14. The Five Primary Expressions of Dispositional Change
A change in disposition primarily refers to changing people’s natures of resisting and betraying God from Satan’s corruption. It mainly refers to transforming a corrupt disposition. The most obvious part of it is changing people’s thinking and notions, their likes and dislikes, their love and hate, the objects of their pursuit, their perspectives on things as well as their lifestyles. After undergoing God’s judgment and chastisement, people will experience varying degrees of change in their thinking, perspectives, or their behavior. As long as you genuinely believe in God and long for His words, you can gain some understanding of God and of the truth through His words. This is how people just naturally change because of His words. Some people think that, if a person’s behavior changes and their words and actions are in line with the Bible after becoming a believer, isn’t that a change in disposition? This is a grave error! The dispositional change that God requires is mainly a substantive change within people’s lives, a change to people’s natures of resisting and betraying God. That is, because someone has gained the truth through God’s words, their pursuits are different, their path in life changes, and the foundation and values of their existence completely change. This is brought about by a change in someone’s life disposition. God’s judgment and chastisement is the work of changing people and transforming their corrupt dispositions. After a corrupt person undergoes God’s judgment and chastisement their old self dies and a new person is born through God’s words. Once we have God’s words as our life we become an entirely new being. Once someone has experienced God’s words for a certain period of time, they undergo a gradual change in their life disposition. A few of the primary expressions of dispositional change are outlined below.
The first aspect of manifestation of people having changed in disposition is that they have a fear of God at least. Because of the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, people submit with good grace and fall to the ground. Since then, people develop a fear of God. When undergoing the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, those who fear God experience deep in their souls that God’s majesty and wrath will tolerate no offense. Of course this is not something that can be achieved simply by reading His words; only after undergoing a great deal of the work of the Holy Spirit can people feel that God’s words, like a sharp sword, are majestic and do not tolerate offense. A God-fearing person has without a doubt been disciplined by God quite a bit and has even been punished by God. Without these experiences, they could not possibly be truly God-fearing. Those that fear God have a place for God in their hearts. They will surely pay attention to the will of God in everything, and especially on big issues they don’t dare to make quick decisions. They always pray to God and try to find God’s intention. For example, they do not dare neglect nor easily let go of matters related to their life path, or matters related to the principle of the truth. When they face a choice regarding major issues of right or wrong, they can let go of their own will and forsake their own flesh to obey and satisfy God. This is a sign of being God-fearing. Those who are God-fearing are much more frank and honest than the average person. They do things in a low-key manner, not as wildly and arrogantly as in the past. They do things more prudently, not as recklessly and hastily as young people. It could be said that people having the fear of God in them is the start and beginning of changes in life disposition. Of course this must be within the context of experiencing the work of God’s words. There are individuals in religion who have been disciplined by God and have a bit of fear for God, but because they do not undergo the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, their dispositions in life will not change. Being a God-fearing person is entirely the outcome of undergoing the judgment and chastisement of His words; it is the outcome of reading God’s words, pursuing the truth, and gaining the work of the Holy Spirit. Those theologians and Bible scholars are arrogant, and they have the audacity to condemn God’s work. It is clear that they are not the least bit God-fearing. So having fear for God in your heart is the most basic manifestation you should have for a change in disposition.
The second aspect of manifestation of people having changed in disposition is that they are able to obey God’s orchestrations and arrangements. No matter what God does, how God treats them and how God’s actions are not as they wish, they have no notion and do not complain, but are able to obey; they can achieve these. Although they have many experiences and lessons in failure, they are truly aware that God’s arrangements and orchestrations are the best and the most meaningful, and that no matter how God treats people, there are always benefits. Especially in matters where most people very easily have notions about God, they can see that what God does is most meaningful and most worth commemorating and circulating. They no longer have their own choice in what God does because they realize that God does things in the best way. The more unachievable it is for people, the more significant it is. It is only when people experience this that they have a real obedience to God. Those who always have their own choices, that is, those who always pray to God when they encounter an issue, asking God to do what they want are people who rebel against God, and they are those who disgust God. They are not remotely within reach of genuine obedience. It is just because their experience of God’s work is inadequate and their understanding of Him is too superficial. This leads to having too much willfulness and too many requirements of God. People whose disposition has changed have more obedience and have less personal requirements, and therefore what people see in them is that they do not have much perception and reaction to what God does. In actual fact, they know very well in their hearts and inside they are obedient and thankful. This is the second aspect of manifestation of people having changed in disposition.
The third aspect of manifestation of people having changed in disposition is that they are able to do their duty loyally as a created being. Because people whose disposition has changed have a clear understanding of the meaning of doing one’s duty as a created being, there is no perfunctoriness nor deceit in doing their duty. If they encounter difficulties or setbacks, they do not complain. If work is impaired due to something not being done well, they will feel heart-broken and extreme regret. They will spare no effort in seeking a remedy. Because people whose disposition has changed view doing their duty as their vocation and their right and proper duty, if they have not done their duty well, they will feel that this is their greatest shame and also their greatest failure as a man. They believe that those who do their duty badly do not deserve to be called people and live in front of God, and that only by doing one’s duty well can one truly repay God’s love and deserve to be called people and live on earth. They take doing their duty well to satisfy God as their pleasure and enjoyment. So, doing one’s duty well is also a manifestation of the main aspect of changes in disposition. If you are someone who muddles through in their duty and contrives to be deceitful, this shows that you are a deceitful and crooked person who belongs to Satan. All those in the house of God who can devoutly perform their duty are certainly able to be completed by God, and they are certainly able to gain the truth and achieve a change in their life disposition. This is without a doubt.
The fourth aspect of manifestation of people having changed in disposition is that they can truly love God. In experiencing the work of God, only those who really get the truth will have a change in their disposition. After people’s life disposition has changed, they no longer have satanic corrupt disposition of being arrogant, conceited, self-important, and self-righteous. Because they possess some truths and true understanding of truths, those religious doctrines and notions and imagination have been replaced. Christ is their treasure and they are hungrier for God’s words. The more they understand the truth, the more they feel the loveliness of God. When people discover more of God’s loveliness, their love of God becomes more real; as they get more truth from God, their love of God also increases. When people have a real understanding of God, their love for God also becomes more real. People who truly love God take Christ’s heart as their own. They do everything according to Christ’s intention. If Christ is not satisfied, they get no enjoyment from doing things any better. At this time, they are able to completely obey the will of Christ and not their own. True obedience comes from a true understanding of God and is produced from a true love of God. Only in love is there true obedience. There is no resistance and no barriers in love. Only people who truly love God can consider what God’s will is in any matter and give up their feelings. People whose disposition has changed truly love God. If people do not have a true love of God in their hearts, it can be said that there has not yet been a change in their life disposition. This is categorical.
The fifth aspect of manifestation of people having changed in disposition is that they have normal interpersonal relationships, that means loving others as yourself. Changes to disposition are because people possess some truths. To varying degrees these truths have become people’s lives. This has changed people’s past corrupt states; they no longer live for themselves and for the flesh but are able to live for God and live to carry out the will of God. Because people whose disposition has changed have true love and obedience for God, they of course also have many manifestations of love for people, such as concern, love, help, patience and tolerance, and can live in harmony with people. They will not impose that which they do not like on others and will not judge, accuse and hate when they see shortcomings in others. They treat people with sincerity and can treat people according to God’s words. How God forgives people, loves people and treats people becomes their principles for action. People whose disposition has changed can treat God’s heart as their heart. They have love for God, and also have love for people. Of course they can live in harmony with all people in God’s family. This is the normal person’s likeness that God spoke of. They are able to love what God loves and hate what God hates, have truth, principles and wisdom. This is the manifestation of the fifth aspect of people whose disposition has changed.
The above are the five manifestations that those who have had a dispositional change must possess. If you are a person who pursues the truth and a change in disposition, you must assess yourself based on these five things. People whose dispositions have changed manifest these things to varying degrees. They may not necessarily be perfect, but they already possess some substantive elements of these, and going forward, this will gradually improve—that day is not far off. Entering into the truth of God’s words is a continual process, thus mankind’s potential for transformation knows no bounds. A change in disposition is not as simple as people imagine; this is because it is a matter of a person’s disposition in life. Being corrupted by Satan is like sickness coming on horseback, and a change in disposition is like the sickness going away on foot. It’s easier to become sick than to become well. Understanding one tenet of the truth is like taking one step toward dismantling Satan’s fortress. When people come to understand more of the truth, when the truth entirely takes over their hearts, Satan’s fortress is taken out from its very foundation. The more incisive understanding those who pursue the truth have of all the toxins of Satan that exist within them, the more quickly Satan’s toxins can be purged. All of God’s words are for the purpose of resolving mankind’s innate corrupt dispositions, and it is only through gaining more truths through His words that you can have the reality of God’s words being your life. When you reach the point of being fully clear on the truths of God’s words, you will have a grasp on what the truth is and its essence. At that time, God’s words—the truth—will have taken root in your heart, and then your perspective on things will have begun to change. Only when the truth begins to play its role within you, taking over your entire life, will you have truly gained the truth. The time that someone truly gains the truth is the time that their disposition in life begins to change. The more truth they gain, the greater their dispositional change in life is; the deeper they enter into the truth, the more thorough their dispositional change is. The five manifestations of a dispositional change in life that are necessary are entirely in line with the laws of transformation and maturity in life. If you are someone who pursues the truth, when you discover that you possess these five manifestations of a dispositional change to varying degrees, that means you are a person with a transformation in disposition.