24. I Saw My True Stature Clearly
Ding Xiang Tengzhou City, Shandong Province
At a meeting of church leaders, a newly elected leader said: “I don’t have enough stature. I feel I’m not suited to fulfilling this duty. I feel pressured by so many things in the church, to the extent that I haven’t been able to sleep for several days now….” Seeing the sister living in a state of negativity and weakness, I took this burden upon myself and prayed and sought God, and then I had fellowship with her: “All work is performed by God; man simply cooperates a little. If we feel burdened, as long as we come before God more often and rely on God, we will surely see God’s omnipotence and wisdom. Moreover, taking on burdens in our work is a good thing. But if the burden becomes a heavy load, then that will lead to us becoming negative and even misunderstanding God. Not only will we then perform our duties badly and not accrue any good deeds, but our lives will also suffer loss.” Under God’s guidance, I felt that my fellowship was very clear. The sister also recognized that God did not have a place in her heart, and that when difficulties arose, she did not rely on God or seek God, but rather she acted relying on herself, and thus she found the path to entry. I was very happy at the time because I thought I could resolve the sister’s problem, proving that I possessed the reality of this aspect of the truth.
Two months later, the church reallocated me to the editing team to fulfill my duty. When I first arrived in the team, because I didn’t understand the principles behind amending the articles, and facing article after article of text that needed amending, arranging and advising, I couldn’t help but fall into a state of negativity and conflict: “I don’t understand anything, and yet I have to not only fulfill this duty but am even tasked with locating the flaws in the articles. It’s asking too much of me!” I simply felt a lot of pressure and could not calm down, and I also didn’t know how to rely on God. I was so anxious I couldn’t sleep for three days in a row. Facing this state, I became very bewildered. When I helped that new church leader resolve her problem recently, I felt like I fully understood this aspect of the truth. But how come when I ran into such a problem now, I didn’t know how to handle such an experience? So I came before God with my confusion and puzzlement and I sought and prayed to God.
Later, I saw God’s words in “Work and Entry (2)”: “When man works and speaks, or during man’s prayer in his spiritual devotions, a truth will suddenly become clear to them. In reality, however, what man sees is only enlightenment by the Holy Spirit (naturally, this is related to cooperation from man) and not man’s true stature. After a period of experience in which man encounters numerous real difficulties, the true stature of man is made apparent under such circumstances. … Only after several cycles of such experience will many of those who are awakened within their spirits realize that it was not their own reality in the past, but a momentary illumination from the Holy Spirit, and man had but received the light. When the Holy Spirit enlightens man to understand the truth, it is often in a clear and distinct manner, without context. That is, He does not incorporate the difficulties of man into this revelation, and rather directly reveals the truth. When man encounters difficulties in entry, man then incorporates the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, and this becomes the actual experience of man.” As I contemplated God’s words, I understood: The truth I understood when I helped the sister resolve her problem had come from God’s illumination. It was because of my cooperation at the time that I received the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. But that was not my true stature and also did not demonstrate that I had gained that aspect of the truth. The Holy Spirit enlightened me to understand the truth at the time because it was necessary for my work, and through my cooperation He helped me resolve the problems and difficulties in my work. But before I had actual experience in this regard, my stature was still only this small. Only by incorporating the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment and practicing and experiencing in reality when I encountered difficulties with this aspect, could I then enter into the reality of this aspect of the truth.
Under the enlightenment and guidance of God’s word, I calmed my heart down and I looked to and relied on God, and through careful comparison and consideration of the principles behind writing articles and the examples that had been handed down to us, I unknowingly received God’s enlightenment and guidance, enabling me to gradually have some understanding of the problems in the articles, gain much more clarity in my thinking as I amended the articles, and also appreciate the meaning behind the house of God requiring us to practice writing articles. I also managed to gradually leave my negativity and misunderstandings behind.
Thanks be to God! Through this experience I was able to see my true stature clearly and turn the deviations in my understanding around. It made me realize that my understanding of the truth as enlightened by the Holy Spirit did not represent my actual stature, and much less did it mean that I possessed the reality of this aspect of the truth. From now on, I am willing to bring the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment into real life to practice and enter into even more, so that these truths can truly become the reality of my life.