During the past few years I worked away from home, because I was arrogant by nature and poor in humanity (being unable to supply the brothers and sisters as I had no truth, often lecturing others and disrespecting others when I spoke, etc.), I incurred God’s loathing and was dismissed home to do soul-searching for more than two years. During these two years of self-examination, I gained some knowledge about my formerly manifested corruptions and somewhat woke up; I also had some hatred for my corruptions, and often lived in remorse and self-reproach. Later, I felt I had somewhat been transformed, and I always wished God to give me another opportunity to perform duty for me to make up for my regrets left in the previous work.
Thank God! In the work of spreading the gospel, God gave me an opportunity to compensate for my regrets. I silently prayed to God in my heart and made a resolution to satisfy God; especially in getting along with others, I would be strict with myself, learning to treat others as equals and respect others. Once, through someone’s introduction, we got to know a family whose members all believed in Jesus, and a brother and I came to stay at this home. We both developed the relationship with them while preaching the gospel to them. By our fellowship with them for more than ten days, we testified about God’s new work to them and the whole family accepted it gladly. At that time, the elderly sister of this host family had a great zeal. We were afraid that she would go out talking about this casually, which might affect the spread of the gospel work in that place, so we repeatedly fellowshipped with her asking her not to casually talk about this matter, especially not to tell it to the several brothers and sisters whom she looked up to. This was because before we testified about God’s name to her family, we had fellowshipped several times with the few people she looked up to but got no result, which she also knew. Later, we needed to leave the elderly sister’s home for a day for some other business. Before we left, we once again told the elderly sister to bear it in mind not to tell other brothers and sisters that she had accepted God’s new work but to wait until we came back the next day to make further arrangements. We did not expect that right after we left, she went to a sister’s home and testified about this stage of God’s work to her. That sister not only refused to accept it, but she told the matter to the several people whom the elderly sister looked up to. As a result, the gospel work was seriously hindered at that time. When I learned that, I got very angry, and I lectured the elderly sister as soon as I opened my mouth, “Why are you so disobedient? Do you know that your doing so has impeded the advance in the gospel work? If you still disobey next time, you’ll be expelled….” At that time my words made her too terrified to speak.
When I lay in bed that night, I reflected on all that happened in the daytime. Thinking of the corrupt nature I manifested, I became depressed: I’m finished. After over two years of self-examination and refining, why haven’t I got any transformed? Her family is a hosting family and, moreover, she is an elderly sister. Why didn’t I fellowship with her in some other way? I gave others a lecture once I opened my mouth. I’m finished and I can never be transformed. Isn’t this the same arrogant nature as Paul’s? Haven’t I had a relapse? I had a bad sleep that night. The next morning when I got up I was weak all over and deeply distressed in my heart. Then I told my bad state to the brother who coordinated with me. After hearing it, the brother said that God once fellowshipped, “As long as God’s work has not ended, God’s salvation to man will not end. As long as there is salvation, man must be exposed. Only through being exposed will man be able to better know himself….’” After the brother’s ministering to me, I carefully pondered over God’s words and I felt much enlightened in my heart. Yes, if God had not arranged such circumstances to expose me, I might have thought that I had been completely transformed and had no corruptness anymore. Exposed by God, I once again understood much more clearly about the work of God’s salvation. And I also gained a deeper knowledge of myself: The transformation of my nature does not only mean that I do not manifest corruptions outwardly; the point is that I must know my nature. If I have no knowledge of my corrupt nature and only try to keep myself from manifesting corruptions outwardly, that is not the transformation of my nature and also won’t last long; it is to observe regulations and I may have a relapse at any time.
Thank God for his inspiration. I knelt before God and prayed, “O Almighty God, thank you for exposing me, and even more thank you for saving me! O God, I am willing to pursue to be perfected. As long as I can be perfected and saved by you, I am willing to be exposed by you. Although when being exposed I am very distressed in my heart and feel embarrassed before others, I am still willing to be exposed by you. As long as I can be in your salvation, I am not afraid of being exposed.” After the prayer, I felt an especial relief within. And I also realized that there is a certain process for one to have his nature transformed and to be perfected. So, I no longer judged myself to be hopeless, but again threw myself completely into God’s gospel work.
Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province