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The afternoon sunlight slanted through the window and fell across the front of me. I sat at my desk, bathed in golden sunlight, and my mood grew easy. At that moment, I desired to write a blog post and share with everyone my abundant harvest in those days.
When I first believed in the Lord, I read Matthew 18:3 where thesaid, “Truly I say to you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” The Lord Jesus’ word showed us the standard of entering into the heavenly kingdom—only being an honest person who is simple and lovable can receive the praise of the Lord and be eligible to enter into the heavenly kingdom. Once I understood the Lord’s will, in real life I frequently watched my tongue telling no lies and put much effort into being an honest person in God’s eyes, but often ending in utter failure. Gradually, I lost confidence in being an honest person. Fortunately, some time ago I met a brother in a gospel forum, where we communicated with each other about how to be an honest person. I found he had many of his own insights, from which I realized: My viewpoints that the standard for being an honest person is merely not telling lies are too one-sided. And I also found the path to being an honest person. Later, when I consciously started to practice being an honest person according to his words, I benefited much. Now, I’d like to share it with you.
1. We must give our hearts to God and let God decide all things; we must do everything according to the truth and accept God’s inspection and testing to live in the light.
God says, “I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins” (Jeremiah 17:10). The Book of Proverbs also says, “The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly” (Proverbs 20:27). From these verses, it can be seen that: God is almighty and omniscient. His Spirit observes all. Our every thought and idea as well as each and every move are looked upon in His eyes. Therefore, in order to become an honest person, we should first give our hearts to God and allow God to take over in everything, and accept His observation in all things. That is to say, we should open up our hearts to God and bring our real condition in spirit before Him, seeking whether it conforms with the truth or is in accordance with His will. If it is in accord with the truth, then we put it into practice; if not, we must pray to God in time and forsake anything incorrect within us, keeping ourselves from being dictated or controlled by sin, and then put our hearts right and practice according to God’s requirements. In this way, we are able to live in the light with a generous heart at every moment. For example, when our unbelieving relatives and friends urge us to make some money and get rich, we’ll be somewhat tempted by it and not know what to choose. At this time, we must pray to God to seek whether it is in accord with the truth in doing so, if not, we must give it up. The Lord Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Mat 6:24). The Lord’s word showed clearly that we cannot serve God and make a fortune at the same time since making a fortune can’t make us gain His salvation. Only by following God and serving Him can make us receive His salvation. This is God’s will. If we understand God’s will, we will be content with the clothes on our back and the food on our plate, and then take serving God as a top priority in our life and walk the true path of serving God, so that we will live in the care and protection of God and receive the real human life.
Usually, when we pray, read practice the truth. Even though we have to endure fleshly hardships, we are still willing to practice truth to satisfy God. When we accept God’s observation, we dare not act according to our own pleasure or follow our own preferences when things happen, but rather, we are able to seek God’s will and act in accordance with His requirements, gradually getting transformed and cleansed by God; when we display treacheries or engage in deception, if we practice true acceptance of God’s inspection, we’ll realize: God is almighty and observes all; our actions, thoughts and ideas all go supervised by Him clearly. So if we follow our own will and safeguard our self-interest, we are deceiving ourselves and deceiving God as well, which only arouses His disgust and even offends His disposition. Having realized this, we’ll have strength to forsake the flesh and practice truth to satisfy God, and to be an honest person to shame Satan. For another example, when we are tired with performing service and want to be considerate to our physical bodies or want to be lazy and sneaky, if we can accept God’s inspection and live before Him, we’ll come to realize that our perfunctoriness and craftiness is the behavior of deceiving God, and that deceiving God is an offense of God’s disposition. Unwittingly, we’ll fear God in our hearts and dare not follow our own will to do anything deceiving and offending Him, but practice the Lord’s word to be an honest person and live in the light., attend meetings, or perform service, we should pray to God and accept His observation. Practicing this way is beneficial for us to forsake the flesh, to practice truth and to be an honest person. When we accept God’s observation, we will have the strength to forsake the flesh and
2. In our prayers, we must have a true communion with God, speak heart-to-heart with God, and keep and maintain a normal relationship with Him.
The Lord Jesus taught us, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). It can be seen from it that God loves us worshiping Him with our sincere hearts. So, we must be simple and open ourselves to God to speak heart-to-heart with Him. This is also an aspect of practice in being an honest person.
Then how should we put it into practice? Firstly, we should pray to God and make a vow before Him, “Oh, God, I am a person living in sin. I often tell lies. Today I swear to you, if I tell lies again, may you discipline me and even punish me. I resolve to make a fresh start to be an honest person after Your heart, and to rely on You and worship You sincerely.” After we swear, we can start to practice in our prayers: Speak the truth and the words in our hearts; speak whatever we are thinking, and pray to God about whatever difficulties we have and ask for His help sincerely. This is true prayer, which is based on your real life and without any false disguise.
The Lord Jesus also warned us, “But when you pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not you therefore like to them: for your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask him” (Mat 6:7–8). From the word of the Lord Jesus, we can learn that the Lord Jesus called those who speak repeat and empty words in prayers are Gentiles. He is not pleased with them. So if we have no more words to say in our prayers, then we shouldn’t speak falsehoods or talk nonsense to make long prayers. Our praying to God is not composing an article, and moreover, God doesn’t care how many are the words of our prayers, but cares whether our words are honest, or come from our hearts. This is the key point. God most hates our false, pretended and deceptive prayers. Words that do not utter from our hearts all belong to lies, false words, and the words of deceiving God. All those who act perfunctorily toward God and deceive God in prayers are hypocrites. So, only when we pray to God with honest words or words in our hearts, can our prayers be answered by God and can we keep a normal relationship with God.
3. We must ensure that we speak without lies and impurities, keep no craftiness or deceits in our hearts, simply lay ourselves bare, and have normal interpersonal relationships with others.
The Lord Jesus said, “But let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no: for whatever is more than these comes of evil” (Mat 5:37). God’s essence is faithful and holy. Therefore we also must base our words on facts, telling them like they are, rather than going against conscience to speak.
In order to resolve the problem of telling lies, we must first resolve the problem of our intentions. Mouth is the door of the heart. Much of the time, we tell lies under the reign of incorrect intentions, hoping to keep our vanity, fame and status or our personal profit. If we speak in proper intentions or objectives, we will accept God’s observation and speak the truth and the words in our hearts. For instance, recently we didn’t spread the gospel nor bear fruits due to our fleshly matters, yet then when brothers and sisters asked us about it, we refused to tell them the truth for fear that they would blame us for shouldering no burdens and we would thus lose face. So, in order not to be looked down upon by them, we spoke in a manner going against our conscience to cheat them, saying that we had spread the gospel but just failed to bear fruits. Actually on that occasion, we should first come before God and pray to Him, “Oh, God, I have been corrupted by Satan too deeply. I often tell lies in order to save my face. After these words, I feel uneasy and fear that brothers and sisters will ask more of the details, and that once I am exposed, they will blame and deal with me. God, I implore You to give me faith and courage so that I can forsake my flesh, practice the truth and be considerate to Your will. No matter how they see me, I’m willing to be an honest person to satisfy You, not maintaining my face any more.” After prayer, we’ll have confidence to speak the truth. Even though sometimes we still focus on our face and don’t dare to speak the truth, yet as long as we pray to God and are willing to practice being an honest person, God will lead us to put it into practice. If we can do like this frequently, we will have a normal relationship with other people.
4. We must act with principles and in conformity with the truth, act in a just and honorable manner, and be an upstanding person.
To be an honest person, we should act with principles, not following our own will to do things or relying on Satan’s philosophy or satanic disposition to live. All things we do should be based on the foundation of God’s word. And no matter what we do we should practice the truth and protect the interests of the church. We should not do anything that damage the interests of the church, nor do anything that are not beneficial for the lives of brothers and sisters. We should bring everything we do before God and be an upstanding, just and honorable person.
For instance, sometimes when brothers and sisters’ actions affect our own interest, we therefore want to attack them to their face with Satan’s philosophy “a tooth for a tooth, an eye for an eye.” At this time, we should be quiet before God, pray to Him and ponder what God says about the truth how to establish normal interpersonal relationships. When we realize that God demands us to love one another and love others as ourselves and to treat brothers and sisters with a heart of loving God, and then we forsake our flesh and practice according to God’s word, we will feel assured and brightened. For another example, when we find the co-workers of the church have jealous disputes with each other, or steal offerings or do something harmful to the profit of the church, we shouldn’t turn a blind eye to these things, or act like it has nothing to do with ourselves, nor be ruled by status and fame, but instead, we should stand resolutely on God’s side and safeguard the interests of the church. Only in this way can we become an honest person acting with principles.
If we practice according to these four ways above, we will live out the likeness of an honest man with purity and loveliness, and then entering into the heavenly kingdom will be not difficult.
This is a special gift the Lord gives to me. I keep practicing like this each day and really get some good results—my lies get much fewer. I feel much more assured and peaceful than before. Thank God!
If you have other understanding or new light about this article, you’re welcome to have a chat with us via the online chat window at the bottom of the website or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We Look forward to sharing with more brothers and sisters about your enlightenment from God and growing together in Christ.
You may be interested in this article: Want to Be the Honest? Here are 4 Tips
By Wuruo, United States Prayer is the bridge for us to have a spiritual communication with God. God is the Spirit; only when we use our heart and honesty to worship Him, can we enter into a genuine connection and establish a proper relationship with Him. After accepting God’s new work, I often had meetings and fellowshiped God’s words with my sisters, through which I gradually gained some knowledge about God’s work. Every time gathering with my sisters, I found their fellowships about God’s words were clear and their prayers fluent and genuine. Envious of them, I really hoped that I could pray like them. But there were many spiritual words which I was not familiar with in their prayers, and I couldn’t imitate it no matter how hard I tried. Gradually, I became intimidated when attending meetings, fearing that my sisters would ask me to make a prayer, and had less desire for the truth. Every time seeing my sisters pray confidently, I became so nervous that when I prayed I went blank with ears burning and face flushing red, and could only finish the prayer in a hurry. I thought: Luckily, we had the meeting online so that the sisters didn’t see my embarrassment. But considering my poor performance, I bet they would look down on me and laugh at me. During that time, I was afraid to make a prayer in meetings, worrying that I would be laughed at by my sisters if I couldn’t pray well, so much so that I kept pondering how to pray well when working in the daytime. However, I often forgot what I had prepared when I prayed in the meeting. So, every time before the meeting, I would write a draft lest I forget the prayer. Once before a meeting, I racked my brain to draft a prayer and checked it over and over again until I was satisfied with it. Feeling myself well-prepared, I couldn’t wait to impress my sisters with my prayer. When we had the meeting in the evening, the sister shared a passage of Preaching and Fellowship About Life Entry, “He (the Lord Jesus) has come incarnate as the Son of Man and begun to express the truth and do His work of judgment in the last days, so you accept. This means you have been raptured, you have been raptured up before God, you have been lifted up into the air to meet with the Lord. … This is why I congratulate you. This is the meaning of my congratulations. Do you understand?” Concerned about what I would say in my prayer, I didn’t pay attention to this passage of fellowship. When it was my turn, I prayed as I had prepared. At the end of the prayer, I said, “I hope that we will be raptured up before God as soon as possible and attend the wedding feast of the Lamb together.” After prayer, I felt happy and thought: This time, my sisters will definitely approve of my prayer. When I was getting pleased with myself, a sister said to me, “Sister, we have accepted the work of Almighty God in the last days, so we have been raptured before the throne of God.” Her words made me awaken suddenly. It’s right. Didn’t I read the fellowship regarding this subject just now? How could I still say “I hope that we will be raptured up before God as soon as possible”? How will my sisters think of me? At that time, I felt so ashamed to see anyone and couldn’t wait to find a place to hide away. Since then, I no longer relied on my own way to resolve my difficulty in prayer, because human means were useless and would only make things worse. Then I set aside my pride and sent the sister a message, in which I poured out my confusion to her. Soon I received her reply, “In fact, our purposes of praying are wrong. We always care about how others would think of us and live before others, so we don’t pay attention to communing with God and speaking words in heart to God when praying but just speak deep doctrines or copy others to make others think highly of us. We should learn to set aside our pride, practice living before God, and have a true communion with God. In this way, we will live freely and unrestrainedly.” Reading the sister’s message, I felt that her words pointed out my state: When hearing my sisters pray so confidently, I was really envious of them and hoped to pray as well as them. Then I began to copy their prayers, falling into the state of competing with them. As a result, I couldn’t open myself to commune truly with God in a released way. Now I understand that it is all because of my vanity. Then what should I do to break free from the bounds of vanity? At that time, the sister sent me a passage of God’s words: “Whenever you do anything, you must examine whether your motivations are right. If you are able to act according to the requirements of God, then your relationship with God is normal. This is the minimum criterion. If, when you examine your motivations, there emerge those that are incorrect, and if you are able to turn your back on them and act according to the words of God, then you will become someone who is right before God, which will show that your relationship with God is normal, and that all that you do is for the sake of God, and not for yourself. Whenever you do or say anything, you must put your heart right, be righteous, and not be led by your emotions, or act according to your own will. These are the principles by which believers in God conduct themselves.” Seeing the revelation of God’s words, I felt even more ashamed. Thinking of my thoughts and considerations, I found that I only cared what others thought of me and lived before men, but never focused on God’s requirements or practicing His words. God is righteous and holy, and looks into my thoughts and ideas. He arranged this situation to make me recognize my wrong intention so that I could change it. Aside from shame, I also appreciated God’s kind intention: He wants me to set aside my pride, pray according to His requirements, and accept His observation. All He did was to cleanse my corruption. Having realized that there was something impure which God didn’t love in my prayer, I resolved to change my wrong motive in praying. The sister continued to fellowship with me: “God arranges surroundings to change us and purify us. We should practice living before God and truly praying to Him. Only in this way can we establish a normal relationship with Him.” Since then, I began to practice praying to God every morning and evening, telling Him the things happening in my life. Thanks to God’s guidance, when I didn’t care about how others thought of me, I no longer felt nervous but released in my heart when praying. After a period of time, my prayer, however, became a ceremony rather than a true communication with God, because I just went through formalities, like making a call to seniors only for exchanging the usual pleasantries at New Year and on festival days. Compared with my sister’s prayer which had the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, my prayers were dry and banal. Then, I thought of the five types of substandard ways of praying: The first type is praying with insincerity, the second is praying during religious ceremonies, the third is deceitful prayer, the fourth is trying to reason with God or negotiate through prayer, and the last is a doubtful or testing prayer. Reflecting on myself, I found that I looked at prayer as a ceremony, praying at a specific time every day; though repenting verbally, I didn’t have any transformation within; when praying, I didn’t say the words in my heart to God but repeated the same words or said nice-sounding words to deceive God. Wasn’t I just fooling God? At these thoughts, I was ashamed and felt myself to be so hypocritical. Then I came before God and prayed to Him, “Oh, God! Now I realize that my prayer is a religious ceremony which neither meets Your requirements nor conforms to Your will. I am willing to change the way I practice praying. May You lead me to understand what true prayer is.” Later, I found the right way to practice praying in God’s words. God word says: “Whilst praying, your heart must be at peace before God, and it must be sincere. You are truly communing and praying with God; you must not deceive God using nice-sounding words. Prayer is centered around that which God wishes to complete today. Ask God to bring you greater enlightenment and illumination, and bring your actual state and troubles before God to pray, and make resolution before God. Prayer is not the following of procedure, but the seeking of God using your true heart. Ask that God protect your heart, making it able to often be at peace before God, making you able to know yourself, and despise yourself, and forsake yourself in the environment that God has set for you, thus allowing you to have a normal relationship with God and making you someone who truly loves God.” Reading God’s words, I was moved. God taught me how to pray just like a mother taught her child to talk. In fact, He doesn’t ask us to praise Him with nice-sounding words or give long-winded speeches. He doesn’t accept the prayer with insincerity. Then I was reminded of Luke 18:13, “And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes to heaven, but smote on his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.” Though the publican only prayed to God with one sentence, his prayer was accepted by God. Actually, it matters not how nice-sounding are the words of our prayers—what is key is whether or not we speak honestly. As long as we speak the words in heart, God will accept our prayer. I also understood that to enter into true prayer, we must first be quiet before God, speaking from the heart instead of deceiving Him with words of praise or cheating Him with falsehoods or empty word; besides, we should pray about actual things and difficulties in our life, not to go through the process but to come before God sincerely to seek the truth and the way of practice, through which we can gain the work of Holy Spirit and have deeper knowledge of our own corrupt disposition and better understanding of God’s will to save man. After understanding these things, I prayed to God, “Oh, God! Thanks for Your enlightenment and illumination. Now I understand that prayer is the bridge for us to communicate with You. If our intentions are wrong, we can’t have a true communication with You. I am willing to pray according to Your requirements in the future and establish a normal relationship with You.” Since then, I began to pray according to God’s word, paying attention to speaking words in my heart to God, bringing my actual difficulties before Him, and asking Him to help me act according to His will. After some time, I had more words to say to God when praying rather than just repeating the same old things. And I found when I sincerely entrusted my difficulty to Him in prayer, He would fulfill my prayers. Thank God! Now I finally know how to pray truly to God.
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