“Boss, what shall we do?” I said, gazing at the entrances to a freeway with the red lights on. In anxiety, I had a look at my boss sitting on the seat of a copilot. At the moment, our car stopped near the entrance of the freeway. We were ready to get on the freeway home, but the freeway was fully closed because of the haze. As it grew dark, the fog got heavier and heavier. Gradually, the sidewalk almost couldn’t be seen. Time and time again I worriedly called the telephone number of the Highway Department, expecting that some highway nearby would be open, so that we could make a detour to get on the freeway. However, I heard the same words on the end of the telephone, “Due to the heavy fog, the Shenyang-Dalian Expressway is fully closed….” I looked at my watch, which said nine o’clock at night. Then, even if we drove back to the railway station, the last train home had left. I had tried all means that I could, but still had no way to go home. At the time I only could unceasingly pray to God in my heart: “Almighty God! May You guide me. If tonight I cannot go home, I will miss the gathering tomorrow. I’m willing to satisfy You. Oh God! May You give me the determination to cooperate with You….” And at this point, in my mind appeared the former scenes of my failing to attend the meeting …
In my company I had three days to rest every week, so the church arranged for me to attend gatherings during my rest times. Once, just in the day of my gathering, when I prepared to go home after packing my things, I received a call from one of my company’s partners. They said they would specially fly from Beijing the next day to discuss the program I was in charge of with my company. As the program director, I would necessarily be present at the meeting. Then I felt extremely conflicted in my heart: This is the program I am in charge of, so it is impossible for me to put aside the work. Out of reason, it looks bad going back home. Furthermore, if there are some errors in the program because of my absence and thus the company suffers loss, I won’t be able to make up. However, it is the day of my gathering to worship God. I should honor God as great in believing in God and I also want to satisfy God. I ought to have gone home to attend my meeting. Yet there happens to be so important a thing tomorrow. What should I do? In the battle inside, I prayed to God, “Oh God! I want to go back for the meeting but I indeed have something important to do, and really have no means of escape. May You open the way for me to enable me to attend the meeting.” Like this I casually finished praying. The next day, entangled in the thing, I eventually didn’t go back.
When I went to attend the meeting again, with grievance I said to a sister, “I didn’t come for the gathering last time because I was too busy with my work. But I had wanted to attend the meeting and had prayed to God and asked Him to open the way for me, yet why did I not see God’s deed?” At my words, the sister read the passage ofwith me, “The Holy Spirit works by this principle: Through people’s cooperation, through them actively praying, searching and coming closer to God, results can be achieved and they can be enlightened and illuminated by the Holy Spirit. It is not the case that the Holy Spirit acts unilaterally, or that man acts unilaterally. Both are indispensable, and the more that people cooperate, and the more they pursue the attainment of the standards of God’s requirements, the greater . Only people’s real cooperation, added to the work of the Holy Spirit, can produce real experiences and the substantive knowledge of God’s words. Gradually, through experiencing in this way, a perfect person is ultimately produced. God does not do supernatural things; in people’s conceptions, God is almighty, and everything is done by God—with the result that people wait passively, do not read the words of God or pray, and merely await the touch of the Holy Spirit. Those with a correct understanding, however, believe this: God’s actions can only go as far as my cooperation, and the effect that God’s work has in me depends on how I cooperate. When God speaks, I should do all I can to seek and strive toward God’s words; this is what I should achieve” (“How to Know Reality”). Through God’s word and the sister’s fellowship, I came to understand that in the circumstance I only asked God to act unilaterally but I didn’t have the heart to actively cooperate. I thought God should do work and open the way for me because I was for the sake of attending the meeting to satisfy God instead of satisfying my personal desire. Obviously, I had no knowledge of God. God is practical, His work is also practical, and He tested my faith in Him by these practical people, events and things. As a matter of fact, God has given us free will to let us make our own choices since we human beings were originally created. What God wants are our wills of actively satisfying God, rather than forcing us to act in this or that way. When we initiatively act in concert with God’s work, we can see the appearance of God, God’s deeds. For example, after Job stood testimony for God in the trial, God appeared to him; Abraham heard God’s voice when he lifted up his knife to slay Isaac….
While I was thinking, the boss beside me said, “Tonight, must you go back? The haze is so heavy. Shall we stay here for a night and go back early tomorrow?” I took in a deep breath, stabilized my mood and firmly said, “Tonight I must go back!” My boss saw my attitude so firm, and thus said to me, “How about this—let’s go to have supper first. Perhaps after a while the fog will get a little less thick.” I nodded.
It had been 12 o’clock at night, when we drove our car onto the road again. The fog not only didn’t lift, but became heavier and heavier, and consequently we could hardly see the traffic lane on the road. I continued dialing to check the traffic ahead only to get the same reply “fully closed.” I thought: Now we have no choice but to turn onto a service road. However, the fog is so dense, and it is so late. Once we got into the fog, it would be difficult to get out of it. And if something really happened, there was no telling what the consequence might be. My heart was somewhat swayed. Just then, I thought: No matter what God does, what God wants to see is whether I have a heart of cooperation, whether I believe that God is the One ruling over all things, and whether myhas disappeared. God does His work practically and not supernaturally; if we want to know God’s almightiness and sovereignty, we have to personally experience God’s work; God’s actions can only go as far as our cooperation. This is the principle of God’s work. Thinking of these, my heart was no longer shaken, and my courage and strength to overcome the fog were once again solidified. Just at the moment, I really saw God’s hands and God’s deed. From the distance slowly came a group of vehicles, about seven or eight, with the fog lights on. So we drove our car into the fog following these vehicles. Whoever could imagine that a group of vehicles appeared after midnight on such a foggy day? Obviously it was God’s hand that was showing me the way home. When I acted in concert with God, God opened the way for me and revealed Himself to me with His smiling face. When we pulled out of the haze area, God’s words again rose from the bottom of my heart, “The heart and spirit of man are held in the hand of God, and all the life of man is beheld in the eyes of God. Regardless of whether or not you believe this, any and all things, living or dead, will shift, change, renew, and disappear according to God’s thoughts. This is how God rules over all things” (“God Is the Source of Man’s Life”).
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Now, disasters are occurring frequently everywhere. In the Philippines, the pandemic and the famine have not passed yet and powerful Typhoon Molave, Goni and Tropical Storm Atsani have landed. Biblical prophecies of the coming of the Lord have been fulfilled. It stands to reason that the Lord has returned—so why have we yet to welcome His arrival? Will we not be plunged into the great tribulation if this carries on? And just what should we do to welcome the Lord’s coming?