Recently, a sister was transferred to our article-revising team to perform duty. Because she lost her fame and position and encountered difficulties in revising the articles, she got into a painful refining. Many times she called on and prayed to God, and finally, under the inspiration and guidance of God’s words, her state recovered. From her talk about some knowledge of her own corrupt nature and of God’s work and God’s love and some other aspects, I saw clearly that she had gained a great deal through this painful refining. Then I thought to myself, “She experienced a refining and gained so much. But every day my life is uneventful and no painful things come upon me. Why doesn’t God do any refining work on me? God says that all the perfected ones have to undergo refining. I have not undergone any refining, so how can I be perfected by God?” Imperceptibly, I lived in a passive state.
One morning, while I was having spiritual devotions, in The Replies to the Questions from the Churches in Various Places (1) I read this passage: “God’s word says that ‘all the perfected ones have to undergo refining.’ The refining here does not merely refer to some adversities or frustrations or sufferings we encounter physically, but it mainly refers to the refining we undergo in the word of God. When God’s words are not fulfilled or do not match our notions, it is refining to us. When we, from the exposing of God’s words, realize that we are too corrupt or see that we are too small in stature and always fail to meet God’s requirements, it is also refining to us. When God disciplines us or hides his face from us or deprives us of our future and destiny, it is even more a kind of refining to us. The more we practice the truth and the more we pursue to know ourselves, the more we will undergo refining. The more we undergo refining, the more easily we will be perfected by God. We have undergone little refining in our experience because we are muddle-headed and do not pursue the truth or the knowledge of ourselves at all….”
After reading this passage, I suddenly felt enlightened. All the perfected ones have to undergo refining, which does not merely refer to their encountering some sufferings or failures or frustrations, but largely refers to the refining they undergo in the word of God. Every day I feel flat and undergo little refining, not because God has not done refining work on me, but because I am muddle-headed, do not pursue the truth, and do not pay attention to the refining work God does on me. Then I thought back to myself. When I read in God’s word that “‘my day’ is close at hand” but saw in reality that God’s day was slow in coming, I became passive and suffered an ordeal. When I read in God’s word that God requires people to quiet their heart before him and that those whose heart is not quiet before God are animals and can’t be perfected, I felt pricked in my heart, and because I was too small in stature to meet God’s requirement, unable to often quiet my heart before God, I went through a suffering and ordeal. When God worked in a hidden way and revealed my true stature and I saw that I had no merit and was nothing but had all corrupt satanic nature, I became worried that I couldn’t be perfected by God and thus felt pain and suffered an ordeal…. Weren’t all these refining? If I had brought these deficiencies and inadequacies of mine, which God had revealed, before God to seek him and understand his intention concerning them, dissected the corrupt satanic nature I had displayed, and then found the relevant truths as the goals for me to pursue, then wouldn’t I also have gained much in refining? Wouldn’t I also have grown a lot in life? However, because I did not know the work of refining with words God does on man, though God had done refining work on me, I was not aware of it, and I even complained that God had not done refining work on me. When I underwent suffering, I did not pursue the truth or pursue to know myself, but just endured it for a while and then let it pass. As a result, I have gained nothing in my experiences. I have missed many refining works God did on me, lost the opportunity to gain the truth and be perfected through them, and wasted God’s kind intention of working to refine me.
Thank God that his inspiration has caused me to have some knowledge about God’s work of refining man and led me out of the passive state. From now on, I will spend time and effort on God’s word and value and treasure the refining work God does on me. In each refining, I will try to grasp my disobedient ideas and thoughts and dissect my corrupt nature. Through refining, I will change my wrong intents and viewpoints and have my corrupt nature transformed, so that I can have a true love for God and that God’s work of refining and perfecting man can achieve the desired results in me.
Tieling City, Liaoning Province