The more people accept the words of God, the more enlightened they are, and the more they hunger and thirst in their pursuit of knowing God. Only those who accept the words of God are capable of having richer and more profound experiences, and they are the only ones whose lives can continue to grow like sesame flowers. All who pursue life should treat this as their full-time job; they should feel that “without God, I cannot live; without God, I can accomplish nothing; without God, everything is empty.” So, too, should they have the resolution that “without the presence of the Holy Spirit, I will do nothing, and if reading the words of God has no effect then I am indifferent to doing anything.” Do not indulge yourselves. Life experiences come from the enlightenment and guidance of God, and they are the crystallization of your subjective efforts. What you should demand of yourselves is this: “When it comes to life experience, I cannot give myself a free pass.”
Sometimes, when in abnormal conditions, you lose the presence of God, and become unable to feel God when you pray. It is normal to feel afraid at such times. You should immediately start searching. If you do not, God will be apart from you, and you will be without the presence of the Holy Spirit — and, moreover, the work of the Holy Spirit — for a day, two days, even a month or two months. In these situations, you become so incredibly numb and are once more taken captive by Satan, to the point where you are capable of committing all manner of act. You covet wealth, deceive your brothers and sisters, watch movies and videos, play mahjong, and even smoke and drink without discipline. Your heart has strayed far from God, you have secretly gone your own way, and you have arbitrarily passed judgment on God’s work. In some cases, people sink so low that they feel no shame or embarrassment in committing sins of a sexual nature. This kind of person has been forsaken by the Holy Spirit; in fact, the work of the Holy Spirit has long been absent in such a person. One can only see them sink ever deeper into corruption as the hands of evil stretch out ever further. In the end, they deny the existence of this way, and are taken captive by Satan as they sin. If you discover that you only have the presence of the Holy Spirit, yet lack the work of the Holy Spirit, it is already a dangerous situation to be in. When you cannot even feel the presence of the Holy Spirit, then you are on the verge of death. If you do not repent, then you will have completely returned to Satan, and you shall be among those who are eliminated. So, when you discover that you are in a state where there is only the presence of the Holy Spirit (you do not sin, you hold yourself in check, and you do nothing in blatant resistance to God) but you lack the work of the Holy Spirit (you do not feel moved when you pray, you gain no obvious enlightenment or illumination when you eat and drink the words of God, you are indifferent about eating and drinking the words of God, there is never any growth in your life, and you have long been bereft of great illumination) — at such times, you must be more cautious. You must not indulge yourself, you must not give free rein to your own character any further. The presence of the Holy Spirit may disappear at any time. This is why such a situation is so dangerous. If you find yourself in this kind of state, try to turn things around as soon as you can. First, you should say a prayer of repentance and ask that God extend His mercy upon you once more. Pray more earnestly and, quiet your heart to eat and drink more of God’s words. With this foundation, you must spend more time in prayer; redouble your efforts in singing, praying, eating and drinking God’s words, and performing your duty. When you are at your weakest, your heart is most easily possessed by Satan. When that happens, your heart is taken from God and returned to Satan, whereupon you are without the presence of the Holy Spirit. At such times, it is doubly difficult to regain the work of the Holy Spirit. It is better to seek the work of the Holy Spirit while He is still with you, which will allow God to bestow more of His enlightenment upon you and not cause Him to abandon you. Praying, singing hymns, serving your function, and eating and drinking the words of God — all of this is done so that Satan has no opportunity to do its work, and so that the Holy Spirit may work within you. If you do not regain the work of the Holy Spirit in this way, if you simply wait, then regaining the work of the Holy Spirit will not be easy when you have lost the presence of the Holy Spirit, unless the Holy Spirit has particularly moved you, or especially illuminated and enlightened you. Even so, it does not just take a day or two for your state to recover; sometimes even six months may pass without any recovery. This is all because people are too easy on themselves, are incapable of experiencing things in a normal way and are thus abandoned by the Holy Spirit. Even if you do regain the work of the Holy Spirit, the present work of God still might not be very clear to you, for you have fallen far behind in your life experience, as if you were left ten thousand miles behind. Is this not a terrible thing? I tell such people, however, that it is not too late to repent now, but that there is one condition: You must work harder, and not indulge in laziness. If other people pray five times in one day, you must pray ten times; if other people eat and drink the words of God for two hours a day, you must do so for four or six hours; and if other people listen to hymns for two hours, you must listen for half a day at the very least. Be often at peace before God and think of God’s love, until you are moved, your heart returns to God, and you no longer dare stray away from God — only then will your practice bear fruit; only then will you be able to recover your previous, normal state.
Some people put a lot of enthusiasm into their pursuit and yet fail to enter onto the right track. This is because they are too careless and pay no attention to spiritual things. They have no idea how to experience God’s words, and do not know what the work and presence of the Holy Spirit are. Such people are enthusiastic but foolish; they do not pursue life. That is because you lack the slightest bit of knowledge of the Spirit, you know nothing of development in the Holy Spirit’s ongoing work, and you are ignorant of the state within your own spirit. Is the faith of such people not a foolish kind of faith? The pursuit of such people ultimately yields nothing. The key to achieving growth in life in one’s faith in God is knowing what work God does in your experience, beholding the loveliness of God, and understanding the will of God, such that you defer to all of God’s arrangements, have God’s words wrought into you so that they become your life, and thereby satisfy God. If your faith is a foolish faith, if you pay no heed to spiritual matters and to changes in your life disposition, if you exert no effort toward the truth, will you be able to grasp God’s will? If you do not understand what God asks, then you will be incapable of experiencing, and will thus have no path to practice. What you must pay attention to as you experience God’s words is the effect they produce in you, so that you may come to know God from His words. If you only know to read God’s words, but do not know how to experience them, does this not show that you are ignorant of spiritual matters? Right now, most people are incapable of experiencing God’s words, and thus they do not know the work of God. Is this not a failing in their practice? If they carry on like this, at what point will they be capable of experiencing things in their rich fullness and achieving growth in their lives? Does this not amount merely to empty talk? There are many among you who focus on theory, who know nothing of spiritual matters, and yet still wish to be put to great use by God and to be blessed by God. This is totally unrealistic! Thus, you must put an end to this failing, so that you may all enter onto the right track in your spiritual lives, have real experiences, and truly enter into the reality of God’s words.
From: Grow in Christ
Here are 3 principles to help you understand how to pray so that God will listen. Only by praying effectively can we gain faith and strength from God to get through the hard time. Read now to learn more.
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