I always thought that I could drop my husband and children and left home to perform my duty because I had the strength to cooperate actively with God and had the will to suffer. Thus, when others praised me so, though I said, “This is because God made a way out for me. It is the result achieved by the Holy Spirit’s guidance and leading,” yet in my heart I was pleased with myself: Yes, I’m quite good. If I had no will to cooperate, God would not have had a way to work on me. In our place there are many brothers and sisters who have accepted the new work, but very few of them have truly given up their families and come out to perform duties. Thus, I often lived in the state of self-appreciation.
Once, I read in the man’s fellowship these words: “…it is true that you have rendered a little cooperation, but you do not know that even such a little cooperation of yours is the result of the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, enlightenment, and guidance. You have unconsciously done it under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It was not accomplished by you yourself through discerning, seeking, making an effort, and paying a price, but the Holy Spirit guided you to seek, see clearly, and pay a price. Without the working of the Holy Spirit, you could not have achieved it. … If you are unconvinced of this, then let the Holy Spirit desert you now, and you will still be good for nothing, being the same corrupt man as you were before. … Therefore, regardless of how much of God’s work one has experienced, his being able to perform a little duty now is altogether God’s grace and is God’s deed and he has nothing at all to boast of. Isn’t one’s cooperation accomplished by God? Without the working of the Holy Spirit, one simply would not know how to cooperate. …”
After reading this passage, I could not help feeling deeply ashamed. I knew so little of myself that I should take the working of the Holy Spirit as my own stature. I thought that I could give up my family and career and come out to perform my duty because I had the will to suffer and it was the result achieved by my cooperating with God. But I did not realize that my cooperation today was the result achieved by the working and leading of the Holy Spirit, rather than the fruit of my making an effort and paying a price.
In retrospect, if God had not arranged the circumstances to expose and make me see clearly that between people there is only exploitation of each other but no true affection or true love, I would never have had the courage to leave my husband and children and come out to perform my duty. During the several years of my performing duty away from home, each time I fell into emotional refining, it was God’s judgment and chastisement that made me gain a little knowledge of my corrupt nature and come to understand the value and meaning of life so that I freed myself from the emotional refining. Otherwise, I would have returned to satan’s camp to live a fleshly life worse than swine’s. When I was so overwhelmed with passivity that I wanted to give myself up as hopeless, it was God’s word that gave me faith and strength and pulled me out of the abyss of death, so that I had faith to walk the path ahead. When I lost the will to pursue the truth and make progress in refining, it was also God’s word that woke me up time and again and caused me to understand God’s intention and correct the wrong viewpoint of my pursuit. … Wasn’t all this accomplished by the Holy Spirit? If the Holy Spirit had not given me strength, I could not have given any cooperation by myself but would have only become more and more fallen and eventually been captured by satan, because I had no power to transcend myself and no courage to free myself from the power of darkness. However, I shamelessly took credit to myself for the working of the Holy Spirit and was pleased with myself, thinking that I was able to bear hardships and had the will. I was really detestable and disgusting to God.
O God, thank you that your inspiration has made me understand that without the guidance and leading of the Holy Spirit, one can only be cowardly fooled and afflicted by satan, and he has no power to transcend himself at all. Even though one has a little will to cooperate, it is the result achieved by the working of the Holy Spirit and he has nothing at all to boast of. O God, from now on, I will, in my experience, know more about the working of the Holy Spirit and better cooperate with the working of the Holy Spirit, so that I can truly give all glory to you.
Jinan City, Shandong Province