By Guihui, France
God’s words say: “In, uses a variety of truths to teach man, expose the essence of man, and dissect his words and deeds. These words comprise various truths, such as man’s duty, how man should obey God, how man should be loyal to God, how man ought to live out the normal humanity, as well as the wisdom and the disposition of God, and so on. These words are all directed at the essence of man and his corrupt disposition. In particular, those words that expose how man spurns God are spoken in regard to how man is an embodiment of Satan and an enemy force against God.”
Having accepted God’s work, through having meetings and communications of God’s words, I understood that in the last days God uses words to reveal and judge our corrupt dispositions in order to achieve the results of cleansing and saving humans. However, I didn’t know clearly how God judges and cleanses humans until I had practically experienced the environment that God set up for me.
Tastingand Feeling Pleasure Inside
When I started to participate in church life, I often attended meetings with brothers and sisters and read God’s words. I felt very happy and pleasure inside my heart, and also felt warm in God’s household. Therefore, in meetings I was very active to read God’s words and communicate, leaving a favorable impression on my brothers and sisters. Brother Xiaoyong and Sister Liu who looked after us new believers not only always praised me for my reading God’s words with fluency and good understanding of God’s words but also cared about me very much, always asking about my situation and difficulties. With the care and admiration of my brothers and sisters, I felt very joyful inside and enjoyed the meetings in which I was at the core of my brothers and sisters before two more sisters joined our meeting group.
Competing With Others and Falling Into Darkness
I remember that in the first meeting, the two sisters shared their experiences about how they returned to God. I really benefited greatly from them, especially from the experience of Sister Kemu. Others also regarded her experience as great and practical and Brother Xiaoyong said that her testimony of experience was very good and encouraged her to write it down to testify to God. Seeing everyone praise her, I thought: “Alas! Why don’t I have such experiences?” Because of this I felt very upset. After we had several meetings together, I found Sister Kemu could understand God’s words very well. In every meeting, with the encouragement and guidance of Brother Xiaoyong and Sister Liu, Sister Kemu could share the light she gained from God’s words. What’s more, she pursued the truth with perseverance and resolve. No matter how busy and tiring her work was, she could always keep a normal relationship with God and insist on reading God’s words and watching movies and videos. Seeing these, I thought: Although she is better than me now, as long as I make efforts to pursue the truth I also can catch up with her. In order to gain the approval and admiration of the brothers and sisters who looked after us new believers, I began to pursue the truth tooth and nail. At home, I seized every available opportunity to read God’s words and even sometimes when I was at work, I would wear my headphone to listen to the fellowship from the above and hymns. In the meeting, I became more active than usual. I scrambled to read God’s words and every time after reading God’s words I hurriedly communicated about my own understanding without pondering it. For I thought: I should say my understanding first, otherwise if what I think is said by others, I will be regarded as imitating others when I say it again. Besides, every time I was about to go to the meeting, I would review what we had communicated in the last meeting and read God’s words again to prepare to answer what the brothers and sisters who looked after us new believers would ask. However, they didn’t ask.
Once, I was being confused why Brother Xiaoyong didn’t ask what we had communicated in the last meeting when Sister Liu asked me to pray for others. At that time I was very muddled and didn’t know what to pray so what I prayed was very empty, dull and dry. And I just finished it with several sentences hastily. After prayer I felt very low-spirited. In the meeting, when I saw Brother Xiaoyong looking at Sister Kemu when she communicated, then feeling extremely frustrated, I hurriedly lowered my head and read the words of God, however, I couldn’t get any light and couldn’t memorize what they had said either, my mind being a complete blank. After the meeting, I went back to the dormitory, feeling weak throughout the body. Then I thought of the previous meetings, in which I always felt pleasure and had a lot to say. But now I was afraid of having meetings and didn’t know what to say. Especially when I thought of the look in their eyes when they looked at Sister Kemu, I thought now everyone didn’t like me anymore and I felt more and more uncomfortable, being passive in whatever I did. Those days, I was always absent-minded and always made mistakes during the work. I felt very distressed for this and my heart felt so heavy as if there was a big stone inside. So I came before God and prayed: “O God, recently I haven’t gotten any light when I communicated about Your words and my work didn’t go smoothly either. I don’t know why I meet with these things. O God, may You enlighten me and let me find new light and get some understanding when communicating about Your words in meetings.” At this time, Brother Xiaoyong sent a message to me to ask about my recent situation. Being afraid that he would look down upon me if I was open about my expression of corruption, I just replied to him with a sentence perfunctorily. Then I continued to read God’s words and learn hymns as usual. Also, I copied the words of praising God, summed them up together and memorized them. I thought: Last time I didn’t pray for others well, and I must do well next time.
Accepting the Judgment of God’s Words and Knowing My Own Corruption
A week later, it was time for the meeting again. I thought: If this time I’m asked to pray for others again, I’ll have something to say, using all the God’s words I have memorized. But unexpectedly, at the beginning of the meeting, Sister Kemu raised a question about. Then Brother Xiaoyong played a hymn “How to Enter Into True Player”: “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. … 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.” Hearing this hymn, with tears pooling up in my eyes at that time, I felt guilty inside: God asks us to say our real situations, commune with God and establish a normal relationship with Him in prayer, does not asks us to say nice-sounding words or offer blind praise to deceive God. But these days my preparations were all for gaining my brothers and sisters’ approval and praise after their hearing my prayer, not for communing with God and sharing my innermost thoughts and real situation with Him. Isn’t my prayer a religious one? Knowing God’s will, I knew that I should say what I really thought inside to God, so then I prayed to God about these actions. After prayers, Sister Liu said to me: “Your desire for status is very strong.” At that time I couldn’t understand it. I thought: How come she say that?
In the evening, Sister Liu sent a video The Heart’s Deliverance to me. After watching the movie I cried, thinking that the protagonist was exactly the same as me. Especially when I saw God’s words: “As soon as it involves position, face, or reputation, everyone’s heart leaps in anticipation, and you always want to stand out, to be famous, to be glorified. You are unwilling to yield, always wanting to contend, although contending is embarrassing. However, you are not content not to contend. When you see someone stand out, you are jealous, feel hatred, complain, and feel it is unfair. ‘Why can’t I stand out? Why is it never me? Why is it always he who gets to stand out and it’s never my turn?’ There is some resentment. You try to repress the resentment, but you can’t, so you pray. After praying, you feel better for a little while, but later when you encounter the matter again you cannot overcome it. Is this not a case of immature stature? Is not a person’s falling into these conditions a trap? This is the bondage of a satanically corrupted nature.” Seeing the sister’s experience and God’s words, I realized that I cared too much about my face and status. Under the domination of the competitive nature, I always wanted to compete with others and get admiration and praise whatever I did. In order to be highly thought of by brothers and sisters, I racked my brain all day to memorize God’s words and listen to the fellowship. Even in the meeting I scrambled to communicate first. Weren’t these all for showing off myself? When I saw the sister’s strengths I didn’t learn from her humbly but pondered all the time how to show off myself. When my desire couldn’t be satisfied, I became negative and started to complain about everything. When faced with the fact I saw I was so corrupted by Satan that I was truly inhuman, arrogant and fragile. Thank God for letting me have a little knowledge of my corrupt dispositions. Meanwhile, from the sister’s experience, I found the path of practice—I should dissect and expose my corrupt dispositions and have a heart-to-heart fellowship with my brothers and sisters honestly. Then I came before God and prayed to God, resolving to practice the truth. Later I wrote my experience down and sent it to the messaging group and in the meeting I also opened up my heart to the brothers and sisters, saying all my own real thoughts and expression of corruptions. When I did like this, they didn’t look down on me, but instead, they shared their own experiences with me.
Finding the Path of Practice and Getting Released in My Heart
Later, the sister sent me another passage of God’s words to me: “Ponder this: What kind of changes must a person make if he wants to refrain from falling into these conditions and wants to be able to cast off these conditions and free himself of the vexations of these things? What must a person obtain before he can free himself of the vexations of these things, loosen the bonds of these things, and be able truly to be free and liberated? On one hand, a person must see through things: These fame and fortune and positions are tools and methods for Satan to corrupt people, to entrap them, to harm them, and to cause their degeneration. You must first see clearly this aspect in theory. … You must learn to give up and set aside these things, to yield, to recommend others, to allow them to stand out. Do not struggle furiously and rush to take advantage as soon as you encounter an opportunity to stand out or obtain honor. Learn to back off, but do not delay the performing of your duty. Be a person who performs his duty out of the public eye, and who does not show off before others. The more you give up and set aside, the more peaceful your heart will be and the more space will open up within it, and the more your condition will improve. The more you struggle and compete, the darker will be your condition; try it if you don’t believe it. If you want to turn around this kind of condition, if you want not to be controlled by these things, then you must first set them aside and give them up.”
The sister said to me in fellowship: “From God’s words we can see that it’s our common feature to pursue face and status as the corrupt mankind, and it is also one of the chronic diseases in our corrupt dispositions, which can’t be solved for a while. But as long as we read God’s words more, accept the judgment and chastisement of God’s words and see through the damage and results of pursuing face and status according to the exposure of God’s words, we won’t be bound by it anymore. For example, if we live by the thoughts and viewpoints ‘A wild goose leaves behind a voice; a man leaves behind a reputation’ and ‘A tree lives with its bark; a man lives with his face,’ then we will put our face, dignity and image above all else and we care too much about others’ opinions of us and our images in others’ hearts. We always hope that we can have position in others’ hearts and can be adored by others. In substance, we are competing for status against God.”
Through the sister’s fellowship I knew that Satan uses all kinds of thoughts and viewpoints to corrupt us, which makes us pursue face and status so that we distance ourselves from God and compete for status against God. I thought of God’s words: “I decide the destination of each person not on the basis of age, seniority, amount of suffering, and least of all, the degree to which they invite pity, but according to whether they possess the truth. There is no other choice but this. You must realize that all those who do not follow thewill be punished. This is an immutable fact.” Right, God decides our destination according to whether we have the truth. As believers, only through pursuing the truth and the changes of dispositions can we be in line with God’s will. It’s vain to pursue reputation, status and the admiration from others. Others’ admiration can’t mean the approval of God. Understanding God’s intention, I felt released in my heart.
Later I saw God’s words: “Do not do things before men; you should do them before God. By accepting God’s observation and inspection, your heart is set aright. If you are always concerned with acting for people to see, then your heart will never be set aright.” God’s words pointed out the path of practice for me. That is, we should conduct ourselves and do things before God and often accept God’s scrutiny. I should not always live for my own face and status or care about others’ opinions. Later I started to consciously practice God’s words. In the meeting, I prayed to God so that my heart could be at peace before God. Then my heart wasn’t so impetuous anymore, and I could calm down to contemplate God’s words and patiently listened to others’ fellowship. When I did like this, even if sometimes the light which I had gotten was said first by others, I would contemplate it again and then I found that I could get new light on the basis of others’ fellowship. Gradually, I felt closer to God and relied on God more and also I didn’t have so much desire to compete with others anymore. Now every meeting is enjoyable and I feel released in my heart.
Thank God for His guidance. Through the little experience during this period, I understood the inner meaning of God’s work of judgment. Just as God’s words say: “What the work of judgment brings about is man’s understanding of the true face of God and the truth about his own rebelliousness. The work of judgment allows man to gain much understanding of the will of God, of the purpose of God’s work, and of the mysteries that are incomprehensible to him. It also allows man to recognize and know his corrupt substance and the roots of his corruption, as well as to discover the ugliness of man. These effects are all brought about by the work of judgment, for the substance of this work is actually the work of opening up the truth, the way, and the life of God to all those who have faith in Him. This work is the work of judgment done by God.” In the last days God does the work of judgment and chastisement through setting up practical situations to prune and deal with us so that our corruption can be revealed. In these people, events and objects, God also uses His words to lead us to understand the truth and His will so that our corrupt dispositions can be cleansed. Recalling my recent experience, when I lived by the opinions “A wild goose leaves behind a voice; a man leaves behind a reputation” and “A tree lives with its bark; a man lives with his face” and pursued face and status, then God turned His face away from me and also used the people, matters and things around me to deal with me and aroused brothers and sisters to communicate the truth with me. In this way, I could know my corrupt dispositions and the substance of face and status and also know how to pursue is in line with God’s intentions. These were all the results of God’s work of judgment in the last days. During the judgment of God’s words, I have understood God’s righteous and holy substance and at the same time I felt the earnest intention ofwhich is comprised in God’s judgment and chastisement. Thank God, all the glory be to Almighty God!
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