“Since you have sworn an oath, you should act according to your oath. If you have sworn an oath but do not act according to it, you are one to be destroyed.” In the past, I never dared swear concerning God’s requirements. Especially in the gospel work, I even more dared not swear, for fear that I would be punished by God.
At one meeting, we read this passage in The Manual of the Principles for the Church Work: “First we should realize that preaching the gospel is God’s commission and God’s command. For the spread of God’s work, should we not consecrate ourselves? To carry out the will of God, should we not risk our lives? Are our lives even more important than carrying out the will of God? For the carrying out of God’s will, it is worthwhile even to give up our lives….” After the reading, I recalled that I never took the gospel work seriously. I just assigned it to the people below but never planned or made concrete arrangements for it. Nor had I ever made a resolution before God: I will meet God’s requirements by all means! I only knew to preserve myself. I had even less risked my life to carry out the will of God. I saw that I was truly a selfish and contemptible person! God wished that all people would stand up to cooperate in God’s gospel work, and bring more brothers and sisters anxiously expecting God’s coming back to God’s family soon to be saved by God. But what I left in the gospel work were all deceptions. I really disappointed God’s ardent expectations for me. At this thought, I felt very sad and did not want to live for myself anymore, willing to practice God’s word, execute the work arrangement, and give up my life to satisfy God and care for God’s feeling of grief.
After fellowshipping about the work arrangement, we came before God together and swore an oath: “O God! For your will to be carried out without hindrance, I’m willing to fully commit myself into your hand. In the past, what I left in the gospel work were all deceptions; I did not have any burden and hindered your will all along. But today you haven’t cast me into hell according to my actions so that I can still live before you. This is your great tolerance and forbearance to me. Today, I’m willing to come before you to carry out your will and accept the gospel quota. I will fulfill the quota even at the expense of my life. If I fail to achieve it, may you curse and punish me and let me not be forgiven in this age or the next age. Since I have laid my oath on your altar today, may you perfect me according to my oath. I believe you are righteous and faithful….” After the swearing, it seemed that there was a strong force pushing me, so that I dared not be slothful in the gospel work. I had a true burden for the gospel clues, the source of the work, the preaching ways and methods, the visiting of the new believers, and the object of my work, and I made arrangements in a planned way. But I suffered refining on the quota. The quota for the month was 150 people, but when half a month passed, we only gained 37 people. The difference was too great. Then God’s words rang in my ears: “In your experience, no matter what refining you undergo in God’s word, God wants your faith. By doing so, what he perfects is your faith and your will. He causes you to not touch anything or see anything. Just in the situation that you cannot touch anything or see anything, you need to have faith.” Under the encouragement of God’s words, though I was refined in my heart, yet because I had understood God’s intention to perfect people and also because of the oath I had sworn, I dared not give in or fall back. By the 30th, the number reached 155. At that moment, I was very excited and couldn’t help shedding tears. I saw God’s righteousness and that God has the substance of faithfulness.
Although I underwent much refining on the quota that month, I got some knowledge about the significance of swearing. Owing to “swearing,” I saw God’s wisdom and avoided the chances to sin and do evil. Owing to “swearing,” I saw God’s salvation to me and removed my timid and fearful heart, and I even more hated my cunning, selfish, and mean inherent nature. Owing to “swearing,” I understood God’s intention: God wants to add “faith” into me and make me believe that God has the substance of faithfulness and God’s work will surely be accomplished, so that I am willing to resolve to carry out God’s will and cease to plan or prepare for my way of escape, and that I can have a clearer goal and direction and turn more of my heart to God. “Swearing” is too beneficial to my life.
Fuxin City, Liaoning Province