When the Lord returns, how can we recognize His voice and welcome Him?
One afternoon, when I was discussing with a sister about the church work, we were divided in our opinions. We held to our own views, with raised voices and flushed faces. Finally, neither of us was willing to take the other’s advice. We really had no way to go, and then we went back to our separate rooms with cups in hands, cutting short the unpleasant conversation.
I was fidgety in my room, and thought: In daily life, we get along well with each other. But, how come we had such a dispute? The more I thought, the more irritated I was. I felt she was inconsiderate, intentionally made things difficult for me, and contradicted me no matter what suggestions I made. Although, in most cases, she was right, I still felt upset. My ideas couldn’t be adopted and honorable chances all were taken by her, so I was always oppressed and discontented. Thinking it over and over, I still couldn’t calm down, so I went out to get this off my mind.
As I walked into a park, the crisp autumn wind left me pretty comfortable and somewhat relaxed my oppressed heart. At that time, I suddenly saw someone leisurely fishing beside the lake not far away. This reminded me of a story I had read before: Once upon a time, two hungry men respectively got a fishing rod and a basket of fresh fish from an old man. After that, they parted company. The man having fish started a fire to cook his fish every day, and ate up all a few days later. Soon after, he died of starvation beside the empty basket. The other one endured the hunger and difficultly went to the sea with his fishing rod. However, while seeing the blue ocean a short distance away, he just used up the last ounce of his strength, and helplessly left the world with endless regret. Afterward, another two hungry men also gained the same things—a fishing pole and a basket of fish—from the elder. But, they didn’t depart from each other; instead, they agreed on looking for the sea together. They cooked only one fish at a time and shared. After a long journey, they got to the seaside, and then started to make a living by fishing. Several years later, they both built up their own houses and established their families, living a happy and peaceful life.
Before, I didn’t care anything about this story. Now, when pondering the characters’ different attitudes toward things in this story, I received enlightenment and benefited a lot. There is a stark contrast between the two kinds of men in this story: The former didn’t understand the importance of being in harmony, so they went their own way according to respective thoughts, which caused them to starve to death. In contrast, the latter worked together and pulled through hand in hand; in the end, not only did they survive, but they also led a well-off life. Thinking about this story, I reflected on the argument between me and my sister. After returning to home, I read a paragraph of, “What did the say? (“That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven” (Mat 18:19).) There’s another. (“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the middle of them” (Mat 18:20).) So what’s the issue here? (We can’t act all on our own.) You do things on your own, you’re off in your own world. That doesn’t work, right? “You can’t act all on your own.” Using the language of a believer in God, what do these words refer to? (We should collaborate harmoniously.) Collaborate harmoniously, do things with one heart and mind, have a common goal. Colloquially, it can be said that “sticks in a bundle cannot be broken.” So how can you become like a bundle of sticks? You must be in accord, and then the Holy Spirit will work; that is how the Holy Spirit works. When you’re all in your own worlds, does the Holy Spirit work? No one is responsible, everyone wants to wash their hands of it. No one wants to take responsibility, no one wants to put effort into it, and no one wants to lead the charge or suffer for it. So can the Holy Spirit do His work? (No.) Why not? When people exist within an erroneous state, the Holy Spirit walks away and God is no longer with them. So is He still working? God is disgusted, so He hides His face from them and the Holy Spirit hides Himself. God stops working and He says: “Do what you will!” He casts you aside. Aren’t you finished? Then you can’t accomplish anything! So why is it so difficult for non-believers to accomplish things? Isn’t it because every person holds tight to their own thinking? Since this is the case, nothing can be done successfully. Doing anything at all is exhausting, even a really simple thing. They are living under Satan’s domain. If you act like them, then what’s different between you and them? There’s no difference at all. Once the essence and nature of Satan take hold and take the lead among people, the Holy Spirit will not work and He will hand them over to Satan. When they are handed over to Satan, strife, jealousy, and ugliness all appear among them. What kind of phenomenon is this? What is this a harbinger of? There’s no work of the Holy Spirit, He has abandoned them, and God is no longer working. When God is not working, can the little bit that people have to offer be put to use? God takes away what you once had, and your little pea brain is useless! All of mankind’s inspiration, wisdom, intelligence, insight, and enlightenment, whatever kind of clarity in something people believe they have, or whatever kind of path for something that they believe they have—where does that all come from? (From God.) Yes, it comes from God. So whether there are many or few of you fulfilling your duty together, no matter what the circumstances are, and no matter when, do not forget this one thing—being in accord. By being in accord, by living within this state, you may have the work of the Holy Spirit.”
God’s words made my heart become more enlightened.is for us to be in one accord to perform the church’s work, and to combine our efforts. Only in this way can we receive God’s leading and blessings. When I thought back to the ugliness of my dispute with the sister at that time, I was full of remorse. We relied on the arrogant disposition to live, so we each held to our opinions and neither of us wanted to submit to the other. In fact, I knew that some of her suggestions were better than mine at that time, but I was reluctant to yield to her because of a loss of face. In order to protect my own face and status, I bit the bullet and debated with her, and even took it out on the work. Actually, what the arrogant disposition brought us was division, which made us unable to say more or continue with our work. In reality, the good proposals were from God whoever offered them. But, I always wanted to show off myself to let others think highly of me. I saw that I myself were not possessed of any sense before God. I didn’t stand as a created being in my words and actions; rather, I was always high and mighty, and wanted to get others to listen to me and surround me. As a result, not only did I make my sister feel constrained, but I also led us to live in corrupt disposition. Like this, we harbored secrets in our heart respectively. Although working together on the surface, in practice, we already worked for self. Was there any difference between us and the two who died in the story? They failed to be in one accord with each other to go through difficulties, so that they lost their lives. Similarly, if we took the same attitude and adopted the same way of practice to treat our church work—God’s entrustment, in the end, it would harm the church work, as well as our spiritual lives, and worse still, it would offend God’s disposition. When my thoughts went there, I understood more clearly the reason why God guided me to remember the story. What’s more, under the enlightenment of God’s words, I knew His will and what I should do next. I needed turn to God in and consider no more of my face. I could no longer live in dependence on my arrogant nature or save my face and status. I should place the interests of the work first. Since my sister’s suggestions benefited the work, I should follow them. If I still insisted on my ideas to show off myself, I would manifest Satan and oppose God. This way, not only would I not receive the work and leading of the Holy Spirit, but I would also be detested by God. I also realized: Only when we learn to put self-ideas aside, place ourselves in others’ perspective, submit to the person who has proper advice, and fulfill our duty in harmony, can we receive God’s guidance.
Actually, when I reflected on the time since we had cooperated with the church work together, mostly she could grasp the general direction of the work, but she sometimes omitted details. Contrarily, I wasn’t good at grasping the general direction but would pay attention to details. We both had respective shortcomings and advantages. If we cooperated with God with one heart and one mind, we would be blessed by God. When I thought of this, my anger vanished in thin air. Instead, I desired to repent to God and turn my wrong way around at once. When having this resolution, I felt God was right by my side to watch me with great hope and to see if I could live as a real man based on the truth to shame Satan and glorify God. Thereupon, I stood up and walked to my sister’s room with full confidence. I determined to apologize to her, and shared with her what I had learned just now. Then we would be of one heart and one mind to accomplish the church work well. …
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