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From my childhood, I had had a romance with the open and blue sky, admiring the eagle soaring freely and easily in the sky, and dreaming that I were a bird soaring cloud-high and flying freely in the blue sky with eagles.
When I was little, the old taught me: “One’s destiny is in his own hand,” “Only knowledge can change one’s fate.” I kept these words in my heart silently, thinking that as long as I got into college, I could “fly in the sky.” To realize my dream, I studied hard, nipping all the possibilities that might let me off the rail in the bud. And then I became a good girl my parents were proud of, a good student my teacher could put their minds at ease about, and an example for my classmates to follow, as well as an object of my relatives’ praise. Although I had reaped some rewards of my hard work, I failed the high school entrance examination, and didn’t get into the key school I dreamt of. I felt helpless for the first time in my life, but I was unwilling to admit defeat. Then I chose a non-government funded high school and continued my struggle there. I spared no effort to study, firmly believing that through my struggle, I was sure to change my circumstance and alter my fate, and eventually “fly in the sky.” Nevertheless, fate played a joke on me; I didn’t live out my college dream in the end. For the sake of “the blue sky” in my heart, I still didn’t give up but got into a technical college and comforted myself: If I choose a good major, I could still find a decent job after graduation, and then “fly in the sky.”
Seeing my persistence, my mother advised me: “Every person’s fate is in God’s hand, and can’t be changed by knowledge. Come and listen to the word expressed by God.” But I never listened to her, and felt in my bones that someday I would change my fate and “fly in the blue sky.” After graduating from college, I stepped into the society to work with great passion, thinking that the chance to cut a brilliant figure and realize my ambition finally came up. But facing the cruel reality, I felt so small and helpless; the stress from work and life, like a frightful apparition, kept haunting me; it seemed that there was no place for me to survive in such a big city. Standing at the window, I looked out at those little people on the roads, seeing the nearby towering office premises, and then looked up to the sky which was no longer blue. At that moment, I seemed to be very close to the sky, but is this all I truly want? I couldn’t help sighing heavily: I have tried so hard to walk every step of my life well, but why does the reality strike my broken heart again and again?
I was fond of gazing at the sky as usual, but no longer harbored the soaring aspirations I had had before; yet, I still longed for the freedom of flying in the sky.
I was fond of gazing at the sky as usual, but was no longer passionate as before; yet, I still longed for the ease of the bird.
I once had the fancy of being free as a bird, and seeing all the flourishing scenes of prosperity of the vast world. Not until I had been through all of this did I come to know the complicatedness of this world. Time and again, I felt disappointed with what the fate had in store and tried to make some changes; time and again, I felt helpless after failure but refused to give up and continued to struggle. Finally, I completely failed like a bird lost its wings, and lost the way.
I, like a bird with both wings broken, no longer dreamt of “flying in the sky.” In the midst of pain, I heard the beautiful voice of God, knowing that my fate is in God’s hand, and realizing the source of my suffering. At that moment, the haze of pain in my heart was dispelled and I felt especially brightened. God’s words say: “if people cannot truly recognize the fact that the Creator has sovereignty over human fate and over all things of human, if they cannot truly submit to the Creator’s dominion, then it will be difficult for them not to be driven by, and fettered by, the notion that ‘one’s fate is in one’s own hands,’ it will be difficult for them to shake off the pain of their intense struggle against fate and the Creator’s authority, and needless to say it will also be hard for them to become truly liberated and free, to become people who worship God” (“God Himself, the Unique III”). God’s words awakened me from slumber. It turned out that I had been bound and constrained by Satan’s viewpoint that “one’s fate is in one’s own hands” with the result that I took every step with difficulty and my path in life was getting more and more arduous. I was unaware of the monstrous shackle on me, and kept struggling against fate, believing that as long as I worked hard, my fate would definitely be changed. Having walked through this road totteringly, I finally came to realize that all of this was merely my own wishful imagination.
The life course of everyone in the world has been arranged by God, and all matters and all things are controlled by the hand of the Creator. So how can I, a little man, exceed His sovereignty and authority? It turned out that it was my rebellion, bigotry, and disobedience that made me become utterly fatigued and live without release. God’s words say: “But when you truly know, when you truly come to recognize that God has sovereignty over human fate, when you truly understand that everything God has planned for and decided for you is a great benefit, and is a great protection, then you feel your pain gradually lighten, and the whole of you become relaxed, free, liberated. … your task is to lay aside your old view of life, stay far from various traps, let God take charge of your life and make arrangements for you, try only to submit to God’s orchestrations and guidance, to have no choice, and to become a person who worships God” (“God Himself, the Unique III”). God’s words showed me the way to ease my pain—laying aside my wrong view of life and values as well as the viewpoints that are incompatible with God, submitting to God’s sovereignty and predestination, and obeying His arrangement for my future path in life. So all I need to do is listen to God’s words, submit to His arrangement, and seek to become a person who obeys and worships God. Only this is the life goal I should pursue.
The sky is again blue and clear, and at length I came to understand: I have yearned for “the open sky” all along, but have been constrained and bound by various satanic thoughts; without the guidance of God, all my random fantasies and struggles could only bring me sufferings and make me lose my way. Today, under the provision and nourishment of God’s words, I have broken through the vague fog and found the way forward. I will let go of my extravagant desires, submit to and rely on God’s guidance, and begin anew under His protection. I believe that in this way I shall truly “fly freely” …
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By Li Qing Whenever I see the lovely smile on the face of my sleeping child, I am always grateful for God’s grace from deep within my heart. During the years when I believe in God, Satan entices and interferes me, as well as tries to distance me from God all the time by taking advantage of my weaknesses, so as to achieve its purpose of devouring man. How intense the battle in the spiritual realm is! Looking back on the road I have walked, I thank God for His salvation from the bottom of my heart. It is God who leads me step by step so that I am not devoured by Satan and come before God gradually. When I recall those freeze-frames now, I feel the sweetness of peace in my heart. As we had no child after marriage, my husband and I went to a provincial hospital to have a physical. The expert told us that I had such a slim chance of getting pregnant that we’d better give up and could only rely on science and technology. Later, my mother-in-law preached to me the gospel of Almighty God’s work in the last days and testified the words of Almighty God to me. I thought: “If I believe in God, will He bestow a child on me? God is almighty, isn’t He?” At that time, I merely wanted to gain grace from God and thus I accepted Almighty God’s work. While building up my health by rest and through nourishing food at home, I had meetings with the brothers and sisters. Then I had a very successful operation in the city hospital, and the whole family felt happy for me. I thought: Uh, believing in God is really good! God indeed protects and blesses me! I should do my utmost to believe in God. When all of us were immersed in the joy of my pregnancy, I miscarried two months later. That hit me like a thunderbolt and made me feel unbearable pain as if my heart was hollowed out. I couldn’t help complaining to God: “Doesn’t God protect man? Those who believe in God will receive peace, won’t they? Why have I lost my fetus? I’ve believed in God, why did this happen to me?” My mind was crowded with whys. Seeing that I was weak and passive, my mother-in-law fellowshiped with me and pointed out that there was a battle in the spiritual realm, I should not complain about it. She said that we believers in God should obey His sovereignty and only such a person is a wise man. But I wouldn’t listen to her and thought believing in God did me no good. I even had a thought of betraying God. Afterward, I felt too depressed to stay at home. So, a month later I found a job in the place where my husband worked. I thought that my husband would take more care of me after my miscarriage. But during the several months when we stayed together, we often quarreled with each other over some trivial matters and this brought me more suffering. In my heart, I felt extremely confused about our life in future. As a person who had little faith in God, I also forgot to pray to Him. However, God didn’t have the heart to see me living in suffering, and He arranged people, matters and things around me to touch my heart. There was a church near our lodging, from which I could hear the hymns sometimes. One day, after hearing the hymns again, I suddenly realized that I had accepted Almighty God’s work in the last days. I had listened to the testimony my mother-in-law bore to me and read God’s words. I knew that the stage of work of the Lord Jesus had passed and He has already returned to do the new work, while the people in the religious church don’t know that. Yet God graced me and let me know that. How great a blessing it is! I thought in my heart: Today, God is gracious toward me and lets me hear the gospel of the kingdom and know that Almighty God is the second coming of the Lord Jesus. With such a great salvation coming to me, I should go back home and continue believing in and worshiping God. This idea became stronger and stronger in my heart, so I started on a journey home soon. When I came home, my mother-in-law kept on giving thanks to God and advised me to have meetings. She talked with me about my miscarriage and said behind it there was a battle in the spiritual world. At that time, I felt I was enlightened in her fellowship and could understand somewhat of God’s words. I saw God’s words say, “Everything God has done in humanity has been to make them positive and allow them to grow up in life. Can people not comprehend this? Everything that causes you to be negative is a weak point of yours; it is a vital point of vulnerability, open to Satan’s attacks. Do you understand this?” (“The Interpretation of the Thirty-fifth Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “In every step of work that God does within people, externally it appears to be interactions between people, as if born of human arrangements, or from human interference. But behind the scenes, every step of work, and everything that happens, is a wager made by Satan before God, and requires people to stand firm in their testimony to God. Take when Job was tried, for example: Behind the scenes, Satan was making a bet with God, and what happened to Job was the deeds of men, and the interference of men. Behind every step that God does in you is Satan’s wager with God—behind it all is a battle” (“Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God”). God’s words awakened me. I realized that Satan’s gaze had been fixed on me since I believed in God. It knew that my biggest weakness was that I had wanted a child. Therefore, by using my intention of wanting to gain blessings through believing in God, Satan attacked and disturbed me and made me have a miscarriage. As a result, I misunderstood and complained to God. It wanted to see whether I would continue my belief in God. It is in this way that Satan fools me. All my suffering is caused by Satan. It disturbs and devours man in every way in order to ultimately make man stray from and betray God. It is too insidious, malicious and hateful. At the same time, I see behind everything that happens is Satan’s wager with God and what God wants is my testimony to Him. When I complained to God and even wanted to leave Him at that time, I just ran into Satan’s cunning schemes. No wonder when I left God and worked away from home, I was disappointed and often quarreled with my husband, living in misery. This was because after I strayed from God, Satan toyed and harmed me as it would like. Nevertheless, God never left me, and He still guided me during those painful days. By making me hear the hymns from the church, He led me to come before Him again. After knowing the bottom of all those things, I saw God’s care, protection, and His grandeur. Although Satan’s gaze was fixed on me, like a tiger eyeing its prey, God was always beside me and kept me. He moved my heart and spirit and led me to continue my path ahead through people, events, and objects around me, protecting me from struggling painfully under Satan’s domain. I once complained to God and misunderstood His heart, yet He did not treat me according to my every action, but still loved me. Thinking of this, I said to God in my heart, “O Almighty God! Thank You for bringing me back to Your family again and let me enjoy the watering and provision of Your words. I won’t leave You anymore, and I am willing to follow You and experience Your work.” Afterward, by constantly reading God’s word, I gradually understood that I always wanted to control my own fate and had my own ambition and desires, which was my weaknesses. If this could not be solved as early as possible, Satan would always exploit my weaknesses and attack me. Then, I consciously tried to equip myself with that aspect of truth. I read that God’s words say: “Because people do not recognize God’s orchestrations and God’s sovereignty, they always face fate defiantly, with a rebellious attitude, and always want to cast off God’s authority and sovereignty and the things fate has in store, hoping in vain to change their current circumstances and alter their fate. But they can never succeed; they are thwarted at every turn. This struggle, which takes place deep in one’s soul, is painful; the pain is unforgettable…. But when you truly know, when you truly come to recognize that God has sovereignty over human fate, when you truly understand that everything God has planned for and decided for you is a great benefit, and is a great protection, then you feel your pain gradually lighten, and the whole of you become relaxed, free, liberated” (“God Himself, the Unique III”). From God’s word, I realized that everyone cannot control his own fate and all matters and all things are dictated and arranged by God. Thinking back to my past, I placed trust in medical science to get a child. Although I was pregnant after the operation, I miscarried two months later and got nothing in vain. I was teased by Satan and suffered untold misery and hardship. “I don’t want to be fooled by Satan any longer. All things are controlled in God’s hand. I am willing to obey, for what God arranges for me is the best. I really had no sense to have my hands outstretched to God for grace and blessings. From now on, I won’t do that.” When I thought in this way, I felt at ease. However, God’s mercy unexpectedly reached me: I got pregnant once more! All our families could not believe that, because my husband and I had not consulted a doctor after my miscarriage. Even the doctor said before that it was hopeless for me to get pregnant normally, but it came true. I could not help crying with excitement and thanking God unceasingly in my heart. I learn from my experience that when we stray far from God, we can only be fooled by Satan and lived in suffering. Only by coming before God and obeying His sovereignty and arrangements, can we break free from Satan’s interference and receive God’s protection and blessing. Recalling what I experienced in the course, I see clearly that when people have their children and what happened at what time are all decreed by God. Now, my child is two years old, growing up in good health day by day. Along my life journey of following God, I feel extremely happy, and this is all because of God’s grace for me. All the glory be to Almighty God! If you have other understanding or new light about this article, you’re welcome to have a chat with us via the online chat window at the bottom of the website or send an email to email@example.com. We Look forward to sharing with more brothers and sisters about your enlightenment from God and growing together in Christ. 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My daughter was suddenly struck down by an illness at 11 p.m., and it was God who saved her at this crucial juncture.
Once saved, we are always saved and then can enter the kingdom of heaven. Is this view correct? Being truly saved is not that simple. Read this article to learn the true meaning of being saved and find the way to true salvation.
By Xiaoju Xinlian wept and complained, “How could I marry you? You are capable of nothing. I can never enjoy a happy life with you in all my life. If …” Her husband sat there in silence, with a helpless look. After her husband went to work, Xinlian sat there and fell into a reverie. Scenes of the past leaped before her eyes, and her thoughts ran back over the past … Xinlian has a gift for singing. When she was in primary school, she won the first place in the school singing contest. Once, a theatrical college came to her school to recruit students. Her teacher specially informed her to take the examination. On the day when she took the examination, she wore new clothes, and walked toward the examination room happily. She was glad to have the chance to show herself. She wished for a good result to reflect credit on her parents and her school. The exam began. She waited outside the room excitedly … “Next one, Xinlian.” When hearing her name called, Xinlian was pleased and nervous. After all, it was the first time for her to encounter such a situation. Meanwhile, it also was an opportunity for her to change her fate. She walked into examination room with vigorous strides. The recruiter asked her, “How old are you?” “Twelve,” answered she. The recruiter said, “Well, only twelve. No, you are too young. It must be thirteen at least.” Immediately, her smile faltered. Her dream ended in smoke in an instant. She then thought, “Alas! If only I had told them I was 13 when entering my name.” She didn’t know how she went back home that day. When Xinlian was in junior high school, her sister couldn’t go to work because she was sick. So their parents wanted Xinlian to replace her sister’s work. However, Xinlian persistently clung to her studies. Her parents had to agree with her. Later, she fell to pass the college entrance examination. Her parents knew she had a good foundation in study, so they repeatedly advised her to cram for the examination. Yet, caring about face, she put an end to her studies, no matter what her parents said. When she started to reach marrying age, her high school classmate Li Bin asked to marry her. He was a city dweller and promised that he would find her a job if they got married. At that time, it was hard for some people to get in with the townsfolk. But Xinlian was conservative: She felt shy to be in love with her classmate. Consequently, she chose her current husband. After she got married, her father-in-law died of illness, and her husband became a laid-off worker. Her husband was supposed to replace his father’s work. However, in order to ease their mother of her burden, they allowed their brother to be the replacement. In her spare time, Xinlian always thought: If I had said I was 13 years old when taking the entrance exam for acting school, then my fate perhaps would have been changed. If I had taken my sister’s place at work that year, maybe … If I had accepted my parents’ suggestions and crammed for the exam, I probably would have gotten in to university. If I had chosen to marry my classmate, maybe … If my husband had been the successor, maybe… Recalling this, she lamented over the setbacks she had suffered, over her changing fortunes, and wondered why she couldn’t control her fate. She often regretted her past wrong choices. For this reason, she looked up to heaven to sigh deeply, and the more she thought about it, the more she suffered, sinking into the scenes of “If … maybe …”, and unable to escape. And these also confused her. One day, Xinlian came across her old classmate Yanmin. They had not seen each other for several years. After greetings, her classmate asked her how things were with her. Xinlian tirelessly told her classmate about her years of ifs and maybes. Seeing Xinlian’s perplexed look, Yanmin tapped her on the shoulder and comforted her, “There are not so many ifs in our life. A common saying goes, ‘Human fate is ordained by Heaven.’ You need not live in pain all day. Here is a book. The word within it is very good. Let me read for you, ‘From the moment you come crying into this world, you begin to perform your duty. You assume your role in the plan of God and in the ordination of God. You begin the journey of life. Whatever your background and whatever the journey ahead of you, none can escape the orchestration and arrangement that Heaven has in store, and none are in control of their destiny, for only He who rules over all things is capable of such work’ (‘God Is the Source of Man’s Life’). ‘Your temperament, caliber, appearance, stature, family in which you were born, your job and your marriage, the entirety of you, even the color of your hair and your skin, and the time of your birth were all arranged by My hands. Even the things you do and the people you meet every single day are arranged by My hands, not to mention the fact that bringing you into My presence today is actually My arrangement. Do not throw yourself into disorder; you should proceed calmly’” (“The Seventy-fourth Utterance”). Hearing these words with authority, Xinlian nodded her head ceaselessly, as if she found the answer. Indeed, no one can control his fate. Looking back over the past years, she had experienced lots of matters great or small, and so many of them were mistakes, but she was unable to do anything with them, and moreover, she was in control of nothing. … Yanmin saw her thoughtful air, saying, “What roles we play in our life are predestined by God. Everyone has his own duty and mission. Our families in which we were born, our jobs and our marriages all are arranged by God. No one can escape from the Creator’s orchestrations and arrangements. Because you haven’t come before God, don’t know the Creator, and don’t believe in His orchestrations and arrangements, you have been resisting them all along, with the result that you are living in such pain. If we can defer to the authority of the Creator, then we won’t have so many ifs and we won’t live in pain. Just as this passage of words says, ‘Only when one accepts the Creator’s sovereignty, submits to His orchestrations and arrangements, and seeks true human life, will one gradually break free from all heartbreak and suffering, shake off all the emptiness of life’” (“God Himself, the Unique III”). Listening to what Yanmin read, Xinlian felt these words really were good. Later, they usually read these words together, and shared their feelings and understandings with each other. One day, Xinlian saw the words in the book, “Because people do not recognize God’s orchestrations and God’s sovereignty, they always face fate defiantly, with a rebellious attitude, and always want to cast off God’s authority and sovereignty and the things fate has in store, hoping in vain to change their current circumstances and alter their fate. But they can never succeed; they are thwarted at every turn. This struggle, which takes place deep in one’s soul, is painful; the pain is unforgettable; and all the while one is frittering away one’s life. What is the cause of this pain? Is it because of God’s sovereignty, or because a person was born unlucky? Obviously neither is true. At bottom, it is because of the paths people take, the ways people choose to live their lives. … After you recognize this, your task is to lay aside your old view of life, stay far from various traps, let God take charge of your life and make arrangements for you, try only to submit to God’s orchestrations and guidance, to have no choice, and to become a person who worships God” (“God Himself, the Unique III”). Not until she read these words did she realize that the reason why she lived in pain was not because God doesn’t rule well, nor because her fate arranged by God is bad, but because after having been corrupted by Satan, she always relied on the rule of life “The fate of man is controlled by his own hands” to live, wanted to control her fate, and failed to obey the situations orchestrated by God. This is actually the base means by which Satan corrupts and deceives man to stay away from God. For these sakes, she lived in pain. After understanding this, she came before God and prayed to Him. She resolved to bid farewell to her previous lifestyle, leave her all under the control of God, obey the Creator’s plans and His sovereignty in her rest time, and follow God to live a meaningful life. Xinlian then read these words to her husband, and he nodded approvingly. Afterward, with the fellowship of a friend, her husband also accepted God’s work. On one occasion, due to a small thing, she complained about her husband again, “If …” Her husband interrupted her, and said seriously, “Everything has been predetermined by God. You have no way to control yourself, nor do I. Only obeying the Creator’s plans and His sovereignty is the wisest option. …” At his words, she was so ashamed that she could find no words. From then on, she didn’t say, “If …”; rather, she learned to obey the Creator’s plans and His sovereignty in everything. Practicing in this way, she felt more and more relaxed, free, liberated.