They are vigorous, always going out, prophesying in the name of the Lord Jesus, casting out demons in the name of the Lord Jesus, and performing many miracles in the name of the Lord Jesus. Tell me, if the Holy Spirit had not been working on them, could they have gained any results from performing all this work in the name of the Lord? They have gained results. Therefore, are such people quiet before God and living before God? Does God approve of such people?” Can you see through the essence of this matter? In each stage of His work, God’s Spirit performs different work on several different types of people: On those who truly love the truth, God enlightens and illuminates them to guide their entering into life, their entering into truth; on those who only expend for God and abandon for God but do not seek truth, the Holy Spirit will only use them to work on spreading the gospel, just like Paul; on those who do not seek truth and only confusedly believe in God, the Holy Spirit will at times look after them, protect them, discipline them, or punish them, such that they might return to the right track, or He might arrange some people or things to discipline and punish them, to make them realize that they are rebelling against God and forsaking the pursuit of truth. These are all work performed by the Holy Spirit on God’s chosen people, the different work that is performed on different people. Are these not facts that I spoke of? These are facts. The Holy Spirit also guides the service-doers, utilizing them to perform some work to witness for God, as well as gain certain results. However, are these the people who are approved by God? No, they are not. Why does God not approve them? Why does God use them to perform services, and while they have performed such services, yet God does not approve them? What is the matter? Learn about such matters, for they are practical problems, and things that you must know to understand God’s work. The Holy Spirit used Paul, and Paul gained some results spreading the gospel, and he gained a lot of people. If the Holy Spirit had never worked on him, could he have gained so many people? The Holy Spirit performed the work. Since the Holy Spirit performed the work, why did He not approve him, why was he still punished? How does one get to know the righteous disposition of God? Do you know how? Is this not a practical issue? God’s righteousness lies herein: Since you are not someone who follows God’s will, since you do not accept the truth as your life, very well, God shall use you to do service, and leave you by the wayside after you are done. However, you have also benefited from many of God’s graces, and God has treated you well. What has this shown us? What is God’s basis for arranging the destination of men? Is it based on whether men possess the truth? It is based on whether men possess the truth. Therefore, it does not matter whether men are used by the Holy Spirit to do service, for this is not a factor. For some, when you tell them: “God has abandoned you, God has eliminated you. You are an antichrist,” they then reflect: I am an antichrist? God has eliminated me? How come I feel that the Holy Spirit has performed work on me for certain things? How come I have gained some results spreading the gospel? It seems that the Holy Spirit has not left me, and He is still performing work from time to time. If the Holy Spirit is still performing work from time to time, then have I truly been eliminated? They then continue to ponder this matter. You must look at what work the Holy Spirit is performing on you. If the Holy Spirit is only using you to perform services and to fulfill your duties, and the Holy Spirit is not performing work for you to enter into life and to practice the truth, then the Holy Spirit is only doing some work on you in regards to performing services. Does this mean that you are being saved and perfected? No, this does not mean that you are being saved and perfected. During the Age of Law, there was a judge called Samson with immense strength. Yet how did he fail in the end? He was seduced by a woman, and he fell in love with that woman. That woman did not believe in God, yet he loved her, and even told that woman about the secret of why he had this immense strength. In the end, God was no longer with him. He felt that God’s Spirit had left him. After God’s Spirit had left, he prayed one last time to God, saying: “O God, please give me strength, only this one last time. I shall pull down this pillar and bring down this roof and all upon it upon those that are under it.” Thus, God listened to this final prayer of his, and performed the work. Why did the Holy Spirit perform work for this prayer? He was used to perform a service, and then that was it, was it not the case? Hence, there is this passage in the Bible, words spoken by the Lord Jesus during the Age of Grace: “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:22-23). To these people, why did the Lord Jesus say: “I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity,” why did the Lord say these words? These people have never truly communed with the Lord, they have never accepted the words of the Lord, they have never experienced the words of the Lord, they have never been people who obey the will of God. Therefore, even when the Holy Spirit was performing some work on them, yet they were merely used as service-doers, and we should understand this will of God. After you have understood this will of God, then you will know what these words meant.
The Holy Spirit sometimes performs work on some pastors and elders from the religious community, yet that is God using them to preach the Bible and to witness for God. The Holy Spirit is most certainly not performing work on them in terms of entering into life, the Holy Spirit is merely using them to bear witness for God’s work, without performing the work that guides them to enter into life and to receive salvation and transformation of their disposition. The Lord Jesus said: “I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.” This “I never knew you,” what does it mean? Does God not know them? God examines men’s heart; how could He not know who they are? God knows only too well. This “I never knew” shows that they have never truly communed with God, they have never told God of the truths in their heart, they have never truly communed in spirit, and the Lord does not acknowledge them. This is what it means. Now that I put it this way, do you understand? Just like a person befriending someone else, yet he has never told this other person what he truly thought, he has never opened his heart to this other person, he has never disclosed any of his secrets, and he has never told this other person anything important. While these two people have known each other in this way for years, yet after so many years, this other person still has no substantial knowledge of him. He said: “I know nothing substantial about you. I know you, but I only know your name and what you look like. After knowing you for this many years, I have no substantial knowledge of you.” He ponders: “This person, I feel like I don’t know him. I really don’t know this person. Even though I am very familiar with this person, yet I feel more and more as if I don’t know him, and I am unable to see clearly who this person is.” This is what it means.