Chapter 84. Those Who Cannot Live Always Before God Are Unbelievers
When the bar is raised a little, you are able to progress a little. It’s not a bad thing to have high requirements of you and nor is it a bad thing to pose difficult questions to you. The aim is to get you to have a better grasp on the knowledge and common sense of the professional aspect of your duty.[a] You may perhaps still complain in your hearts, saying: “We’ve studied many good things but God never mentions them or allows us to use them. So we don’t dare mention them or use them. What if they are negated once we use them? What if we get criticized?” Now I tell you that you can use these things boldly. But you must undergo the inspection of your brothers and sisters. Don’t be self-right, and say: “God has said this time we can use these things boldly, so we’ll use these things boldly.” Being bold is not running rampant or being insolent. There must be limits to being bold, it must conform to principles, and brothers and sisters must consider it to be appropriate. If someone says, “This is unacceptable,” then don’t you have to change it? Are stubborn people good people? (No.) It is inadvisable to be that way. You must listen to others’ suggestions, and when you hear them say this, you say, “You’re right. I must change it.” After you change it, some people say: “You’re pretty much there, I feel good about it. It’s okay, it passes.” This is great! By doing things this way, one aspect is that you are able to gradually get deeper into the professional aspect, and you become mature and seasoned; another aspect is that you are also able to study more things; and yet another aspect is that you have learned a lesson. When you encounter issues, you mustn’t be self-right, thinking, “I have the final say. You are not qualified to speak. I understand the principles, what do you understand? You don’t understand, I do!” This is being self-right. Being self-right is a corrupt satanic disposition; it is not something within normal humanity. So, what is not being self-right? (Getting suggestions from everyone, and everyone measuring them together.) When everyone approves of it, and everyone agrees with it, then you have done great. As long as some people or a group of people raise objections, then you must be more particular about the professional aspect. You mustn’t turn a blind eye and say: “Who? Raised what? What’s up? Is it you who understand this or me? Do you understand this better than I do? What do you understand? You don’t understand!” This is a bad disposition, right? Even though the one who raised the objection may not understand too well and may be a layman, and you may be justified and what you’ve done may be right, the problem here is your disposition. So what are the correct expressions and actions that conform to principles and conform to the truth? You say: “What’s the problem? Let me take a look. Not just me, but everyone takes a look. Those who have some suggestions about this aspect or some insight into it, or who have some experience of this aspect, let’s all look together and we can all talk about it.” If everyone really believes that doing something in this way is bad, that there is a bit of a problem here, and you look once and can’t see the problem, you look twice and still can’t see it, then you look three or four times and the more you look the more you feel there is a problem, then this really is a problem. And you must put it right, make it better and solicit everyone’s ideas. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? (It’s a good thing.) You solicit everyone’s ideas, everyone talks about it, you fellowship together and the Holy Spirit enlightens you; you follow that, and the problem is corrected accordingly. Everyone looks and says, “That’s right, and it’s so much better than before!” Isn’t this God’s guidance? This is a great thing! When you do things this way, when you’re not self-right, when you relinquish your own imaginings and your own thoughts, and when you practice the truth, get off your high horse and listen to the ideas of others, then what happens? You gain an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to work on you and the Holy Spirit enlightens you. What happens when the Holy Spirit enlightens you? You have learned yet another professional thing. Isn’t this a good thing?
Once you’ve been through this, you think, “When I encounter issues, I mustn’t be self-right. Everyone dislikes me when I’m self-right.” When everyone dislikes someone, does God hate them? (Yes, He does.) You’re learning a lesson, right? When you always practice in this way, one aspect is that you will see progress in the professional aspect of your duty, and God will enlighten you and bless you; another aspect is that you will have a way to follow in practicing the truth, you will know how to practice the truth, you will gradually come to grasp the principles and find the way, you will know how to go about things in a way that brings about God’s enlightenment and leadership, what the ways of doing things are that cause God to ignore or hate you, and how to do things in a way that can be blessed by God. When people gain God’s blessings and enlightenment, is there enjoyment or sadness in their hearts? There is enjoyment. When you come to account for what you’ve done before God, you will take enjoyment and will think, “I did this well.” Inside you will feel peaceful and glad. This feeling of peace and gladness is given to you by God, and it is a stirring given to you by the Holy Spirit. If you don’t practice this but always persevere with your own ways, saying, “I won’t listen to anybody. Even if I do listen, I will only appear to listen and I won’t change. I’ll do things this way, I feel I’m right and I feel completely justified,” what will happen? You may be justified and there may be no fault in what you do, you may not have made any mistakes and you may understand the professional aspect better than others, yet once you make these kinds of expressions and practice in this way, others will see and they will say: “This person’s disposition is not good. When they encounter issues, they don’t accept but refute anything anyone else has to say, whether it is right or not. This person does not accept the truth.” When people say you do not accept the truth, what will God think? Is God able to see these expressions of yours? Of course, God can see them. God not only searches the innermost heart of man, He also watches everything you say and do at all times and in all places. And when He sees these things, what does He do? He says: “You are hardened. You are like this in situations where you are right, and you are also like this in situations where you are wrong. No matter what situation you are in, everything you reveal and express is conflicting and opposition. You do not accept at all anyone else’s ideas or suggestions. Your heart is entirely conflicting, rejecting and being closed to the ideas of others. You are very difficult!” In what way are you being difficult? Your being difficult is that your expression is not a wrong way of doing things or a wrong behavior, but rather a revelation of your disposition. What has your disposition revealed? You hate the truth and you are hostile toward the truth. And when you have been defined as someone who is hostile toward the truth, in God’s eyes you’re in trouble. At most, everyone will say, “This person has a bad disposition, they are stubborn and arrogant. This person is hard to get along with, they don’t practice the truth and they don’t love the truth. They have never accepted the truth.” At most, everyone will assess you in this way; but is this assessment able to decide your fate? People make an assessment of you, but this cannot decide your fate. Yet there is one point you must not forget: God searches the heart of man, and at the same time He watches everything man says and does. If God defines someone by saying, “You are hostile toward the truth,” He isn’t just defining them by saying, “This person has a slightly corrupt disposition and they are slightly disobedient,” but rather He is saying, “You are hostile toward the truth,” is this a big matter or a small matter? (It’s a big matter.) And does this cause trouble? (Yes.) What kind of trouble does it bring? This trouble does not lie in how others see you or how they assess you, but lies in how God sees your corrupt disposition that is hostile toward the truth. So how then does God see your disposition that is hostile toward the truth? Do you know? God says, “They are hostile toward the truth and they do not love the truth.” Is this how God sees it? Where does the truth come from? Who does the truth represent? (It represents God.) So have a think about this: How should God see the disposition that is hostile toward the truth? How will He see it? (God sees it as being hostile to Him and as being His enemy.) And is this serious? Someone who is hostile toward the truth is hostile toward God. Why do I say they are hostile toward God? Do they insult God? No. Do they resist God to His face? No. Do they disparage Him behind His back? No. So how is revealing this kind of disposition being hostile toward God? Isn’t this all a fuss over nothing? There is something to it, isn’t there? Do you know what it is? Someone has this disposition and they reveal this kind of disposition at all times and in all places and, furthermore, they rely on it to live and never give up this way in which they live and do things, and they never forsake it. You rely on these things and on this disposition to live, and when nothing happens, if someone says you are hostile toward God, can you agree with them? You cannot agree. However, when problems crop up, as you have this kind of disposition, do you not reveal it at all times and in all places? So what is this disposition? It is a disposition that is hostile toward God and hostile toward the truth. You question God’s words, dissect them, analyze them and take them with a pinch of salt. What does it mean when you do these things? It means that when you hear God’s words, you think, “Are these God’s words? I don’t think this is the truth and I don’t think it is all necessarily correct.” Your disposition is revealed, right? Are you capable of obedience when you think like this? You certainly aren’t. And if you’re not capable of obedience, is God still your God? No, He isn’t. What do you then regard God as? As an object of scrutiny and doubt, and even as just an ordinary person, as someone with corrupt disposition just like man. Is this not brought about by man’s corrupt disposition?
When someone has gone so far and when they have this kind of relationship with God, what is the relationship between this person and God? It is hostile and they have become God’s antagonist, right? If you believe in God but cannot gain the truth or accept the truth, God is not your God. God does not regard you as an enemy but you regard God as your antagonist and you cannot accept that He is your truth and your way, then how can this problem be resolved? When you encounter issues you must first think, “What’s the situation here? I don’t understand it very well, and I’m not so clear on it.” No matter what the issue is, you don’t first clarify the issue, instead you must first see what God’s words say about it. You may fail to find the relevant words of God, and you may also not know what truths this issue involves, but you find a principle—it is to obey, first and foremost. First of all, stay obedient, calm your heart and wait, have no individual opinions or thoughts, wait a while and see how God plans to deal with it and what God will do. This is in situations when you don’t quite understand. What about when you do understand? For example, someone raises an opinion; how do you handle this issue? How do you handle it in a way that conforms to the truth? First you accept it; you listen and say, “What’s all this? Ah, is there a problem by me doing it this way? If there’s a problem, then let’s take a look.” Don’t take the matter lightly; it involves things within the scope of your duties, therefore you must approach it conscientiously. This is the correct attitude to take and the correct state to be in. When you are in the correct state, do you reveal a disposition that is sick of the truth? (No.) You don’t reveal a disposition that is hostile toward the truth, and when you practice in this way your corrupt disposition is replaced; you are practicing the truth. When you practice the truth in this way, what result is achieved? (The Holy Spirit guides us.) The Holy Spirit’s guidance is one aspect. To God, you are practicing the truth. Sometimes you have the Holy Spirit’s guidance and the problem is corrected; sometimes after you hear about this issue, you understand it easily, and you find it very simple. That is something that man’s mind is able to achieve and you only need to correct it. This is a small matter. And what is the big matter? When you practice in this way, God sees you as someone who practices the truth and as someone who loves the truth, and He sees that you are not someone who hates the truth or is hostile toward the truth. At the same time as God sees your heart, He also sees your disposition. This is a big matter. That is, what you do before God, what you live out before God and what you reveal before God, as well as the attitude you adopt, the thoughts you have and the state you are in in everything you do—all these expressions you have before God—these are the most important things.
People are always making a fuss over people and issues, and this is a big problem. What do they always think? They think that it’s other people who are hard on them, or that others make things difficult for them on purpose, or they just find faults with other people. Is this perspective correct? (No, it isn’t.) Why do you say no? It’s definitely wrong to always make a fuss over issues and people. They don’t make effort with the truth, and they’re always trying to save face and seek justification in front of others or amongst other people, and they always want to use human methods to settle all these matters. This is the greatest obstacle to life entry. By acting this way, practicing in this way and believing in God this way, you will never be able to gain the truth, as you never come before God. You never come before God to accept all the things God arranges for you, you never apply the truth to resolve all these things, and you always want to use human methods to resolve them. So in God’s eyes, you have gone too far from Him and not only has your heart gone too far from God, but your entire thinking, all your ideas and your whole state have never been before God. This is how God sees those who make a fuss over issues and people. Therefore, some people who have the gift of gab and are quick-thinking, think, “I have a silver tongue, and when I’m around other people, they all envy me and admire me. They exalt me, and most people are convinced by me.” Is this of any use? Your prestige among other people is established, but before God, He has always ignored you, and He says that you are an unbeliever and that you are hostile toward the truth. You conduct yourself among others in a way that is smooth and slick, you can deal with anyone, you are very capable at handling matters, and you are able to get along with anyone. But in the end, with one appraisal from God you will be finished, you will come to a bad end, and your fate will be set. God will say: “This is an unbeliever, waving the banner of belief in God in order to gain blessings. This person is hostile toward the truth, they have never made any effort with the truth, and they have never accepted the truth.” What do you think of this kind of appraisal? Is this the appraisal you want? (No.) It certainly isn’t what you want. Maybe some people don’t care, and they say, “Whatever. We can’t see God anyway. The most realistic issue we have is that we have to get along with the people around us. If we don’t make these relationships work, then how can we live amongst these people? Our life would be very difficult. At the very least we have to get along with these people and handle the relationships well. Anything else can wait.” What kinds of people are these? Are these still people who believe in God? (No.) One must live before God at all times and must come before God and seek the truth at all times and with all matters, so that in the end God will say: “You are someone who loves the truth and God is pleased with you, God accepts you. God sees your heart and sees your behavior.” What do you think of this appraisal? This means that you’re safe, right?
Do you ever ordinarily pay attention to these matters? Let Me tell you, when you believe in God, no matter if you’re doing external duties, or you’re doing a duty to do with any kind of work or any aspect of professional work within God’s family—no matter what duty you do—if you cannot always come before God, if you cannot live before God, then you are not a believer and there is no difference between you and an unbeliever. Does this sound accurate to you? Can you appreciate this point? Maybe there are some people now who are unable to do their duty because of an unsuitable environment, and they are living amongst unbelievers, yet they are always able to obtain God’s enlightenment and guidance—so what’s the situation here? Do you know? (It’s because they always come before God.) Yes, this determines what a person’s spiritual state is like. If, within yourself, you are always unable to feel God, if you are always weak, always negative, or you are always dissipated, or you bear no burden in your duties and your heart is constantly muddling along without any purpose, then is this a good state or a bad state to be in? Is it a state whereby you live before God? Or is it a state whereby you simply do not live before God at all? (It is a state whereby we don’t live before God.) Then weigh this up—in most situations, do you live before God or do you not live before God? Are you well aware of this in your hearts? Do you live before God most of the time, or only on rare occasions? (Only on rare occasions.) This is troublesome for you. Whether someone is a dancer, a singer, a writer or a film-maker, if their hearts are never concerned with doing any proper duties, if they are debauched and brook no restriction, if they are always in a muddle when they encounter issues, have no idea what matter involves what aspect of the truth, nor do they have any idea whether what they do has any effect, if they don’t know what things they do every day that offend God, what things God can accept or what things God hates, and they just pass day after day in confusion, then what kind of state is this to be in? Do those who live in this state have a God-fearing heart within them? Are they capable of acting with principles? Are they capable of doing anything reasonable? (No.) When they are doing their duty, are they able to say, “I must endure some restrictions, I must work in earnest, with all my heart and all my strength, and be loyal”? Are they capable of having any loyalty? (No.) Then what are you really doing here when you’re doing your duty? (Exerting strength.) You’re right; you’re exerting strength. You’re a labor force, right? Your food and housing is all taken care of, and then you work here. Although you don’t earn money, you feel it’s okay as you get food, drink and somewhere to live. But do you earn the truth? (No.) Then you lose so much. You are too foolish! You have believed in God for many years now, it hasn’t been just a few days. You have heard so much truth and you don’t know what you’re believing in God for, what you have to do, what you have to gain, or what is most important to gain. Do you know a little now? (Yes.) What do you know? Tell Me. (In believing in God, gaining the truth is the most important thing.) Gaining the truth is the most important thing? True or false? (True.) It is certainly true. But you may perhaps not have a genuine knowledge in your hearts right now, and may not have realized it to this level.
Have you read the Book of Job? (Yes.) And when you read the Book of Job, were your hearts moved? (Yes.) So did you have a yearning mentality, and want to be someone like Job? (Yes.) How long were you able to keep that state and that feeling up for? Half a day, two days, a week? Or for one or two months, or one or two years? (Maybe two to three days.) The feeling went away after three days? When that feeling goes away, you keep reading, and when you keep reading you can keep it going for another three days. But that’s not how it is, is it? When you read that book and you feel moved, you must pray, inwardly make your resolution that you want to be like Job, someone who can know God, who can gain the truth, and who can fear God and shun evil, and you pray for God to do the same to you, and that God guides you and arranges environments for you, bestows strength on you, protects you in any environment you may encounter so that you are able to stand firm, so that you don’t defy God, and are able to fear God and shun evil, and are able to satisfy God’s will. You have to always implore God for this goal and for what you long and wish to obtain in your heart, you have to implore and pray for it, and when God sees your true heart He will then do it. You needn’t fear God doing this, for God cannot possibly make your body covered with sores like when He tried Job and deprive you of everything you have; God won’t do that to you. He will gradually do His work on you in accordance with your stature. You must implore with sincerity; don’t just read it today, feel moved and implore God, and then after two days you do nothing, and it’s over as soon as you turn around. People say, “Who is Job?” “Who? Job? Who is Job? How can I not know? I may have heard of him.” This is troublesome! You don’t read it for three days and it’s all forgotten, it’s gone from your heart. If you envy people like Job and you would like to be someone like that, in your heart you must have a path of how to be someone like that, you must lay your heart before God, then you must pray for it, pray for it often, take this matter from your heart and contemplate it often, read books, read the articles about Job and the words of God related to Job, contemplate this constantly and repeatedly, fellowship together with people who have this kind of knowledge, experience or resolution, and you must work hard toward that goal. How should you work hard? Just reading is not really working hard. You have to make effort with this matter, offer up your prayers and put it into practice, whilst at the same time having the resolution to endure suffering and having a yearning and longing heart. Then you implore for it, you offer up your prayers and ask God to do this. If God doesn’t do it, it’s of no use no matter how much effort you make, and your efforts are futile. How does God do it? He begins by setting and arranging things for you according to your stature. For example, you are about to take the college entrance exam, and you say, “I want the grades to get into Tsinghua University.” You start to put effort into achieving this, you review your lessons, search for study materials on anything and everything and seek teachers to tutor you. Then you tell your parents and they say, “Our child has such resolution. They get down to business, they have ambition and they’re not incompetent.” So, what will your parents do? They will both prepare your tuition fees and find a tutor for you. They will make proper arrangements for your life, when you should rest, and your studies, take you to school and pick you up, and they will make it so that, during this time, you don’t get tired, or hungry, or undernourished. They will help you by dealing with and handling things in the outside world so that you won’t get distracted. They will make proper arrangements for you in all aspects. In this way, you will have sufficient time to review, to study and to realize your dream. With regard to believing in God, whatever you are aiming for or whatever resolution you have, you have to speak with God. You have to pray on this matter and implore for it; it will take a long time! It won’t do to have an insincere heart. If you just pray a couple of times every now and then and when you see that God hasn’t done anything for you, you say, “Forget it. Whatever. What will be will be, I’ll just let nature take its course, and I’ll take things as they come,” then this won’t do, and your heart is insincere. Will God do anything for you if you have just a couple of minutes of enthusiasm? Will God arrange environments for you? Is that acceptable? God really doesn’t work that way. God wants to see your sincerity and He wants to see how long your sincerity and the stamina of your heart can be sustained for, and whether your heart is true or false. God will wait; He hears your prayers and what you implore for, and He hears your resolutions and your desires, but He hasn’t yet seen your resolution to endure suffering, so He won’t do anything for you. If you say a few words and then walk off, will God do anything for you? Absolutely not. You must keep imploring for it, keep praying, make effort with it and contemplate it, then taste the environments God arranges for you—they will come to you little by little, and God will begin to act. Without a true heart, it is futile. You say, “I really envy Job and I really envy Peter.” What use is envying them? You can’t be them no matter how much you envy them, and no matter how much you envy them, God will not do the same work on you as He did on them. Why is that? Because you are not the same type of person as they were. You don’t possess their resolution, or their humanity, and you don’t possess their yearning heart that sought for the truth. When the time comes that you possess these things, only then will God do more on you. Understand?
Do most of you now have the resolution to understand the truth, gain the truth and to be perfected in the end? (Yes.) How great is your resolution? How long can you keep it going for? Do you know? (I have this resolution when I’m in a good state. When things happen that don’t agree with my flesh or conform to my conceptions, and when I suffer some refinement or difficulties within myself, then my faith disappears, I become mired in a kind of negative state, and the resolution I had in the beginning gradually gets less and less.) This won’t do. This is being too weak. You must reach a stage whereby your resolution doesn’t change no matter what environment you encounter; only that is being sincere, and only that is a genuine love of the truth and a real desire to be this kind of person. It won’t do to cower down when some small matter or difficulty arises, or to become negative, to sink down and give up your own resolution when you come across some small difficulty. You have to have the strength of someone willing to risk their lives, and say, “No matter what happens, even if I have to die I won’t give up my resolution or give up on this goal.” Then there will be no difficulty that can stop you, and God will do this for you. Moreover, you must have this kind of perspective and understanding whenever something happens, and say, “No matter what happens, it is all a part of my achieving my goal, and it is God’s doing. There is weakness in me, but I am not negative. I thank God for the love He gives me and for arranging this kind of environment for me. I must not give up. My giving up would be tantamount to making a compromise with Satan, and tantamount to self-destruction. Giving up on my desire and my resolution would be tantamount to betraying God.” This is the kind of heart you must have. Every tiny issue you encounter is a small interlude in the process of making progress in life, and you must not let it obstruct your way forward or obstruct your onward direction. It’s fine for you to take a little rest or pause for a while, but your direction must not change, and under no circumstance must you come to a complete stop; this is the kind of resolution and determination you must have. No matter what others say or how they are, and no matter how God treats you, your resolution must not change. God says, “I don’t want you anymore,” and you say, “God doesn’t want me anymore, so I’ll just forget about it.” Isn’t this being a good-for-nothing? Or God says, “You are too deeply corrupted, and I detest you,” and you say, “God detests me, so what do I have to live for anymore? I’ll go find a rope to hang myself with.” Isn’t this being a good-for-nothing? You won’t achieve your goal like this. As for your current stature, none of you are yet able to be tested by God, and say, “God, please test me.” You do not have this stature. What are you merely capable of doing? You must pray: “Oh God, may You guide me, enlighten me, give me the stamina to carry on and give me the stamina to be able to walk the way of fearing God and shunning evil in accordance with my desires. No matter what kind of suffering I go through, You give me strength and You protect me. Though I may be weak and though my stature is immature, I ask You to give me strength, to protect me and show me kindness. I won’t give up.” This is how you have to pray, and you must always come before God to pray. When others are laughing and joking and indulging themselves, pray for this; when others are having fun, pray for this; when others are negative, pray for this; when others are sound asleep, or sleeping in late, you are up already praying for this; when others are walking the way of the world and greedily enjoying physical comforts, or following worldly trends, pray for this. When you can live before God in all things and can keep yourself within certain bounds, when you can keep yourself living before God and have a normal relationship with God, then God is able to see this.
When God sees someone’s heart, He doesn’t just use His eyes; He arranges environments for you and He touches your heart with His hands. Why do I say this? When God arranges an environment for you, He looks to see whether your heart is disgusted by it, hates it, likes it or is obedient, or whether it waits quietly, or seeks the truth—He sees how your heart changes and in which direction it goes. The changes in your heart, every change of the thoughts and ideas in your heart about the people, matters, and things God arranges for you, and every single change in mood you have—God can sense it all. Although you may not have told anyone and may not have prayed, instead just thinking these thoughts in your own heart or in your own world, yet to God it is all clear and He sees it clearly with one glance. People use their eyes to see you, and God uses His heart to touch your heart—He is this close to you. And if you are able to sense God’s scrutiny, then you are living before God. If you can’t sense it at all and you live within your own world, then you’re in trouble. You’re not living before God, you are distant from God and far away from Him, you do not draw close to Him in your heart or have your heart come close to His heart, and you don’t accept God’s scrutiny. And God knows this! God is entirely capable of sensing all this. Therefore, when you have the resolution and the goal to be perfected by God, to become someone who carries out God’s will, someone who fears God and shuns evil, when you are able to often pray on this matter and implore for it, when you are able to live before God, not go far from God or leave God, then you are clear about this, and God knows about it as well. Some people say: “I am clear about it, but I don’t know if God knows about it.” This doesn’t hold water. So what’s the situation here? If you are clear about it yourself, and you don’t know if God knows about it, then you have no relationship with God. Understand? Why do I say you have no relationship with God? You are not living before God, therefore you are unable to sense whether God is with you, whether God is guiding you or protecting you, and whether God is reproaching you when you do something wrong. You can’t feel any of these things, so this means that you are not living before God. You just think by yourself and become intoxicated with your own thoughts; that is living in your own world and not living before God, and there is no relationship between you and God.
How can one maintain their relationship with God? By what means can they maintain it? By means of imploring, praying and having the communion with God in their heart. This kind of relationship will allow you to live always before God, and so you will be a very peaceful person. Some people are always doing external things and they busy themselves with external affairs. After a day or two without engaging in the spiritual life, their heart has no perception, and after three days, or five days, it still has no perception, or it still has no perception after one or two months. This means that they do not pray or implore for anything, and they don’t engage in spiritual communion. Imploring is when you encounter issues, you ask God to help you, to guide you, to provide for you, to enlighten you, to allow you to understand, to allow you to know God’s will and to know what the truth is. Praying has rather a broad scope. Sometimes it is saying the words in your heart, speaking with God when you encounter difficulties and saying the words that are in your heart to God when you become negative and weak. You may also pray to God when you are rebellious, or you talk with God about the issues you encounter every day, both about the ones you can understand and the ones you can’t understand. This is praying. The scope of praying is basically having a chat with God, sometimes at fixed times and sometimes at unscheduled times, and it can be done at any time and in any place. Spiritual communion does not really hold to a certain format. Maybe there is an issue, maybe there isn’t; sometimes there will be something to say, and sometimes there won’t. This is spiritual communion. When there is a specific issue to talk with God about, then you can pray. When there is no issue, you just think about God, “How does God love man? How does God care for man? How does God reproach man?” “Oh God, I feel I have done this thing wrong. If I really have done it wrong, then reproach me and make me aware of it.” This is spiritual communion, and it can be done at any time and in any place. Sometimes you’re on the road and you think of something that makes your heart feel really sad. You don’t need to kneel or close your eyes, but instead you just immediately say to God in your heart: “Oh God, I pray that You guide me with this issue. I am weak and I can’t overcome it.” Your heart is stirred, and with these few simple words God knows all about it. Sometimes you think of your family, and you may say: “Oh God, I really miss my family….” You don’t miss anyone in particular, you just feel bad, so you speak with God. Don’t talk to other people about it, as that is of no use. When you speak to someone else about it, it may turn out that they miss their family even more than you, then this infects you and you end up missing yours even more, and this brings you no benefit whatsoever. When you speak with God about it, then God will comfort you, make you happy again and get you through this hard time and over this small juncture. This juncture, this tiny stone in your path won’t trip you up, it won’t restrain you or affect the performance of your duties. Sometimes, when you are chatting or fellowshiping with others, your heart may suddenly have a slight sinking feeling or feel uncomfortable, so you make haste to pray to God, and you can do this at any time and in any place. There may be nothing you want to implore for, or nothing you want God to do for you or enlighten you with, you just speak with God and chat with Him at any time and in any place. What kind of feeling must you have at all times? It is this: God never leaves my side, He is with me by my side at all times, He has never left me, and I can feel this. No matter where I am, no matter what I’m doing, whether I am resting or sleeping, eating a meal, or at a meeting, or whether I say nothing for a whole day whilst doing my duty, I know in my heart that God is leading me by the hand, and that He has never left me. Sometimes, you sit and think about how you’ve come through these last few years, month by month, and you feel in your heart that your stature has matured and that it is God who guides you, and that it is God’s love that is always protecting you. When you think this, you pray in your heart: “I thank You, God!” And you offer up your thanks, and say: “I am so weak, so cowardly, and so deeply corrupted. If You didn’t guide me like this, I myself would not have made it to today. Thank God!” Is this not spiritual communion? If you were like this, then wouldn’t you have a lot to say to God? You wouldn’t go for days and days with nothing to say to God. If you have nothing to say to God, then it means that God is not in your heart. If you do have God in your heart, then you can say to God the things you can say to your intimates—God is your closest confidant. When you allow God to become your closest confidant, your closest friend, the family who you can most depend on, most lean on, and who is most trustworthy, most intimate and close, then it will be impossible not to have things to say to Him. When you always have things to say to God, aren’t you then able to always live before God? When you are able to always live before God, then at all times you will be able to perceive how God is guiding you, how God is protecting you, how He looks after you, how He becomes your peace and joy, gives you blessings and enlightens you, how God reproaches you, disciplines you, punishes you, judges and chastises you. When you are always living before God, your heart will very clearly and distinctly know what God is doing in you. You won’t have a day where you are all muddle-headed and don’t know anything, just saying the words “I believe in God, I do my duty, I attend meetings, I read every day and pray every day.” You won’t merely go through all these processes or merely have this kind of external behavior.
You should now know, so what is the most important thing in believing in God? When you believe in God, if God is not in your heart and you have nothing to do with Him, and if you don’t regard God as your most intimate, your closest, your most reliable and most trustworthy family and confidant, then God is not your God. Right, so now go and practice for a while in accordance with what I’ve said, and see whether or not your inner state will change. Practice in accordance with what I’ve said and surely you will live before God, live in normal conditions and be in a normal state. When a person’s state is normal, only then will the things they express and reveal at every stage, or amongst different people, matters, and things, or in different environments, be normal. Only in this way can their life mature and can they enter into the reality of the truth little by little. Understand? (Yes.)
a. The original text omits “of your duty.”