You are all adults. Some of you are middle-aged; some have entered old age. You have gone from not believing in God to believing in Him, and from beginning to believe in God to accepting His word and experiencing His work. How much knowledge do you have of God’s sovereignty? What insights have you gained into human fate? Can one achieve everything one desires in life? How many things over the few decades of your existence have you been able to accomplish in the way you wished? How many things have happened that you never anticipated? How many things come as pleasant surprises? How many things do people still wait on in the expectation that they will bear fruit—unconsciously awaiting the right moment, awaiting the will of Heaven? How many things make people feel helpless and thwarted? Everyone is full of hopes about their fate, anticipating that everything in their life will go as they wish, that they will not want for food or clothing, that their fortunes will rise spectacularly. Nobody wants a life that is poor and downtrodden, full of hardships and beset by calamities. But people cannot foresee or control these things. Perhaps for some, the past is just a jumble of experiences; they never learn what the will of Heaven is, and nor do they care what it is. They live out their lives unthinkingly, like animals, day by day, not caring about the fate of humanity or why humans are alive or how they ought to live. Such people reach old age having gained no understanding of human fate, and until the moment they die they have no idea what life is about. Such people are dead; they are beings without spirit; they are beasts. Although people live within creation and derive enjoyment from the many ways in which the world satisfies their material needs, and though they see this material world constantly advancing, yet their own experience—what their hearts and their spirits feel and experience—has nothing to do with material things, and nothing material is a substitute for experience. Experience is a recognition deep in one’s heart, something that cannot be seen with the naked eye. This recognition lies in one’s understanding of, and one’s perception of, human life and human fate. And it often leads one to the apprehension that an unseen Master is arranging all things, orchestrating everything for man. In the midst of all this, one cannot but accept fate’s arrangements and orchestrations; one cannot but accept the path ahead that the Creator has laid out, the Creator’s sovereignty over one’s fate. This is an undisputed fact. No matter what insight and attitude one holds about fate, no one can change this fact.
Where you will go every day, what you will do, who or what you will encounter, what you will say, what will happen to you—can any of this be predicted? People cannot foresee all these occurrences, much less control how these situations develop. In life, these unforeseeable events happen all the time; they are an everyday occurrence. These daily vicissitudes and the ways they unfold, or the patterns they follow, are constant reminders to humanity that nothing happens at random, that the process of each event’s occurrence, each event’s ineluctable nature, cannot be shifted by human will. Every occurrence conveys an admonition from the Creator to mankind, and it also sends the message that human beings cannot control their own fates. Every event is a rebuttal to humanity’s wild, futile ambition and desire to take its fate into its own hands. They are like powerful slaps about humanity’s face, one after another, forcing people to reconsider who, in the end, governs and controls their fate. And as their ambitions and desires are repeatedly thwarted and shattered, humans naturally arrive at an unconscious acceptance of what fate has in store—an acceptance of reality, of the will of Heaven and the Creator’s sovereignty. From these daily vicissitudes to the fates of entire human lives, there is nothing that does not reveal the Creator’s plans and His sovereignty; there is nothing that does not send the message that “the Creator’s authority cannot be exceeded,” that does not convey this eternal truth that “the Creator’s authority is supreme.”
The fates of humanity and of the universe are intimately entwined with the Creator’s sovereignty, inseparably tied to the Creator’s orchestrations; in the end, they are inseparable from the Creator’s authority. In the laws of all things, man comes to understand the Creator’s orchestrations and His sovereignty; in the rules of survival of all things, he comes to perceive the Creator’s governance; in the fates of all things, he comes to infer the ways the Creator exercises His sovereignty and control over them; and in the life cycles of human beings and all things, man truly comes to experience the Creator’s orchestrations and arrangements for all things and living beings, to witness how those orchestrations and arrangements supersede all earthly laws, rules, and institutions, all other powers and forces. This being so, humanity is compelled to recognize that the Creator’s sovereignty cannot be violated by any created being, that no force can usurp upon or alter the events and things predestined by the Creator. It is under these divine laws and rules that humans and all things live and propagate, generation after generation. Is this not the true embodiment of the Creator’s authority? Though man sees, in the objective laws, the Creator’s sovereignty and His ordination for all events and all things, how many people are able to grasp the principle of the Creator’s sovereignty over the universe? How many people can truly know, recognize, accept, and submit to the Creator’s sovereignty over and arrangement of their own fate? Who, having believed in the fact of the Creator’s sovereignty over all things, will truly believe and recognize that the Creator also dictates the fates of the lives of men? Who can truly comprehend the fact that man’s fate rests in the Creator’s palm? What sort of attitude should humanity take toward the Creator’s sovereignty, when confronted with the fact that He governs and controls the fate of humanity? That is a decision that every human being who is now confronted with this fact must make for themselves.
Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique III” in The Word Appears in the Flesh