“He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God stays on him” (John 3:36).
4 Steps to Be Approved by God
Every one of us Christians wants to gain God’s approval and blessings since we believed in God. Then what shall we master before we are praised by God? In fact, it’s not hard to achieve this. As long as we master the four steps of belief in God, we can be blessed by God and gain His approval.
First, believing in God requires experiencing God’s words. Then, what does it mean to experience God’s words? And how should we practice them? Actually, believing in God is believing in His words. God’s words are the truth and they come from God. So we should first read God’s words carefully and put in some effort on God’s words. We should read and ponder over them with our heart, so that we can obtain the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit: We are able to understand God’s will, know God’s disposition, God’s work, God’s requirements for us, and what kind of people we should be from God’s words; we are able to compare ourselves to God’s words, to know our own corruption, and so on when God reveals our deficiencies or corruptions. For example, the Lord has taught us, “But let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no: for whatever is more than these comes of evil” (Matthew 5:37). We can know God’s will from His words: God wants us to pursue to be honest people who don’t tell lies, who seek truth from facts and speak the undiluted truth. God likes honest people and despises crafty ones, and therefore, only honest people can gain God’s approval. The process of our reading God’s words is the process of our experiencing God’s words, and this is the first step for us to believe in God and experience God’s words. So, we must read God’s words and experience God’s words every day.
Second, we who havemust experience God’s work. Then, what does it mean to experience God’s work? What range does it cover? The answer is: When we believe in God, we not only read God’s words but also experience some trials, refinement, dealing, and pruning or disciplining that are arranged by God. When God allows some people, events, things, and environments to come upon us, God wants us to seek the truth and enter into the reality in various environments, so that we can gradually grow in life. For example: Sometimes, when we do something that doesn’t fit the truth, God will set up people and things around us to deal with and discipline us. Just like Peter, when he prevented the Lord from going to the cross out of good intentions, he immediately received the Lord Jesus’ severe dealing. The Lord called Peter “Satan” and told him to get behind Him. In addition, after believing in God, we will experience the ridicule and slander of the world, even the persecution, condemnation, and arrests of the ruling party, and the deception of the rumors of evil spirits and false Christs, and so on. All of these are things that we need to experience. So, when various trials and refinement come upon us, it is when God tests us in order to see whether we have true faith and loyalty to Him, and whether we can live by God’s words. In other words, when these environments, people, matters, and things come upon us, it is when God’s work comes upon us. And when we can learn lessons from them and overcome the dark influence of Satan according to God’s word, this is experiencing God’s work.
Third, we must change our own corrupt dispositions. After being corrupted by Satan, we began to live by our corrupt dispositions. So if we believers in God want to gain God’s salvation, we must cast off these corrupt dispositions: arrogance and conceit, selfishness and baseness, crookedness and treachery, and so on. But if we believe in God not for solving our corrupt dispositions, we are not someone who truly believes in God. Even though we have read many of God’s words, we just understand the literal meaning of them; because we don’t practice the truth and use the truth to solve our dispositions, no matter how well we talk to others, we are still not the people who truly have the reality of truth. Just like the Scribes and Pharisees at that time, they understood much biblical knowledge and also read many of God’s words, but they didn’t understand the truth within them, nor did they know their own corrupt dispositions or solve them. As a result, when the Lord Jesus came to work, their corrupt dispositions led to their arrogantly delineating and judging God’s work. They only allowed the Lord Jesus to work in the Old Testament and didn’t allow Him to work beyond the Old Testament or outside the temple. And even more, in order to keep their own status and livelihood, they spoke many words to blaspheme and slander the Lord, and finally crucified the Lord. When the Lord Jesus was resurrected on the third day, they still bore false witness, told lies, and bought off people; they believed in God but did not put the truth into practice. From the “seven woes” of the Pharisees cursed by the Lord Jesus, we can see that God exposed their evil deeds and malicious nature of Satan; no matter how many years man has believed in God, as long as they haven’t gained the truth, they would be unable to know the truth about their corruptions, and even could crucify God. Comparing our behaviors today to that, how many times we delight in talking to others as long as we understand a little literal meaning of God’s words. So, during our work, we often show off ourselves in order for people to worship and adore us; we are not lifting up God or bearing witness for God, but are working for our fame, status and engaged with our own affairs. Can such work as ours be in line with God’s will? As believers in God, if we can’t walk on the right way, and also don’t know what we shall pursue, if we focus neither on knowing our corruption and deficiencies from God’s words, nor on solving our own corrupt disposition, and if we do not talk about our true experiences to supply and help others, but lecture them using letters and doctrines, then aren’t we the modern Pharisees? If believing in God like that, we can never achieve success. Therefore, being believers in God, we should have a right object of pursuit, and only by acting in accordance with the truth can we achieve success in belief in God.
Fourth, we must achieve the knowledge of God. If we believe in God but don’t know God, are we still believers in God? So, our knowledge of God must be based on experiencing God’s words, God’s work, and having true knowledge of our corrupt dispositions. Only by doing so can we change our old disposition, cast off our natural character, and stop living in Satan’s corrupt dispositions of arrogance, selfishness, baseness, and so on. And no matter what we encounter, we will not live in our own imaginings and conceptions but will see things based in the truth. Therefore, only when God’s words change our life perspective and value system and become a guide to our life can we be compatible with God, can we live for loving and satisfying God, not for ourselves any longer. Because of our knowledge of God, we can be compatible with God, and thus, we can gain God’s salvation. Just like Job, Peter, and Abraham, it was because of their knowledge of God that they could stand by God’s side to see things during their trials. They neither complained against God nor considered their own gains and losses, yet they still could be loyal to God, love God, and satisfy God. On account of their right way in believing in God, finally, they all gained God’s approval. So, they were true believers in God.
So, in our belief in God, if we wish to be after God’s heart and become someone who truly worships God, we should pursue according to the four steps of belief in God. And as long as we follow them, we will succeed in our belief in God. In the end, we will become true believers in God, qualified Christians gaining God’s approval and blessings.
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