Knowing God Is the Path to Fearing God and Shunning Evil

If, in the case of a man who has followed God for many years and enjoyed the provision of His words for many years, his definition of God be, in its essence, the same as that of someone who prostrates himself in homage before idols, then this would signify that this man has not attained to the reality of God’s words. Looking into the cause of this, one sees that he has simply not entered into the reality of God’s words, and for this reason the reality, the truth, the intentions, and the demands upon humanity, all of which inhere in God’s words, have nothing whatsoever to do with him. That is to say, no matter how hard such a man may work on the surface meaning of God’s words, all is futile: Because what he pursues is mere words, therefore what he gets will also of necessity be mere words. Whether the words spoken by God are, in outward appearance, plain or abstruse, they are all truths indispensable to man as he enters into life; they are the fount of living waters that enables him to survive in both spirit and flesh. They provide what man needs to stay alive; the dogma and creed for conducting his daily life; the path, goal, and direction through which he must pass in order to receive salvation; every truth that he should possess as a created being before God; and every truth about how man obeys and worships God. They are the guarantee that ensures man’s survival, they are man’s daily bread, and they are also the sturdy support that enables man to be strong and stand up. They are rich in the reality of the truth of normal humanity as it is lived out by created mankind, rich in the truth by which mankind breaks free from corruption and eludes Satan’s snares, rich in the tireless teaching, exhortation, encouragement, and solace that the Creator gives to created humanity. They are the beacon that guides and enlightens men to understand all that is positive, the guarantee which ensures that men will live out and come into possession of all that is righteous and good, the criterion by which people, events, and objects are all measured, and also the navigation marker that leads men toward salvation and the path of light. Only in the real experience of God’s words is man supplied with the truth and with life; only herein does he come to understand what is normal humanity, what is a meaningful life, what is a genuine created being, what is real obedience to God; only herein does he come to understand how he should care for God, how to fulfill the duty of a created being, and how to possess the likeness of a real man; only herein does he come to understand what is meant by genuine faith and genuine worship; only herein does he understand who is the Ruler of the heavens and earth and all things; only herein does he come to understand the means by which the One who is the Master of all creation rules over, leads, and provides for creation; and only herein does he come to understand and grasp the means by which the One who is the Master of all creation exists, becomes manifest, and works…. Separated from the real experience of God’s words, man has no real knowledge of or insight into God’s words and the truth. Such a man is a downright living corpse, a consummate shell, and all knowledge relating to the Creator has nothing whatsoever to do with him. In God’s eyes, such a man has never believed in Him, nor has he ever followed Him, and so God recognizes him neither as His believer nor as His follower, even less as a genuine created being.

A genuine created being must know who the Creator is, what man’s creation is for, how to carry out the responsibilities of a created being, and how to worship the Lord of all creation, must understand, grasp, know, and care for the Creator’s intentions, wishes, and demands, and must act in accordance with the way of the Creator—fear God and shun evil.

What is to fear God? And how to shun evil?

“To fear God” does not mean nameless fright and horror, nor to evade, nor to put at a distance, nor is it idolization or superstition. Rather, it is admiration, esteem, trust, understanding, caring, obedience, consecration, love, as well as unconditional and uncomplaining worship, requital, and surrender. Without genuine knowledge of God, humanity will not have genuine admiration, genuine trust, genuine understanding, genuine caring or obedience, but only dread and unease, only doubt, misunderstanding, evasion, and avoidance; without genuine knowledge of God, humanity will not have genuine consecration and requital; without genuine knowledge of God, humanity will not have genuine worship and surrender, only blind idolization and superstition; without genuine knowledge of God, humanity cannot possibly act in accordance with the way of God, or fear God, or shun evil. Conversely, every activity and behavior in which man engages will be filled with rebellion and defiance, with slanderous imputations and calumnious judgments about Him, and with evil conduct running contrary to the truth and to the true meaning of God’s words.

Having real trust in God, humanity will really know how to follow God and depend on Him; only with real trust in and dependence on God can humanity have genuine understanding and comprehension; along with real comprehension of God comes real caring for Him; only with genuine caring for God can humanity have genuine obedience; only with genuine obedience to God can humanity have genuine consecration; only with genuine consecration to God can humanity have requital that is unconditional and without complaint; only with genuine trust and dependence, genuine understanding and caring, genuine obedience, genuine consecration and requital, can humanity truly come to know God’s disposition and essence, and to know the identity of the Creator; only when they have truly come to know the Creator can humanity awaken in themselves genuine worship and surrender; only when they have real worship for and surrender to the Creator will humanity be able truly to put aside their evil ways, that is to say, to shun evil.

This constitutes the whole process of “fearing God and shunning evil,” and is also the content in its entirety of fearing God and shunning evil, as well as the path that must be traversed in order to arrive at fearing God and shunning evil.

“Fearing God and shunning evil” and knowing God are indivisibly connected by a myriad threads, and the connection between them is self-evident. If one wishes to attain to shunning evil, one must first have real fear of God; if one wishes to attain to real fear of God, one must first have real knowledge of God; if one wishes to attain to knowledge of God, one must first experience God’s words, enter into the reality of God’s words, experience God’s chastening and discipline, His chastisement and judgment; if one wishes to experience God’s words, one must first come face to face with God’s words, come face to face with God, and beg God to furnish opportunities to experience God’s words in the form of all sorts of environments involving people, events, and objects; if one wishes to come face to face with God and with God’s words, one must first possess a simple and honest heart, readiness to accept the truth, the will to endure suffering, the resolution and the courage to shun evil, and the aspiration to become a genuine created being…. In this way, going forward step by step, you will draw ever closer to God, your heart will grow ever more pure, and your life and the value of being alive will, along with your knowledge of God, become ever more meaningful and wax ever more radiant. Until, one day, you will feel that the Creator is no longer a riddle, that the Creator has never been hidden from you, that the Creator has never concealed His face from you, that the Creator is not at all far from you, that the Creator is no longer the One that you constantly long for in your thoughts but that you cannot reach with your feelings, that He is really and truly standing guard to your left and right, supplying your life, and controlling your destiny. He is not on the remote horizon, nor has He secreted Himself high up in the clouds. He is right by your side, presiding over your all, He is everything that you have, and He is the only thing you have. Such a God allows you to love Him from the heart, cling to Him, hold Him close, admire Him, fear to lose Him, and be unwilling to renounce Him any longer, disobey Him any longer, or any longer to evade Him or put Him at a distance. All you want is to care for Him, obey Him, requite all that He gives you, and surrender to His dominion. You no longer refuse to be guided, supplied, watched over, and kept by Him, no longer refuse what He dictates and ordains for you. All you want is to follow Him, walk alongside Him to His left or right, all you want is to accept Him as your one and only life, to accept Him as your one and only Lord, your one and only God.

August 18, 2014

Recommended:
Walk in God’s Way: Fear God and Shun Evil
The Hymn of God’s Word “The Greatest Blessing That God Bestows Upon Man”

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