Once, I had a meeting with the small-district leaders. When we fellowshipped about question 45 in The Truth-Entering Course for Enjoying God’s Word at Meetings, “If there were only the healing of sicknesses, the driving of demons, and the forgiving of sins of the Age of the Grace but not the chastisement and judgment of the last days, could man’s sinful nature be completely transformed? Could man attain holiness? Why?”, as soon as I finished reading God’s words, I began to look in them for the answer to the question and then fellowship. After I fellowshipped for quite a while, however, I only felt empty in my heart and had no enjoyment. I knew that God’s intention was not for me to only look for the answer in God’s words and talk about it on the surface, but I did not know how I should fellowship. I had to come before God to pray and seek. Then, God inspired me and I remembered a passage concerning “the principles of fellowshipping about God’s word at meetings” in The Manual of the Principles for the Church Work: “Before fellowshipping about God’s words, one must ponder over the substance of God’s words, sense clearly what God’s words actually refer to, understand the real meaning of God’s words, and ponder why God speaks so and what results God wants to achieve. About any of these several aspects one can fellowship, no matter whether his understanding is deep or shallow. Don’t speak letters and doctrines. Most importantly, one should touch God’s intention in every word of God, and understand God’s requirements for man and the truth man should possess. Fellowshipping in this way is beneficial both to others and to himself. If one, after reading God’s words, does not ponder over them seriously but only speaks some literal doctrines perfunctorily, he will never discover the truths by reading God’s word this way. This then is meaningless.” Pondering over these words, I realized this: I did not fellowship about God’s words according to the requirements in the principles. Before I fellowshipped, I did not ponder on the substance and inner meaning of God’s words. Rather, I only wanted to look for the answer in God’s word, contenting myself with speaking letters and doctrines, and did not intend to understand the truth. As a result, when I fellowshipped, I was dry and dull, and could not receive any inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Then, I began to ponder again over question 45 in The Truth-Entering Course for Enjoying God’s Word at Meetings: Why does God say so? What results does God want to achieve? What is the real meaning? … At that moment, I felt enlightened all at once: Because we do not know God’s work, we only want to receive grace and blessings and are unwilling to accept God’s chastisement and judgment to be purified in the word of God. But without God’s chastisement and judgment of the last days, we, the most deeply corrupted people, would never have the opportunity to be saved but would only end up falling into the wrath and punishment of God. This is because God cannot perfect us nor rid us of our corruptions only by bestowing grace upon us and giving us material blessings. Only the chastisement and judgment of God is our true need. It is God’s love for us and even more a great salvation for us…. The more I pondered, the more I felt brightened; I also understood a little of God’s intention, and I felt great enjoyment in my heart.
O Almighty God, thank you for your inspiration and guidance. It has made me realize that only when we eat and drink and fellowship about your word according to the principles can we receive your inspiration and enlightenment and achieve good results. From now on, I will eat and drink your word according to the principles, ponder over your intention more, and pursue to understand more truths in your word, so as to gain the knowledge of your work.
Heze City, Shandong Province