God says: “Those who pursue to love God should not pursue their own interests or their own hopes. This is the most right way of pursuing. If what you pursue is the truth, what you practice is the truth, and what you gain is the transformation of your nature, the path you walk is the right path. If what you pursue is fleshly blessings and what you practice is the truths in your own notions, and you do not have any transformation in your nature, do not have any obedience to the God in the flesh, and still live in vagueness, then what you pursue will surely bring you into hell because the path you walk is the path to failure.” Every time I read this passage, I thought very confidently that the path I walked was the right path, for over the years of my believing in God I had been a leader in God’s family and my working area had become larger and larger; if the path I walked was wrong, I would not have followed until today. But recently, through a matter, I saw that the path I walked was not the right path.
A few days ago, I went and visited a brother who had worked in God’s family for many years and who has now been dismissed from his position for some reasons. Before meeting him I thought to myself, “He’s been a leader for many years and experienced many frustrations and failures. His life nature must have been somewhat transformed. He can’t be like a new believer with shallow experience, who will become passive and slack and refuse to perform duty after dismissed.” When I saw him, however, I found him totally different from what I had imagined him to be: The young freshness in him disappeared and he seemed to be much older. While he was a leader, when seeing the brothers and sisters he was always very warm and fellowshipped a great deal; but now, he met me as if meeting a stranger and spoke very little. I asked him, “How have you experienced in other places over the years? Now you have been assigned to come back and perform duty; what do you think of it?” He said, “After I came back, I found that everything has changed. The brothers and sisters do not treat me as warmly as before, and it seems that I am an unwanted person wherever I go. Now I have no strength to pursue….”
At his words, I felt very disappointed. Later, in light of his state I found some relevant words of God to eat and drink with him. Though I fellowshipped a lot, he had little reaction. “How come you have become so passive?” I thought. In spite of myself, I felt hatred for him: God has expended so much painstaking effort and paid so much price on you, but you actually in return misunderstand and complain about God and get passive and slack. You’re really a conscienceless man! Then, I could not help appreciating myself, feeling that I was much better than the brother. And I became more confident that the path I was walking was right.
After I returned home, however, I could not calm down for a long while. I wondered: In the matter I encountered today, what lessons does God want me to learn and what does God intend to perfect in me? Then I came before God and prayed: “O God, everything you arrange for me is meaningful. In this matter I don’t know what lessons you want me to learn and what truths to understand. May you reveal them to me.” After my prayer, God’s words inspired me: “Maybe it is because you are now in a good mood and you have a high spirit, or because you are being in use. If you are dismissed home one day, when you are downhearted and darkened within, the things in you will be exposed.” “Under what motivation do you undergo suffering and pursue to be perfected now? Do you do them for testifying about God? Do you do them for your flesh to receive blessings or for the sake of your future prospects?” Facing God’s words, I recalled that when the brother was a leader in the past, he was always energetic. Wherever he went, he took the initiative to fellowship and talk with the brothers and sisters; even if someone offended him, he could forgive and allow for him. But today, after dismissed he is completely changed. Isn’t it because the path he walked was wrong? He always pursued position and fame and regarded them as more important than his life; how could he not fall then? At this time, I could not help examining myself: What am I pursuing? And how am I pursuing? Today, when I did not achieve results in fellowshipping with the brother, why did I raise hatred for him? At ordinary times, whether I met my subordinates, the host families, or the weak brothers and sisters, I took the initiative to fellowship with them and never got bored. Why could I do that? Wasn’t it because of my status as a leader? Under this condition and against this background, I had to restrict myself in my heart. I often had such thoughts: “I’m a leader; I must take the initiative to fellowship with the brothers and sisters.” “I’m a leader; I must set an example in performing duty properly.” “I’m a leader. If I do not pursue hard and am thus dismissed home one day, what will the brothers and sisters think of me?” … Was the path I walked the right path? Was I caring for God’s heart in all that I did? Was I pursuing the truth? No! Today, I’m “better” than the brother, and this is because I still take charge of the work and hold a “position” in God’s family; it does not mean that I pursue the truth, and even less that the path I walk is right. If God had not revealed me through this matter and exposed me through his words today, causing me to examine and know myself anew, I could never have discovered this “secret” and would keep going on this path to failure. Then the consequences would be worse than anything imaginable.
O God, thank you for saving me. It is altogether because of your care and keeping that I can follow until today. And it is your exceptional uplifting and grace to me that I can be a leader in your family. However, the arrogant I always thought that I could follow until today because the path I walked was right. Now, I have seen that I also walked the path of the failures, because my pursuit was mixed with position, vanity, and personal interests and hopes. I was not performing my duty as a created being, nor was I pursuing the truth and life entering in the course of performing my duty. If I go on in this way, I will surely be one to be eliminated. O God, I will correct the goal of my pursuit, draw lessons from the failures, and pursue the truth and the transformation of my nature while working. In future, no matter what duty I perform and what circumstances I am in, I will submit to your control and arrangement and perform my duty properly.
Through this matter, I realize this: Whether one will succeed or fail in believing in God does not depend on how long he has followed God or what duty he performs, but entirely depends on whether the path he walks is right. If the path one walks is wrong and he does not pursue the truth and the transformation of his nature in performing his duty, he will fall sooner or later.
Taiyuan City, Shanxi Province