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By Shen Ai, Singapore
I worked in a restaurant. I worked 12 hours every day and only had two days’ holiday each month. Because there were only a few workers in the restaurant and many customers coming to it, we did a lot of things every day: mopping the floor, wiping the tables, clearing the dishes, serving the customers, making coffee, and so on. I kept busy as soon as I started to work, having no time to take a rest. After a whole day’s work, I often ached all over with tiredness, and sometimes my arms were also swollen and painful. When I came back from work, it took me a long while to recover from that. As a Christian, I must have my own spiritual devotions’ time. But when I returned home from work and wanted to read God’s word, I fell asleep unknowingly with fatigue; sometimes I even couldn’t attend the meetings because the work was busy. While seeing that the brothers and sisters around me were full of energy in pursuing the truth and were all preaching gospel to repay God’s love, I felt very anxious in my heart. I also wanted to understand more truths quickly, so that I could perform the duty of a created being and preach God’s salvation to more people. So, I consulted my sister and decided to look for a job that was relatively easy. My sister then fellowshiped with me and told me to pray to and rely on God more in the matter of finding a job,’s sovereignty, and obey God’s orchestrations and arrangements.
One day, I happened to see that an electronics company were recruiting new workers in our local place. There were good treatments, high salaries, and long rest time in the company. But while seeing the interview time, I began to worry: The interview is on July 3rd, and if I pass the interview, I need to go back to my native country to renew the visa on July 17th. However, my boss demands that we must apply one month earlier if we want to resign. And we can only leave the job when new workers are recruited. If I pass the interview, I will have to resign from the job right away. But there’re only fourteen days. Will the boss agree? Can the restaurant recruit new workers in such a short period of time? I felt very conflicted in my heart. So, I told my difficulties to my sister and sought. My sister fellowshiped, “All things are in the hand of God. We shouldn’t live in difficulties. We should pray to God first and rely on God to attend the interview.” I thought: Yeah. God rules over all things. Whether I can pass the interview and whether the boss allows me to resign are all under God’s sovereignty. I shouldn’t think wild thoughts with my conceptions and imaginations. Then, I prayed to God, asking God to guide me and saying that I was willing to obey His orchestrations and arrangements no matter what the result was. After the prayer, I felt steadfast in my heart, so I registered for the interview and had the materials prepared.
A few days later, I received a phone call from the agency, and I was notified to hand in my materials on Friday. I got flustered on hearing this: How should I do now? Friday is not allowed to ask for leave in my restaurant. So how can I go to hand in my materials? Will the boss allow me to ask for leave? I was in a dilemma and didn’t know how I should do. At the moment, I thought of God. Then I immediately prayed to God in my heart, “O God! I don’t have true knowledge of You, so I always lack faith. On the matter of asking for leave, I look up to You and commit it into You. May You guide and lead me. I’m willing to experience Your work and cooperate with You practically.” After the prayer, I called my boss with an obedient heart. Surprisingly, my stern boss actually agreed. This made me experience what God says, “The heart and spirit of man are held in the hand of God, and all the life of man is beheld in the eyes of God. Regardless of whether or not you believe this, any and all things, living or dead, will shift, change, renew, and disappear according to God’s thoughts. This is how God rules over all things.” From God’s words, I understood more clearly: All things are in God’s hand. The thoughts and ideas of my boss are also in God’s hand. It is just that I have too many imaginations and conceptions and always measure the things I encounter with my own thinking. This makes me have no. It is God who opens up a way out for me, so that my boss allows me to ask for leave today. God is by my side and is my ever-present reliance. I had more faith in God after understanding this. With the guidance of God, I should no longer be full of misgivings and fears. I was willing to rely on God to attend the interview. No matter what the result would be, I was willing to obey God, without my own choice.
The next day, I received the notice of the interview. While arriving at the company, I saw that there were many people coming for the interview. I overheard someone who had passed the interview say that this company recruited those who had working experiences. At these words, I was nervous and agitated in my heart, feeling that there was little hope of passing the interview. I waited and it was finally my turn. I took a deep breath and went inside. After a brief greeting and self-introduction, the interviewer asked me, “What kind of job have you done? Do you have working experiences in electronics?” I answered honestly with embarrassment, “No.” “Sorry. What we want to recruit are those who have working experiences,” said the interviewer. So, I was not offered the job because of having no working experiences.
Returning home, I slumped into the sofa and felt very depressed, thinking: It’s difficult for me to meet a company with good treatments. But I failed to pass the interview. Could it be that I would continue to work in the restaurant? My arms are still swollen from tiredness and my brothers and sisters are all preaching the gospel zealously, but I hadn’t yet found a suitable job. How should I do now? I felt anxious in my heart. Then I prayed to God, “Oh, God! I was not offered the job in the electronics company. I felt so bad in my heart. But I’m willing to obey You. I believe that Your orchestrations and arrangements are most meaningful. May You lead me in the matter of looking for a job.”
After prayer, I thought of God’s words, “When confronting real-life problems, how should you know and understand God’s authority and His sovereignty? When you do not know how to understand, handle, and experience these problems, what attitude should you adopt to show your intention, your desire, and your reality of submitting to God’s sovereignty and arrangements? First you must learn to wait; then you must learn to seek; then you must learn to submit. ‘Waiting’ means waiting for the time of God, awaiting the people, events, and things that He has arranged for you, waiting for His will to gradually reveal itself to you. ‘Seeking’ means observing and understanding God’s thoughtful intentions for you through the people, events, and things that He has laid out, understanding the truth through them, understanding what humans must accomplish and the ways they must keep, understanding what results God means to achieve in humans and what accomplishments He means to attain in them. ‘Submitting,’ of course, refers to accepting the people, events, and things that God has orchestrated, accepting His sovereignty and, through it, coming to know how the Creator dictates man’s fate, how He supplies man with His life, how He works the truth into man. All things under God’s arrangements and sovereignty obey natural laws, and if you resolve to let God arrange and dictate everything for you, you should learn to wait, you should learn to seek, you should learn to submit. This is the attitude that every person who wants to submit to God’s authority must take, the basic quality that every person who wants to accept God’s sovereignty and arrangements must possess. To hold such an attitude, to possess such a quality, you must work harder; and only thus can you enter into the true reality.” God’s words pointed out the way for me to practice. What kind of job I will do in the future is ordained and ruled over by God. It is not decided by my own choice. As a creature, I should give up my own intentions and ideas and learn to obey God’s sovereignty and arrangement. As for what kind of job I will look for, I should come before God to seek and wait, waiting for the job God has prepared for me.
Two days later, a sister told me that the company I went for an interview was still recruiting new staff and asked me whether I wanted to have an another try. Hearing this, I felt a wave of excitement in my heart, but also worried that I would be rejected again. I thought: The company recruits those who have working experiences in electronics. But I have no such experiences. Could it be possible for me to pass the interview? But the sister told me that the company recruited again. Is there God’s will in it? After thinking over and over again, I decided to try again. If I still couldn’t pass the interview, I would look for other jobs.
The next day, I went to another agency to hand in my materials. Right when I was about to go downstairs after handing in my materials, the former agency called and asked whether I had sent my resume to other companies to apply for a job. I said, “I have handed in my materials in another agency just now. I want to try again in that company.” The staff of the agency said, “I don’t suggest that you try again. Our company is the most famous one in Singapore. If you failed to pass the interview through our company, there would be even less hope for you to pass it through other agencies. You can measure it by yourself!” After hanging up the phone, I was in a quandary about what to do: Should I go or not? Finally, when thinking that I had handed in my materials, I decided to go and have a try regardless of the results.
On the day of my interview, when I arrived and saw that the interviewer was just the one who refused me last time, I thought: It’s over! I will surely be rejected today. It’s no more than a few days since my last interview. She must still remember me. Right when I was at a loss what to do, I remembered a passage of God’s word I read before: “In one’s heart, one must at least know, ‘I will do everything in my power and leave the rest to Heaven.’ How can a person do everything in their power? Like this: ‘I am feeding my sheep normally, preventing them from getting sick, not letting them freeze or go hungry. I am not calculating how many lambs they will give birth to each year; I do not know how many they can—that is a matter for God to decide. I will just fulfill my responsibilities by feeding them until they are full and plump, and keeping them from lacking nutrients. By next year, as for which sheep can give birth to lambs and which cannot, or which of them can have however many lambs, and how many they can give birth to in total, all of this is in God’s hands. I do not know, nor have I made any requests. I also am not planning around it; these are God’s affairs.’ If they have done this, haven’t they had a submissive attitude toward God?” God’s words made me understand: Whether I can pass the interview is not decided by me. All things are controlled in God’s hand. What I should do is to do everything in my power and leave the rest to heaven. While thinking of this, my heart calmed down a lot. When it was my turn to have the interview, I calmly answered her questions. Unexpectedly, she just asked me several simple questions and let me pass the interview. When hearing the result, I was so excited that I almost jumped up from the chair. I kept thanking God in my heart. It’s truly God’s almightiness and wondrousness. Thanks be to God!
From my experience, I see that it is all wrong to view the people, matters, and things that we encounter with our own conceptions and imaginations. God’s mind won’t shift or change according to man’s thoughts. God rules over and orchestrates all things in the most meaningful way. After experiencing this interview, I feel that my relationship with God becomes closer. When we learn to look up to God and rely on God on the matters that come upon us in our life, regardless of whether it is big or small, we’ll surely see God’s hand and see that God is always by our side, leading and guiding us. Thanks be to God! All the glory be to! Amen!
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By Hanxiao After believing in the Lord, along with listening to more and more sermons, we have some understanding of the Lord’s words and also always put forbearance and patience into action according to the Lord’s teachings in interacting with others. For this reason, we often feel peace and joy in our heart. But it is undeniable that many Christians are very hazy about the principles of practice in establishing normal interpersonal relationships. In fact, there are mainly four principles for Christians’ interacting with others. With them, we will be able to live out the likeness that the Lord is pleased with in our life. The first principle is that we should be able to love each other while getting along with others; the second is dealing with people with wisdom; the third is treating others correctly; the fourth is that we should not interact with others on the basis of our philosophy of life, but should establish a proper relationship with God. So long as we keep the four principles in our daily life, we will be in accord with the will of God in interacting with others. The first principle is that we can love each other. The Lord Jesus required that “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like to it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39). For example, Peter said to the Lord Jesus: “Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?” The Lord Jesus saidto him: “I say not to you, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven” (See Matthew 18:21-22). We all have weaknesses and inadequacies, so our interactions with others should be based on loving each other. In this way, we will not have any trouble living in harmony with others. Those who have no love are inhuman and cannot get along with others, while those who have it have a compassionate heart, like to help others, and moreover are able to comfort those who suffer hardships. Besides, those who have no compassion love others conditionally. They only help and forgive those who did them a favor before or those who haven’t hurt them. As soon as someone impinges on or harms their own interests, they seem to forgive him outwardly, but their hearts are full of dissatisfaction and boredom. In this situation, we need to pray to God more and ask Him to grant us with a heart of truly forgiving and loving others. Only when we truly rely on God, can we have the faith to put forgiveness and patience into practice, and let go of the prejudices and dissatisfaction toward others inside us. But loving our neighbors as ourselves is not unprincipled, and God does not require a confused kind of love of men. We see that the Lord Jesus was full of mercy and love toward those who believed in and followed Him, but condemned and cursed the hypocritical Pharisees who opposed Him, this is an exemplification of the righteous disposition of God. So, we ought to draw a clear boundary line between ourselves and all the satanic forces that oppose and condemn God to achieve loving those who God loves and being clear about love and hate. The second principle is dealing with people with wisdom. In Matthew 10:16-17, the Lord Jesus said, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the middle of wolves: be you therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will whip you in their synagogues.” Actually, for Christians, using wisdom is an indispensable principle in practicing forbearance and patience and loving our neighbors as ourselves. This is because some people are the Christians pursuing truth, but some are the forces that are hostile to God, oppose God, and refuse to accept the gospel of God. And they are specially sent by Satan to interrupt and disturb the work of God. If church business or something about brothers and sisters is known to them, they will get a hold on these things to attack, judge, and condemn, and even report the brothers and sisters to the police. So, we must have discernment and be wise with these people. Secondly, it is unavoidable to encounter many difficulties in getting along with others, so it is indispensable for a Christian to use wisdom. Actually using wisdom is, on the one hand, for the sake of allowing others to gain benefits, and on the other hand, for the sake of helping to solve problems easily. For example, if we want to do or say something, we should consider what sort of disposition the person we are interacting with has, and how to go about things in a way that benefits them and does not harm them. All these are some practices of using wisdom. The principle of dealing with people with wisdom is also very important. The third principle is treating others properly. The Lord Jesus said to us: “And why behold you the mote that is in your brother’s eye, but consider not the beam that is in your own eye? Or how will you say to your brother, Let me pull out the mote out of your eye; and, behold, a beam is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of your own eye; and then shall you see clearly to cast out the mote out of your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:3-5). If wishing to attain to treating others properly, we should not fixate our eyes on others, but should learn to find out our own shortcomings. If we always fixate our eyes on others’ shortcomings, we can never get along with others in harmony. For example, we often discover our families’ shortcomings when interacting with them: They do not take care of or show any consideration for us, the food they cook is not to our taste, the children are too disobedient to control, the husband seldom does housework, and so on. And when associating with our colleagues or friends, we often find that this colleague is too selfish, that colleague likes to judge others behind their backs, or a friend of ours likes to take advantage of others, and so forth. There are too many examples of this, and we are often troubled by them, not knowing how to deal with others. In fact, what we should do is not to fixate our eyes on others but to learn to find out others’ strengths and our own shortcomings. And never should we impose that which we believe is right on others. When doing things, we should take account not only of our own interests, but also of others’. Besides, we should learn to be more considerate to others, to benefit them, and to listen to others’ opinions more. If someone has some shortcomings or does something wrong that jeopardizes our interests, we should treat it properly. Since the Lord Jesus can forgive us, we should also forgive others. The fourth principle is that we cannot use the philosophies of life to interact with others, but should instead establish a proper relationship with God. This is the most important. In our daily life, we often use those philosophies of life in the world to maintain relationship with other people, such as “Think before you speak and then talk with reservation,” “More friends, more paths. More enemies, more barriers,” “Keeping silent on the faults of good friends makes for a long and good friendship,” and so on. When we do things according to these philosophies of life, actually, this just shows that what we worship is still Satan. Our maintaining relationship with others in this way is hated by God. What God requires of us is to have a normal relationship with Him and do everything according to His words, such as being an honest person, not telling lies in interacting with others, and not making flattering remarks. When seeing that the practices of some brothers and sisters are not in accordance with or violate the Lord’s teachings, we can point it out instead of being afraid of displeasing them. In short, all things are established on the basis of the Lord’s teachings. We can practice whatever the Lord requires of us. Only this is having a normal relationship with God. The above are the four principles for us Christians’ interacting with others. If we often practice in this way, many difficulties we encounter when getting along with others will be readily solved, what we live out will surely gain the Lord’s approval, and we will certainly become ones pleasing to God. Amen! You may be interested in: 4 Principles by Which We Christians Easily Interact With Others How to Get Along With Others Easily 3 Tips for Church Leaders to Help and Support Brothers and Sisters
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