By Ma Liang
A parable is recorded in: “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man, which built his house on a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell not: for it was founded on a rock. And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened to a foolish man, which built his house on the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it” (Matthew 7:24-27). As to the ’ admonitions, I have been thinking: Whenever I hold on to the Lord Jesus’ words, cast off everything to work and spread the gospel for the Lord, and faithfully expend myself for Him, my foundation is laid on a rock. However, in real life, I see it is impractical to evaluate according to these outward dedications and efforts. They cannot make me stand firm as God’s test comes upon me.
I have thought all along that since I can cast off everything to expend myself for God, suffering and paying a price, I am faithful to God, and will definitely receive a reward and enter into the kingdom of heaven. But when my family fell ill recently, I still couldn’t see God’s blessings after my constant prayer to Him, so I complained within, thinking: I have expended myself for God; why do these troubles befall my family? Therefore, I lived in negativity, and my belief in God was less than before. In the face of reality, I saw that I did not have true faith in God or any reality of believing in God. For many years, I have just kept, yet I have failed to submit to His orchestration and arrangement or to hold firm to the way of God. This shows that my belief was founded not on a rock, but on the sand.
How can I build the foundation of my belief in God on a rock?
I saw a passage in a spiritual book: “In every age, God bestows some words upon man when He works in the world, telling man of some truths. These truths serve as the way to be adhered to by man, the way that is to be walked in by man, the way that enables man to fear God and shun evil, and the way that people should put into practice and adhere to in their lives and over the course of their life journeys. It’s for these reasons that God bestows these words on man. These words that come from God should be adhered to by man, and to adhere to them is to receive life. If a person does not adhere to them, does not put them into practice, and does not live outs in their lives, then this person is not putting truth into practice. And if they’re not putting truth into practice, then they’re not fearing God and shunning evil, nor can they satisfy God. If someone can’t satisfy God, then they cannot receive God’s praise; this kind of person has no outcome” (“How to Know God’s Disposition and the Result of His Work”). From these words, I understood that the words God says during every period are for us to believe, obey, and practice in our real lives. No matter the circumstances, we can adhere to God’s words. It is because whether we can practice God’s words and walk in His way directly involves our attitudes to God, and even our fate and outcomes.
Looking back on my path of belief in God, I was just content with seeking to work hard, sacrifice, and expend for God outwardly, and with speaking some biblical letters and doctrines and theological theories. I thought I was loyal to God, so I waited to gain God’s rewards and be raptured to the kingdom of heaven. However, as I encountered the people, matters, and things in reality, I didn’t pursue to act in accordance with God’s words to achieve the results of knowing and satisfying God. When faced with the various persecutions or tribulations, I stood in opposition to God to complain about Him. When tempted by money, reputation, or status, I fell into temptation, followed Satan, and lost testimony. When all kinds of natural calamities and man-made misfortunes befell me, I contended with God, complained what God did was unrighteous, even betrayed God, and so on. From this it can be seen that if we believers in God only seek to suffer and work for God outwardly instead of treasuring the words that come from the mouth of God, we can’t walk upon the path of seeking the truth and knowing God. We don’t have God’s words to be our life. As soon as trials and tribulations befall us, we will betray God and depart from Him at any moment.
At this time, I realized that the Lord Jesus’ intention of saying these words is to allow us to choose well the path we take in believing in God, and to build the foundation on God’s words and on practicing the truth and knowing and obeying God. Only in this way can we tread the right path of gaining life.
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