Because I performed my duty in an article-revising team and had much time to eat and drink God’s word, and besides, every day I dealt with the brothers’ and sisters’ articles about their experiences and knowledge, I came to understand some truths I did not understand before. Thus, I felt that I had had some real stature, that when encountering some problems or difficulties I would be able to solve them, and that even if some tribulations or trials came upon me I could stand. So, I imperceptibly lived in a state of being self-satisfied and self-content.
Some time ago, the elderly sister of the host family, because of engaging in worldly things, fell into refining of money and lost her normal relationship with God. Seeing all this, I not only did not fellowship with her but had a prejudice against her. I thought it was really unjustifiable that she, after having followed God for several years, could not see clearly that hankering after money was falling into satan’s scheme. So, when I came into contact with her, I had a feeling of antagonism, and in my heart I did not want to speak to her.
One day, I told my opinion to my partner. After hearing it, my partner said, “Actually, people’s natures are the same; only, their fatal spots are different. But they are similarly corrupt and disobedient. The elderly sister is in refining; we should have love and help her much.” At her words, I felt ashamed of myself. I could not but ask myself: I had read and revised the articles on this subject and I also knew what to practice, but when encountering this matter, why did I have no love and forbearance toward the elderly sister but despise and reject her? About this I felt puzzled.
Later, I read God’s words: “When others fellowship about their knowledge of chastisement and judgment, as you have not experienced them…. You can only gain from their knowledge ways to experience chastisement and judgment in the future. But these ways can only be your doctrinal knowledge and cannot replace your knowledge, much less your experience.” “If you read many of God’s words and only understand them literally but do not experience God’s words in your actual experience, you will not know God’s words, and God’s words will not be life but dead letters to you. … Only if you experience God’s words in your actual experience will their spiritual meaning be unlocked to you. Only in experience can you touch the spiritual meaning of many truths. Only in experience can you unlock the mystery of God’s words.”
The inspiration of God’s words made me see the light suddenly. When one accepts and understands some words of God, it does not mean that he has experience or that he has reality; only when he brings the words of God he understands into his real life to experience them can he touch their spiritual meaning and can he have reality. Although in the past I read many articles about the experiences of the brothers and sisters, from their practical experiences I have merely gained some knowledge of God’s words. This knowledge can only be the ways for me to practice and enter in; it does not prove that I have the reality in this aspect. If I do not pay attention to practicing and entering in, this knowledge is merely letters and doctrines to me. I examined myself: Though I have been in the article-revising team for so long a time and equipped myself with some words of God and also could understand and comprehend some words of God, yet because I did not pay attention to practicing and entering in, when encountering a small matter I did not know how to deal with it. I am so pitifully small in stature. How then could I stand in trials? However, I thought that I had understood some truths and had reality and could stand in trials; thus, I was pleased with myself and had no desire to make progress. I was really too arrogant and too ignorant of myself! If I go on like this, resting content with the doctrinal understanding and comprehension of the truth but paying no attention to the practical experience and entering, then in the future trials I will surely fall and become a failure in belief in God. This is because doctrines can never substitute for the truth. Whether one can stand in trials does not depend on how many doctrines he understands but depends mainly on whether he has practical experience and whether he can put the truth into practice. Only if the truth has become the reality of his life can he stand in trials.
O God, thank you for your timely exposing and inspiration, which have made me see clearly my real stature and deficiencies, and realize that doctrinal understanding of your words does not mean having reality. From now on, I will no longer content myself with understanding letters and doctrines. Instead, I will pay attention to understanding the truth, pursue to practice the truth in everything, gain the truth, and eventually live out reality to comfort your heart.
Linyi City, Shandong Province