God says: “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. … If I think your arrangement is right, I will obey; if I think it is improper, I will not obey, I can resist and act in opposition to you, and I can refuse to execute or implement it….” Every time I read these words, I thought to myself, “These people are really audacious. How dare they take such an attitude toward the arrangements from above?” So, I often warned myself never to do such a thing, and I made this resolution inwardly: No matter what arrangement from above comes and however contrary to my notions it is, I will treat it with an obedient heart, for whatever God does is right and man is shortsighted and undiscerning. I thought that by often warning myself this way I could keep myself from offending God. Yet, in my practical experience, I came to realize that as long as I have the arrogant and conceited nature it can cause me to offend God; I can’t avoid offending God by being mentally prepared not to do so.
One day, I read in an arrangement from above that there was an evil leader in a certain place in Shandong Province. Then I thought, “God is really almighty. I went around watering the churches every day but did not discover this evil leader. Today God has revealed him. Thanks be to God. I’ll make a careful investigation and find out this evil leader, not allowing the evildoer to harm others in the church.” However, when I got to know that the evil leader the above referred to was XX, whom I knew, my attitude took a 180-degree turn at once: Has the above made a mistake? I met this man once, and he impressed me as very honest. How could he be an evil leader? With this wrong state of mind, I went on investigating this man. But in the process of investigation, I never denied my own view. A few days later, the result came out: most of the people on whom he worked said that he was quite good and had no behavior of attacking or taking revenge on anyone. Because I always wanted to prove that the above had made a mistake due to one-sided reports and even more that my feeling was right, I neither inquired further about this man nor considered investigating him again in a more careful way. When I got the result, I felt more certain that this man was not an evil leader. So, I hastened to report the “true” condition to the leader above by letter, thinking: Let the above know early that this man is not an evildoer. Our findings are true; only the information reported from below is genuine.
Some time ago, there came from above another arrangement, “The Principles Must Not Be Violated in Two Important Matters.” It again mentioned the matter of investigating the evil leader in Shandong Province. Then, I felt somewhat afraid and dared not treat it carelessly again. This time, I made careful inquiries about this man from various aspects and by various channels. The findings came out: He not only attacked and took revenge on others, but he was sexually immoral; in promoting the gospel work, he never fellowshipped about the truth but used material things to make the brothers and sisters preach the gospel; when the brothers and sisters became passive, he said that it fulfilled God’s words; he often spread negative words among the brothers and sisters, saying that God’s family used only young people and those over forty would not be put in an important position; he often exalted and testified about himself by saying where he had taken charge of the work, how many sufferings he had undergone, and how he had been burdened for the work, causing many brothers and sisters to look up to him; besides, when he stayed in the host home he never washed his clothes himself…. In the face of the facts, I felt distressed as if a knife were being twisted in my heart. Because of my perfunctoriness and deceitfulness, I failed to find out the evil leader early, so that so many brothers and sisters were harmed by him. They could not come before God normally and could not understand God’s will; their life suffered a great loss. How sorrowful God’s heart is! How can I have the face to live before God?
Only then did I see that I had too much disobedience and too serious resistance. I could not help turning to this fellowship of God again: “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. Since these people below have been entrusted to us, we can do as we wish and work in any way, and no one has the right to interfere. … 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.”
God’s words of exposing pierced deep into my heart like a sharp two-edged sword. Am I not such a person as is spoken of in God’s words? When I discovered that the evil leader the above referred to was a man I knew, I then measured him according to my own feeling and impression, and I was very certain that my view was right. I even automatically considered that the above did not know about this person and might have made a mistake; and I never denied my view in the process of investigation. Was I not too self-right? Especially when I recalled my eagerness to prove the above wrong at the first findings, I even more hated myself. I was simply so arrogant as to have no sense! My nature was too disgusting and loathsome to God!
Then I could not help falling down before God: O Almighty God! I not only did not do my faithfulness to protect and lead the brothers and sisters properly, but when you revealed the evil leader, I trusted in my own feeling and thinking. In the investigation, I went through the motions and always wanted to prove the above wrong. I was really too arrogant and unreasonable! O God, according to my behavior, I’m unworthy to live before you but only deserve to be cursed. At this moment, I only wish your chastisement and chastening to come severely upon me, for I deeply realize that my nature resists you too much and my behavior has broken your heart.
Afterward, through God’s inspiration, I realized that I committed offense against God because I did not know my arrogant and conceited nature, and that I could not keep myself from offending God by being mentally prepared not to do so. As God’s word says: “Your arrogance and self-conceit makes you scorn God, your arrogance and self-conceit makes you have no regard for God, your arrogance and self-conceit makes you like to exalt yourself, your arrogance and self-conceit makes you show off in everything, and your arrogance and self-conceit finally makes you sit in God’s position and testify about yourself, and in the end take your own ideas and thoughts and notions as the truth to worship. How many evil things your arrogant and conceited nature has governed you to do! To solve the problem of your doing evil, you must first solve the problem of your nature. Without the transformation of your nature, you cannot solve that problem fundamentally.” Yes, it was my arrogant and conceited nature that made me trust in my own thinking and feeling, disbelieve God’s word, and disbelieve God’s Spirit searching everything. If I do not solve the problem of my arrogant and conceited nature, I would surely do more evil deeds. From now on, I’ll no longer believe my own thinking. I’ll make an effort to know my nature, learn to view things according to God’s word, measure everything by God’s word, and pursue the transformation of my nature to comfort God’s heart.
Linyi City, Shandong Province