Peter in his life experienced hundreds of refinings and a lot of painful temperings. These refinings became the foundation for his loving God to the utmost and became the most meaningful experiences in his life. One reason he could love God to the utmost was because of his will to love God, but an even more important reason was because of the refinings and sufferings he underwent. All these sufferings became the guide on his way of loving God and became the most unforgettable things to him. If one loves God without undergoing the sufferings of refining, his love will be full of his naturalness and preferences. Such love is full of satan’s will and cannot satisfy God’s heart’s desire at all. When one has the will to love God, it does not mean that he truly loves God. Even if all that he thinks in his heart is for loving God and for satisfying God and seems to be without any intent of his own but completely for God, when it is brought before God, it cannot be approved by God or blessed by God. Even if one has understood all the truths clearly and has known all of them, it cannot be said to be a mark that he loves God, and he cannot be said to have the reality of loving God. Although one may have understood many truths before undergoing refining, he cannot practice all these truths. Only when he is in refining can he understand the true meaning of these truths and truly realize the inner meaning of these truths. At this time, when he practices these truths again, it will be accurate and after God’s heart. His practice at this time will be with less of his own will, his naturalness, and his emotion. Only his practice at this time will be the manifestation of truly loving God. It is not that one has achieved results in the truth of loving God when he knows it on his lips and is willing in his heart; nor is it that he has achieved results when he understands it. He needs to pay a great price and undergo many sufferings in refining before his love can be pure and be after God’s heart. When God requires man to love him, he does not require man to love him by zealousness or naturalness but to serve him by faithfulness and truth. Only this is a true love. But when man lives in his naturalness, he cannot serve God by truth or faithfulness. He is either too zealous toward God or too cold toward God, and he either “loves” God to the extreme or hates God to the extreme. People who live in their naturalness always live in such extremes, and they always live in such a non-truth state and consider themselves right. Although I have mentioned this matter many times, people cannot take it seriously or know its importance clearly. So they all live in a self-fooling belief and live in a non-truth fantasy of loving God. Throughout the generations, as mankind develops and the age turns, God makes higher and higher requirements of people and increasingly requires people to be absolute to him; however, people have a more and more unclear and vague knowledge of God, and consequently, their love for God is mixed with more and more impurities. Their states and their doings become less and less after God’s heart, because people are corrupted by satan more and more deeply. Thus God needs to do more and greater works of salvation. People make higher and higher “demands” on God and have less and less love for God. They all live in disobedience without the truth and live in a non-human life, and they not only do not have any love for God, but on the contrary are full of disobedience and resistance against him. Although people think that they already have the maximum love for God and the maximum tolerance for God, God does not think so. He sees very clearly how much mixture there is in people’s love for him. He never has a different view of them because of their hypocritical affection or “requites” their kindness because of their consecration. God is not undiscerning as man is. He knows who truly loves him and who does not. He will not be thrilled and at a loss because of one’s sudden impulse. Rather, he will treat one according to his essence and his doings. God is God after all, and he has his dignity and his stand. Man is man after all. God will not be carried away by man’s love which is not according to the truth. On the contrary, he will treat all this properly.
from “Only Through Experiencing Refining Will One Have a True Love” in The Word Appears in the Flesh