8 Pay Attention to Entering into the Truth Concerning the “Service in Harmonious Coordination”
Xinyu Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province
We all know that being able to serve in harmonious coordination is God’s requirement for us, but we seldom enter into it according to God’s requirement in our service in coordination. For example, in doing the work, we leaders just take charge of the work by ourselves and feel that our assistants do not play an important role. And when encountering some difficulties or handling some matters, we always try to find a solution ourselves and make the final decision ourselves. We assistants just write down the problems we find when going around among the churches and report them to the leaders when we come back, not taking any responsibilities ourselves. In arranging and handling the matters of the churches, when we have different opinions, none of us is willing to drop ourselves, and we always regard our opinion as right and think that it is because the other is too arrogant and self-right that we cannot agree with each other. Thus we handle the matters according to our own will. Sometimes we argue until our faces turn red over different opinions. When we cannot win the other in argument, we put the church work aside and do not participate in it. When the other seeks to fellowship with us, we are cold and indifferent and are perfunctory toward him. In the fellowship at the meetings, we do not coordinate with each other or complement each other, but each of us sticks to his own view. “You fellowship yours and I fellowship mine,” and we even attack each other in the fellowship and belittle the other to preserve our face and position. From these we see that in our service in coordination, we either are arrogant and self-right and self-centered, or stand aloof from things of no concern to ourselves and have no sense of responsibility, or are selfish and disregard the interests of God’s family for the sake of gaining our own benefits, having not entered into the truth concerning the “harmonious coordination” at all.
One reason why we have the above states is that we are arrogant, conceited, self-important, and self-right by nature. In the man’s fellowship attached to Christ’s Talks with Church Leaders and Workers, it says: “Someone cannot coordinate with anyone while performing his duty, and no one can approach him. This even more reveals that he is arrogant and conceited and does not have the slightest humanity and sense. He is no different from others but he looks down upon others; isn’t he a very pitiful person?” “If one’s arrogant and conceited nature is not resolved, he cannot serve God, nor can he testify God, because he always has a foul smell and is disgusting and nauseating. He cannot edify others or bring benefits to others, but brings to others the suffering of corruption. This is everyone’s general feeling.” From these we see that the main reason why we cannot serve in harmonious coordination is that we have satan’s nature of arrogance, self-conceit, self-importance, and self-rightness. Driven by the arrogant nature, we are always extremely conceited and self-right and think ourselves terrific in our service in coordination. We cannot see others’ strong points at all, nor can we learn from others’ strong points to make up for our own deficiencies. We always stick to ours, feeling that our understandings are the purest and our opinions and views are the highest and that no one is better than us. Driven by the arrogant nature, we never know ourselves when encountering things but always look for faults in others, thinking that the loopholes in the work are all caused by others and good things are all credited to us. Because of our arrogant and conceited nature, we often act in isolation according to our own willful nature. No matter what we do, we like to decide for ourselves arbitrarily and never consult with others. Once our head is hot, we will do things in whatever way we like. Because of our arrogant and conceited nature, when we discover in the coordination that the other expresses corruptions or there are loopholes in his work, we do not fellowship about the truth with him with love, but lecture him, despise him, or even maliciously stand aside laughing at him, belittling him, excluding him, and getting something against him. We cannot coordinate with anyone because of our arrogant and conceited nature, yet we still do not look for the cause in ourselves, eventually having not learned any lesson. Thus it can be seen that our arrogant nature has indeed brought a great difficulty to our service in coordination. Because of our arrogant nature, we have completely lost the sense that a normal person should have and have had no regard for anyone, unable to get along with others normally or coordinate with others harmoniously.
We do not pay attention to entering into the truth concerning harmonious coordination while performing our duties, also because we do not understand the significance of the service in coordination. God says: “You should coordinate harmoniously for the sake of God’s work, the interests of the church, and the activation of all the brothers and sisters. You coordinate with each other and make up for each other’s deficiencies to achieve better results in the work, so as to care for God’s intention. Only this can be called true coordination, and only such people are the ones who truly enter in.” In the man’s fellowship attached to Christ’s Talks with Church Leaders and Workers, it says: “The church life is brought about through the coordination of several functions. Without the cooperation of the members of God’s family, it is impossible to have the church life. … Only when all problems are solved with the truth can people become sincerely convinced, and in the experience of practicing the truth, the result of the transformation of their disposition will be achieved. This is the crucial part of the church life. In this aspect, no one can be successful by serving alone. There must be service in coordination before results can be achieved. … Those who coordinate in the church are the backbone of the church. It is also very crucial to play an assistant role. These people play a leading role in every aspect and will surely coordinate well. The leaders and their assistants are progressive forces in the church and are all better people. They especially should play a conspicuous role in fellowshipping about their experiences of God’s word and should always make progress in their knowledge of the truth. Only thus can they play a bigger role in the church life.” From these words we see that none of the works of God’s family can be done by one person alone and there must be service in coordination before the work can achieve good results. Because none of us is a jack-of-all-trades and we all have many deficiencies and defects, if we only rely on ourselves to play a role when we perform our duties with others, it is not easy for our work to achieve good results, and sometimes we will even make deviations and bring losses to the work of God’s family. However, if we serve in coordination, our defects can be made up for in different degrees so that some mistakes can be avoided. Therefore, although the duties we perform and the responsibilities we take are different, they are not isolated but closely linked, one being coordinated with another. Only when we coordinate with each other to perform our duties can we complete the commission of God’s family. It is like in the Age of the Law when Jehovah told Moses to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. Because Moses was slow of speech and tongue and unable to complete God’s commission alone, God raised up Aaron to be his mouth. They each did their part and they coordinated with each other and eventually brought the Israelites out of Egypt, thus completing God’s commission. It is the same today. God’s family arranges for us to perform our duties together in coordination in order that the work of God’s family can achieve better results. For example, two people perform their duties in coordination. One is direct and quick in thoughts and words and will say whatever is in his mind. When he sees that brothers and sisters have done things that go against the truth, he points them out immediately, neither considering the occasion nor caring about the way of speaking. This is hard for others to accept and also affects the results of the work. However, the other has wisdom in speaking, and he knows how to speak to different types of people and pays attention to the “artistry.” So this is easy for others to accept. But sometimes, because he has too many scruples, he cannot say all that he ought to say, which also affects the results of the work. If they two can learn from each other’s strong points to make up for their own weak points and can coordinate with one heart and one mind, they will avoid these problems and achieve good results in the work. Again, for example, two people go around among the churches in coordination. One is good at discovering the problems in the church and the loopholes in the work, but comparatively speaking, he does not understand much about the truth. So he does not know which aspect of the truth should be fellowshipped to solve the problems discovered. However, the other is better in understanding God’s word and fellowshipping about the truth. If they two can fellowship with each other, coordinate with each other harmoniously, exert their own strong points, and learn from the other’s strong points to make up for their own weak points, then not only will the problems in the church be solved and the life of the brothers and sisters be edified, but they two will also learn lessons. This is very beneficial to the work of God’s family and to their life entering. If we can all care for God’s intention and coordinate harmoniously and exert all our efforts for the work of God’s family and the life of the brothers and sisters, we will surely have God’s blessings accompanying us. The church life will be on the upgrade, the whole church will be of one mind and will have a harmonious and tense atmosphere, the will of God will be carried out in us, and every work will be accompanied by the results. If we always experience and enter in in this way, whoever we coordinate with, we can learn from his strong points to make up for our own weak points, then we will gain a lot and make more progress in our life, we will often see God’s hand and see God’s love and salvation, and our deficiencies will be made up for and we will be made perfect in every aspect.
Another reason why we do not pay attention to entering into the truth concerning harmonious coordination is that we have not realized the dangerous consequences brought by being unable to serve in harmonious coordination and much less know what attitude God has toward this kind of people. God says: “Today I require you to be able to coordinate harmoniously just as Jehovah required the Israelites to serve him. Otherwise, stop your service. … As a person who serves God, each of you should safeguard the interests of the church in everything and not consider your personal interests. You shouldn’t act independently: you counteract his efforts and he counteracts your efforts. Those who can do so simply don’t deserve to serve God! The disposition of such people is too bad; they do not have the slightest humanity, and they are sheer satans! Beasts! … How can you serve God with such disposition? How can the brothers and sisters receive supply from such work? You not only cannot lead people onto the right path of life, but on the contrary, you inject your corrupt disposition into the brothers and sisters. Aren’t you entrapping others? Your conscience is too bad, simply bad in the extreme! You do not enter into the reality nor practice the truth, but shamelessly expose your devilish disposition before others. You are simply brazen-faced! The brothers and sisters are entrusted to you, but you bring them to the hell. Aren’t you one whose conscience has become bad? How shameless you are!” From God’s severe judgment, we see that God extremely loathes and hates those who cannot serve in harmonious coordination. God says that such people do not deserve to serve him, and that he wants to abolish the service of such people, because their service not only cannot bring benefits to the work of God’s family and to the life of the brothers and sisters, but on the contrary, it will demolish the work of God’s family and bring the negative influence to the life of the brothers and sister. Then such people will become the tools utilized by satan to demolish the work of God. We all know that while God is saving mankind, satan is doing the demolishing work. Satan often uses our corruptions and disobedience to carry out its schemes, disturb and destroy God’s work, and hinder the will of God from being carried out. Outwardly, our service in coordination with others is a matter between man and man, but actually it is a war in the spiritual realm. If we cannot enter into the truth concerning the service in harmonious coordination, we will often be utilized by satan and live in its affliction and fooling, we will guard against, attack, and counteract each other and thus become enemies, unable to perform our duties properly with one heart and one mind, and will unconsciously fall into the trap of satan and demolish the work of God’s family. Therefore, when we cannot coordinate harmoniously while performing our duties, it is absolutely not a small matter of expressing our arrogant disposition, such as you despise me or I despise you, but a big matter concerning the testimony of God and the work of God. In Article 2 of “Ten Administrative Decrees God’s Chosen People Must Keep,” it says: “Do everything that is beneficial to God’s work. Do not do things that damage the interests of God’s work. Safeguard God’s name, God’s testimony, and God’s work.” Today we are all the ones who accept the commission given by God’s family. The works we do are very holy and important, which concern people’s life and future and directly involve the work and the interests of God’s family. If we take them lightly, it will be an extraordinarily serious matter which offends the administrative decrees and the disposition of God. Many times in the past, because we did not coordinate harmoniously and performed our duties perfunctorily and deceivingly, disregarding the interests of God’s family, and sometimes even gave vent to our anger over the work of God’s family, great losses were caused to the work of God’s family. For example, when we go around among the churches to have meetings and fellowships, because we cannot agree with each other in our knowledge of the truth of a certain aspect, each of us sticks to our own view, feeling that our own understanding conforms to the meaning of God’s word, and thus refuse to drop ourselves. We either fellowship about our own understanding, or stay spiteful and say nothing, or argue until our faces turn red and attack each other. As a result, we not only have not brought the supply of life to the brothers and sisters, but on the contrary have caused a very bad influence among the brothers and sisters. Again, for example, as leaders, when our assistants point out to us some deficiencies of ours or the loopholes in our work, in order to preserve our fame and position, we do not accept their suggestions at all. We deny out of hand the different opinions and views put forward by them and speak in a very harsh tone, with the result that the assistants feel restrained and cannot normally exert their own abilities. Some leaders are very arrogant and self-right; whatever they do, they act arbitrarily and do not consult with their assistants or ask for their opinions. As a result, they bring losses to the work of God’s family. Yet they not only do not examine themselves after that, but also shift the blame onto their assistants, saying that the assistants have no burden. Again, for example, as assistants, we point out the leader’s defects or tell him that some loopholes in the work need to be repaired. When we see that the leader does not accept what we say, we do not want to mention anymore and think, “Just do in whatever way you like. Anyhow I have told you about these things. If something goes wrong in the future, don’t blame me.” Some assistants adopt a nonchalant attitude toward the work of God’s family and follow the general trend, doing the work perfunctorily and deceivingly. Some assistants see that the leader does something that goes against the principles and damages the interests of God’s family, but they do not point them out and even, to a serious extent, “you do yours and I do mine,” each going his own way and trifling with the work of God’s family. As a result, a great loss is caused to the interests of God’s family. Because we do not coordinate harmoniously, we not only bring losses to the work of God’s family, but also leave transgressions behind for ourselves. Some lost the work of the Holy Spirit and fell into darkness; some received God’s severe chastening and discipline and thus suffered a great loss in their life; some were replaced or sent back home. So, we should all realize the seriousness of this problem and immediately enter into the truth concerning the service in harmonious coordination. If we still remain unconcerned and act wildly and willfully, we will only act as the messengers of satan, doing the things that disturb and demolish the work of God’s family, and thus be punished by God. The consequences will be disastrous!
Then, how should we pursue to enter in to attain the service in harmonious coordination?
First, we should understand that the Holy Spirit has the work that he ought to do in everyone. As long as they are the ones who pursue the truth and who have a burden for the work of God’s family, they all have the working of the Holy Spirit accompanying them and all have the revelation and leading of the Holy Spirit. No one can fully represent the work of the Holy Spirit, and no one can complete a work of God’s family by himself. God says: “The work of the Holy Spirit is completed through different kinds of men, and it cannot be completely accomplished by a certain man or thoroughly made clear by a certain man. Those who lead the churches also cannot represent all the work of the Holy Spirit but can only do some work of leading.” If we can realize this point, we will be good at seeking while performing our duties in coordination, will see how the Holy Spirit works on others, and will not stubbornly believe in ourselves and hold on to our own ideas. If we do not know the manifold ways of the Holy Spirit’s working, we will surely be arrogant, conceited, self-important, and self-right while performing our duties in coordination, and we will surely listen and submit to others too little, as if only we ourselves have the working and the revelation of the Holy Spirit and none of the others has the working of the Holy Spirit. In this case, we will easily act arbitrarily, requiring others to listen and submit to us in everything, and yet consider us responsible for the work. If this continues, it will only harm God’s family and ruin ourselves. In our service in coordination, if we cannot see on others the working of the Holy Spirit and the deeds of God but only exert our own abilities, the significance of coordination will be lost. A person who knows the working of the Holy Spirit will feel that he can do nothing, all the works are led and upheld by the Holy Spirit, and what he exerts is only some revelation of the Holy Spirit and it cannot fully represent the work of the Holy Spirit. Thus, in the course of his performing duty, he can pay more attention to the working of the Holy Spirit and listen more to others’ opinions and suggestions, from which to find the part of the Holy Spirit’s working. He can accept the revelation and enlightenment from the Holy Spirit on others, so that he can obtain richer things and make more progress in his life and at the same time bring more benefits to the work of God’s family. Therefore, in our service in coordination, we cannot do the work according to our own will or with our so-called burden, but should pay attention to the working of the Holy Spirit and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit to see how the Holy Spirit works on others, so that the working of the Holy Spirit on every one of us cannot be hindered and the will of God can be carried out.
In addition, to achieve harmonious coordination, we should serve like the Israelites. God says: “The Israelites were faithful to Jehovah because they had seen the flame of Jehovah and seen Jehovah’s hand of punishing man, and also because they originally had a heart to fear Jehovah. Thus, they not only received the flame of Jehovah, but also received the care and keeping of Jehovah and gained the blessings of Jehovah. Their faithfulness was that they all could act according to the word of Jehovah and no one disobeyed. Even if there were people who disobeyed, they would also act according to the word of Jehovah and put to death every one of those who disobeyed Jehovah, not hiding anyone…. They could all worship Jehovah, not only because the law of Jehovah was too strict and too severe, but also because of the grace of Jehovah and because of their faithfulness to Jehovah. … They all knew how to worship Jehovah and how to serve Jehovah, and they all knew what to do to have the care and keeping of Jehovah, because they all had a heart that feared Jehovah. This is the ‘secret’ of all their service, that is, ‘fear.’” From the words of God, we see that the service of the Israelites was commended by God because they had fear of God and could act strictly according to the word of Jehovah without any negligence. If they found their family members had broken the commandments of Jehovah, they would never hide or cover up for them and would deal with them also according to the law of Jehovah. They could serve God according to God’s requirements, not mixed with emotion or their own will. None of them dared to act casually and rashly, and they all served God in an orderly, respectful, and careful way. Because they knew that if they offended the law of Jehovah, God’s disposition would come upon them, and because they had seen the rod of Jehovah and seen that the disposition of Jehovah was majesty and wrath, not tolerant of anyone’s offense, they could be faithful to God and exalt God. Just because of their fear, they could abide by God’s word and obey all God’s requirements and thus achieved serving God according to his heart’s desire. From the Israelites we see that the secret of their serving God is fear. Although today we do not serve God in the temple in priestly robe and with priestly crown like the priests of Israel, our service today is more practical than that of the priests of Israel, because we are so fortunate to serve God in God’s family under the leading of the personal work of the practical God. However, in our service in coordination, we do not have the same fear of God as the Israelites, nor do we have the faithfulness and obedience of the Israelites. In our service in coordination, we seldom practice God’s word and seldom act according to God’s requirements. Most of the time, we act arbitrarily, act according to our own will or preferences, and do things in whatever way we like, not considering the consequences or the interests of God’s family at all. Such service of ours should have long since been abolished by God, but only because of God’s tolerance and mercy for us during the period of his incarnation and also because God wants to see the testimonies of our repentance and transformation, we can continue to stay in God’s family to perform our duties. However, we should not give in to ourselves because of God’s tolerance, but should confess and repent of our sins before God and serve God with a fearful heart. To reach this point, we need to know God’s disposition, and know what God likes, what God hates, and what the serious consequences of not serving God according to his requirements will be. When we have a fear of God, then even if in the coordination we have a disagreement or meet something that we cannot see clearly, we can consciously drop ourselves and come before God to seek: What should I do to satisfy God? What should I do to benefit the brothers’ and sisters’ life and the church work? What will God’s attitude toward me be if I act according to my own will? What will be the consequence of doing so? … If we always seek like this, God will inspire and guide us, so that we can have the strength to forsake the flesh and practice the truth, can give priority to the interests of God’s family in everything, and achieve good results in our work.
God says: “In the coordination, very few of you say, ‘I want you to fellowship with me about the truth of this aspect, because I am not clear about it.’ Or say, ‘You have more experiences than me in this aspect. Will you give me some guidance?’ Is doing so not good? You have heard more truths from above and know more about service. If you who coordinate to go around among the churches to work do not learn from each other, fellowship with each other, or make up for each other’s deficiencies, where else can you learn lessons? When you encounter something, you should fellowship with each other, so that it can be beneficial to your life. You make decisions after carefully fellowshipping about everything. This is being responsible for the church, not doing things perfunctorily. After going around among the churches, you gather together again and fellowship about all the problems discovered and all the difficulties encountered in the work, and fellowship about the revelation and enlightenment received. This is an indispensable practice in serving. … It does not matter even if some words are not properly said in the coordination. Continue to fellowship afterward and get a clear understanding; don’t neglect it. After you fellowship in this way, you then make it up to the brothers and sisters. Only if you continuously deepen the work in this way can better results be achieved.” God has clearly pointed out to us the specific ways to practice in our service in coordination. If we want to have harmonious coordination, we need to often fellowship with each other. Before a meeting or when we handle or solve a problem, we should have enough fellowship with our assistants. After that, we should gather together again to make a summary and have an open fellowship about how we received the working of the Holy Spirit in the meetings and fellowships, what revelation we have received, what knowledge we have obtained, what loopholes there are in our work, what problems have not been solved yet, and our own states, and so on. And if we find problems, we should correct them in time, and draw lessons from each other and learn from each other’s strong points to make up for our weak points, striving to achieve the best results in our work. Even if we have different opinions in handling a certain thing or have different knowledge of the truth of a certain aspect, we can humble ourselves and drop our face, take the initiative to seek to have an open fellowship, remove the misunderstanding between us, and do well the work of God’s family with one heart and with one mind. Besides, we should learn to treat others properly, bear and understand others’ deficiencies, love each other, not care about others’ faults, not demand or force others according to our own will, but can make strict requirements of ourselves with God’s word. This is the humanity and sense that we should possess. Of course, because we are all corrupt people, it is unavoidable that we have friction, misunderstanding, and disagreement in our service in coordination. But if we pay attention to knowing our satanic nature of arrogance, self-conceit, self-importance, self-rightness, and selfishness, practically seek God’s intention in everything, see in which aspect God wants to perfect us in this matter, what requirements God has for us, what lessons we should learn, and practice and enter in according to the truths that God requires of us after understanding God’s intention, then our service in coordination will be after God’s heart and be blessed by God.
Today, God does not abolish our service because of our actions and deeds and our corruptions and disobedience, nor does he cast down the fire from heaven to punish us as he treated the Israelites. We have really received God’s extremely great mercy and forbearance. Thus, we should even more cherish the opportunity of today, value everything we have now, pursue the truth to have our arrogant and conceited corrupt disposition transformed. At the same time, we should also know about God’s disposition and do everything according to God’s requirements with a fearful heart like the Israelites. In this way, our service will gradually be after God’s heart.