Once at a meeting, the small-district leader read us a newly-distributed work arrangement: “Before a church is established, we should select the ones who turned from the belief in Jesus only several months ago and who used to preach the gospel to the pagans, to water and supply the new pagan believers. These people know best how to water the pagans, and it is most suitable to let them water and supply the pagan believers in God. After the church is established, we should let these people continue watering and supplying the new pagan believers until they have led them into the right track of believing in God.”
When I heard this, I had resistance in my heart: What do the new believers know who turned only several months ago? They’ve just turned and have not yet eaten and drunk much of God’s word. How can they lead others? So I retorted, saying, “Though the above has arranged so, we should not observe the regulation rigidly. We should make flexible arrangements according to the actual situations. The old believers have burdens and can give up their interests, whereas the new believers who have just turned will dare to throw up their duties if pressed a little tight. Since we know this actual situation, we’d better use the old believers.” As I was speaking with conviction, the leader said, “This is an arrangement from above; we should first obey it even if we can’t accept it. Through putting it into practice, we’ll understand it gradually.” Yet, no matter how he fellowshipped, I just remained unconvinced and still stuck to my own viewpoint.
At noon break, I picked up the book of Christ’s Talks with Some Church Workers and paged through it casually. A passage of God’s fellowship attracted me: “Some people treat the work arrangements from above too presumptuously. They think: The top makes the work arrangements and we do the work at the lower level. As to some words and some matters, we can treat them flexibly and can alter them at the lower level, for the top only gives instructions and we people below do the work. We know the situations below and the top does not. So, we can do as we like. … Such a kind of person like him always wants to shove God aside and wishes all people to follow him and believe in him. To his mind, God is even inferior to him in some respects, God has nothing and he has something, and all people should believe in him and he is God. This is the very nature of the matter.”
Reading here I got a shock in my heart. Is this passage not directed at me? As to the work arrangement from above, I not only did not ponder it and seek to understand God’s intention from it, but I studied and analyzed it with my mind. I thought that the above only made the arrangements for the work and did not know the actual situations below, while I, who contact the brothers and sisters every day, knew the situations best and knew how to do the work properly. Thus I resisted and disobeyed the arrangement from above and did not want to put it into practice, and I even wanted to alter it at will. I was really too reckless and shameless! I, a thing smaller than a maggot, dared to retort openly the work arrangement from above. Isn’t this a matter of offending God’s nature seriously? At the moment, I could not but feel afraid for what I had said and done. I saw that I believed in and followed God but did not have any fear of or obedience to God. When I encountered something that was against my notions and I could not see through, I could not accept it and was unwilling to obey it and even wanted to do otherwise. I was too arrogant and self-right and too lacking in sense. If such a nature of mine should remain untransformed, I could commit offense against God’s nature at any time and in any place. The consequences would be unimaginable.
At this thought, I immediately prayed to God: O Almighty God! I resist you by nature and am against you in everything. May your curse come severely upon me so that I can hate myself and forsake my arrogant, self-right nature. Although now I can’t understand the work arrangement, I’m willing to practice strictly according to it, with a heart of fearing and obeying you.
When I practiced according to the requirement in the work arrangement, I found that though the new believers from the denominations have not eaten and drunk God’s word much and have a superficial knowledge of the three-stage work, yet because they have just turned from the Age of the Grace, many of their states and viewpoints are similar to those of the new pagan believers and thus their fellowship is more fitting to the actual need of the new pagan believers and is more acceptable to them.
In the face of the fact, I felt bitterly ashamed and hated even more my arrogance and ignorance. Through this matter, I have truly experienced that the work arrangements from above are the policy for us to do the work properly and the guide for us to act. Hereafter, however contrary the work arrangements from above may be to my notions, I will deny myself, forsake my arrogant and self-right nature, and obey them and put them into practice with a heart of fearing God.
Heze City, Shandong Province