Ding Xiang Tengzhou City, Shandong Province
At a meeting of church leaders I once attended, a newly elected church 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, to the extent that I haven’t been able to fall asleep for several days and nights in a row….” At the time, I was carrying burdens in my pursuit of God, so I communicated with her: “All work is performed by God; man simply cooperates a little. If we feel burdened, coming before God more often and relying on God will surely make us see God’s omnipotence and wisdom. Feeling burden from our work is a good thing. But if the burden becomes a distress, that will become an obstacle, and will lead to negativity and even misunderstanding toward God.” Under God’s guidance, I felt my communications were especially illuminating. The sister also recognized that she was in a situation where God did not have a place in her heart, and that she was doing it herself rather than relying on God, and she thus 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 modification group to fulfill my duty. When I first arrived, I couldn’t understand the principles behind the text modifications. Facing article after article of texts that needed modification, arrangement and guidance, I could not help but fall into a state of negativity. I didn’t understand anything, and yet I had to not only fulfill this duty but was even tasked with locating the insufficiencies in the articles. It was asking too much of me! I simply felt a lot of pressure and could not calm down, and I also did not know how to rely on God. I was so anxious I couldn’t sleep for three consecutive days and nights. I was very bewildered in the face of my situation. When I helped that new church leader resolve her problem, 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? I came before God carrying my confusion and puzzlement.
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 this passage, 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 it was not my true stature and also did not demonstrate that I had received 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 to resolve the problems and difficulties in my work. But before I had actual experience in this regard, my stature was still only this small. So when I encounter difficulties in entry, it is only through incorporating the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit that it can become an actual life experience of mine.
Under the enlightenment and guidance of God’s word, I calmed my heart down to look upon and rely on God, and through careful comparison and consideration of the writing principles behind the articles and the examples handed down, I unknowingly received God’s enlightenment and guidance, enabling me to gradually see through the problems in the articles, gain much more clarity in my thinking as I modified the articles, and also appreciate the meaning behind the house of God requiring us to practice writing articles. I also managed to gradually walk out from my negativity and misunderstanding.
Thanks be to God. Through this experience I was able to see my true stature clearly, turning around the deviations in my understanding. It made me realize that my understanding of the truth enlightened by the Holy Spirit did not represent my actual experience. Moreover, it did not mean that I possessed the reality of this aspect of the truth. From now on, I am more willing to bring the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment into real life to practice and enter, so that these truths can truly become the reality of my life.