Xieli United States
I was once a man who pursued worldly trends, liked eating, drinking, making merry, and cared about fleshly enjoyments. I often sang with friends in a KTV room all night, had a whirlwind driving at midnight, went fishing on the sea, and traveled far and wide to look for delicacies. When I saw everyone around me also pursuing to eat well, dress well, and enjoy well, I thought that man spent all his life struggling desperately and working hard to earn money just to pursue those things, which was his goal in life; only if man lived like that would he not live in vain. In order to achieve those things, I made light of going over the water and traveling thousands of miles to US. After several years of struggling, I set up a business of my own, had my own car and house, and lived a kind of life that I wanted. I spent every day in eating, drinking, and making merry, thinking that only living like this was meaningful.
In May 2016, my wife preached ’s kingdom gospel to me. Through reading s, I came to know God’s six-thousand-year management plan of saving mankind, and that Almighty God is the Jehovah God who led the people of Israel out of Egypt and also the returned who was nailed to the cross in order to redeem mankind, and that in the last days God has come to speak words to purify and save man according to the need of the corrupt mankind…. Before long, I began to live the church life of the Church of Almighty God, and met the brothers and sisters of the Church of Almighty God. I saw they were very sincere and spoke without hypocrisy or polite formulas. And getting along with them made me feel unprecedented release. Then they appointed my days off for the meetings according to my availability.
I felt attending the meetings was something of freshness at the start, and I also wanted to take the meeting seriously and pursue the transformation of my disposition like other brothers and sisters. However, being a person who had always indulged in fleshly enjoyments and pursued a decadent life of beer and skittles, I failed to treat the meetings seriously and fulfill my duty even though I wished to. Once it was a meeting day when a friend wanted to give me a treat. I was in a dilemma then: To go or not to go? It has been a long time since I went out on the razzle last time, and my friend doesn’t entertain much. I’d better go. Besides, there is not a dinner party every day, and the meeting can be postponed. So I went to the dinner party by lying to my brothers and sisters that I had something to deal with and couldn’t attend the meeting. I not only ate and drank, but also went to KTV. However, on my way back home, I was not in the least pleased but felt oddly empty and guilty in my innermost heart. I recalled the past. Outwardly some friends and fellow townsmen were especially warm toward me at the dinner table, but actually they were full of synthetic friendliness, deliberately scheming against me and tricking me out of my money behind my back. It was extremely tiring to deal with them in life, and I couldn’t have a heart-to-heart talk with any of them. Today I was satiated with food and drink and also satisfied my friends, but what did I get? Emptiness and indebtedness to God and to my brothers and sisters.
Afterward, though I was aware that satisfying the flesh was empty, without real peace and joy, the fact proved that I still yearned for the dazzling world in my heart and couldn’t completely break free from it. When the National Day was approaching, my wife suggested, “Let’s not spend much time on playing, so we can have more time to eat and drink God’s words, watch the videos of God’s family, and equip ourselves with more truths to know God’s grace of salvation.” However, I ignored her suggestion, and started to prepare for the celebration of the festival early. I planned to go to a barbecue with my wife by the sea, so I carefully chose the route and bought all the necessary tools and ingredients at the supermarket. On the National Day, with everything in readiness, we set out by car cheerfully. However, everything was not going on according to my plan. On our way to the seaside, we constantly got stuck in a traffic jam and on the halfway took the wrong road because of the inaccuracy of navigation. When we just managed to arrive at the destination, it turned out that the wind was so strong that we couldn’t have a barbecue. My wife asked me to double back, but I was unwilling to give up my plan. Contrary to that, I was intent on driving to find a park nearby where a barbecue was allowed. However, we had gone to three parks and only to find that they were all bursting at the seams and we couldn’t even get a parking place. So I drove back reluctantly. Yet on our way back, there was still a terrible traffic jam. We had set out in the morning for the beach to have a barbecue for lunch, but we hadn’t made it up to 4:00 in the afternoon, hungry all the way. I, who usually liked to justify myself, now lived with it and wanted to say nothing, driving back with displeasure. Just at that moment one car in front made a sudden stop, so I hurried to brake. Although my car didn’t hit the car ahead, another car behind crashed into mine. Fortunately, its driver and I were not injured and there was only a tiny scratch on my car. I knew this accident was in God’s hands, so I didn’t blame the other side for that but drove off. Then I thought: Alas! All my careful preparations have come to naught. However well man has planned, it cannot transcend the orchestration and arrangement of Heaven. Today I shouldn’t have come out for eating, drinking, and making merry, or done things willfully.
After we got home, I read Almighty God’s words with my wife. I saw these words of God, “More and more people treat records of the work of God and His words during the Old Testament age as myths and legends. In their hearts, people become indifferent to the dignity and greatness of God, to the tenet that God exists and holds dominion over all things. The survival of mankind and the fate of countries and nations are no longer important to them. Man lives in a hollow world only concerned with eating, drinking, and the pursuit of pleasure. … Few people take it upon themselves to seek out where God does His work today, or to look for how He presides over and arranges the destination of man” (“God Presides Over the Fate of All Mankind” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “But to people, it seems like a world of gaiety and splendor, one that is becoming more and more so. When people look upon the world, their hearts are drawn to it, and many are unable to extricate themselves from it…. If you do not strive for progress, and are without ideals, you will be swept away by this sinful wave” (“Practice (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Almighty God’s words disclose the substance of these worldly trends so clearly and plainly. The worldly trends are the very schemes by which Satan induces man to fall and devours man, and Satan takes advantage of these things in accordance with man’s fleshly likes to deceive and bind man. Once man’s heart is occupied with these things, he will have no intention to pursue the positive things, and become ever more distant from God and be consequently devoured and taken captive by Satan. Through God’s words, I realized that my past viewpoint on pursuit was completely wrong. Whether I pursued to eat, drink, make merry, enjoy the flesh or live a superior life, these things were the products of Satan’s corruption of man. My practical experiences proved that if man pursues these things, he will become more and more fallen, dissolute, unrestrained, without a normal humanity. No matter how much man enjoys and gains of these things, he will still feel empty in the end. If man owns all of these things, but he doesn’t come before God, then he will live in vain, meaninglessly and worthlessly. Only when man comes before God, believes in God and worships God, will he be walking the right path of life. Therefore, I decided to change my past lifestyle.
When seeing my brothers and sisters spending for God proactively, fulfilling their duties faithfully, and pursuing to live out a meaningful life, I was also willing to pursue this so as to live out the likeness of a real man God requires. Hence, I wanted to make time to perform my duty besides attending the meetings regularly. It was then that two sisters in the church arranged a duty for me, asking me to drive another two sisters to some place and take them back the next week. That was the first time a duty came upon me, so I accepted it gladly. But then I thought with regret, “Alas! It will be my rest day when I send the two sisters, and besides, I must take them back next week. On those two days I’ll have to get up much earlier. Besides the long distance, the point is that the road to the destination is easily blocked. The traffic will be light if we start off earlier in the morning. But on the way back, I’m not sure how long the road will be blocked. If the time is wasted on the road, I won’t have time to rest all the day….” My wife heard my disobedient words, so she fellowshiped with me, “Performing the duty is not so easy as you imagine but definitely requires you to practice the truth. When it comes to practicing the truth, you must forsake your flesh, pay a certain price and endure hardship. You see, you never uttered a word of complaint when you spent a whole day seeking self-pleasure but failed to make it. But when the duty comes upon you this time and requires you to spend time, run about, and endure hardship, you complain. Outwardly it was the two sisters who arranged the duty for you, but actually you perform your duty not for certain people but for satisfying God and repaying . It is God’s exaltation and love for you that the duty comes upon you today. So you should treasure it and avoid leaving regret when you perform the duty for the first time.” Afterward, she read me a passage of Almighty God’s words.
Almighty God says, “Everything you do requires you to pay a certain price in your efforts. Without actual hardship, you can’t satisfy God, it does not even come close to satisfying God, and they are nothing but empty slogans! Can these empty slogans satisfy God? When God and Satan do battle in the spiritual realm, how should you satisfy God, and how should you stand firm in your testimony to Him? You should know that everything that happens to you is a great trial and the time when God needs you to bear testimony. Externally, they might not seem like a big deal, but when these things happen they show whether or not you love God. If you do, you will be able to stand firm in your testimony to Him, and if you have not put the love of Him into practice, this shows you are not someone who puts the truth into practice, that you are without the truth, and without life, that you are chaff! Everything that happens to people is when God needs them to stand firm in their testimony to Him. Nothing major has happened to you at the moment, and you do not bear great testimony, but every detail of your daily life relates to the testimony to God” (“Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Through Almighty God’s words and my wife’s fellowship, I understood: Today the duty coming upon me is God’s practical test to see whether I can endure hardship to satisfy God. From my revelations, I see that I am so selfish, and such things of Satan as eating, drinking, and making merry occupy more place than God in my heart. So, no matter how much I spend or how much price I pay for eating, drinking, and making merry, I am most willing to do that. But when the duty comes upon me and requires me to spend for God, I start to think about my personal gains and losses and am unwilling to practice the truth in order to satisfy God. My such thoughts and action allowed Satan to sneer at me and I just didn’t bear testimony before God. Then I immediately came to God and prayed with resolution, “O God, I will definitely forsake my flesh and the thoughts from Satan and bear testimony to You in the spiritual battle to defeat Satan.” After my attitude toward the duty had changed, I really saw God’s blessing when I practically cooperated in fulfilling my duty. There were no heavy traffic jams when I drove the sisters off and took them back. This had completely gone beyond my imagination and truly counterattacked my notion. I experienced the sureness and pleasure in my spirit that performing my duty brought to me for the first time. I suddenly felt happier than when I went sightseeing or ate a big dinner. It turned out that my spending rest days like that was really meaningful, not a waste of time.
At this moment, I tasted the sweetness of fulfilling my duty to satisfy God and saw all God had done was to deliver me from Satan’s influence of darkness and to make me step onto the right path of pursuing the truth early. That was God’s love for me. A few days later, I received a telephone call from a brother. He asked me whether I was willing to go to another state to pick up some brothers and sisters. I agreed to go without hesitation then. This time I didn’t have the slightest complaint in my heart. When I was most willing to cooperate practically, the road was clear of traffic to and from the destination. After driving the brothers and sisters to the destination, I felt very proudafertest complaint in my heart because it was the first time I willingly performed my duty without any impurity. Through this matter, I realized that it was really the most meaningful thing that I could fulfill my duty as a created being. I was not willing to pursue eating, drinking, pleasure, and fleshly enjoyments any more, but willing to think about how to pursue the truth, receive the truth, and practice the truth so as to soon become a man who truly loves God. Every bit of my daily life has made me transformed unknowingly. My attitude toward life has begun to become positive and active, as if I opened a new chapter of my life. I have tasted the sweetness and enjoyments that I never experienced before. Thank Almighty God for leading me onto the bright path of life. All the glory be to Almighty God! Amen!