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Gospel Reader

Shaking Off the Shackles of the Spirit

153

By Wu Wen, Henan Province

I was a weak person with a sensitive character. Before I believed in God, I would frequently feel down and distressed from things that came up in life. There were many of these times, and I always felt that my life was difficult; there was no joy, no happiness in my heart to speak of. This pain was just like shackles that always kept me tightly bound, making me utterly miserable. It was only after I believed in Almighty God that I found the root of the problem within God’s words and gradually gained freedom from this.

I read this in Almighty God’s words: “Because people love themselves too much, their whole lives are anguished and empty…” (“Chapter 46” of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). At that time, I realized the reason for my sorrow; it was because I was too enamored with myself, that I was always living just for myself. I would frequently feel distressed and in pain from a few unpleasant words or from a sidelong glance from another person. When I was dealt with and pruned, I felt sad and upset, because my dignity was injured and I felt I had lost face. I was worried about my future path in life. It was only after really delving into these manifestations of mine that I realized—all of this was because I cared too much about my own reputation, status, and vanity, and because I placed too much importance on my own personal benefit. Later, I read “Escape From the Influence of Darkness and You Will Be Gained by God” and saw these words from God: “Those who have not been released, who are always controlled by certain things, and who are unable to give their hearts to God are people under Satan’s bondage who live within an aura of death” (The Word Appears in the Flesh). This really hit the nail on the head. Isn’t this exactly my condition? I was often constrained by some trivial matters and I could not release myself from it. It turns out, all of that was the result of being controlled and bound by Satan; it was all an affliction of Satan. I read on, and God said: “To escape from the influence of darkness, you must first be loyal to God and eager at heart to pursue the truth; only then can you have a correct state. Living in a correct state is the prerequisite for escaping from the influence of darkness. Not having a correct state is not being loyal to God, and not being eager at heart to seek the truth; and escaping from the influence of darkness is out of the question. My words are the basis of man’s escape from dark influences, and people who cannot practice in accordance with My words will not be able to escape from the bonds of the influence of darkness. To live in a correct state is to live under the guidance of the words of God, to live in a state of loyalty to God, to live in a state of seeking the truth, to live in the reality of sincerely expending oneself for God’s sake, and to live in a state of genuinely loving God. Those who live in these states and within this reality will slowly transform as they enter into the depth of the truth, and they will transform as the work goes deeper; and in the end, they will certainly become people who are gained by God and who love God genuinely” (The Word Appears in the Flesh). After reading this, I felt my heart brightened. I was so frequently subjected to the constraints of fame, status, and fleshly benefit because I was distant from God, lacked God’s words and didn’t understand the truth, instead living under the domain of Satan. Satan was using all of these things, these satanic poisons, to afflict me so that I became mired in fleshly benefit and was entangled in all sorts of selfish desires. In spite of my faith, I was still struggling and running around for the sake of the flesh. I did not have the resolve to pursue, to seek the truth. I was not devoted to God. If I did not change course, I would continue to live under the domain of Satan and grow farther and farther from God. In the end, Satan would swallow me whole. I gave thanks for the enlightenment from God’s words; I saw my own dangerous state and I also found a path to throwing off the influence of darkness—having a heart of seeking the truth, truly relying on and looking up to God when encountering issues, reading God’s words more, seeking the principles of practice in the words of God, and always being loyal to God. When obtaining the work of the Holy Spirit the corruption within mankind can undergo a transformation alongside their entry into the truth. This is the way of the work of the Holy Spirit. But I had ignored this aspect, only passively trying to deal with my corrupt disposition with my own perseverance, and by relying on human methods, not proactively relying on the words of God and the work of the Holy Spirit to cleanse and change myself. No wonder I had not resolved this condition from its root. Just as it says in God’s words: “The more that people are in the presence of God, the easier they are to be perfected by God. This is the path by which the Holy Spirit does His work. If you do not understand this, it will be impossible for you to enter onto the right track, and being perfected by God will be out of the question. … you will have only your own hard work and none of God’s work. Is this not a mistake in your experiencing?” (“On Experience” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). After understanding this, I began to consciously practice according to this path. When reading God’s words, I also focus on dealing with the satanic poisons of fame, status, and fleshly benefit. When I encounter an issue I consciously put the truth into practice and forsake my own incorrect motives and perspectives. When some incorrect ideas come to the fore, I quickly pray to God and seek the truth so that I am able to live in the right condition. Although my actions have not reached the requirements and standards of God’s words, I have felt the release and freedom of living in the light and I have enjoyed the work of the Holy Spirit. Not only have I been able to see my own corruption and deficiencies, but I have had the determination of longing to change soon and the motivation to practice the truth. My outlook has changed as well; I’m no longer gloomy, depressed, and lifeless, but there is vitality and vigor in my heart. I have also become more cheerful, and I feel very happy to be living in the church!

I know this aspect of corruption in me is too deep and it is not possible to entirely throw off Satan’s influence from putting these things into practice a few times. However, God has allowed me to have a taste of the sweetness of throwing off the influence of darkness, living in the light, which has given me motivation and hope in my pursuit. I believe that as long as I continue to persevere in cooperating with God and walk the path God has pointed out, seek the truth in all things, and live by God’s words, I will throw off the shackles of the spirit, throw off the influence of darkness, and be gained by God.

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