Growth of Believing in God
Mentioning my belief in God, it was really God’s arrangement, wise and wonderful. I came to America in June of 2013, then I found several jobs of looking after the aged, who were all believers in Jesus. Later, with some things to deal with, I went to a church, where the pastor prayed for me and taught me how to pray. Seeing these people believing in the Lord were quite kind and loving, I then had a thought of believing in Jesus. Nevertheless, owing to the language barrier, I didn’t believe in the Lord formally all along.
One day in June, 2015, in a employment agency I knew a sister believing in God, who preached the gospel to me and also told me that everything we enjoy is from God and that all of us should believe in and worship God… From then on, she often called me and fellowshiped with me about belief in God. She said, “Now it is already the last days, and on the basis of the work of the Lord Jesus, God has done a stage of work of man’s salvation, which is the work of separating all according to their kind and also the work of bringing everything to a close. Don’t miss the opportunity again…” I had wanted to believe in Jesus, and what’s more, I heard so much from the sister, so I was willing to believe in Almighty God together with her, though I was still unable to have a complete comprehension.
When I first believed in God, the sister rang me up frequently, and let me read God’s word and attend meetings, with which I got very bored in my heart. I thought: Believing in God is just a belief. It is OK to go to church weekly. Like those who believe in Jesus in the church, time permitting, they will go, or, they won’t. Why is her faith in God so serious? How troublesome it is!
Afterward, I was arranged to have meetings along with several brothers and sisters, and I found that they had a better understanding of God’s word and knowledge of God than me. Therefore, I felt somewhat anxious in my heart and wanted, from that moment on, to take the meeting seriously and know more truth. At a meeting, I read these words of God, “There are some people whose belief has never been acknowledged in God’s heart. In other words, God does not recognize that these people are His followers, because God does not praise their belief. … They regard believing in God as some kind of amateur hobby, treating God merely as spiritual sustenance, so they don’t think it’s worth it to try and understand God’s disposition, or God’s essence. You could say that all that which corresponds to the true God has nothing to do with these people. They’re not interested, and they can’t be bothered to respond. This is because deep in their hearts there’s an intense voice that’s always telling them: God is invisible and untouchable, and God doesn’t exist. They believe that trying to understand this kind of God would not be worth their efforts; it would be fooling themselves. They just acknowledge God in words, and don’t take any real stand. They also don’t do anything in practical terms, thinking that they’re pretty clever. How does God look upon these people? He views them as non-believers” (How to Know God’s Disposition and the Result of His Work). After reading these words, I suddenly realized: My attitude toward belief in God was that I just regarded it as an amateur hobby. If I had time, I would read God’s word and attend meetings, otherwise I wouldn’t. Never have I considered how to know this God, what His disposition is, what His essence is, or why I believe in Him. As for these things, I haven’t thought them with concentrated attention. That I held onto such a viewpoint of belief in God is not acknowledged by God, who doesn’t acknowledge such belief and views such kind of people as non-believers. Suddenly I felt it was sad for people who believe in God but are to be treated as non-believers by God. Thereupon, I decided to give up one of my jobs, spare more time to attend meetings and listen to the fellowship and preaching about life entry. I’d better chase farther as soon as possible and should no longer see belief in God as an amateur hobby.
After that, I could take some time to have meetings and also spare time to read God’s word at home. The more I read God’s word, the more I felt that God’s words are exactly the truth, which is very practical and can correct my views on things. In the past, I was miserly, immersed myself in several hard jobs to earn money desperately, and always wanted to make more money. And, at my leisure, I could, without any inhibitions, travel during my holiday, and enjoy the superior material life. At that time, by reading God’s words, I knew that believing in God to gain life is the most important. So every weekend I spend money living in an inn for one night, so as to arrive upon the scene to listen to fellowship and preaching about life entry the next morning, and then continue to get together with brothers and sisters in the afternoon. And I would go back home in the evening. In this way, it takes one day to listen to the preaching and attend the meeting every week. I not only don’t make money, but spend money. Had it happened in the past, I would have felt anguished over my money. But then I understood some truth after I believed in God and felt it is worthwhile to spend the money as long as I could gain life. Like the words in Fellowship and Preaching About Life Entry, “You believe that making a lot money will make you live longer and bring you eternal life. This is a delusion…. Is it meaningful that you have a lot of money and enjoyment? How can it be compared with practicing the truth? The two are incomparable! God sees the people who practice the truth as precious.” (Fellowship and Preaching About Life Entry).
Soon, it was fast-forward to February 8, 2017, on which I took the driving test. That day, I prayed to God unceasingly in my heart: “O God! May you care and protect me, and let me be agile in the exam and pass it.” Yet in the end I failed it. Unconsciously I started to complain about God: How come there was no effect when I prayed? Why didn’t God let me pass it since I believe in Him? At night, I didn’t even want to pray, but I felt uncomfortable, so I made a perfunctory prayer.
After knowing about that, the sister responsible for watering me fellowshiped: Although the thing was incompatible with our notions, and God didn’t satisfy our fleshly desire according to our imaginations, inside which, however, there is God’s will, and we shouldn’t complain about and misunderstand Him. Then she read a passage of God’s words for me, “How many believe in Me only so I would heal them? How many believe in Me only so I would use My powers to drive unclean spirits out of their bodies? And how many believe in Me simply to receive peace and joy from Me? How many believe in Me only to demand from Me more material wealth, and how many believe in Me just to spend this life in safety and to be safe and sound in the world to come? How many believe in Me only to avoid the suffering of hell and to receive the blessings of heaven? How many believe in Me only for temporary comfort but do not seek to gain anything in the world to come? When I brought down My fury upon man and seized all the joy and peace he originally possessed, man became doubtful. … When I took away all that man had demanded from Me, then all disappeared without a trace. Therefore, I say that man has faith in Me because I give too much grace, and there is far too much to gain” (What Do You Know of Faith?). After reading these words of God, in retrospect, since I believed in God, I regarded believing in God as a belief. Later I understood some truth and was willing to believe in God seriously, but my viewpoint of believing in God was impure, for I aimed at getting grace and blessings from God, and therefore I asked God to help me get through the driving test smoothly. Didn’t I use God to attain my purpose? How is this believing in God? It was obvious to take advantage of God. When God didn’t meet my desire, I began to blame Him and be even reluctant to pray to Him. God hopes that we can have confidence in Him whatever we encounter. Even if it is something not in line with our notions and imaginations, we won’t complain about God. However, I did nothing but misunderstand and complain about God. This was not a true believer in God. Having understood God’s will, when I took the driving test again, I didn’t ask Him to help me pass through it. I just prayed: “O God! This time, no matter whether I pass it or not, there is Your good purpose within. I am willing to seek the truth and know You, and never complain about You.”
Gradually, my viewpoints on both clinging to an amateur belief and gaining blessings changed a little. Previously, I would often realize I didn’t pray when it was time to go to bed, and then I just said a few words casually and slept; but now almost every night, before I go to bed, I first browse God’s words and the videos on the Internet sent by brothers and sisters, then pray to God piously, and sleep. Previously, after work hours, I would make the best use of my time to play games if necessary; but now whenever I am idle, I will, on YouTube or App, read the word of Almighty God, listen to the recitation of God’s word or read testimony article on experience of brothers and sisters, feeling grounded in mind. I used to pray for peace and blessings, and make a deal with God; but now I know that it was a manifestation of my unreasonableness and that a created being is not qualified to ask anything of God, so my prayers have been changed: I will pray to God and seek His will in the things that I encounter in my life, and let God help me do them according to His demands. These progresses above have been added to me by God. I have also realized that attending meetings and reading more words of God can really change people.
Once when I read the book of God’s words, I saw the following words “True faith in God means experiencing the words and work of God based on a belief that God holds sovereignty over all things. So you shall be freed of your corrupt disposition, shall fulfill the desire of God, and shall come to know God. Only through such a journey can you be said to believe in God” (“Preface” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I understood that God’s work is to save mankind corrupted by Satan, and let mankind accept God’s judgment, have changes in our disposition and eventually live out the likeness of a true man. This can be said to be the true faith in God. Then to believe in God, we should not only remain changed in outward form, but also accept God’s judgment and chastisement, and pursue changes in our disposition. Although I wasn’t very clear about that, I also hoped that God could lead me to get rid of my corrupt satanic disposition, and finally I could become a person who truly believes in God, to be praised and saved by God.
After I had some knowledge of God’s work and knew God’s will of saving mankind, I became increasingly fond of attending meetings. Later, because the sister who watered me from the beginning was too busy, instead of her, another younger sister had meetings with me over the telephone. But a few times later, I always sensed that her fellowship was not so good as that of the former sister, so I began to find fault with her, one moment saying she didn’t send a message to contact me and the next searching for other excuses. In a word, I didn’t get along with her. Once we had made an appointment with each other to have the meeting at 9:00 in the morning, but the owner whom I worked for didn’t go out when it was at 9:00 a.m., whereupon I sent a message to the younger sister, telling her that I might be a little late for the meeting. When the owner left home at several minutes past nine, I rang the younger sister up. At that time, she was about to answer a phone and let me await her for a while. Then I began to wait and wait until 11 o’clock a.m., but she still didn’t call me, nor did she send a message to me. At that moment, I had no way to hold back my anger and thought: Even though you are busy, you should give me a call or send a message. Consequently, she called me at 11:30 a.m. Being angry, I, all the time, didn’t answer her call, but sent a message to her petulantly, “I know that you are busy. You needn’t spend your energy on a person like me. I own books of God’s words. I can read by myself. As long as I don’t do bad things, I will be fine!” The younger sister continually rang me up, and moreover, she sent messages to apologize to me, but I neither answered her call nor sent back messages, opposing her like this. The next day, she called me again, but I still didn’t answer it. In the subsequent three days, she didn’t ring me up. All of a sudden, I felt very empty and uncomfortable in my heart. Sometimes when I wanted to read books of God’s words, however, I could not absorb them, feeling far distant from God in my heart.
A few days later, the sister who originally watered me called me and asked about my recent state. I said petulantly, “Just so-so. Nobody is in charge of me at present.” The sister asked me intimately again and again, “Are you all right?” Then I told her what had happened between the younger sister and me. She comforted me and explained that the younger sister hadn’t answered me because of an emergency. She wanted to introduce a sister of my age to water me, but I refused resolutely and said, “Oh, forget it! I know that you’re all very busy. It is enough for me to read God’s by myself.” At last, the sister could do nothing but decide to have meetings with me as before. She was really too busy nonetheless, so sometimes when we were having a meeting, she had to leave ahead of time due to something unexpected. Ultimately, she had to arrange another sister to water me.
At a meeting, I spoke out what had happened between the younger sister and me. The sister fellowshiped with me, “It was a circumstance arranged by God for you, within which there was God’s will.” Then, she also showed me a passage of God’s words: “If you believe in the dominion of God, then you must believe that the things that happen every day, be they good or bad, don’t happen accidentally. It is not that someone doesn’t get on with you or opposes you on purpose; it is actually all arranged by God and He orchestrates everything. What does God orchestrate everything for? … Firstly, He makes you aware of your own corrupt disposition, your own nature and essence, your own shortcomings and what you lack. Only by knowing these things and understanding them in your heart can you cast them off — this is a God-given opportunity. You must learn to seize this opportunity and know how to seize it; don’t lock horns and don’t resist. If you are always competing with the people, events, and things that God has arranged around you, if you are always trying to extricate yourself from them, always feeling dissatisfied, always harboring a disagreeable mentality and always misunderstanding, then you will find it very difficult to enter into the truth. Through obeying, seeking, praying more, retreating to your spirit and coming before God then, unbeknownst to you, a change will happen in your inner condition. When you are having a change, the reality of the truth is being wrought in you, and you will then progress and will see a change in the conditions of your life …” (“If You Wish to Attain the Truth, Then You Must Learn From the People, Matters, and Things Around You” in Records of Christ’s Talks). After reading God’s words, I began to understand that the things were all permitted by God. He orchestrated such an environment to expose my corruption, making me clearly see my ugliness. Recalling my attitude to the younger sister in the beginning, I felt myself too unreasonable and arrogant. I had thought that I had a good humanity. At that time, I found that I really didn’t have conscience and reason and was too arrogant: I was continuously importunate and found fault with the sister all along just for such a little thing. Considering that the younger sister took her rest time to water me without asking for a penny from me, I could still treat her with an attitude like that. At this thought, I felt especially sad in my heart. I continually prayed to God, acknowledged that I had no humanity, and regretted myself, my heart then calmed down.
Having known that it was I myself who had been wrong, I wanted to apologize to the younger sister. But because I’m an elder, I wouldn’t like to make an apology to a younger one for fear of losing my face. After I prayed to God silently in my heart, I still didn’t know how to start the topic, there being struggle for a long time in my heart. At night, I thought of God’s words, “It takes courage when you dissect yourself and lay yourself bare. Look, when no one else is around, regardless of if you’re praying to God, or admitting your mistakes, repenting, or dissecting your corrupt disposition to God, you can say whatever you want, for with your eyes closed you can’t see anything, it’s like speaking to air, and so you are able to lay yourself bare; whatever you thought, or whatever you said at the time, and your motivations, and your deceitfulness, you are able to speak of them. Yet if you have to lay yourself bare to another person, you may lose your courage, and you may lose your resolve to do so, because you can’t take down your front, you can’t remove the facade, and so it is very difficult to put these things into practice. … When God asks that people put every truth into practice, they are required to pay a price, and to really and literally act, practice, and experience, to incorporate them into their real lives. God does not ask that people speak catchphrases” (“To Be Honest, You Should Lay Yourself Open to Others” in Records of Christ’s Talks). Pondering God’s words, I thought: I have realized that I was wrong, with arrogance and no humanity. And I also knew I should apologize to the younger sister, but I couldn’t make it. I could only pray and acknowledge to God, but couldn’t open up to the younger sister. Without such a resolution, when will my disposition be changed? I struggled all night with my heart coiled. The next morning, I prayed to God again: “O God! May you give me strength, and let me have the courage to practice the truth and make an apology to the younger sister.” Then I mustered my courage and apologized to the younger sister by sending a message. She sent back a sincere message, “It is my fault not to ring you up in time. I haven’t done well what God committed to me. I feel indebted to God.” At that moment, I felt much too relaxed in my heart. Eventually, I took this step, lowered my arrogant head and apologized to the younger sister. Meanwhile, I also experienced that practicing the truth was really very happy. Henceforth, I had a closer relationship with God and also more understanding of brothers and sisters. No matter who came to have meetings with me, only if what he fellowshiped was about God’s words and of benefit to my life entry, they’re all the same to me.
Now, I am no longer an amateur believer in God, nor do I believe in God for seeking good from Him. I know the deeper meaning of believing in God is to experience God’s work, practice according to God’s demands, change my corrupt disposition, and finally live out the likeness of a true man. Only in this way can I be saved and perfected by God. Thank God for selecting me. All the glory be to God!
By Jiejing, United States