God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II (Excerpt 57)
If Man’s Heart Is in Enmity to God, How Can He Fear God and Shun Evil
Since the people of today do not possess the same humanity as Job, what of the substance of their nature, and their attitude toward God? Do they fear God? Do they shun evil? Those who do not fear God or shun evil can only be summed up with four words: the enemies of God. You often say these four words, but you have never known their real meaning. The words “the enemies of God” have substance to them: They are not saying that God sees man as the enemy, but that man sees God as the enemy. First, when people begin to, who does not have their own aims, motivations, and ambitions? Even though one part of them believes in the existence of God, and has seen the existence of God, their belief in God still contains those motivations, and their ultimate aim in believing in God is to receive His blessings and the things they want. In people’s life experiences, they often think to themselves, I’ve given up my family and career for God, and what has He given me? I must add it up, and confirm it—have I received any blessings recently? I’ve given a lot during this time, I’ve run and run, and have suffered much—has God given me any promises in return? Has He remembered my good deeds? What will my end be? Can I receive God’s blessings? … Every person constantly, and often makes such calculations within their heart, and they make demands of God which bear their motivations, and ambitions, and deals. Which is to say, in his heart man is constantly putting God to test, constantly devising plans about God, and constantly arguing the case for his end with God, and trying to extract a statement from God, seeing whether or not God can give him what he wants. At the same time as pursuing God, man doesn’t treat God like God. He has always tried to make deals with God, ceaselessly making demands of Him, and even pressing Him at every step, trying to take a mile after being given an inch. At the same time as trying to make deals with God, man also argues with Him, and there are even people who, when trials befall them or they find themselves in certain situations, often become weak, passive and slack in their work, and full of complaints about God. From when he first began to believe in God, man has considered God to be a cornucopia, a Swiss Army knife, and he has considered himself to be God’s greatest creditor, as if trying to get blessings and promises from God were his inherent right and obligation, while God’s responsibility were to protect and care for man and provide for him. Such is the basic understanding of “belief in God” of all those who believe in God, and their deepest understanding of the concept of belief in God. From the substance of man’s nature to his subjective pursuit, there is nothing that relates to the fear of God. Man’s aim in believing in God could not possibly have anything to do with the worship of God. That is to say, man has never considered nor understood that belief in God requires fearing God, and worshiping God. In light of such circumstances, man’s substance is obvious. And what is this substance? It is that man’s heart is malicious, it harbors treachery and craftiness, it does not love fairness and righteousness, or that which is positive, and it is contemptible and greedy. Man’s heart couldn’t be more closed to God; he hasn’t given it to God at all. God has never seen man’s true heart, nor has He ever been worshiped by man. No matter how great the price God pays, or how much work He does, or how much He provides to man, man remains blind to it, and utterly indifferent. Man has never given his heart to God, he only wants to mind his heart himself, to make his own decisions—the subtext of which is that man doesn’t want to follow the way of fearing God and shunning evil, or to obey the sovereignty and arrangements of God, nor does he want to worship God as God. Such are the circumstances of man today. Now let us look again at Job. First of all, did he do a deal with God? Did he have any ulterior motives in holding firm to the way of fearing God and shunning evil? At that time, had God spoken to anyone of the end to come? At that time, God had not made promises to anyone about the end, and it was against this background that Job was able to fear God and shun evil. Do the people of today stand up to comparison with Job? There’s too much of a disparity, they’re in different leagues. Although Job did not have much knowledge of God, he had given his heart to God and it belonged to God. He never did a deal with God, and had no extravagant desires or demands toward God; instead, he believed that “Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away.” This was what he had seen and obtained from holding true to the way of fearing God and shunning evil during many years of life. Likewise, he had also gained the outcome of “shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” These two sentences were what he had seen and come to know as a result of his attitude of obedience toward God during his life’s experiences, and they were also his most powerful weapons with which he triumphed in Satan’s temptations, and the foundation of his standing firm in testimony to God. At this point, do you envisage Job as a lovely person? Do you hope to be such a person? Do you fear having to undergo the temptations of Satan? Do you resolve to pray for God to subject you to the same trials as Job? Without doubt, most people would not dare to pray for such things. It is evident, then, that your faith is pitiably small; compared to Job, your faith is simply unworthy of mention. You are the enemies of God, you do not fear God, you are incapable of standing firm in your testimony to God, and unable to triumph over the attacks, accusations, and temptations of Satan. What makes you qualified to receive the promises of God? Having heard the story of Job and understood God’s intention in saving man and the meaning of the salvation of man, do you now have the faith to accept the same trials as Job? Should you not have a little resolve to allow yourselves to follow the way of fearing God and shunning evil?
Excerpted from The Word Appears in the Flesh