Having followed Almighty God for years, I thought I had suffered some hardships and paid some prices, and gradually I began to rest on my past achievements and put on the airs of a veteran. I thought: I have been away from home for so many years, and my family had early heard nothing from me. In a case like mine, even if I fail to do the work well, God’s family will surely make allowance for me and not dismiss me home; at worst, I will just be removed from the present position to do some other work. With such a thought, I no longer had burden for the work and turned a blind eye to everything in my charge. I even regarded the gospel work as an encumbrance and always lived in the difficulties and excuses. Although my spirit was accused and my conscience was rebuked and I felt that I was much indebted to God by working so perfunctorily and I would be eliminated sooner or later if I continued like that, yet I always held the mentality of trusting to luck and kept muddling along in God’s family.
God is righteous and holy. Finally, because I always did the work perfunctorily and made a mess of it, God’s family replaced me and dismissed me home. At that time, I was stunned: Why does God’s family show me no mercy? I had worked for so many years, and how could I be dismissed home so easily? Now I’m sent home; how could I face my family? Would I still have my future? My heart was much disturbed, full of misunderstandings and complaints about God. My whole being fell into darkness, struggling bitterly.
In the agony, I came before God and cried out to him: “O God, I always thought that I’d suffered some hardships these years and so God’s family should not treat me this way. Now I am in the darkness, full of misunderstandings and complaints about you. Have mercy on me once again so that I can receive your inspiration and guidance in the darkness.” After I prayed this way several times, God’s words inspired me.
One day, I read these words of God: “I will not pity you for your suffering for many years but laboring to no avail. On the contrary, I will only “punish” anyone who fails to meet my requirements and will not “reward” him, much less pity him. Maybe you think that as you have followed for many years, in any case you have done hard work, and in any way you can earn your keep in God’s family as a serving one. I say that those among you who think this way are in the majority, because you always follow the principle of taking advantages only but suffering no losses. Then I formally tell you now: Regardless of whether you have done hard work and made great contribution, whether you have much seniority, whether you follow me at my side, whether you have a super reputation, or whether you have a change in your attitude, as long as you do not act according to my requirements, you can never receive my approval. … This is because I cannot bring my enemies and those who have evil smell and satan’s original likeness into my kingdom and into the next age.”
Every word of God carried majesty and wrath and, like a sharp two-edged sword, struck my vital point, and completely shattered my pleasant dream—I have done hard work if not good work and so I could keep a position in God’s family anyhow. Then I had to examine myself. Over the years, though I performed my duty away from home and paid some prices and suffered some pains outwardly, yet I never tried to feel God’s grief or think about how to perform my duty well to satisfy God; on the contrary, I worked perfunctorily. Especially in this period, I had no burden for the gospel work and treated lightly the gospel quota set by God’s family, not minding whether it was filled, and I did not feel any indebtedness to God. I even regarded the gospel work as an encumbrance and thought that it would be more troublesome if more new believers were won over but no people could be found to water them. I was unconcerned about the gospel work and thus brought a great loss to it. Since I attached no importance to the work of watering the new believers, many of them dropped out as no one watered them. When God’s family asked me to look for host homes or handle other affairs, I also lived in difficulties and excuses and was unwilling to cooperate with God. I was content to stand still, did not pursue to make progress, and fell to such an extent that I completely lost the working of the Holy Spirit, and consequently all the church works got into a jam. I was purely doing evil! However, I even considered that I had done hard work if not good work and that in any case I could have a position in God’s family. When God’s family dismissed me home to do some soul-searching, I even felt wronged and shamelessly made demands of God’s family and flaunted my seniority. I was so insensible and so unreasonable! Such nature of mine was really loathed and hated by God!
God’s family is different from society, different from the world, and God’s righteous nature is merciless toward anyone. No matter how much seniority one has, how much he has suffered, or how long he has followed God, once he offends God’s nature, God’s wrath and majesty will come upon him. How could I, who did not do any practical work but only freeloaded as a parasite in God’s family, be an exception before the righteous God?
Only then did I realize that God’s family replaced me this time and this was just God’s righteousness, and also God’s greatest love and salvation to me, a son of disobedience. If I had not been dismissed, I would still stick to my erroneous viewpoint, “I have done hard work if not good work and so I could have a position in God’s family anyway,” sleeping deeply in the pleasant dream I myself weaved, and finally, I would be ruined by my own imaginations.
O God, I thank you and praise you! Though your way of saving me is against my notions, I have understood your heart and seen your considerate intention. I am willing to accept your chastisement and judgment, from which to make efforts to examine and know myself and know your righteous nature. And even more, I am willing to mend my way and start a new life.
Liaocheng City, Shandong Province