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Gospel Reader

How to Win Spiritual Warfare: God Has Guided Me to Triumph Over Satan’s Temptation

46

By Fang Rui

“Blessed is the man that endures temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love Him” (James 1:12).

Epigraph

Contents

My Husband Is on the Brink of Death and I Develop Doubts About God

God’s Words Guide Me to See Through Satan’s Tricks

My Daughter Is Scammed and I Reflect on My Motivations for Blessings

In the Face of My Daughter’s Untreatable Cold, I Practice the Truth and See God’s Deeds

My Awakening After These Experiences

In the spring of 2012 one of my relatives shared Almighty God’s work of the last days with me and through fellowship on Almighty God’s words, I understood that since we as humans were corrupted by Satan God has been working continuously to save mankind. In the Age of Law, God issued the law through Moses to lead humanity in our lives on earth so that people would know what is a sin. In the Age of Grace, God became flesh as the Lord Jesus; He was crucified for mankind as a sin offering, redeeming humanity of sin. In the Age of Kingdom, the final age, God has returned in the flesh as Almighty God. He has uttered millions of words on the foundation of the work of redemption, doing the step of work of judgment beginning with the house of God, transforming and purifying our corrupt dispositions so that we can be completely freed from the bonds of sin, ultimately attaining full salvation and entering God’s kingdom. My relative also shared fellowship with me on mysteries and truths like the significance of God’s two incarnations plus what mankind’s outcome and destination will ultimately be. I could really feel God’s earnest efforts to save mankind and wanted to really believe in and follow Him.

How to Win Spiritual Warfare

I then started living a life of the church, gathering with brothers and sisters often to read God’s words and sing songs of praise. Whenever difficulties arose, the brothers and sisters were honest and open and would seek the truth together to resolve the issue. I felt that the big family of The Church of Almighty God was so warm and loving, and entirely different from being out in the world. I really rejoiced that I had accepted God’s salvation of the last days, and soon after I shared God’s gospel of the kingdom with my daughter. After looking into it for a period of time, she also determined that Almighty God is the one true God; she joyfully accepted God’s work of the last days. But I hadn’t imagined that just as I was basking in God’s love, Satan’s disruptions and temptations were closing in …

My Husband Is on the Brink of Death and I Develop Doubts About God

Right after Spring Festival in 2013 my husband and his friend went out of town to work. But his second day there he called and said that the previous evening he and his friend had started vomiting and having diarrhea, and their stomachs had been hurting nonstop—there still hadn’t been any improvement. I didn’t think anything of it, thinking that he had eaten something that had gone bad and he’d gradually start to feel better. But to my surprise, his condition just grew worse and worse and he even started seeing blood in his stool. He learned it was food poisoning from a medical exam. A few days later his friend died because emergency rescue efforts had been ineffective, and my husband was still within a critical period. His stomach had been so damaged that he still couldn’t eat anything, but was just being kept alive through intravenous infusions. Seeing him wasting away day by day was incredibly difficult for me, and I thought, “My husband and his friend had the exact same problem and his friend couldn’t be saved. Will my husband make it? What would I do if he suddenly died?”

I was in a constant state of anxiety over those several days and had many sleepless nights. Looking at my husband lying in bed I would often think, “Nothing like this happened in our family before I had faith, so why is it that trouble would come after I start believing in God? Why wouldn’t God look over and protect our family? Could my faith be wrong?” This nagged at me every single day; I wasn’t in the mood for work and I couldn’t get engaged in reading God’s words. I was incredibly negative as well as full of doubts and complaints about God.

God’s Words Guide Me to See Through Satan’s Tricks

A few days later when a sister came to have a gathering with me I told her about my husband’s health problems and my own thoughts on it. Hearing this, she said to me very seriously, “Sister Fang, when something so major happens at home, it’s understandable that you would be upset, but when things like this happen there’s truth to be sought. Let’s read a passage of God’s words.” She then read this passage for me: “In every step of work that God does within people, externally it appears to be interactions between people, as if born of human arrangements, or from human interference. But behind the scenes, every step of work, and everything that happens, is a wager made by Satan before God, and requires people to stand firm in their testimony to God. Take when Job was tried, for example: Behind the scenes, Satan was making a bet with God, and what happened to Job was the deeds of men, and the interference of men. Behind every step that God does in you is Satan’s wager with God—behind it all is a battle. … When God and Satan do battle in the spiritual realm, how should you satisfy God, and how should you stand firm in your testimony to Him? You should know that everything that happens to you is a great trial and the time when God needs you to bear testimony” (“Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God”).

She went on to share some fellowship. “We can see from God’s words that when we encounter something undesirable, from the outside it looks like there’s a good reason for it, but in fact, behind it lies Satan’s disruption and temptation—this is a spiritual battle. So why would Satan want to disrupt and tempt us? We all know that Satan is God’s enemy, its essence is evil, and it uses all sorts of tactics and methods to lure and corrupt us so that we will live under its domain, toyed with and harmed by it. Now that we’ve accepted God’s salvation and have understood many aspects of the truth by reading His words, we’re willing to forsake Satan and really believe in and follow God, why would Satan let us go so easily? So that it can continue to control and corrupt us, Satan does absolutely everything to disrupt and get in the way of our faith in God, of us following God. Just like now—Satan wants to use your husband’s illness to attack you, to get you to develop misunderstandings and complaints about God and thus become distant from Him and betray Him. Then you would lose your chance at attaining God’s salvation. What’s hidden behind this are Satan’s despicable goals and evil intentions! Early on in our faith we don’t understand much of the truth, so we don’t have much knowledge of God’s work and His intention to save mankind. We also lack discernment on Satan’s evil essence and its tactics and tricks to swallow people up. Satan exploits every chance to confuse and disrupt us, vainly hoping to destroy our faith in God. However, God executes His wisdom in accordance with Satan’s trickery, so He uses Satan’s tricks to test our faith in God and see whether we are true believers. As long as we are resolute in our faith, and are able to stand on God’s side no matter what happens and unswervingly follow God, Satan will be shamed and fail, and won’t dare come back to disrupt and attack us. It’s just like the story of Job in the Bible; he was faced with Satan’s temptations and attacks, losing his family’s enormous wealth and his ten children, and his entire body was covered with boils. However, he stayed on the path of fearing God and shunning evil. He didn’t sin or complain about God with his words, believing that everything was given by God, and so if it was taken away by God it was for a reason; as a created being he should accept and submit to it. Job persisted in his faith, obedience, and reverence for God, saying, ‘Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah’ (Job 1:21). He bore a strong, resounding witness for God and caused Satan to be thoroughly shamed and defeated; it never again dared to harm Job. Sister, we should follow the example of Job and not sin with our words when we’re in the middle of Satan’s temptations. Only if we hold on to our faith in God and stand witness for Him can we shame Satan.”

I was amazed by this sister’s fellowship, realizing that what was behind my husband’s illness was a spiritual battle. Satan was trying to disrupt and ruin my relationship with God through my husband’s health issue so that I would distance myself from God and betray Him, and then I would lose my chance at God’s salvation. Satan really is so sinister, so despicable! However, God allowed this to come upon me so that through this He could test whether I’m a true believer. I knew I couldn’t be taken in by Satan again, misunderstanding and complaining about God. I then prayed to God: “Oh God! May You give me faith and strength so that I can stand witness for You through this spiritual battle. I am willing to leave my husband in Your hands, and whether he recovers or not, I will never again blame or misunderstand You.”

After praying my heart felt much stronger; I felt at ease and at peace. From then on I read God’s words, prayed, and sang hymns of praise as usual. To my surprise, a few days later my husband started taking a gradual turn for the better, and he was discharged before long. What was really unexpected was that those responsible for his food poisoning paid all of his medical bills. I really did see God’s deeds and my faith grew.

But I never imagined that more misfortune was on the way …

My Daughter Is Scammed and I Reflect on My Motivations for Blessings

Not long after, my daughter called me in tears. “Mom, I was cheated out of 10,000 yuan in a telephone scam. I reported it to the police but they have no way to track it down.” This was really upsetting for me to hear and I thought to myself, “Our family wasn’t rich in the first place. That 10,000 yuan is a year’s worth of expenses!” I couldn’t help but feel some blame for God, thinking, “My husband just got out of the hospital and now my daughter has been scammed. Why are there so many problems cropping up in the family? I thought that by having faith in God I’d gain His care and protection, that everything would go really smoothly at home. This is just great—it’s just one bad thing after another.”

For the next couple of days I was really weak and wasn’t in the mood to attend gatherings. I didn’t feel like reading God’s words, either. I was really suffering and at a loss, thinking, “What on earth should I do now? If I keep on believing there will be all sorts of problems with the family, but if I stop believing, I just couldn’t bear to part with it. After all, it’s the chance of a lifetime to encounter God Himself coming to work and save mankind. It’s really precious!” Just when I felt caught between a rock and a hard place, a sister heard of what had happened and came to see me. She shared this fellowship with me: “Your daughter being scammed is disruption and temptation from Satan, but it contains a lesson we should learn. First we have to submit, and pray and seek God’s will. Think about these two bad things that have happened—what happens first is we reveal complaints and misunderstandings of God. We can see from this that even though we’re believers, our hearts are full of our own personal motives and adulteration. We just think of enjoying grace and blessings; this is not pure faith or worship. Let’s read a couple passages of God’s words to understand this.”

How to Win Spiritual Warfare

The sister read, “What you pursue is to be able to gain peace after believing in God—for your children to be free from illness, for your husband to have a good job, for your son to find a good wife, for your daughter to find a decent husband, for your oxen and horses to plough the land well, for a year of good weather for your crops. This is what you seek. Your pursuit is only to live in comfort, for no accidents to befall your family, for the winds to pass you by, for your face to be untouched by grit, for your family’s crops to not be flooded, for you to be unaffected by any disaster, to live in God’s embrace, to live in a cozy nest” (“The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment”). “Today, you must set on the right track since you believe in the practical God. Having faith in God, you should not solely seek blessings, but seek to love God and know God. Through His enlightenment and your own pursuit, you can eat and drink His word, develop a true understanding of God, and have a true love of God that comes from your heart” (“You Ought to Live for the Truth Since You Believe in God”).

She went on in fellowship. “God’s words reveal our absurd perspectives on faith and our true states. We can see that as corrupt human beings, we are by nature incredibly selfish, despicable, and self-seeking. Everything we do contains our own motives and goals, always scheming for our own interests. Even believing in God is to gain blessings. We all think that since we’re people of faith God should watch over and bless us so that we and our family are healthy, safe, and everything goes smoothly for us. So as soon as something we don’t like happens we blame and misunderstand God, and in serious cases, betray and forsake God. This shows us that our faith isn’t to understand and love God, but it’s to use God to satisfy our own desire for blessings. God is the Lord of creation and we humans are created beings. Having faith, worshiping God, is right and proper, and we should worship Him whether or not He bestows us with harmony and good fortune. We shouldn’t make any demands of Him. This is the kind of conscience and reason that a created being should possess. But we lack this kind of reason and feel it’s perfectly reasonable to demand grace and peace in our faith. As a result, Satan seizes upon our outlook on faith being to gain blessings, tempting and attacking us, trying to get us to deny and betray God because our own interests were harmed. Then we would go back into its camp and be brutalized by it. So, if we don’t recognize our own selfish and despicable satanic disposition we won’t be able to let go of our own motives to gain blessings—then we’ll continue to be tempted and disturbed by Satan and we’ll live in pain. Sister, God is an almighty and wise God, so when He allows these things to happen to us it’s to expose our erroneous perspectives on faith, so that we can understand them and turn back in time, correct our motives for faith, not live according to our selfish and despicable satanic disposition, seek to know and love God, and be someone who truly believes in and worships God. This is God’s salvation for us!”

Reading God’s words and listening to this sister’s fellowship was a great awakening for me. I also felt a little ashamed, realizing that Satan’s repeated temptations were because of problems with my own faith in God! I thought about how, ever since I gained my faith, I really had been holding onto the desire for gaining peace and grace, so that’s why I couldn’t help but misunderstand and blame God when my husband became ill and my daughter was scammed. I even lost my desire to keep following God—I really am so selfish and despicable! Without God revealing all of this I still wouldn’t realize my incorrect outlook on faith, that it was just to gain blessings. I knew that I couldn’t waste any time in turning around and really seeking the truth. No matter how Satan tempts or disrupts me, I want to stand on God’s side and submit to His arrangements and orchestrations.

I felt very much at peace after understanding God’s will. I started attending gatherings with my daughter again where we had fellowship on God’s words. Her mood improved quite a lot, and the sounds of joy and mirth rose up in our home once again.

In the Face of My Daughter’s Untreatable Cold, I Practice the Truth and See God’s Deeds

But before long, my daughter, who had always been in good health, suddenly came down with a cold. There was no improvement after taking medication and getting intravenous fluids, and doctors at several hospitals all said that it was just a regular cold. However, no matter how it was treated, it simply wouldn’t get better, and after a while she was too sick to even go to work. I was concerned, very much afraid that it would end up poorly for her. One evening she said to me in tears, “Mom, I’m so sick all the time and I can’t even go to work. If this goes on what kind of future will I have?” Hearing her say this, my heart ached for her. I thought, “She’s so down in the dumps all the time. What if this goes on and she becomes clinically depressed?” The more I thought about it the more afraid I felt. I forced back my tears to comfort her, but there was still concern in my heart. The recent issues that had cropped up also came to mind and before I knew it, I had the urge to complain about God. Just then I suddenly realized that this was Satan’s temptation and I couldn’t sin with my words, nor could I develop complaints in my heart. I immediately prayed to God. “God, my daughter has been sick for a number of days and nothing is helping. This is leaving her weak and negative, and I’m worried that if this goes on she’ll become depressed. Oh God, I don’t know what to do right now. Please lead and guide me, and no matter what happens with my daughter’s illness, please help keep me from complaining.”

After praying two passages of God’s words came to mind, so I quickly got my book of His words and read them with my daughter. God says, “Almighty God, the Head of all things, wields His kingly power from His throne. He rules over the universe and all things and He is guiding us on the whole earth. … Do not lose heart in the face of illness, keep seeking and never give up, and God shall shine His light on you. How faithful was Job? Almighty God is an all-powerful physician! To dwell in sickness is to be sick, but to dwell in the spirit is to be well. If you have but one breath, God will not let you die” (“Chapter 6” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning). “Faith is like a single log bridge, those who cling abjectly to life will have difficulty in crossing it, but those who are ready to sacrifice themselves can pass over without worry. If man has timid and fearful thoughts, they are being fooled by Satan. It fears that we will cross the bridge of faith to enter into God. Satan devises every way possible to send us its thoughts, we should always pray that the light of God will shine on us, and we must always rely on God to purify us from Satan’s poison. We shall always be practicing in our spirits to come close to God. We shall let God have dominion over our whole being” (“Chapter 6” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning). After reading God’s words my heart brightened immediately. It’s true—God is almighty and my daughter’s illness was under His rule. I knew that nothing could happen to my daughter without God’s permissions; I needed to have confidence in God and lean on Him through that experience. And no matter what happened, I should submit to God with absolutely no complaints.

I then said to my daughter, “God is almighty and He has the final say on whether you’re going to get better. We have to have faith in God and not complain or misunderstand Him. The truth is that what’s behind you staying sick all the time are Satan’s temptation and attacks on you—it’s using the suffering of this illness to disrupt you so that you become negative and weak, then distance yourself from God and betray Him. This shows us how truly sinister and evil Satan is. But the more we experience of Satan’s temptation the more we’ll be able to see the evil visage of Satan, how it destroys and swallows people up, and the more unable we’ll be to part from God. The more Satan disrupts us the more we have to pray and read God’s words, and establish a proper relationship with God. No matter when you get better, we have to submit to God’s rule, stand witness for Him, and comfort His heart. When Satan sees that we have confidence in God it will retreat in shame.”

My daughter nodded her head resolutely and said, “I understand this fellowship. From now on I’m willing to lean on God and put myself in His hands. No matter when I recover I’ll submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements.” We prayed together, and then sang a hymn in praise of God. Her low spirits, which she’d had for so long, started to lift and a smile finally appeared on her face. Thanks be to God! Just a few days later she had fully recovered, once again allowing me to see God’s wondrous deeds.

My Awakening After These Experiences

Although these experiences were a bit of a trial for me, I reaped quite a lot. I saw how Satan will stop at nothing to disrupt and attack people so that it can control them, trying to get people to forsake God and distance themselves from Him—it’s so evil. I also saw how God used Satan’s disturbances to expose my despicable motive of having faith just to gain blessings, allowing me to understand that in my faith I should seek the truth as well as pursue knowledge of and obedience to God. I shouldn’t have any extravagant desires or requirements of God, and this is the kind of reason that I should possess. Even more, I realized that God’s wisdom is always carried out on the basis of Satan’s trickery, and no matter how savage or evil Satan is, it is always defeated at God’s hand. As long as we genuinely rely on God, stay true to our faith in God, and practice according to His words, we will smoothly escape from Satan’s snare and see God’s wondrous deeds. Thanks be to God!

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