“To love God, you have to seek God’s will in everything, and whatever thing you encounter, you should strike roots and seek God’s will deep within to see what is God’s will in this thing, what God requires you to achieve, and how you should care for God’s will.” This is God’s motherly instruction to man. It is these words of God that have guided me out of my notion of right and wrong, so that I am no longer fooled by satan but live broadmindedly in the light.
Once, I remember, the leader above came and gathered my assistants and me for a meeting. That day, after the meeting, a sister and I did not leave, and we fellowshipped with the leader informally. I asked the leader, “Well, brother, could you please point out to us the deviations in our work? …” He mused a minute and said, “In your working, you only paid attention to regulations but did not talk about God’s intention.” The brother’s word was far beyond my expectation. I looked at him in surprise and confusion, thinking, “How do you know that I did not talk about God’s intention? What is the basis of your saying this word?” My words came into my throat, but I thought of a word fellowshipped about in a recent co-worker meeting—that those who like to give excuses and those who like to vindicate themselves are not the ones who love the truth. So, I smothered the words on my lips. But in my heart, I was seething and vindicating myself silently. I could hardly subdue myself. The taste was really bad. Finally, I swallowed my disagreement, and “humbly” asked him, “Could you please give us some specific directions?” He said, “Concerning persecution, for example, if you only talk about how to be cautious about the circumstances, such as how to walk, how to speak, how to preach the gospel, how to carry things, but do not talk about the significance of God raising up persecution and do not talk about the vision, then you are teaching people to observe regulations.” Hearing this, I nodded outwardly, but I said in my heart, “I did not talk about God’s intention? I not only talked but talked an awful lot.” I was totally unconvinced. But in order for others to see me as a person who could accept the truth, I managed to restrain myself from explaining. Nevertheless, I kept wondering in my heart: Why did he say that word? Was it because he saw all my assistants taking notes while he fellowshipped about the truth of this aspect, and accordingly concluded that I had not fellowshipped about it? Was it because… I began to suspect, unable to be calm. After much thought, I still could not figure it out. At that time, I completely lived in the rights and wrongs of the matter, living in right and wrong, and had no way to come out. And I regretted that I had looked for trouble and made my own suffering.
In the afternoon, the brother went. I asked the sister accompanying me, “Tell me, did I not talk about God’s intention when fellowshipping about the things concerning persecution? In your memory, did I talk about it or not?” I was still looking for a basis for justifying myself and questioning closely for clearing myself. I could not receive according to God’s word and enter in from the positive side. Examine yourself first in everything; do everything before God. These truths which I usually had at my tongue’s end, had already been cast behind by me. Thus, I muddled along without an aim until night. When it was time for bed, I knelt down to pray but had nothing to say for quite a while. I suddenly realized that in the matter I encountered in the daytime, I never came before God. In this matter, I did not seek what God’s will was and what God required me to achieve. I never struck roots in the depths but merely turned round and round in the rights and wrongs of the matter. I seemed to have entered a labyrinth, unable to get out. I felt completely dark within and had no sense of direction. Moreover, I was full of prejudices, thoughts, and silent explanations and vindications, and yet I craftily kept them to myself. But God searches hearts and minds; how could the things within me escape God’s eyes? I ruminated: Is God’s intention simply to let me argue and find out the rights and wrongs? Absolutely not! The worldly people sometimes do things rightly, but God calls them devils and evildoers, because the basis of their doings contains no God’s word and no truth. Today, was I not also merely looking into the rights and wrongs of the matter? Even if the matter is cleared and it is known who is right and who is wrong, could it mean that I am a right person? Could it prove that I am a person having the truth? Could it mean that I have God’s approval? Furthermore, I only tried to find out the rights and wrongs in this matter but I neglected what I expressed. Little did I know that my expression was just what God loathed. These things I expressed, arrogance, self-rightness, disobedience, disaffection, vindicating myself, establishing myself, unwillingness to be misunderstood, and unwillingness to practice God’s word, were enough for God to condemn me as unrighteous. However, I was completely unaware of what I was doing, and I even felt aggrieved and wronged…. I saw that I was really foolish and ignorant and absurd and ridiculous. In remorse, I prostrated myself before God, “O God! When encountering things, I did not know to seek your will and did not know to strike roots in the depths. Then how could I care for your will? Only now have I understood what it means to believe in you. I see that I am not a person who truly believes in you, searching outside the truth and looking for right and wrong outside the truth like a pagan.”
After going through this matter, though I had suffered a torment, I had some gains. However, because my notion of right and wrong was too deep and absurd, because my humanity was deficient, and even more because I had no God in my heart, though I had undergone dealing once, I only had a little knowledge. This knowledge was far from becoming my life and becoming a treasure through which I was intimate with God, and I was still rather inexperienced in applying it. In the exposing, I still showed my awkwardness.
Not many days after this matter (at that time God’s family was compiling Typical Cases of Punishment for Resisting the Almighty God), the above required that the dates in the cases be checked and all the lunar dates be converted into solar ones. When I received the notice, I immediately arranged for the lower level to do so. In a few days, the checked and corrected dates began to be sent back. A sister phoned me and said that she had ascertained several dates as being lunar, but because of having no perpetual calendar in hand she could not convert them into solar ones, and she asked if she could mark them with “lunar” and hand them in. I refused her directly, saying, “What we ourselves can do, we should try our best to do. We cannot bother the ones above.” After I hung up, I felt that I cared for God’s will very much. But later, a sister who coordinated with me told me that Xiaoli (the sister above in charge of this work) had a perpetual calendar and that the dates verified as lunar could also be handed in. So, we sent some unconverted “lunar dates” to a brother above. One day, a brother phoned me and said, “XX asked me to send word to you that you did not arrange for the lower level to convert the lunar dates into solar ones and should have handed in the dates unconverted and marked with ‘lunar,’ and that your attitude toward the work was not good.” My head swam and I “entered” that labyrinth again. Some days ago, as God exposed me, I was dealt with by the leader. I had not yet fully come around, and now this matter happened. Instantly, I became darkened within, thinking, “Anyway, I’m not good. Anyway, they have no good impression of me. When it was my fault, they blamed me; when it was not my fault, they still blamed me. What should I do then? How should I explain?” I felt irritated and wronged. God did things very wonderfully. At that time, I made a phone call to a person and it happened that Xiaoli answered it. I said without thinking, “Xiaoli, what was all that about? Didn’t you agree that the cases…?” When I put down the phone, I suddenly realized that I was still looking for right and wrong in the matter, looking for an answer between right and wrong. I felt totally puzzled: How come I was just unwilling to rebel against myself and practice the truth to satisfy God? At the moment, God’s words flickered in my mind: “…when you encounter something and you have to undergo suffering, you should try to understand what is God’s will and how you should care for God’s will, you should not satisfy yourself but drop yourself first as the flesh is a lowest thing, and you should seek to satisfy God and should fulfill your duty.” “When others misunderstand you, you can pray to God, ‘God! I do not desire that others can tolerate me or forgive me. I only desire that I can love you in my heart, feel peaceful in my heart, and have peace in my conscience. I do not desire that others compliment me or think highly of me. I only pursue to satisfy you from my heart. …’” God’s words made me cover my mouth, made me speechless, and also made me think and see clearly. The earnest words, like silk, like drizzle, brushed my heart, giving me comfort as well as rebuke. Unconsciously my eyes filled with tears. “O God! When I contemplated your words, I felt broadened, brightened, and assured in my heart. When I scrambled for fame and gain for myself, I lost my balance and peace and lived in darkness, struggling bitterly, and I could not find my way and lost my sense of direction. I have hovered and experienced on these two completely different paths. Finally I choose you, because you are the truth and you are the way. Apart from you, what else could I choose! When I chose fame, and when I looked into the rights and wrongs of matters, I felt a gnawing pain, which was your nature coming upon me and your love coming upon me. You were compelling me to break free from the harassment by right and wrong. You have awakened my numb spirit. I always took to heart and argued over the rights and wrongs of matters. I pursued only the rights and wrongs of matters, but did not try to understand more truths and realize more of my lacks from the matters. I did not pursue the truth and did not pursue to suffer and endure humiliation for the truth. I could not see your humbleness and could not perceive the significance of your incarnation. You have endured so great suffering. You are the holy God Godself, but you have never been self-right and never vindicated anything; you have only been sacrificing yourself selflessly in obscurity. You do not argue because you are misunderstood and complained against and slandered by man, but you expend yourself wholeheartedly to save mankind. Faced with your greatness and humbleness, I feel too ashamed to show my face, and I hate myself for being selfish and base. O God, thank you that your exposing has made me know more deeply my absurdness, selfishness, and narrow-mindedness. Thank you even more that you have let me in my corruption see your arm, your beautiful glorious countenance, and your kindness and loveliness. This is really your great uplifting and great love. What then is there that I cannot drop? O God, I do not want to persist in error anymore. I am willing to return before you and know myself in your disclosing and exposing. I resolve that, when encountering similar matters, I will uphold the testimony for you and strike roots in the depths, no longer living in right and wrong. O God! I desire nothing else; I only desire that your exposing, discipline, dealing, and pruning will accompany me all the time.”
Xuzhou City, Jiangsu Province