Right Intent Freed Me from Restraint
Some time ago, God’s family transferred me to another church to be the leader. When I learned the life deacon of that church had accepted this stage of God’s work for six to seven years, and that the gospel deacon was transferred from a second-line team and knew more than me in the gospel work, I felt very oppressed inside: They believe in Almighty God for a longer time than me and know more than me. To be their leader, will I be able to lead them? If I cannot fellowship about the truth clearly, what opinions will they have of me? So, every time I had a meeting together with them, I felt very restrained and when I fellowshipped, my words were incoherent and I even failed to express the words that were clearly in my mind. Because of this, I was greatly refined.
A few days ago, I came back from a meeting held by my leader. At the thought of going to fellowship with them two, I began to flinch in my heart. After much thinking, I finally decided not to go to fellowship with them. Then, I wrote down the page and line numbers of God’s words relevant to the fellowshipped content at that meeting and asked them to read by themselves. And gradually, the results of the various works in our church declined obviously, and both the life deacon and the gospel deacon fell into a bad state. Later, through inquiry, I learned that they became passive because they received no timely light and lacked fellowship. At that time I was in a dilemma: I knew that having no fellowship with them is not after God’s heart, and I wanted to go to fellowship but didn’t want to face them because of being restrained.
Just when I could hardly bear the refining, I read a passage in The Replies to the questions from the Churches in Various Places (2): “On this matter, we should first set our mentality right. Don’t think that we are a leader and so we have to be outstanding, have to be better than others in every aspect, and have to speak coherently and eloquently at meetings, so that others will treat us with increased esteem and special admiration If we hold such a mentality, we will create pressure on ourselves and make ourselves feel restrained. In fact, our stature is about the same as that of the small-district leaders. The only difference is in the commissions we receive. So, when having meetings, we should not stand on the position of a leader but on an equal position with the small-district leaders, and fellowship together about our knowledge and seeing of the truth. Especially for some problems which we ourselves cannot see through or do not know how to solve, we even more should let everyone fellowship about them. Doing so is not only beneficial to the results of our work, but it will also keep us from being restrained and oppressed at meetings.”
After reading these words, I felt much relieved all at once. Now I know that I was so restrained because I did not set my mentality right when facing my subordinates. I always thought that I was a leader and so I had to be superior to the brothers and sisters in every aspect, and especially at meetings, I had to fellowship about the truths clearly, so that they would regard me with special esteem and admire me. Thus, when I knew that my subordinates had believed in God for a longer time than me and knew more than me, I was greatly restrained, fearing that I was unable to water them. As I put myself in the position of a leader, I made pressure for myself and suffered some unnecessary restraints and pains, living in this bondage all along. As a result, I could not receive the working of the Holy Spirit and failed to speak at meetings; I even did not fellowship with the brothers and sisters for fear of facing the scene of having meetings. This not only had held up the work of God’s family, but had also made the life of the brothers and sisters suffer. I was really foolish and ignorant!
Through God’s inspiration, I have understood that in fact I am the same as my subordinates, and we all have received commissions and are performing our duties before God. We don’t have high or low positions; we only have different functions. When having meetings with my subordinates, I should be on equal terms with them, fellowship together about our knowledge and seeing of the truth, try to do all I can actively and initiatively, look to God more, keep performing my duty according to the work arrangements, and pursue according to God’s requirements and standards. Then God will be satisfied.
I am grateful for God’s inspiration. It has led me out of the self-restraining state. From now on, I am willing to do my utmost to pursue the truth and try to understand more of God’s intention in his word. When facing my subordinates, I will set my mentality right, stand on an equal position with the brothers and sisters to pursue the truth together, free myself from all the bondage of the power of darkness, so that I can live in a released and free world pursuing to love God and satisfy God, and fulfill my duty as a created being in a down-to-earth manner.
Fushun City, Liaoning Province