By Qin Shuting, Shandong Province
For some time, whenever I read the words of God, I never felt the light. I didn’t reflect on the reason for that, but just continued to pray to God, asking Him to enlighten me. But when I read God’s words after that, I still didn’t have any enlightenment. So I thought, “There is a time for God to enlighten each man, so there is no use in trying to rush it.” After that, I unhurriedly plodded along reading God’s words, patiently awaiting God’s enlightenment.
Until one day, I read these words of God: “Only if your heart is at peace before God will your pursuit of the truth and of changes in your disposition bear fruit. Because you come before God bearing a burden, and because you always feel that you are lacking in so many ways, that there are many truths that you need to know, much reality that you need to experience, and that you should give every care to God’s will—these things are always on your mind. It is as if they are pressing down on you with a force that leaves you unable to breathe, and thus you feel heavy of heart (though you are not in a negative state). Only people such as this are qualified to accept the enlightenment of God’s words and to be moved by the Spirit of God. It is because of their burden, because they are heavy of heart, and, it can be said, because of the price they have paid and the torment they have suffered before God, that they receive His enlightenment and illumination. For God does not give anyone special treatment. He is always fair in His treatment of people, but He also does not give to people arbitrarily or unconditionally. This is one aspect of His righteous disposition” (“It Is Very Important to Establish a Normal Relationship With God” in). In pondering God’s words, I understood: God is a righteous God. He is never arbitrary in His provision to man, and does not give to man unconditionally. There is a principle behind God’s work. For people to receive God’s enlightenment and illumination when reading His words, they must quiet their hearts before God and have a heart that yearns for and seeks God’s words. They must bear the burden for their own lives and search for their own shortcomings according to the words of God. Bearing their burden, they must purposefully read the words of God to go ever deeper into the truth and resolve their corrupt disposition and fulfill their duties. Only by practically paying such a price to work with God can one obtain the enlightenment of God. If someone does not thirst for God’s words, but just aimlessly, mechanically reads His words, treating them lightly, they cannot possibly gain the work of the Holy Spirit. In retrospect, every time I picked up the book of the word of God, I would flick through and see that I had read this passage and read that passage, thinking that I had a rough idea about every passage. Then I would find any old one, give it a cursory read, and then I was done, perfunctorily reading the words of God in such an unconcerned way. At that time, I saw that I didn’t remotely have a heart of longing when reading God’s words. I was just going through the motions and upholding certain rules and conventions, content to just understand some literal doctrines. I placed no importance on seriously pondering God’s words and seeking to understand the truth, nor did I place importance on integrating His words to reflect on myself and resolve my problems. I shouldered no burden for my own life and I wasn’t remotely concerned about my lack of entry into the reality of the truth or a change in disposition. With such a cavalier attitude to the words of God, how would I have obtained His enlightenment and illumination? I was not realistically reflecting on my own state or seeking the truth to resolve my problems. Instead, I was relying on my own notions and imaginings, believing “There is a time for God to enlighten each man.” I continued to passively wait for God’s enlightenment. I really was being so ignorant! Only then did I recognize that, although there is a time for God to enlighten each man, this much is true, there is a principle behind the Holy Spirit’s work on man. The degree to which man cooperates is the degree to which God works; however much people work with God is however much He will bestow on them. God will not enlighten someone if they just passively wait for the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment and do nothing else. The fruit of God’s work on mankind is determined by how much they cooperate. As God said: “The Holy Spirit works by this principle: Through people’s cooperation, through them actively praying, searching and coming closer to God, results can be achieved and they can be enlightened and illuminated by the Holy Spirit. It is not the case that the Holy Spirit acts unilaterally, or that man acts unilaterally. Both are indispensable, and the more that people cooperate, and the more they pursue the attainment of the standards of God’s requirements, the greater the work of the Holy Spirit. Only people’s real cooperation, added to the work of the Holy Spirit, can produce real experiences and the essential knowledge of God’s words. Gradually, through experiencing in this way, a perfect person is ultimately produced. God does not do supernatural things; in people’s notions, God is almighty, and everything is done by God—with the result that people wait passively, do not read the words of God or pray, and merely await the touch of the Holy Spirit. Those with a correct understanding, however, believe this: God’s actions can only go as far as my cooperation, and the effect that God’s work has in me depends on how I cooperate. When God speaks, I should do all I can to seek and strive toward God’s words; this is what I should achieve” (“How to Know Reality” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Thank God for His timely enlightenment. I found the reason why I was lacking any light from reading God’s words, and found that there were problems in my experience because I did not understand the principle behind the Holy Spirit’s work. I am now willing to turn my state around and proactively cooperate with God. I will read God’s words to put the truth into practice and perform my duty well, and in order to cast off my corrupt satanic disposition and be purified. This is the only way I can go deeper into the truth and I can gradually grow in my life.