Battles Before a Meeting
By Pingping, United States
After accepting Almighty God’s work of the last days, whenever I was free, I would read God’s words and fellowship with the sisters from The Church of Almighty God. Before long, I was completely certain that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus and began to attend meetings of the church.
It was on the morning before Mother’s Day this year. A sister called me and said: “There will be an on-site meeting beginning at 10 tomorrow morning. Several brothers and sisters will attend. Can you come?” Hearing this, I was very happy and agreed readily. On the second morning, my child’s school held a party to celebrate Mother’s Day. I had intended I would attend the meeting after the party. But after the party finished, I was about to attend the meeting when my friend called me and said: “Your baby girl’s birthday is coming up. I’ve bought several suits of clothes for her. Where are you now? I’ll give them to you. And let’s then do some shopping together.” As I heard this, I had the thought of unwillingness to attend the meeting. I wanted to do some shopping with my friend and fetch my daughter’s birthday presents. But then I thought that since I had promised the sister I would attend the meeting, it was not proper to break my word. I hesitated somewhat, not knowing whether I should attend the meeting. Therefore, I lingered an instant longer in the school. But I was absent-minded and looked at my watch frequently. At this time, I suddenly remembered: “In ordinary days, when I gathered with brothers and sisters online, my children always made so much din that I could hardly quiet my heart, so the gathering results were not good for me. Now I have a chance to attend the on-site meeting—how great that is! But my friend happened to call me to have fun at this moment. Isn’t this Satan’s temptation facing me?” So I immediately prayed to God: “Oh, God! Please protect my heart from disturbance by the people, events, or things so that I can stand on Your side rather than follow my flesh.”
After praying, I phoned the sister that I was just starting to take the bus. The sister said: “It doesn’t matter. I’ve just left my house, and I’ll wait for you there.” After hanging up the phone, I hurried to take the bus. Even though I had gotten on the bus, I still felt conflicted in my heart and thought to myself: “My friend bought some presents for my daughter. If I don’t fetch them, will she be unhappy?” Just then, I looked casually out of the window, only to find the things outside were strange to me. Looking carefully, I realized that I was sitting on a wrong bus. At this time, the thought of unwillingness to attend the meeting flashed in my mind again. I called the sister and said that I had taken a wrong bus. The sister comforted me and told me how to change to the right bus. I had no other way but to get off the bus and wait by the road. But after twenty minutes, the bus still didn’t arrive. Only then did I realize that my own condition was not right, and that I was always disturbed by the thought of unwillingness to attend the meeting. So I prayed to God silently, and asked God to protect my heart from disturbance by the people, events, and things. Suddenly, I thought of a passage of God’s words that the sister had fellowshiped with me before: “The Holy Spirit not only works in certain men who are used by God, but even more in the church. He could be working in anyone. He may work in you for the present, and when you have experienced it, He may work in someone else next. Make haste to follow; the more closely you follow the present light, the more your life can mature and grow.” With the leadership from God’s words, I understood: It’s very important to live the church life in our belief in God. Only by gathering with brothers and sisters more and learning from each other, can we receive more life supply, understand more truth, and make faster progress in our life. Then I thought of the words from Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life: “It is not easy for those without a church life to attain more of the work of the Holy Spirit because church life is the actual place where God’s chosen people eat and drink God’s words, fellowship truths, bear witness for God, and enjoy His love. It is also the place for the training of the kingdom, where God’s chosen people can serve and provide sustenance for each other, fulfill their duties, and serve God. Only by living within the church life can people enjoy more work of the Holy Spirit and be perfected by God in more ways, be able to understand truths and enter into the reality of God’s words more quickly, obtain transformation in their life disposition, and become ones who are truly obedient to God and worship God.” I said to myself: “Now I’ve understood that I should attend meetings often and fellowship God’s words with brothers and sisters more. Only in this way can I obtain the work of the Holy Spirit, understand more truth, change my disposition, and be saved by God. Today I have a rare opportunity to gather face-to-face with brothers and sisters. I should attend the gathering so that I can listen to more experiences of the brothers and sisters and better understand how to experience the work of God. If I just want to fetch the presents, hang out with my friend, and am unwilling to attend the meeting, then there must be something wrong with my intent.”
Therefore, I prayed to God again: “God, there is a meeting today, but my friend called me to have fun. My heart is disturbed. God, now I have understood the meaning of having meetings. May You guide me and give me faith so that I can put the truth into practice to satisfy You.” After praying, I thought of God’s words: “Do not come into contact with things that can draw your heart away to the outside, and do not come into contact with people who can draw your heart away from God. Drop whatever it is that can distract your heart from being close to God, or stay away from it. That way is more beneficial to your life.” God’s words showed me the way of practice. I made a resolution: No matter who disturbs me, I will attend the meeting first and then handle other matters. Just at that minute, my mind cleared up suddenly and I found that I was on the wrong side of the road; I should have waited for the bus on the other side. Sure enough, after I crossed the road, there came a bus and I got on it and reached my destination very quickly. When I was walking to the meeting place, my husband called me and said that he wanted me home to give him a haircut, and that he had cooked the steak for me and was waiting for me to have lunch. I told him without any hesitation that I wouldn’t be back until later.
When I arrived at the meeting place, I saw several brothers and sisters were there. We played several hymns that praised God, and during that, my heart was calmed. Then we prayed together, and started our meeting. Listening to the fellowship of the brothers and sisters about their experience and knowledge of the words of God, I felt extremely released and was so touched in my heart that I also fellowshiped my understanding and knowledge of God’s words. During the whole meeting, I felt much enjoyment in my spirit, and my heart was filled with joy. I felt that this was the best gift I received on this Mother’s Day—a most spiritually enjoyable meeting.