Three Principles for Practicing Being an Honest Person

Li Jing

The Lord Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). God is faithful, so He loves the honest. If we want to enter into the kingdom of heaven, we must become honest first. Then how can we become honest like a little child? Now, let me share three principles for practicing being an honest person.

1. Speaking Honest Words When Praying to God

The Lord Jesus taught us: “And when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men” (Matthew 6:5). “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). According to the Lord’s requirements, we should speak only the words that we have, and say what we think in our heart when praying, that is, we should speak the words of our true hearts and call a spade a spade. If we have nothing to pray from our heart but force ourselves to speak high-sounding words, empty praise, or great things to the Lord, if we pick out nice sounding words to say to Him for achieving our own aims, or if we make empty promises to Him, these kind of prayers are prayers that cheat Him. He doesn’t approve such prayers, much less listen to them.

Three Principles for Practicing Being an Honest Person

In truth, we can innocently pray to God in our heart anytime and anywhere, as long as our heart and sprit have needs or we run into problems in life and in serving the Lord. There is no need to deliberately follow ceremony. But we can’t pray to the Lord with our own intentions and goals, unreasonably requiring Him to satisfy our selfish hearts and desires. If we do so, our prayers aren’t honest words no matter how sweet they are. However, if we pray to seek the truth and to grasp the will of God with a heart of singleness, He will hear us. Furthermore, if we understand how to do to be after His will and are able to act according to His words, then God will be pleased with us, perform work to lead us, and enlighten us to understand the truth that we should practice and enter into. At that time, we will feel especially free in our spirits.

2. Treating Others and Dealing With Things Without Lies in Mouth or Cunning in Heart

The Lord Jesus taught us, “But let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no: for whatever is more than these comes of evil” (Matthew 5:37). In life, everyone will speak and work with others. Being corrupted by Satan, we frequently lie and deceive for safeguarding our own interests. Hence, if we wish to put being honest into practice and attain a state of not telling lies or practicing deceit, we must make strict demands of ourselves. First, we have to check, in our every word, whether our motivation is right and whether there is something impure from individuals. Then when finding our words contain impurities, falsehoods, or wrong purposes, aiming at safeguarding our desires, position, interests, we must be able to rebel against our mistaken intentions and not live for our own will or selfish desires. Likewise, once we tell lies to deceive others or do anyone any wrong in secret, we should have courage to lay ourselves open to others, to correct our lies, and to admit our faults, and we should respect the fact, seek the truth and correct our mistakes according to God’s requirements.

Moreover, we should treat brothers and sisters sincerely, present our true selves to them and not disguise ourselves. Also, we should follow the examples of the words of Job, “My words shall be of the uprightness of my heart: and my lips shall utter knowledge clearly” (Job 33:3). If we only project our good side to brothers and sisters while hide our corrupt and hypocritical side, then we, like hypocritical Pharisees, want people to look up to us and worship us. We are cheating people, and we are even more cheating the Lord. Consequently, we should present our true selves to others. Only in this way can we interact with others normally. In addition, it helps to increase mutual understanding between us and others. For example, whoever has problems, we can help him with a loving heart together; whoever reveals corruption, we can remind him in time and seek the truth to solve problems together. In this case, brothers and sisters will have a true spiritual interconnection, and be able to support each other and provide to each other. Living in this environment, everyone will feel relaxed and released.

Providing that we take our every word and action seriously, do not lie or deceive when speaking and acting, and treat people equally and fairly this way, we will have a normal relationship with others. Step by step, through practicing like this, we will begin to live out the likeness of an honest person in treating others and dealing with things.

3. Give Your Heart to God and Obey His Sovereignty and Arrangement

That we should give our heart to God and obey His sovereignty and arrangement is the practice of going deeper into the truth of being an honest person. The Lord Jesus said, “This people draws near to me with their mouth, and honors me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15: 8-9). “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22: 37-38). From the words of the Lord, we can see God doesn’t care how many praises of Him come from our mouth or how many letters and doctrines we can speak. Instead, what He cares about most is whether we can completely open up our heart to Him and whether we can worship and love Him with our heart, for our actions are controlled by our heart. The Proverbs says, “Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). The process of our heart opening up to God is the process of giving ourselves into His hands and submitting to His sovereignty and arrangement. Therefore, no matter what environment God arranges for us, we should come before the Lord to seek His will and obey His arrangement. And we should hand over to Him our service, life, work, marriage, and family and so on. We believe He will arrange everything for us according to our need.

We are familiar with the story of Job. After his property was stolen and calamity befell his children, he still said, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21). When he was laughed at by his wife, he answered, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10). Job did not guard against or question God. He simply and honestly believed God’s heart is most kind and everything God does is good. He thought his duty was to give his heart to God, give his life to God, obey God’s sovereignty and arrangement, and praise God’s righteousness. Thus Job gained the approval of God and afterward received double blessings of God. This shows: During the time of God’s salvation of us, if we pursue the truth, then the environments God arranges for us are not to punish us or put us to death but to test our faith and cleanse our corruption. So, however great sufferings and trials we will experience, we should be an honest person, give our heart to God and hold on to our faith and obedience to Him. And then we will receive His blessings and grace for sure.

We believe that, as long as we abide by all these three principles for practicing being an honest person, we will certainly receive the guidance of God, progress deeper into various aspects of the truth, and enter the path of being saved, of being raptured.

Recommended:
Concerning the Practice of Prayer
A Christian’s Spiritual Diary—I don’t want to go to church
How Can Christians Gain the Eternal Blessings?

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2 Bible Stories to Help You Keep Faith in God During Hard Times

Keeping faith in God during hard times can be very difficult. But the inspiration from these 2 Bible stories in the article may help. Read here.

2019-05-13 00:00:33

What Is True Prayer?

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.

2018-07-03 15:18:04

Li Jing The Lord Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). God is faithful, so He loves the honest. If we want to enter into the kingdom of heaven, we must become honest first. Then how can we become honest like a little child? Now, let me share three principles for practicing being an honest person. 1. Speaking Honest Words When Praying to God The Lord Jesus taught us: “And when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men” (Matthew 6:5). “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). According to the Lord’s requirements, we should speak only the words that we have, and say what we think in our heart when praying, that is, we should speak the words of our true hearts and call a spade a spade. If we have nothing to pray from our heart but force ourselves to speak high-sounding words, empty praise, or great things to the Lord, if we pick out nice sounding words to say to Him for achieving our own aims, or if we make empty promises to Him, these kind of prayers are prayers that cheat Him. He doesn’t approve such prayers, much less listen to them. In truth, we can innocently pray to God in our heart anytime and anywhere, as long as our heart and sprit have needs or we run into problems in life and in serving the Lord. There is no need to deliberately follow ceremony. But we can’t pray to the Lord with our own intentions and goals, unreasonably requiring Him to satisfy our selfish hearts and desires. If we do so, our prayers aren’t honest words no matter how sweet they are. However, if we pray to seek the truth and to grasp the will of God with a heart of singleness, He will hear us. Furthermore, if we understand how to do to be after His will and are able to act according to His words, then God will be pleased with us, perform work to lead us, and enlighten us to understand the truth that we should practice and enter into. At that time, we will feel especially free in our spirits. 2. Treating Others and Dealing With Things Without Lies in Mouth or Cunning in Heart The Lord Jesus taught us, “But let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no: for whatever is more than these comes of evil” (Matthew 5:37). In life, everyone will speak and work with others. Being corrupted by Satan, we frequently lie and deceive for safeguarding our own interests. Hence, if we wish to put being honest into practice and attain a state of not telling lies or practicing deceit, we must make strict demands of ourselves. First, we have to check, in our every word, whether our motivation is right and whether there is something impure from individuals. Then when finding our words contain impurities, falsehoods, or wrong purposes, aiming at safeguarding our desires, position, interests, we must be able to rebel against our mistaken intentions and not live for our own will or selfish desires. Likewise, once we tell lies to deceive others or do anyone any wrong in secret, we should have courage to lay ourselves open to others, to correct our lies, and to admit our faults, and we should respect the fact, seek the truth and correct our mistakes according to God’s requirements. Moreover, we should treat brothers and sisters sincerely, present our true selves to them and not disguise ourselves. Also, we should follow the examples of the words of Job, “My words shall be of the uprightness of my heart: and my lips shall utter knowledge clearly” (Job 33:3). If we only project our good side to brothers and sisters while hide our corrupt and hypocritical side, then we, like hypocritical Pharisees, want people to look up to us and worship us. We are cheating people, and we are even more cheating the Lord. Consequently, we should present our true selves to others. Only in this way can we interact with others normally. In addition, it helps to increase mutual understanding between us and others. For example, whoever has problems, we can help him with a loving heart together; whoever reveals corruption, we can remind him in time and seek the truth to solve problems together. In this case, brothers and sisters will have a true spiritual interconnection, and be able to support each other and provide to each other. Living in this environment, everyone will feel relaxed and released. Providing that we take our every word and action seriously, do not lie or deceive when speaking and acting, and treat people equally and fairly this way, we will have a normal relationship with others. Step by step, through practicing like this, we will begin to live out the likeness of an honest person in treating others and dealing with things. 3. Give Your Heart to God and Obey His Sovereignty and Arrangement That we should give our heart to God and obey His sovereignty and arrangement is the practice of going deeper into the truth of being an honest person. The Lord Jesus said, “This people draws near to me with their mouth, and honors me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15: 8-9). “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22: 37-38). From the words of the Lord, we can see God doesn’t care how many praises of Him come from our mouth or how many letters and doctrines we can speak. Instead, what He cares about most is whether we can completely open up our heart to Him and whether we can worship and love Him with our heart, for our actions are controlled by our heart. The Proverbs says, “Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). The process of our heart opening up to God is the process of giving ourselves into His hands and submitting to His sovereignty and arrangement. Therefore, no matter what environment God arranges for us, we should come before the Lord to seek His will and obey His arrangement. And we should hand over to Him our service, life, work, marriage, and family and so on. We believe He will arrange everything for us according to our need. We are familiar with the story of Job. After his property was stolen and calamity befell his children, he still said, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21). When he was laughed at by his wife, he answered, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10). Job did not guard against or question God. He simply and honestly believed God’s heart is most kind and everything God does is good. He thought his duty was to give his heart to God, give his life to God, obey God’s sovereignty and arrangement, and praise God’s righteousness. Thus Job gained the approval of God and afterward received double blessings of God. This shows: During the time of God’s salvation of us, if we pursue the truth, then the environments God arranges for us are not to punish us or put us to death but to test our faith and cleanse our corruption. So, however great sufferings and trials we will experience, we should be an honest person, give our heart to God and hold on to our faith and obedience to Him. And then we will receive His blessings and grace for sure. We believe that, as long as we abide by all these three principles for practicing being an honest person, we will certainly receive the guidance of God, progress deeper into various aspects of the truth, and enter the path of being saved, of being raptured. Recommended: Concerning the Practice of Prayer A Christian’s Spiritual Diary—I don’t want to go to church How Can Christians Gain the Eternal Blessings?

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