In 1998 I accepted God’s end-time work. After my acceptance, God’s family assigned me to lead a small group, to serve as a life deacon, to serve as a church leader, and then to join a second-line team and care for the new believers, and afterward to be a second-line director. Although God’s family kept training me and expended incalculable painstaking care and price on me, yet I, who was disobedient, never intended to repay God’s love with my heart but still pursued my marriage, grasping this evil thing and refusing to give it up. In 2000, I almost left God because of my marriage, and in the end, through the fellowship of the brothers and sisters, I reluctantly stayed in God’s family. Afterward, I swore an oath before God: I am willing to offer my whole life to God. If I still continue to plan for my marriage in future, may God’s disasters rarely seen in the six thousand years come upon me. But I regretted right after I took the oath, and the matter of my marriage still hung over my heart. Just this year, I thought in my heart that even if the work of God was a hundred percent sure to come to an end, I should still leave myself one percent of a way of escape, and that if the gospel work did not conclude by the end of this year, then I would get married next year. And I secretly looked for the suitable person to marry. Because of this, I was always absent-minded in performing my duty. I resorted to perfunctoriness if I could, and if I really could not, I then made a little effort unwillingly. I never told anyone about this mean thought in my heart, but God, who searches hearts and minds, did not allow me to rebel at will after I presented my oath to him. Finally, God’s discipline came upon me.
Once, when I was cooperating in a work, persecution arose. I was taken to the local police station and was bitterly beaten for nearly four hours. Later, when they paid no heed to me, I escaped. But before running far I fell into a ditch. It was already dark then and I could see nothing. I only felt an unbearable pain in my abdomen. At that time, because I could not bear the pain, I prayed three times to curse myself and ask God to take me away. But God’s words kept guiding me within: “Only when the living ones testify about God can it put satan to shame.…” “… As long as you have one breath left, God will not let you die.” So relying on God’s guidance, I ran all the way to the host home with great difficulty. Later, I was sent to the hospital to have an operation. Because the ultrasonic scanning failed to show what my illness was, the doctor operated on me blindly. It turned out that my bladder ruptured, but they had already made a long cut on my abdomen by mistake. The seven days of staying in the hospital were even more painful and unbearable. I lay on the sickbed and could not move. Once again I tasted the savor of being at death’s door. I kept complaining in my heart: Why was I so unlucky that every bad thing came to me? What have I done wrong that caused me to suffer so? … However, God hid his face from my disobedience and only inspired me with his words: “Since you have made a resolution to serve me, I won’t let you go. I am a jealous God, and I am a God jealous of man. Since you have presented your words before my altar, I won’t allow you to run away from my eyes, and I won’t allow you to serve two masters. Do you think that you can love something else after you have presented your words on my altar and before my eyes? How can I allow man to fool me like this? Do you think that your tongue can vow and swear to me at will? How can you swear by the throne of me the Most High? Do you think that your oaths have passed away? I tell you, even if your flesh passes away, your oaths will not pass away. At the end of the time, I will condemn you according to your oaths. However, you think that after you have presented your words before me to deceive me, your heart can serve the unclean spirit and the evil spirit. How can my anger tolerate these swine and dogs cheating me? I will execute my administration and seize all the conventional ‘devout’ believers in me from the hand of the unclean spirit to ‘serve’ me honestly and properly and to be my oxen and horses for me to slaughter as I wish. I will make you pick up all your past resolutions to serve me again. I do not allow any created being to cheat me. Do you think that you can demand things and tell lies before me at will? Do you think that I have never heard your words or seen your deeds? How can your words and deeds not be in my eyes? How can I allow man to cheat me like this?” I became sober all at once. Actually, all that I have encountered is the retribution I deserve. It is that God’s righteous nature has come upon me. In retrospect, what I did has really broken God’s heart! Bustling about all day, outwardly I seemed to be performing my duty, but inwardly I planned for my flesh every moment, with the result that I had no heart to do the work. I was always bodily before God while my heart was already pondering how I could find a pleasing partner to company me for my life. Every day I believed in God while expecting God’s day, and expended myself while counting the time. I pried into God’s footsteps from a watch-and-wait viewpoint, and had no fear or dread of God at all. Did I treat God as God? Was there any element of belief in my heart? Wasn’t I seriously deceiving God and testing God’s nature? Since I had taken an oath before God, how could God tolerate my loving someone else? God is really too holy and too lovely! According to my oath, I should have early been destroyed. However, God did not put me to death, but saved me again and again and caused me to understand that only if I live under God’s care and keeping and satisfy God can I have true happiness; otherwise, everything is futile and will bring me sure death. God’s smiting and discipline is so good! The long scar left on my belly is also so good! I will take it as a bitter lesson and an eternal warning to me, a son of disobedience! I will let it remain forever engraved in my heart, and hereafter offer my genuine heart to God and no longer make any plan for myself.
Through this discipline, I have developed a little fear and dread of God, and at the same time I have truly seen that God’s nature, however it is expressed, is love for me. Although my flesh underwent extreme sufferings, I have gained too much. I tasted God’s righteousness and majesty, and became certain that God indeed searches hearts and minds. Even more, I deeply understood the meaning of this word God said: “…even if your flesh passes away, your oaths will not pass away.” Through this discipline, I have also understood this: If man wrestles with God, he is always a loser. It is better to drop his all and let God manipulate him, which is the wisest choice.
Ruzhou City, Henan Province