Some people can bear hardships and work hard and can pay a price; they have very good outward behavior and are greatly respected and admired by others. In your view, can such outward behavior be called practicing the truth? Can it be concluded that they are satisfying God’s heart’s desire? Why is it that often when people see such ones, they think that they are satisfying God, that they are taking the way of practicing the truth, and that they are walking in God’s ways? Why do some people think so? There is only one explanation for it. What is the explanation?
It is that many people are still not very clear in their heart about such issues as what it means to practice the truth, what it means to satisfy God, and what it means to truly have the reality of the truth. So some people are often deceived by those who outwardly seem to be very spiritual, very noble, and have a very lofty image. In treating these people who can speak letters and doctrines outwardly and who are admired by others in outward speech and action, they never consider what the substance of their actions is, what their principles of doing things are, and what their goals in doing things are, or consider whether they truly obey God and whether they are ones who truly fear God and shun evil. They never discern the substance of these people’s humanity, but they go from unacquainted at first to acquainted with them, then admire and look up to them little by little, and finally make them their idols. Moreover, in some people’s heart, only the idols they adore, those who in their eyes can leave their families and give up their careers and who can pay a price outwardly, are ones who truly satisfy God, ones who will truly have a good outcome and a good destination, and ones who are approved by God. What causes them to have such a “thought”? What is the substance of this thing? What will the consequence of this be? Let’s first talk about what the substance of this thing is.
These viewpoints of men, these ways of practice of men, and the principles of practice they adopt, as well as what everyone pays attention to at ordinary times, these all have nothing to do with God’s requirements for man in substance. Whether what men pay attention to is deep or shallow, or whether it is letter and doctrine or reality, in a word, men have not kept what they should keep the most, nor do they know what they should know the most. The reason for this is that men do not love the truth at all and thus they are not willing to make effort to find out the principles of practice in God’s word and practice them, but rather they take a shortcut, summing up what they regard and know as good behavior and practices, and pursuing them as their goals and practicing them as the truth. The consequence this directly leads to is that men substitute good human behavior for practicing the truth, and this also satisfies their desire to curry favor with God, so that they have the capital to stand against the truth and the capital to reason with and compete against God. Meanwhile, they recklessly put God aside and place the idol in their heart in the position of God. There is only one reason that men have these foolish practices and opinions, or one-sided opinions and practices. Let me tell you today. It is that though men follow God and pray to God and read God’s word every day, actually they do not understand God’s will at all. This is the root of the problem. If men knew God’s heart and knew what God likes, what God loathes, what God wants to gain, what God rejects, what kind of person God likes, what kind of person God dislikes, by what standard God makes requirements of man, and by what means God perfects man, would they have their own thoughts? Would they adore a man at will? Would they take an ordinary man as their idol? If men understood God’s will, their opinions would be somewhat rational, and they would not make a corrupt man their idol at will, nor would they hold fast to several simple regulations or principles as they please on the way of practicing the truth and regard that as practicing the truth.