Work and Entry (2)
Your work and entry are quite poor; man does not place importance on work and is even more careless with entry. Man does not regard these as lessons that they ought to enter into; therefore, in their spiritual experience, virtually all man sees are castles in the sky. Not very much is asked of you in terms of your experience in work, but, as one to be perfected by God, you ought to learn to work for God so that you may soon be after God’s heart. Throughout the ages, those who did work have been called workers or apostles, which refers to a small number of people used by God. However, the work I speak of today does not refer solely to those workers or apostles; it is directed toward all those to be perfected by God. Perhaps there are many who have little interest in this, but, for the sake of entry, it would be best to discuss this truth.
When work is spoken of, man believes that work is to run to and fro for God, preach in all places, and spend for God. Though this belief is correct, it is too one-sided; what God asks of man is not solely to journey to and fro for God; it is more the ministry and supply within the spirit. Many brothers and sisters have never thought about working for God even after so many years of experience, for work as conceived by man is incongruous with that which is asked of by God. Therefore, man has no interest whatsoever in the matter of work, and this is precisely the reason why the entry of man is also quite one-sided. All of you should begin to enter by working for God, so that you may better experience all its aspects. This is what you should enter into. Work refers not to running to and fro for God; it refers to whether the life of man and what man lives out are for God to enjoy. Work refers to man using faithfulness they have to God and the knowledge they have of God to testify to God and minister to man. This is the responsibility of man and what all man should realize. In other words, your entry is your work; you are seeking to enter during the course of your work for God. Experiencing God is not only being able to eat and drink of His word; more importantly, you must be able to testify to God, to serve God, and to minister to and supply man. This is work, and also your entry; this is what every man should accomplish. There are many who only focus on journeying to and fro for God, and preaching in all places, yet overlook their personal experience and neglect their entry into the spiritual life. This is what causes those who serve God to become those who resist God. For so many years, those who serve God and minister to man have simply regarded working and preaching as entry, and none have taken their own spiritual experience as an important entry. Rather, they capitalize on the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit’s work to teach others. When preaching, they are much burdened and receive the work of the Holy Spirit, and through this they release the voice of the Holy Spirit. At that time, those who work feel smug and self-satisfied, as if the work of the Holy Spirit is their own spiritual experience; they feel that all the words they speak during that time are their own being, and also as if their own experience is not as clear as they have described. In addition, they do not have an inkling what to say prior to speaking, but when the Holy Spirit works in them, they have an unceasing and continuous flow of words. After you have preached once in such a way, you feel that your actual stature is not as small as you believed. After the Holy Spirit works similarly in you several times, you then determine that you already have stature and mistakenly believe that the work of the Holy Spirit is your own entry and being. When you constantly have this experience, you become lax about your own entry. You then become lazy without noticing, and place no importance at all on your own entry. Therefore, when you are ministering to others, you must clearly distinguish between your stature and the work of the Holy Spirit. This will better facilitate your entry and better benefit your experience. Man regarding the work of the Holy Spirit as their own experience is the beginning of man’s degeneration. Hence, whatever duty you perform, you ought to regard your entry as a key lesson.
One works to fulfill the will of God, to bring all those who are after God’s heart before Him, to bring man to God, and to introduce the Holy Spirit’s work and God’s guidance to man, thereby perfecting the fruits of God’s work. For this reason, it is imperative that you grasp the substance of working. As one used by God, all men are worthy of working for God, that is, all have the opportunity to be used by the Holy Spirit. However, there is one point that you must realize: When man does the work of God, man has the opportunity to be used by God, but what is said and known by man are not entirely the stature of man. You can only better come to know your deficiencies in your work, and receive greater enlightenment from the Holy Spirit, thereby allowing you to gain better entry in your work. If man regards guidance from God as man’s own entry and what is inherent within man, there is no potential for man’s stature to grow. The Holy Spirit enlightens man when they are in a normal state; at such times, man often mistakes the enlightenment they receive as their own stature in reality, for the Holy Spirit enlightens in a most normal way: by making use of what is inherent within man. When man works and speaks, or during man’s prayer in his spiritual devotions, a truth will suddenly become clear to them. In reality, however, what man sees is only enlightenment by the Holy Spirit (naturally, this is related to cooperation from man) and not man’s true stature. After a period of experience in which man encounters numerous real difficulties, the true stature of man is made apparent under such circumstances. Only at that time does man discover that man’s stature is not so great, and the selfishness, personal considerations, and greed of man all emerge. Only after several cycles of such experience will many of those who are awakened within their spirits realize that it was not their own reality in the past, but a momentary illumination from the Holy Spirit, and man had but received the light. When the Holy Spirit enlightens man to understand the truth, it is often in a clear and distinct manner, without context. That is, He does not incorporate the difficulties of man into this revelation, and rather directly reveals the truth. When man encounters difficulties in entry, man then incorporates the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, and this becomes the actual experience of man. For instance, an unmarried sister speaks thus during fellowship: “We do not seek glory and riches or covet the happiness of a love between husband and wife; we seek only to devote a heart of purity and singleness to God.” She goes on to say: “Once people marry, there is much that besets them, and their heart of love for God is no longer genuine. Their hearts are always preoccupied with their family and their spouse, and so their hearts become much more complicated….” As she speaks, it is as if the words she speaks are what she is thinking in her heart; her words are resounding and powerful, as if all that she speaks comes from deep in her heart. She wishes she could devote herself entirely to God and hopes that brothers and sisters like her share the same resolution. It can be said that your resolution and feeling of being moved at this moment come entirely from the work of the Holy Spirit. When the method of God’s work changes, you have grown a few years in age; you see that all your classmates and friends of your age have husbands, or you hear that after so-and-so became married, her spouse took her into the city to live and she got a job there. When you see her, your heart begins to feel envious. You see that she is full of charm and poise from head to toe; when she speaks, she has a cosmopolitan bearing and has completely lost her provincial air. This stirs up feelings in you. You, having spent for God all along, have no family or career, and have withstood much dealing; long ago, you entered middle age, and your youth quietly slipped away, as if you have been in a dream. You have come all this way to this day, but you do not know where to settle down. It is at that time you are in a whirlwind of thought, as if you are out of your wits. All alone and unable to sleep soundly, finding it difficult to fall asleep throughout the night, you, before you know it, begin to think of your resolution and your solemn vows to God. Why have these circumstances befallen you? Before you know it, silent tears fall and you are greatly pained. You come before God to pray and begin to think of the intimacy and inseparable closeness during your happy days with God. Scene after scene appears before your eyes, and the oath you made on that day rings once again in your ears, “Is God not my only intimate?” By that time, you are sobbing: “God! Beloved God! I have already given my heart to You entirely. I wish to be promised to You forever, and I will love You unchangingly my whole life long….” Only as you struggle in that extreme suffering do you truly sense how lovely God is, and only then do you realize clearly: I gave my all to God long ago. After such a blow, you become much more experienced in this matter and see that the work of the Holy Spirit at the time is not the possession of man. In your experiences afterward, you are no longer constrained in this entry; it is as if your scars have greatly benefited your entry. Whenever you encounter such circumstances, you will immediately recall your tears from that day, as if you are reuniting with God. You are in constant fear of again severing your relationship with God and damaging the emotional attachment (normal relationship) between you and God. This is your work and your entry. Therefore, when you receive the work of the Holy Spirit, you ought to more so focus on your entry at the same time, seeing exactly what is the work of the Holy Spirit and what is your entry, as well as incorporating the work of the Holy Spirit into your entry, so that you may be better perfected by Him and allow the substance of the Holy Spirit’s work to be wrought in you. During the course of your experience of the Holy Spirit’s work, you come to know the Holy Spirit, as well as yourselves, and amidst the numerous instances of extreme suffering, you develop a normal relationship with God, and the relationship between you and God grows closer day by day. After countless instances of pruning and refinement, you develop a true love for God. That is why you must realize that suffering, smiting, and tribulations are not daunting; what is frightening is having only the work of the Holy Spirit but not your entry. When the day comes that the work of God is finished, you will have labored for nothing; though you experienced the work of God, you will not have come to know the Holy Spirit or have had your own entry. The enlightenment of man by the Holy Spirit is not to sustain the passion of man; it is to open up a way out for the entry of man, as well as to allow man to come to know the Holy Spirit, and from that develop a heart of reverence and adoration for God.