“This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.”
We Must Remove the Filth in Our Hearts
A person needs to speak much in order to remove the filth in the heart. A person needs to speak much to have all the filthy things in the heart come out and have them removed from the heart. If one just stays still and doesn’t say anything, the waste is not removed and the toxic poison of such filth accumulates. Filth turns into toxic poison. Then the human heart becomes filled with the toxic poison, and then, only the poison spills out of the person. Of course, you might also make some mistakes when you do a lot of speaking and receive scolding as a result at times, but the filth in your heart is removed and new things come out of it afterwards.
It’s the same thing when it comes to a preacher. Regardless of how much understanding a preacher has or how much blessing God has given to him, the fleshly things constantly come out of the person when he doesn’t preach much. He cannot but preach superficially because he tries to peel off just the outer layer of the Word. But when the preacher preaches a lot, then the spiritual things in the heart comes out and he can share a deeper and honest conversation with his congregation. Therefore, you should just preach to even just one person if you don’t have much opportunity to preach often. You must preach to those people with bold resolve even if they tell you “Don’t preach to me.” Just say, “No. This is not preaching,” and just continue on with preaching. You must preach much and diligently to have all the things in your heart spill out.
And in your spiritual life in the Church, you need to diligently engage in conversation to live spiritually and also diligently share fellowship with other saints even if it’s somewhat uncomfortable. Then, you may be scolded for trying to have a fellowship with nonsensical matters, and they may criticize, “You are of flesh!” and rebuke, “You are not upright.” But, in the process, you can become a spiritual person. That’s why those who speak a lot after receiving the remission of sins grow faster spiritually. Those who speak a lot spill out all the toxic poison while making mistakes as well. If we just leave alone the person who does not speak and then have him speak some time later, there is so much toxic poison filled in him that bowls of poison spill out of the person at times. So brothers and sisters receive fatal damage from the person when they are stung by such poison. It is so shocking to hear the accumulated words of toxic poison and that’s the way things turn out.
You know I often tell you funny things. And I also sing popular songs when I preach. That is the way I get rid of the filth in my heart. I am shaking off the filth of the flesh in the heart. Through that, I keep the things that I should keep and throw away the things that I should forsake. There is an old adage that says, “Silence is golden.” And there is a Korean saying that goes, “Just stay put and you’ll at least finish second.” But in the spiritual world, you can’t even finish better than the last place if you don’t say anything. You must speak out diligently.
We have all received the remission of sins. All our sins transferred over to Jesus Christ at the Jordan River and were buried with Jesus Christ. Even all the sins we will commit out of our weaknesses for the rest of our lives have already been transferred over to Jesus at the Jordan River. But the problem is that while we are following the Lord after receiving the remission of sins, the filth and veinstones keep popping up and we find that there are obstacles within us. So, what is this? We don’t really understand why it is consistently difficult and why some things seem to contradict our thinking and we don’t know what is right and wrong in following the Lord. So, we fall into the state of exhaustion.
This means that the fleshly thoughts rises up even after we received the remission of sins. The desires of the flesh keep on coming up. There is so much desire that seeks the benefit of our own flesh, and we must understand this comes up out of our hearts. Not all the things coming up out of one self are good. Therefore, we need to discern what the spiritual thing is and what the fleshly thing is to be able to live a healthy spiritual life.
Then, what are desires of the flesh? The desires of the flesh keep coming up, though a born-again person wants to give himself to the Lord in his thinking and live for the Lord. But there are times when the heart overflows with the desires for the well being of his everything that is connected to him as well as his own well being.
Then, what is the fleshly thing? First of all, it is selfishness. Rather than seeking the benefit of the Lord, it is self-seeking. You have received the remission of sin and now live in the world in this manner, but you unintentionally follow after your own benefit. After receiving the remission of sins, you still go seeking your own good. You connect everything to the self-seeking thing. Apparently, one looks to live for the Lord, but the person consequently is self-centered. The person is self-seeking. This is what the flesh is all about.
On the contrary, when we love the Lord for God’s sake and for His Kingdom after receiving the remission of sins, these are of the Spirit. Seeking the benefit of the Lord, desiring for the Lord’s will to be done, not trying to fulfill my will, and pursuing the will of God ― all these are of the spirit. The spiritual thing is seeking the fulfillment of the Lord’s will and seeking the Lord.
Take a look at yourself who have received the remission of sins. We are happy to be without sin after receiving the remission of sins. We like the gospel itself. But the problem is what we will live for after that, and here we must establish the clear criteria with which we can discern what is spiritual from something carnal. God is the Spirit and oneself is the flesh. Therefore, what should the person live for? The criteria for discerning the spiritual and the carnal is whether the person is living for God, or for himself.
We who have been born again have the heart seeking the spiritual. But, in reality, we are unconsciously prone to be filled with the self-seeking heart and we are always consumed with the thoughts seeking our self-interest. We live in this world with or without the understanding that our hearts are consumed with the thoughts seeking our own interest. As the mist sometimes covers this earth and it is lifted up at other times, the concerns for ourselves come to us who have received the remission of sins even though we want to live for the Lord. The mist of the carnal mind often covers our hearts. We find that we who have been born again constantly become fixed as the person seeking one’s own self instead of seeking God because the self-seeking heart continues to revisit. We experience that we fall into the self-seeking state trying to protect ourselves with our own power.
Then, what is this? Seeking our own interest, definitely we realize that this is not the righteous path; but we don’t know what has gone wrong. But we are not totally devoid of the spiritual things. Rather, we do have the spiritual heart also. We do have the spiritual heart and we do follow the Lord spiritually. On the other hand, we also have the fleshly thing that seeks our own good such as the desire to protect ourselves, the desire to lift us up, and these things constantly come out of us.
This is similar to the mist of the spring. The farming is not good in the area that is often covered with the mist. The crops are not grown well in the valley that is often covered with the thick mist or the places that have too much humidity. Why? It is natural that the farming is not good in those places because they don’t receive the sunlight. Our spiritual life becomes unhealthy when our spiritual life is always consumed by the self-seeking heart. It is difficult because the spiritual life is not healthy, and it becomes even more difficult because we try to live the spiritual life under duress out of obligation. We must understand this.
We the born-again who have received the remission of sins live for God. We want to follow the Spirit. And we can live spiritually because there is the Holy Spirit in every one of us. But because we have not only the spirit but also the flesh, the self-seeking heart often overflows in us. Therefore, when such self-seeking heart comes up, we can say “This is not right” and defeat the self-seeking heart that is overflowing only when we understand that we have the self-seeking heart in us and that we are full of self-interest. Even though we have both the spiritual mind and the carnal mind, we can follow the spiritual things only when we defeat the fleshly desires. Is this right or wrong?
But the problem is that we sometimes see the mist of the flesh coming up and think it’s the spiritual. We make a great error that leads to a big problem that could even lead to the state of being cut off from the sunlight when we regard the self-seeking thoughts as the spiritual things. The earth stays the same, but there are times when the mist totally covers it. Is this a mist, or a light? This is the mist. This is the one’s own thinking. This is of one’s flesh. This is seeking oneself. But when the light from the sky shines, the mist is soon removed and the life becomes active. Therefore, you must understand that you have your own flesh, that you are a person seeking self-interest, and that your own thinking is none other than the mist of the flesh that harms your spiritual life. This knowledge is certainly necessary in your spiritual walk.
Why Should There Be Predecessors and Servants of God?
God is our Shepherd, but we also need good shepherds on this earth; and we die when we don’t have the righteous shepherds. When you are covered with the mist of the flesh, your heart becomes wet. The land is happy when it is wet. It looks like something that is good for the land. But in reality, it actually kills the vegetation because much humidity rots the roots. It becomes a swamp and a marsh where the life cannot live (Ezekiel 47:11). In the end, it becomes a wetland where the farming is not possible.
You must understand that one’s own thinking is not spiritual. You must remove them quickly. How is the weather forecast? The weekly weather forecast is posted on the newspaper. It says that the sun will shine on Monday, it will be cloudy on Tuesday, and it will rain on Wednesday. The newspaper illustrates the changes in weather through the pictures. When we look at the weather forecast for the week, we can see there are many changes. There aren’t many instances when the sunny days continue throughout the week. Whether it is cloudy or rainy, there usually is going to be some changes in the weather.
There are many changes in our heart and thoughts as well. In this world, the rain and the cloudy day at times can be refreshing and serve some good, but a cloudy day or a day covered with mist is never a good thing in the spiritual world. It means that a day covered with the mist of the flesh is never a good thing. The bright day, a day with a gentle breeze and sunshine is a good day in the spiritual domain. Though it may be a little overbearing because of the heat, the vegetation bears fruit when the sunlight is strong and hot because that’s when the photosynthesis is most active. Even though there are times when we seek our own interest and times when we live for the Lord like the constantly fluctuating weather, we wish to live for the Lord through the Holy Spirit who dwells within us because we have been born again by the Lord and because our old self has died on the Cross with Christ.
But there also comes a cloudy day too. The clear day may continue for some time, but the cloudy day comes suddenly when even a little thing goes wrong. Then a foggy day comes, and the rainy day comes as well. But we must understand that the mist of the flesh is definitely harmful. Alas, we could at least pray to God when it rains and we face a problem, but the most harmful thing to us, to this earth, is the mist. The mist is so harmful that we must never allow the mist to rise up in us. We must just blow away the mists or remove them. We may accept all other things, but we must never accept the mist. We must clear away the self-seeking thoughts, the fleshly thoughts.
When a minister or workers fall into the self-seeking thoughts and constantly follow after those kinds of thoughts, they become the people who have nothing to do with God. How can a person who has been born again depart from God and become a person who has nothing to do with God? It’s because he has sought after his own thinking and he has followed after the self-seeking heart. A person can follow the Spirit and bear fruit if one sets his thoughts in God’s work and lives for God. He can do so even when his evil deeds are revealed for it is okay for him to admit the evil honestly when it’s pointed out and wait for God to illuminate the light down on him. What he has to do is just say amen and receive God’s light with a pure heart and follow with faith when God illuminates the light on him. As the earth bears fruit with the sunlight, one bears the spiritual fruit through all the power God gives, through the light that comes from above, not by one’s own power. Through God working within us, we become a spiritual person and bear much fruit. God does much work through us when we follow the Spirit. But one becomes completely dead when he is consumed with one’s own thinking and he is enclosed within the self-seeking thought. The Scriptures say, “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:6). This is what the Scriptures say.
As the mist constantly rises up from the earth whenever the condition is satisfied, the fleshly thinking constantly comes up. It never ceases to rise up. You can never root out the carnal thinking so that it will never again rise up. But you must understand that it’s wrong and throw away the self-seeking thought. You must get rid of it and follow the spiritual thing. Do you or do you not have your own thoughts?
A person has both the spiritual thoughts and one’s own fleshly thoughts. The spiritual thought does not come from oneself. It comes from the Word. It comes through the Holy Spirit when you are listening to the Word. But when you fall into the thinking that your own thought is correct, that’s when you begin to follow your own thinking. You never listen to the predecessors or the leader. And what they talk about becomes uncomfortable.
You who should be consumed with God’s Word or His guidance should not fall into your own thinking. It may be better for you to fall for a dictator. The one that invades your heart when you fall into your own thinking is the devil. That’s how the devil provokes the mist of the flesh. In the movies, what is usually present where the ghost appears? The mist covers the area and the smoke comes out and it’s dark and dreary.
We must not seek after our thoughts. Our own thoughts rise up unlimitedly. So we must still lift it out continuously. The light shines again at such times. And when you get rid of the thinking that you will do something out of your own volition, you become a person of faith who hopes for the Lord to do something for you. You become a person who seeks God, believes and follows God, saying “God, please do this. Please do that.” Therefore, you become a person seeking God’s righteousness.
Self and the thoughts of oneself are of mist only. There is so much of one’s own thinking! The mist usually rises up the most near the waterside, the deep valley or the hollow grounds. The thoughts like the mist rise up out of the thoughts of seeking something within oneself or the self-seeking heart. However, one must not seek after one’s own heart. You must not seek after your own thoughts even though they continuously rise up out of yourself. Do you understand this?
Doesn’t this carnal thought rise up so much out of your self? It’s even coming up at this moment, waging war against your spirit, isn’t it? You are judging with your own thinking even while listening to the Word, saying to yourself, “This is correct and this is incorrect? Are you thinking even while being trained at the Mission School now, “What will I live on if the church planting doesn’t go well after I finish the Mission School? Would I have to sell vegetables on a pushcart? Would I be able to find a job at the time?” Thoughts are just thoughts. Is this right, or wrong?
The heart of the person who has been born again is like that. You have the spiritual heart, but the mist continuously comes up often. The mist came up out of the flesh, from inside of you. The mist certainly isn’t such a big deal and it’s not even as constant as the soil but the land cannot do anything when the mist covers the soil. We should understand quickly while the mist covers the land that it’s not right and blow it away instead of thinking, “Wow, this is great.”
Genesis 2:4-6 from today’s passage says, “This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.”
God did not bring down the rain yet and there wasn’t anybody to cultivate the land, and there wasn’t any tree and the vegetation hadn’t been grown in the farmland yet. But, what was on the land? Only the mist came up over the land and wet the surface of the land. This is the human thought. God did not even work on it yet, but one thinks on his own. The person blossoms the flowers of the flesh on his own. Such thoughts are so prevalent that they cover the whole land in a single moment.
We must wait for God to work. Even though there seems to be no vision at the moment and only a tough situation waits for us, we the born again must throw away our own thinking and wait quietly for God and wait quietly for the guidance of the Church. And we must believe in God. When God brings down the rain and shines the light down on you, your land will gain life and bear fruit. You must wait quietly. You must not cover yourself with your own thinking.
The most fatal thing for the land is the mist. There was a long rainy spell this season and the farm crops were drowned in muddy water. When the crops are drowned in the muddy water for a long time, the crops die because they can’t breathe. The unripe fruits also fall and die. They die because they cannot breathe.
We also die of suffocation when our thoughts cover us up, but we can actually get rid of our thinking that is much like the mist. If you understand that this is wrong and you have the will to blow it away, the mist will completely disappear in a second. And the clear blue sky appears right away when you accept the Word. The mist disappears as soon as the light shines through. The mist perishes as soon as it sees the light. The mist disappears when you believe in the promise of God’s Word and hold onto the Word and hope for the Word to fulfill God’s work and wait and follow the guidance of God’s Word. We can live the upright spiritual life when we follow the Light with faith and understand that the mist is the human thought and that it is not right while the Light is always right. Do you believe this?
As the whole world is experiencing catastrophic weather conditions throughout the world, the spiritual world of those who have received the remission of sins throughout the world are also experiencing a strange current and it’s a fact that they are consumed with their own thinking. They are not following after the Light, but rather, they are seeking after their own thinking instead.
If we are going to follow the Lord, we must understand the fact that our thought is the mist, that it brings terrible harm to ourselves. We must understand this. And even if it seems to be slow in coming, we must wait for the Light and receive it when it shines, and be faithful and wait again and follow again when the Light shines again. We shall live like that. What does the righteous person live by? It is written, “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17). The righteous shall live by the faith of believing in the Light. How does the earth live? The earth lives by the sunlight. Doesn’t the earth bear fruits by the sunshine? What do you live by? You live by the Word that comes out of the Lord’s mouth. The Scriptures say, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” We must have the bread too, but although our flesh lives by the bread we cannot actually live the spiritual life when we follow after our own thinking. When we believe in the Word that comes out of God’s mouth, it becomes the food for our spirit, and it becomes the signpost and our guiding Light; and we are able to live with the faith in God’s Word.
Even though our own thoughts as well as our “self” have all died with Christ, they continually rise up. That’s why we must ignore them if we want to follow the Lord until the end. And we must understand that our thinking is not of the Truth. Although we live a life that often gets tangled with oneself, we must recognize that this is not the Truth. Things from us are never the Truth. Only Jesus Christ is the Truth and only God is the Truth. We must recognize this. Instead of overestimating oneself and looking at that all day long, one must recognize that this thinking is not correct, that it is insufficient and that it’s nothing, and that it’s merely the flesh, not the spirit.
Who is most likely to follow the Lord faithfully? Is the one who has a lot of his own thoughts more likely to follow the Lord faithfully, or is the one who doesn’t have his own thoughts more likely to follow the Lord faithfully? The one who doesn’t have his own thinking is more likely to follow the Lord faithfully. That a person “does not have his own thinking” does not mean he “does not think at all.” It means that, even though his own thoughts pop up ceaselessly, he denies them with the understanding that his own thoughts are wicked. Such a person is spiritual and follows the Lord faithfully.
For example, you have thrown away your thought if you obey the servant of God, thinking, “The gospel must be preached after cultivating the heart of people and making them acknowledge their sin. And I must share with them the gospel of the water and the Spirit in series including the baptism of Jesus. This is how I should preach the gospel. The servant of God taught me to do so. So I have to obey him.” But some trainees may think, “I think it’s better to pick and choose certain parts of the gospel from a different perspective when I preach the gospel because people don’t understand it too well, isn’t it? Couldn’t I leave off some words and just preach the central point? Couldn’t I set aside some words that they might reject and just preach some comprehensible words?” Don’t these thoughts come up so often? But such a thought is still not right. It will definitely be broken to pieces by God. We must preach according to the Truth.
Standing firmly by the Truth is the faith. The Scriptures say, “The just shall live by faith,” and we really can’t live without faith. We cannot preach the gospel without the faith. A person who does not have faith in God does God’s work while blowing his own trumpet. But the person of faith does not do God’s work in such a way. He understands that the fruits will be harvested even without him, and he lives with faith because he has thrown away his own thinking and he no longer seeks selfish thoughts. God speaks to us about this through today’s passage.
When the Israelites were about to escape from Egypt, God brought down the catastrophe of hail mingled with fire on the whole country. Then, the flax and the barley were struck, for the barley was in the head and the flax was in bud. But the wheat and the spelt were not struck, for they are late crops. So these still grew even after the severe hail. The things that had already come up were broken apart and they died when the hail came down, but the new sprouts push through the hail and bud out from the seeds and the roots that are hidden underneath the ground. Like this, we have so many thoughts and they are so relentless.
There are many times when you become consumed with your own thinking, right? I know the things that go through your heart even though I don’t live with you because the Word speaks about this matter. Then, do I not have my own thinking? There are many thoughts that come up inside me as well. God smashes it down with the Word whenever it comes up, but it just comes back up again and again. It comes up continuously in a row. It comes up every day. It doesn’t mind being smashed down and it comes back up every day. Such carnal thoughts come up continuously and they are smashed down, and some of them think they might as well die underneath the ground because they are going to be smashed down anyway. They just pull themselves back down in our heart and, therefore, we look like fools without any fixed view of our own. Such a person does not have much of one’s own opinion and just talks about the same thing and stutters and says things that do not make sense and he doesn’t have opinions to express because such a person doesn’t have his own thought. A person must have one’s own opinion to boldly say, “Everyone, listen to me!” But a man of faith just repeats, “The Lord has saved us through the gospel of the water and the Spirit” because such a person does not have much of his own opinion.
Of course, such a person deals with different topics occasionally, but he just talks about the gospel whenever he opens his mouth because there isn’t anything holier than the gospel. Even though one does not want to become a person of faith, the person needs something to uphold him because his own thinking is nothing, and this is the Word of God. There is a firm pillar of the Word imbedded in the person and he can only live with this Word. He has come to acknowledge that this Word is his thinking, this Word is right, this Word is his faith, and this Word is my God, his Light, his Shepherd, and only this Word is good for him. That’s how one becomes the man of faith and steps forward with faith. Such a person does the work with faith.
Don’t you want to become such a person? Yes, you do, don’t you? Therefore, the thing that comes up from inside is the self and the thinking from the self, that is, the mist. One’s mist-like thinking can never be beneficial to oneself. You must throw away and break it up or reject it when it comes up from the heart. The one who has been born again must understand that the mist is definitely harmful. The mist is not beneficial to the land even though it comes up from the land. However, we are often deceived and we think that our own thinking is on our side because it comes up from ourselves. This is the problem. Being deceived is the problem. Because we are continuously deceived in this manner, we admit our thinking as our guide. So we continuously deceive ourselves with deception at an even higher dimension.
The people continuously deceive themselves as they go through this life. They deceive others and also are deceived by themselves. Even so, they do not know what is wrong with them. It’s because they have not realized the truth that their own thinking is wrong and it is their enemy. If you simply understand this, then all you have to do is just reject it everyday, saying, “No. This is wrong.” You deny yourself every time and seek and follow the Lord with faith. You can become that kind of person.
Is there anything one can do in faith if a person does not live with faith and seeks after one’s own thinking? There is only death. There is only death as the Scriptures say, “For to be carnally minded is death.” Originally, the land sprouts forth life if the seed is planted, but the land becomes powerless and the land itself eventually dies when the earth has too much humidity and plants are not exposed to sunlight owing to the thick mist. The land has so many resources. The land has gold, silver, iron, and so many other minerals. But, they all become useless. Why? They become useless because of the mist.
There was light when God said, “Let there be light,” and God illuminated the land and removed all the mist that covered the surface of the earth. When we receive the Light, we must believe that only the Light is true, that only God’s Word is true. Then we will receive God’s wisdom. Become foolish in the world. Then God will lift you up. God brought down the people who were arrogant in the world. God lifted up those people who became foolish for the sake of God. He lifted up Joseph and he lifted up David. Whether we become precious or not depends on whether we acknowledge that the mist is harmful and that the mist is our enemy.
We Can Be Faithful in the Spiritual Life If We Understand This Truth
When you understand the Truth that one’s own thinking is harmful like the mist, you can live a worthwhile life and comfortably live the spiritual life. Therefore, understand that the mist is so harmful before you finish the Mission School and graduate. If you do not understand this truth before graduating from the mission school and end it with just receiving the remission of sins, you will all die. You must understand that you, yourself, are the mist. Only God is the Light, and you yourselves are the mist. Do you understand this? Jesus said that whoever desires to follow the Lord has to deny himself. And because his own thinking is actually the mist, he must deny his own thinking.
The mist is definitely harmful to us, and that’s why the Lord is talking about the mist. When your own thinking comes up, you must understand it is the mist. When you don’t understand that your own thinking is the mist, you cannot live out your faith.
The Scriptures say, “But a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.” On the earth, the mist constantly covers the ground and the wind blows all the time. The earth has four seasons, but how many seasons are there for the spiritual world? There are eight seasons (Genesis 8:22). There are twice as many. It means the seasons change twice as many times in the spiritual domain. As always, the mist comes up often. We must accept and endure the things we must experience, for example, the cold and hot, the day and night, but we must never embrace and acknowledge the mist as friendly. The mist comes up in the winter as well, right? The mist doesn’t have a specific season. It is very harmful when the mist comes up in the winter. It is detrimental to the respiratory sickness. We must understand this during our spiritual walk. We must understand that one’s own thinking is God’s enemy when the mist comes up. The devil works with the mist. Where did I say the ghost appears in the movies? It appears in the midst of the mist. The female ghost also appears when the mist completely covers the ground. The devil works in the midst of the mist. The form does not appear, but it works within a person’s thinking. And what do the people use when they go against us provoked by the devil? They go against us with their thinking. Don’t they go against us with their own thinking? They judge and go against us with their thinking. That’s why we regard our thinking as our enemy. Our own thinking is our enemy, but it’s also the enemy of God.
One’s own thinking is critically evil. When your own thought comes up, evaluate it objectively and honestly for once. Then you will come to understand that what it seeks is totally opposite of God, that it doesn’t have anything to do with the gospel and it only seeks your own well being. That’s right. But when you don’t understand that your thinking is evil, you just seek your own interest. You just seek after the desires of the flesh. The Lord tells us not to worry about what we shall eat, what we shall drink, and what we shall wear because we are in fact human beings that only think about the fleshly things even though we have been born again. The Lord said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). You can live prosperously if you just live for God; but you would live in destitution if you just hold fast to yourself. Therefore, to live out your faith faithfully after receiving the remission of sins and attaining the faith in the salvation, you must first remove the mist.
What would happen if this world were completely covered with the mist? All the vegetation would not yield fruit because the land could not receive the sunlight when the thick mist covers the ground. Isn’t that right? What would happen if there were no sunlight? There would only be darkness, right? And all the living organisms would die, too. God tells us through nature phenomena that the mist is our enemy.
I said you must speak a lot. You must also tell your testimonies diligently in the Church as well. To whom should you manifest the evil things inside of you? You should do this to the people who have not received the remission of sins. When someone who has not received the remission of sins does something wrong against me, I go to the restroom and curse him relentlessly by myself, “Stupid idiot, what a jerk,” and so on. But soon, I cannot but say, “Nonetheless, you are not the only one that deserves to be cursed. Human beings are essentially like that. I am such a wicked one also.” So, I came to a conclusion that God entrusted the gospel to me even though I also am such a wicked person. And we come to know ourselves through those experiences. Actually, we can preach the gospel because we are wicked. We would not be able to preach the gospel if we were like the angels. We preach the gospel because we are such wicked people.
Do you understand about the mist? Your spirit becomes much more pure when you understand that your thought is the mist. You grow strong spiritually. And you open your eyes to the world of faith. You come to understand what the spiritual thing is. We must understand correctly what this mist is. Only then can we finally live the spiritual life in the days to come. Although we wouldn’t need to understand this if we don’t have to live the spiritual life after receiving the remission of sins, we must understand that our thoughts are our enemy and it is God’s enemy too because we actually have to live out our faith for many days to come.
When I look at myself, I can still see the mist rising up constantly in my heart. I would end up dying if I accepted all the mist that is coming up like the heavy smoke. I would end up dying if I followed whatever is coming up. I must ignore the things coming up. Your own thought comes up a lot especially at your level after receiving the remission of sins. You probably challenged everything with faith when you first received the remission of sins. You charged forward with the fullness of joy, saying “I will live for the Lord only.” And you become spiritually stagnant when some time passes after receiving the remission of sins. Why do you become stagnant? You might understand that your own appearance is dreadful and that your own self cannot go any further as it is. You come to realize that you are a dreadful night-soil truck. You are like a night-soil truck full of excrements; what is worse is that it can’t go forward because there is a cliff in front of it; it can’t go anywhere because the things inside of the truck are too heavy. That is why it has become stagnant.
Why does it become stagnant? The reason why it becomes stagnant is that the mist is so thick. However, the night-soil truck becomes the most luxurious sedan when you understand and believe that the mist is your enemy. The night-soil truck becomes the most luxurious car and starts to run quietly and the ride feels smoother from the moment you understand that the mist is your own thinking. You are in that situation now.
You drove your car fast at 250 km per hour after you first received the remission of sins. But after driving it for a little while, you find that the muffler is clogged up and the smoke is coming into the car, the engine starts to knock, and the car is not moving right at all and it’s about to stop. That’s the situation you are in. Even so, the whole mess will end if you just realize, acknowledge, and believe that you yourself and your thinking are the enemies to God and that they are evil. You become the 8-cylinder Audi sedan. You become the expensive luxurious car that serves the Very Important Person.
The night-soil truck can only carry around excrements, right? Even though we, the night-soil trucks, have received the remission of sins, we must be transformed into the most luxurious sedan and fly. Now, we must fly through the air. We must deny ourselves and believe in God’s Word and fly high toward the light, toward the blue skies. That is the faith.
You must not forget this throughout your life. From now on, you must join together with the Church and preach the gospel with faith and serve with faith. Elisha met a precious woman when he went to the Shunem region. She served Elisha with food and shelter, so he asked to the woman whatever she wanted from God in order for him to seek to God on her behalf. Then, she replied, “I dwell among my own people” (2 Kings 4:13). Like the testimony of the woman, joining together with the Church and living in faith is the blessing for the one who has been born again.
One becomes extremely free when he becomes a man of faith. The upright spiritual life is lived through the spirit, not through the flesh. That’s why you also feel free, right? We do really worthwhile work in the midst of our freedom. Even in our freedom we become the kind of individuals who faithfully does the work that one must really do. We live in this world triumphantly over the flesh even though at times we look as if we are losing the battle.