56. Satanic Philosophy Is Entrapping and Damaging
By Wu You, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region
Some time ago, the church arranged for me to live with a host family for work reasons. When I first had a gathering with the elderly couple who were hosting me, they said, “We are most afraid of praying in gatherings. We know what to say when we pray on our own, but when it comes to praying in gatherings, we just don’t know what to say.” When I heard this, I thought to myself, “Praying in gatherings is so we can better quiet our hearts before God and more easily gain the Holy Spirit’s work. If we don’t pray but just rely on our own fellowship, our gatherings won’t achieve any results. We’ve got to pray!” But then I reconsidered, “If they really are afraid of praying, wouldn’t they form an opinion of me if I insisted that they pray? My duty requires me to stay at their home long term—what if they formed an unfavorable opinion of me and no longer wanted to host me because I wouldn’t go along with their wishes? I guess I should just go along with it.” Thus, over the course of the next month, we never prayed during gatherings. This made fellowship on God’s words dull and insipid, and utterly lacking the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. We would also often go off topic. Gradually, I discovered that this brother’s and sister’s conditions became less and less proper, and they were not willing to have gatherings. Even when we did, they were always dozing off, and in daily life they failed to place importance on reading the word of God. They watched TV whenever they had time, and were not as warm toward me, even becoming reluctant to talk to me. Faced with this situation, I felt very upset and confused: I followed their wishes in everything, and did not offend them. Why were they like this?
Just when I had become most puzzled by this situation, God’s words enlightened me: “If you don’t have a proper relationship with God, no matter what you do to maintain your relationships with other people, no matter how hard you work or how much energy you exert, it will still belong to a human philosophy of life. You are maintaining your position among people through a human perspective and a human philosophy so that they will praise you. You do not establish proper relationships with people according to the word of God. If you don’t focus on your relationships with people but maintain a proper relationship with God, if you are willing to give your heart to God and learn to obey Him, very naturally, your relationships with all people will become proper. … A proper relationship between people is established on the foundation of giving their heart to God; it is not achieved through human effort” (“Establishing a Proper Relationship With God Is Very Important” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Through God’s words I suddenly saw the light. As it turned out, this situation had arisen because I was blindly focused on maintaining relationships of the flesh between people, and not focused on building a proper relationship with God. Thinking back on how I had been interacting with this brother and sister over this period of time, I had been following them in everything and doing everything to accommodate them, without seeking the principles of truth or considering whether my actions would benefit them, so that they would form a favorable impression of me and be willing to host me. When I learned about their fear of praying during gatherings, I did not communicate truth with them to help them understand the meaning and importance of praying; instead, to safeguard my own interests, I went along with them and took prayer out of our gatherings. Given that there was no prayer, there was no way to receive the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit and His guidance during gatherings, or to gain light and obtain sustenance of life through reading the word of God. As a result, our states became less proper, and we were unable to maintain a proper relationship. Didn’t this all come about because I wasn’t putting the truth into practice? I was well aware of the importance of prayer. Prayer helps people to be moved by God’s Spirit, and is a way for the Holy Spirit to work. Prayer can help us to gain more enlightenment from the Holy Spirit to better understand the truth, plus by praying before gatherings we can quiet our hearts before God. It’s a way to show God’s place in man’s heart, to show that man honors God above all else. But I was still going by Satan’s philosophy of life—“Be worldly-wise for the sake of personal survival”—and canceling prayer to maintain my relationships with others. This showed that I had no place for God at all in my heart and did not in the least have a heart of reverence for God. I could recall many times in the past when I had stood in opposition to God motivated by self-preservation: When I was leading the church, I saw people spreading certain notions, spreading negativity, disturbing church life, but I dared not stop them, for fear that if I said something it would jeopardize my own interests. In managing gospel work, I backed off the minute brothers and sisters complained things were too hard, and didn’t dare to ask more of them, fearing I would offend them and lose my place in their hearts. In doing so, I made our gospel work ineffective. Working with my co-workers, I noticed that the sister I was partnered with was not serious about her work but I was afraid to point this out to her, for fear that she would be unhappy and develop prejudices against me that would affect our harmony. It was only at this point that I clearly understood that in everything I did, my focus was always on others’ attitude toward and evaluation of me. I safeguarded my place and image in other people’s hearts, and considered my own gains and losses. It could be said that I was living completely by Satan’s philosophy of “Be worldly-wise for the sake of personal survival.” It had become the principle of my actions, the basis of how I functioned as a person. It also became the root of my problem of believing in God yet disobeying and resisting Him. God requires that we practice the truth in all things, and that we should be people who dare to uphold the principles of the truth, have a sense of justice, and have a stance. However, this satanic philosophy made me cowardly, selfish, and despicable. I could not stand up for justice and could not practice the truth. I did not consider principles or a stance in anything that I did, but only whether it would be of benefit to me. This satanic philosophy of “Be worldly-wise for the sake of personal survival” is a negative principle totally opposed to the truth—a tool used by Satan to corrupt people. In living by this principle, people only become more deceitful, cunning, selfish, and despicable. They gradually lose those characteristics which make up a real human. Satanic philosophy is entrapping and damaging. I do not ever want to live by this philosophy again! Once I recognized all this, I shared the truth regarding prayer in fellowship with this elderly couple. After they understood the meaning and importance of prayer, they were willing to practice praying during gatherings and, with that, their states changed.
Faced with the reality of the situation, I learned that living by a satanic philosophy is harmful in every way. From now on, I vow to pursue the truth wholeheartedly, see through all manner of satanic philosophies which I have adopted, and stop living according to such philosophies. I want to let the word of God reign in my heart and take control. I want to practice the truth in all things and live by the word of God.