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131. The Principles of Determining One’s Duty and Place

Practice and Exercises for Principled Behavior

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131. The Principles of Determining One’s Duty and Place

1. Obey the arrangements of the church and perform your duty. As long as most of God’s chosen people see it as appropriate, then that is your appropriate place.

2. Determine the appropriate duty for you to perform based on your own caliber, strengths, and your actual stature. As long as most others look upon it favorably, the position you hold is suitable. 

3. No matter what duty you are performing, you must have confirmation of the work of the Holy Spirit. In your duty, it is only correct and suitable if you feel you are in your element and you handle affairs in a principled way.

4. You must frequently pray about your duty and obey God’s arrangements without question. Perform your duty under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and you will meet God’s will.

Relevant Words of God:

Peter saw that he had done nothing for Jesus and remembered his previous oath to give his life for God. And so, he no longer complained, and his prayers afterward grew much better. He prayed, saying: “Lord Jesus Christ! I once left You, and You too once left me. We have spent time apart, and time together in company. Yet You love me more than all else. I have repeatedly rebelled against You and repeatedly grieved You. How can I forget such things? The work You have done in me and what You have entrusted me with I always bear in mind, I never forget. With the work You have done in me I have tried my best. You know what I can do, and You further know what role I can play. Your wish is my command and I will dedicate everything I have to You. Only You know what I can do for You. Although Satan fooled me so much and I rebelled against You, I believe You do not remember me for those transgressions, that You do not treat me based on them. I wish to dedicate my entire life to You. I ask for nothing, and neither do I have other hopes or plans; I only wish to act according to Your intention and to do Your will. I will drink from Your bitter cup, and I am Yours to command.”

from “How Peter Came to Know Jesus” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

How do you know whether God praises you or not? In the very least, you will feel exceptionally steadfast in your heart regarding everything that you do, you will feel the Holy Spirit guiding and enlightening you and working in you when you fulfill your duties, do any work in God’s family, or in normal times; your conduct will fit hand in hand with God’s words, and when you have a certain degree of experience, you will feel that what you did in the past was relatively suitable. If after gaining experience for a period of time, you feel that some of the things you did in the past were not suitable and you are dissatisfied with them, and indeed there was no truth in the things you did, then it proves that everything you did was resisting God. It proves that your service was full of rebelliousness, resistance and human behaviors.

from “What You Should Know About Transforming Your Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks

In everything they do, to pay attention to following the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and to do everything strictly in keeping with the word of God. If you disobey the guidance of the Holy Spirit or if you stubbornly follow your own mind and do things according to your own imagination, this constitutes a most serious opposition to God. Frequently disobeying the enlightenment and guidance of the Holy Spirit leads to a dead end. There is no way to go on with work if one has lost the work of the Holy Spirit, and though one does work, nothing is accomplished. … It is necessary to pay careful attention to the guidance or enlightenment from the Holy Spirit; particularly in key issues you must be careful in order to grasp it. People who think too much, who like to act on their own ideas are most likely to miss it. Good workers, promising workers, pay attention to the work of the Holy Spirit. People who obey the Holy Spirit fear God and seek truth tirelessly.

from “The Main Principles of How Workers Work” in Records of Christ’s Talks

No matter what you do, you should first understand why you are actually doing it and what the nature of the matter is. If it is categorized as fulfilling your duty, then you should ponder: How should I do this? How should I fulfill my duty well so that I am not doing it perfunctorily? This is a matter in which you should draw close to God. Drawing close to God is seeking the truth in this matter, it is seeking the way to practice, it is seeking the will of God, and it is seeking how to satisfy God. These are the methods for drawing close to God while doing things; it is not performing a religious ceremony or an outward action; it is done for the purpose of practicing in accordance with the truth after seeking God’s will. If you always say “Thank God, thank God” when you are not doing anything, but when you are doing something, you still do it according to your own will, this type of thanks is an outward action. When fulfilling your duty or working on something, you should always think: How should I fulfill this duty? What is God’s intention? Through matters, you draw close to God, and through drawing close to God, you seek the principles and truths to do things, you seek God’s will from within and do not leave God in all that you do. This is a person who truly believes in God. … Not doing things in accordance with truth is doing things according to your own will, and doing things based on your own will is leaving God; that is, God is not in your heart. Human ideas usually look good and right to people and they look like they do not violate truth that much. People feel that doing it this way is putting truth into practice, they feel that doing it this way is submitting to God. Actually, people are not really seeking God and praying to God about this. They are not striving to do it well to satisfy God’s will, nor striving to do it well according to His requirements. They do not have this true situation, and they don’t have such desire. This is the greatest error people make in their practice, because you believe in God, but God is not in your heart. How is this not a sin? How is this not deceiving yourself? What effect will believing this way have? Where is the practical significance in believing in God?

from “Seeking God’s Will and Putting Truth Into Practice to the Greatest Extent Possible” in Records of Christ’s Talks

So, no matter whether it’s when you pray, when you speak and fellowship with your brothers and sisters, or when you perform your duty and handle your business, you must lay your heart before God. When you fulfill your function, God is with you, and so long as your intent is correct and is for the work of God’s house, He will accept all you do, so you should earnestly devote yourself to fulfilling your function.

from “God Perfects Those After His Own Heart” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

The Man’s Fellowship:

If you are suited to do a job for God’s house, then God’s family will call on you; whether or not you are willing to answer the call is up to you. If there is someone willing to devote themselves, they must heed the arrangements of God’s family. God’s family can arrange work for a person according to his strengths. If that person does a good job, then he may be kept on. If a person is not up to the task, then God’s family can give them another job to do. God’s family arranges work for each person according to their background and strengths. God’s family will not assign tasks to the incompetent. People must learn to obey and submit to God’s orchestration.

from “The Principles for Establishing a Church and the Management of Church Life” in Selected Annals of the Work Arrangements of The Church of Almighty God

In the house of God, we perform whatever duty we are assigned to perform. If we are to be a blade of grass, then we are willing to be a blade of grass. Don’t think of being a tall tree—you are a blade of grass. And if you are a tree, do not think of becoming a towering building. You do what you were made to do. Be content with your lot, pursue the truth in earnest and perform your duty well—this is the best way to live, and you will not live wearisomely. No matter what duty we do in God’s family or what position we occupy, so long as we can live out the truth, satisfy God, and can worship God normally, then this is the happiest way to live. We should not be dominated by our ambition or motives. We must obey God’s rule and His arrangements. Unbelievers have a saying that people over 50 understand the will of heaven. This means that once someone reaches that age, they can see that everything is ordained by God, and no matter how we fight it, it’s no use. If they really see this, they should be able to go along with the will of heaven.

from “The Significance of Obeying God” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (I)

It is primarily based on what kind of duty you’re suited for, what your caliber is, and where your strengths lie. Once you identify what duty suits you and what duty you should perform, then you will also identify your place. People’s places are determined based on their duty, so once you determine the most suitable duty for you, you have identified your place. For example, there are some who are suited to preaching the gospel, and their efforts in that bear fruit. However, if they have always wanted to be a leader and are always putting all their effort into becoming a leader, and won’t stop at anything, then they still have not found their place. Some people are suited to the duty of watering newcomers, but if they really want to go preach the gospel, is that suitable? They may not get good results. There are some people who don’t want to do the things or will lose their interest once they have learned to do them. They always want to do whatever is new to them. That kind of person is not mindful in their work; they are easily bored and crave novelty. They want to perform duties they have never performed before, and are only interested when they’re doing a new kind of work. No matter what kind of work that is, they do it for a period of time and then lose interest. They are inconstant—the grass is always greener on the other side. Their dispositions are not stable, and they are capricious. Isn’t that someone with a disposition that’s not that great? They don’t have a proper disposition, and they’re not stable or focused. Can such people find their place easily? They cannot be devoted and faithful—this isn’t a good person. What kind of outcome do these people usually have? They don’t succeed in anything, they are a jack of all trades and master of none. They don’t do any work well, right? They don’t uphold their duty; they’re capricious and inconstant. That kind of person does not have a stable disposition, but they are blown about by every wind. That is the least reliable kind of person. Is someone with that kind of disposition suited to the position of a leader? Then how can that issue be resolved? They must undergo harsher judgment and chastisement, and brothers and sisters must deal with them and prune them more. This is very necessary—that’s the only way to resolve this.

from “Questions & Answers” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (VII)

Performing your duty must be done according to the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit, and the internal guidance from the Spirit. Some people are suited to a certain type of duty, while others may not be. This isn’t about applying rules. Some people are suited to be leaders; they have experiences, and they have an understanding of God’s words and the truth. Some people just have enthusiasm and are only able to talk about letters and doctrines, but don’t have experiences with or understanding of God’s words. They do not make suitable leaders. So if everyone wants to perform the same duty, there are those who are well-suited for it, and there are those who are not. This is based on internal guidance from the Holy Spirit. Some people want to be church leaders, but they don’t have enough experiences and there are still fallacies in their understanding. Would you say that they are well-suited to being a church leader? Would it be the guidance and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit for that person to be a leader? It wouldn’t. Wanting to be a leader is a good thing if you really carry a burden for the church, if you really have life experiences, if you really have actual stature and are capable in the work. But some people don’t possess these things; some people do it well, and some do it poorly, so performing your duty must be based on internal guidance from the Holy Spirit and confirmation from the Holy Spirit. This is critical, and it is the second principle of performing your duty.

from “The Relationship Between Doing One’s Duty and Being Saved” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (V)

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