After I followed God, God uplifted me and let me perform the duty of hosting continuously. At first, I thought that I had a good humanity and there would surely be no problem for me to host the brothers and sisters, and that as long as I gave all the good food and good drink to them to enjoy, God would surely approve me, for I was rebelling against myself and shaming the old satan.
I did as I thought. When the brothers and sisters stayed in my home, I necessarily “patronized” the food market every day. If I failed to get some kind of food I wanted, I would become very fretful, feeling that I could not cook a meal up to the standard I had conceived. Even more, when we were at table, I watched their expressions and weighed their words carefully, in order to find out from their casual talks their tastes and habits, so that the meals I cooked could suit their tastes better.
One day, a brother fellowshipped a lot with me, saying, “It is God’s uplifting and grace for you that you can do hosting today. When you do hosting, you need to have principles. Every day you treat us with abundant fish and meat; this is too much for us. Besides, your family conditions are average. Since we perform duty in God’s family, we have to do it according to the principles of God’s family. Only thus can we receive God’s approval.” Hearing his words, I kept nodding outwardly, but in my heart I did not pay attention to them. His words went in at one ear and out at the other. I thought to myself: Who does not like eating good things? You say your say, and I’ll go my way. Anyhow, I cannot be indebted to God. I have my own standard of meals, and you just eat. Thus, I, who was self-right, did not wake up because of the words of the brother.
Some time passed. All my cooking “skills” ran out, and my abnormal state came forth: Every day, when I got to the market, I became worried and had no idea what food to buy. Each time I strolled around there for two or three hours before going home. What saddened me more was that when I thought in the morning about what to eat that day, my head would ache terribly. Gradually, I felt that I was finished. I no longer had any interest in cooking, and later I simply cooked perfunctorily. Even more, daily dish-washing bored me to the extreme. So, every time after the brothers and sisters went away, I would go to a rice-noodle restaurant to enjoy some “happy time” free from dish-washing.
At last, one day, I read a passage of God’s word, which made me have some knowledge of myself. God says: “You serve God by your natural disposition and according to your own preferences, but you always think that what you desire is what God is pleased with and what you do not desire is what God loathes, and you work completely according to your own preferences. Is this serving God? In the end, your life nature is not transformed at all, but on the contrary it becomes more stubborn because of your serving God, and thus your corrupt nature becomes deep-rooted. Thus, you will within you form a kind of rules and regulations for serving God which are based on your disposition and have some experience you sum up when serving according to your own nature. Such are man’s experience and lessons and man’s philosophies of life. … If people who serve God act according to their disposition and their own will, they will be in danger of being eliminated at any time.” After reading God’s words, I felt a little afraid. I saw that my actions corresponded exactly to the kind of person God’s words spoke of. I performed this duty completely according to my own preferences and by my good behavior. I not only could not receive God’s approval, but I was abhorred and loathed by God; and I could not receive the working of the Holy Spirit at all. Thus, how long could my zealous service last? There now, I fell down so soon without knowing what the matter was. Now I have understood that what God commissions me I can fulfill with a little effort; the deviation in my practice was caused by my own zealousness and by my not practicing according to the principles of God’s family. Although I have expended a lot in the flesh, my self-right nature is still deep-rooted and my life nature has not been transformed in the slightest. If I continue like this, I will only end up being eliminated by God. O God, your words and the exposing of the facts have convinced me completely. From now on, I will make strict requirements of myself according to the principles of hosting, so that what I do can be after your heart and can comfort you. O God, please wait and see my actual deeds.
Xuzhou City, Jiangsu Province