My station in life, or status, was something I could never let go of, and when God created an environment that exposed me, I was only negative, complaining, and despairing. Only through refinement after refinement did I come to understand God’s good intentions, and that His testing of me was not to torment me. Rather, it was to cleanse me and make me perfect, to allow me to understand that believing in God for the sake of a station can only ruin me, thus allowing me to let go of improper views of pursuit, and to have a proper goal to pursue.
After some time of serving as a leader in the church, I was promoted to be a district coordinator. Before long, I was promoted again and entrusted with being a district leader. This linear “rise” made me work even harder to perform my duty, looking forward to the day that even more would be entrusted to me. This hope became the impetus for my pursuits. However, just as I was dreaming of my step-by-step “ascent,” I was replaced! At the time I was crushed—I felt that I had lost my station and my path of had come to its end. I was in pain to the point that I considered leaving the church. I even thought about dying. Later, through enlightenment from God’s words, I gradually came out of that negativity. His words were: “When the mountains move, could they make a detour for the sake of your station? When the waters flow, could they cease before your station? Could the heavens and the earth be reversed by your station?” (“The Twenty-second Utterance” of God’s Utterances to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). At the time, although I realized that my desire for status was too strong and that faith in God should not be a pursuit of status, I didn’t have any real understanding of myself, and I thought to myself: I won’t pursue status anymore; no matter what duties are arranged for me, I’ll obey and that’s it. Later, the church arranged for me to preach the gospel and to look after new believers. I accepted all of this. So, I believed that I had let go of my desire for status.
Before long, I moved from looking after new believers to once again being a church leader. At that time, that desire deep in my heart to “make a comeback” was stirring. Under the reign of that desire, I put everything into showing off, hoping that the leadership would see my “change.” When it was time to plot out church districts, I couldn’t help but think: This time they’ll probably let me be a district coordinator…. However, God’s plan once again broke my dream of status, and I ended up becoming the deacon liaison for another church. Faced with this reality, I misunderstood it, complained, and a struggle suddenly welled up in my heart: Oh God, others also have their corruption and make mistakes in their work, but they’re still working as leaders. I have given no less than others in every aspect—why won’t God use me? Why am I so unlucky? Once again, I descended into the pain of being refined. Amidst the darkness, it was God’s words that guided me: “You have not seen all these smitings, these disciplines, as the best protection. Rather, you have seen them either as Heaven’s deliberately causing trouble for you or as your rightful retribution. You are so ignorant! … What you saw as cruel chastenings did not change your heart, nor did they take hold of your heart—they just wounded your heart. You have just seen these ‘cruel chastisements’ as your enemies in life and have not gained anything from them. You are so self-righteous! It has rarely occurred to you that you are too despicable and you should be subjected to these types of trials. Rather, you have thought that you are so unlucky, and that I am always picking on you” (“Those Who Are Ignorant and Do Not Learn—Are They Not Just Beasts?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words pierced my heart like a sharp sword. It was true! All those times of stumbling—I had not gained anything from them. Every time I lost my station, it was as if I had suffered death and come back to life, as if by losing my station, I had lost the meaning of life. Status had become my mortal wound. But from these several chastenings, I had not really understood myself, and I had understood even less of God’s earnest intentions. I had not understood that God’s testing of me was to counteract my desire for status, so that I could have a proper pursuit. Instead, I misunderstood God, complained, and believed that He was purposely tormenting me, trying to make things difficult for me, and believed that I was so unlucky. I really was so unreasonable, so absurd!
Later, I saw in the fellowship from God: “Corruption within human nature must be resolved through trials. In whichever aspects you do not pass, it is in these aspects that you must be refined—this is God’s plan. God creates an environment for you, forcing you to be refined there to recognize your own corruption. … In whichever aspects you are still subject to Satan’s bondage, in whichever aspects you still have your own desires, your own demands—it is in these aspects that you will suffer” (“How to Satisfy God in the Midst of Trials” in Records of ’s Talks With Leaders and Workers of the Church). Looking at God’s words, thinking of refinement after refinement that came upon me, I finally understood God’s kind intentions, and could taste God’s great love and salvation. Although I was arrogant and ignorant and had no understanding of God’s heart, He created an environment to test me time after time, forcing me, amidst the pain of being refined, to recognize my own corruption, my own arrogance and unreasonableness, and that my desire for status was too great. He led me to shake off being ruled by my station, He led me to no longer pursue status. The more I tried to fathom it, the more I felt that for me was truly great, while I was blind and ignorant. I misunderstood and blamed God, and truly wounded His heart. At the time, I couldn’t help but shed tears of regret and fall down in front of God in prayer: Oh God! Thank You for Your love and salvation for me. If I did not have these chastisements and judgments from You, I would be on a one-way path to my own ruin because of my pursuit of status. Your trials and refinements of me are a great protection and salvation for me. Oh God! I have understood Your good intentions for me, and I am willing to let go of these barriers to pursuit of the truth, to seek out more of Your will in the environment You create, to pursue the truth, to pursue a change in disposition, to be a conscientious, rational creation, to not allow Your work to be in vain within me.
Rizhao City, Shandong Province
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