Wu You Hechi City, Guangxi Province
Some time ago, the church arranged for me to live with a host family for work reasons. When I first had fellowship with the brother and sister of the host family, they said, “We are most afraid of praying at fellowship. We know what to say when we pray on our own, but when it comes to fellowship praying, we just don’t know what to say.” When I heard this, I thought to myself, “If we don’t pray during fellowship we will not be able to receive the work of the Holy Spirit, and communication will not be effective. We’ve got to pray!” But then I reconsidered, thinking that if they really were afraid of praying, would they not form an opinion of me if I insisted that they pray? To fulfill my duties in editing articles, I would need to stay with the host family long term. What if they formed an opinion about me and did not want to host me because I didn’t go along with their wishes? I guess I should just go along with their wishes. Thus, over the course of the next month, we never prayed during fellowship. This made communication about God’s words dull and insipid, and utterly lacking the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. We would also often go off topic. Gradually, the brother and sister’s condition became less normal, and they were not as willing to have fellowship. Even when we had fellowship, they were always dozing off and in daily life they failed to place importance on eating and drinking 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 painful 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 put into it, it still belongs 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 your heart to God; it is not achieved through human effort” (“It Is Very Important to Establish a Normal Relationship With God” 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 normal relationship with God. Thinking back on how I got along with my host family, to make them form a favorable impression on me, and be willing to host me, I followed them in everything and did everything to accommodate them, without considering the principles of truth or whether my actions would benefit them. When I learned about their fear of praying during fellowship, I did not communicate with them in regard to relevant truths to help them understand the meaning and importance of praying; instead, to safeguard my own interests, I obeyed them and was considerate of their desire not to pray during fellowship, which made our interaction into a completely physical human relationship. Given that there was no prayer, no seeking, or handing over, there was no way to reach the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit and His guidance during fellowship, or to obtain sustenance through eating and drinking the word of God. As a result, our situations became less normal, and we were unable to maintain a normal relationship. 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. Moreover, praying before fellowship is always a way to show the place of God in man’s heart, showing 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”—canceling prayer to maintain my relationships. This showed that I had no place for God at all in my heart, and I was completely dominated by Satan’s philosophy within. I always endeavored to maintain a physical relationship with people—this behavior was attributable to my wholesale adoption of the satanic philosophy “Be worldly-wise for the sake of personal survival.” It corrupted my heart and soul, making me cowardly, selfish and despicable, causing me to be unjust, and not able to put truth into practice. 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 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 caused our gospel work to be ineffective. Working with the group responsible for editing articles, I noticed that the sister I was partnering 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. … At this point, I saw clearly 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. God asks people to dedicate themselves to fighting for justice and truth, to have the courage not to submit to the oppression of the forces of darkness, and to stand their ground, not following the crowd, or harboring injustices. However, this satanic philosophy of “Be worldly-wise for the sake of personal survival” is wrongly guiding people to be selfish and succumb to the forces of darkness. They do not consider the principle or position in anything that they do, but only whether it will be of personal benefit to them. 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 communicated with the brother and sister of the host family about the truth regarding prayer. Once they understood the meaning and importance of prayer, they were willing to practice praying during fellowship and, with that, their situations changed.
Faced with the reality of the situation, I learned that living by the 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 God, and the word of God reign in my heart and take control. Let the truth be the master of my heart so that I may live by the word of God in everything.