Once, I had thought I was one who loved You, loving deeply.
When I heard that in order to redeem us, You devoted Yourself, being nailed onto the cross until sacrificing all Your precious blood. At the cost of Your life, You saved us from sins. At that moment, I began to feel choked, and subsequently the tears came streaming down my face. I sobbed without restraint.
It’s totally because of Your exaltation and grace that I can come to Your family. I felt extremely glorious from my heart. At that point, I came before You, making a solemn promise to You: I am willing to devote my life to follow You and pursue to love You as well as repay Your love. Later, due to Your exaltation, I performed duties in Your family. I was more excited and touched in my heart, making a lofty resolution secretly: I will imitate the former saints and prophets to work and expend for You, spreading Your name and bearing witness to You. Thereafter, I began to act quickly, expending and laboring for You. Although it was arduous to work for You, I felt even more sweet in my heart under the feeding and nourishing of Your words. At that moment, I thought that I was the one who loved You most.
Once upon a time, I told brothers and sisters at meetings, “We are created beings, You are the Lord of all creation. You bestow life on us, and provide everything for us. We resolve to pursue to love You and repay Your love, or we are the ones who have no conscience.” At that time, I more firmly believed that I was the one who loved You.
However, I didn’t consider whether or not my love to God is true. Maybe I had never loved You. Gradually, I saw clearly my true self …
One day, I got married and worked. I began to bustle back and forth for the sake of my family and job, having no place for You in my heart any more. Therefore, I didn’t have normal spiritual life, much less had time to attend meetings. At that moment, my promise became a lie. What I brought to you were all sorrow and deceit. However, I became so numb and had no consciousness, unable to feel Your hurt and pain at all. I, just like a clock winding up, ran forward constantly, being busy for my family and job and children. Though feeling very tired, I was unwilling to stop for a short rest.
Sometimes when feeling tired and empty in my heart, I would think of You, but this thought passed in the blink of an eye and never stayed too long; or when in the face of danger, I would call upon You: “Oh, God, save me!” During this period of time, there was one time, I could not remember clearly when it was, I asked myself, “Where have I gone, the one who has ever made a solemn promise to You and is willing to forever love You for a lifetime? Nowadays, I was engaged in my family and job with all my heart. I didn’t have spiritual life or meetings, and became a thorough unbeliever, without any reality of! Why do I turn into who I am now? What on earth is the problem of this?”
As I was getting far away from You, it’s Your loving hand that saves me from darkness again. Brothers and sisters in the church found me, giving me help and support with great love.
Later, I saw Your words, “You’d rather enter the sea of fire for your final destination than lose a single strand of hair to gain God’s approval. It’s not that I’m being too dogmatic with you; it is that your heart of devotion is especially inadequate to face everything I do. You may not understand what I mean, so let Me provide you with a simple explanation: What you need is not the truth and life; it is not the principles of how to conduct yourselves, and particularly is not My painstaking work. What you need is all that you possess in the flesh—wealth, status, family, marriage, etc. You are utterly dismissive of My words and work, so I can sum up your faith in one word: half-hearted. You will go to any lengths to achieve the things that you are absolutely devoted to, but I have discovered that you do not disregard everything for the sake of matters concerning your belief in God. Rather, you are just relatively loyal, and relatively serious. That is why I say that those who lack a heart of utmost sincerity are failures in their belief in God. Think carefully—are there many failures among you?” (“On Destination”).
“‘Love’ as it is called, refers to a pure emotion without blemish, where you use your heart to love, to feel, and to be thoughtful. In love there are no conditions, no barriers, and no distance. In love there is no suspicion, no deceit, and no cunning. In love there is no distance and nothing impure. … What kind of love is yours? Is it a true love? Is it false? How much have you given up? How much have you sacrificed? How much love have I gained from you? Do you know? Your heart is filled with evil, betrayal, and deceit. So then how much of your love is impure? You believe that you have already given up enough for Me; you believe that your love for Me is already enough, yet why do your words and actions always carry with them rebellion and deceit? … You follow Me, yet then cast Me aside. Is this considered love? You follow Me, yet are mistrustful of Me. Is this considered love?” (“Many Are Called, but Few Are Chosen”). In the face of Your accusatory words, my false and ugly colors were exposed in the light; I didn’t know how to answer, only being speechless; I shed tears again. Saying to love You over and over, but in the end I left You all lies and deceits as well as betrayals, and repaid Your love with the words from my lips. Then I did realize that I had never loved You. What I love were this world and the enjoyment of my marriage and family and the flesh. In order to obtain and possess these things, I gave up my duties and no longer had normal spiritual life, let alone the meetings. Everything I pursued belonged to the flesh and the world. I neither treasured nor pursued the truth, the way and the life from You. My expending and laboring in the past was just because of the temporary enthusiasm and the touch of the Holy Spirit, not my real stature. And it was also bargaining chips I prepared in exchange for the blessings of the kingdom of heaven. I expended and labored for God with the intent and hope of seeking to obtain blessings, thus this could not stand the test of time. In the face of facts, I did see clearly that I had never walked the way of pursuing the truth, my love for You was just because of the temporary enthusiasm but not coming from the bottom of my heart. From the beginning to the end, I had never truly loved You.
God, indeed I didn’t truly love You.
At that moment, I understand, if I love You, any problem will be ok for me; if I love You, even if I am too busy, I can find the time to be close to You; if I love You, I will expend for You with a true heart; if I love You, no matter how much suffering and no matter how many difficulties I meet, I will not be passive and draw back; if I love You, I will have faith and perseverance to go through any difficulty, and I will rely on God to overcome any difficulty to satisfy You. However, thinking of myself, wasn’t I the one who only expended for the people, the matters and the things that I cherished? In order to see my beloved timely, although I felt very tired after getting off work, I would take the subway to see her. And regard to this matter, I never said I was too tired or had no time. In order to earn more salary, I could work overtime everyday. At weekend, I should have put my job aside to attend meetings, but I chose to work overtime.
God! Is it true that I am too busy to attend meetings? What on earth is the cause of this? Just assays, “In truth, all the trials and temptations that come upon man are lessons that God requires of man. According to God’s original intention, even if man resigns himself to parting with something he loves, it can still be achieved. The problem is just that man always loves himself, so he fails to truly cooperate with God. God does not ask much of man. All that God asks of man is meant to be achieved easily and happily; it is just that man is unwilling to suffer hardships. Like children, they could live frugally to come up with a few pennies to honor their parents and fulfill the duty they ought to fulfill. Yet they fear that they won’t eat well enough and that their clothing will be too plain, so for one reason or another, they take their parents’ love and care and cast it far out into the clouds, as if they will start to do this after earning a great deal of money. But I can see from this that men do not have the filial piety of loving their parents—they are unfilial sons” (“Interpretation of the Thirty-eighth Utterance”). God, I am the unfilial son Your word reveals. For the sake of my flesh, I was willing to give up my life and dedicate myself. However, I dedicated nothing to get the truth and was not willing to acknowledge it. God, I am the unfilial son without conscience who ever talked about Your love with lips all day but never loved You.
At this moment, I understand, If I love You, I will devote everything to You, even if it’s necessary, I am willing to spare no effort to sacrifice for You. Just like Peter, he could obey God to the death and love God to the highest level. When Peter escaped from the jail, the Lord appeared to him and told him that He would be nailed onto the cross again for Peter. After understanding the Lord’s will, he determined to return back to the jail again. In the end, he was willing to be nailed upside down on the cross, bearing resounding witness for the Lord. This is true love of God!
God, I do understand what You said at the moment, “He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10: 37). “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26). As believers in God, because of our own different pursuits, the ways we walk are naturally different. Some pursue to love and satisfy God; while some seek for happiness and peace as well as obtain more blessings and grace of the Lord, merely wanting to eat their fill but not practicing the truth. God, I am the latter who only wants to get grace from You but has never loved You, not knowing to be grateful and without conscience.
God, thanks for Your revelation, which allows me to realize the wrong way I have been walking. At the same time, I can see my real stature and shortcomings. In the coming days, I will pursue to love You according to Your words, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). God, may You lead me!
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