By Yang Laidi I’m Yang Laidi, sixty-two years old this year. In 1985, because my husband had health problems, our […]
Break Free from the Bondage of “Position” —The Spiritual Course of a Christian Walking Toward the Light (III)
After getting out of the church, I rode home with Yihua, humming a hymn of gratitude to the Lord. She asked me, “Why are you so happy?” I replied, “The preachings of the elder and coworkers in our church are dry. Yet your fellowship about the verses in the today is so fresh and profound. We are all well supplied, so I’m so happy that I can’t help singing.” Yihua said smilingly, “Thank God for His enlightenment. Wenzhen, in today’s meeting, it seems that you want to be a preacher very much.” I said, “Yeah, on hearing Sister Jia read the Bible slowly, I felt I was much better than her. And my desire to be a preacher came out again.”
Yihua stopped riding and said to me, “Wenzhen, I was in the same situation as you. I had a low opinion of a sister who preached in my church. I thought I had believed in the Lord longer than her, and sometimes she just preached the letters of the Bible. So I was fed up with her, thinking that I was much better than her in preaching. During one meeting, while the sister was preaching, I couldn’t bear anymore, so I took the topic and talked incessantly before waiting for her to finish preaching. After that, I slightly realized I had the desire for position, but I did it involuntarily and was unable to break free from it. So I was quite vexed at it. Later, in a book I read a passage of words speaking of such behavior. It says that it is under the domination of arrogant nature that man loves position. The words go like this, ‘Some people adore Paul very much. They just like to give sermons and do work outwardly, like to have meetings and talk, like others to listen to them and adore them, like to be centered, like to have a place in others’ hearts, and like to impress others with their image. From these manifestations, what do we find in their nature? Let’s dissect their nature. For such people with such manifestations, what is their nature? How to describe it with words? Ordinary people can’t see this clearly but can only see their manifestations. What are these manifestations related with their nature? What is their nature? You can’t discern it, right? If one really has these manifestations, it sufficiently shows that they are arrogant and conceited and do not at all, and that what they seek is to hold a high position and they desire to govern and occupy others and want to have a place in others’ hearts. This is the typical image of Satan.’ (from Christ’s Talks with Church Leaders and Workers) The words truly touched my heart. I just like to show off before others, give sermons to others, and have a place in others’ hearts. So it results from my arrogant nature and it represents Satan, and God doesn’t approve it.” “Hum, though what you talked about is a little profound, it makes sense. It’s the first time I’ve ever heard such a saying ‘Pursuing position is directed by arrogant nature.’ Today, I have a new understanding of the manifestations of pursuing position and know what drives us to do so. Thank the Lord. It’s really not a good thing to pursue position. But how can I break free from the bondage of position?” I asked her.
Yihua answered me with a smile, “At that time, I was perplexed too. I realized that the problem of pursuing position should be resolved, otherwise, I couldn’t be approved by the Lord, and would even be condemned. This is not the result I want in my believing in the Lord. Therefore I prayed to God, asking Him to lead me to break free from the bondage of ‘position.’ Later, in a book I read a passage of words which can solve my problem, so I copied them down.” Yihua held the notebook and read, “‘anyway, man is a created being, and has nothing to boast about. Since you are created beings, you ought to perform the duty of created beings, and there is no other requirement of you. And you will , “O God! No matter whether I have a position or not, I know myself now. If my position is high, it is Your uplifting; if it is low, it is Your ordination. Everything is in Your hand, I make no choice or complaint. … I will completely submit under Your dominion, because all this is Your ordination. I do not pay attention to position; I am just a created being. You put me into the bottomless pit or the lake of fire and sulfur, and I am still just a created being; You use me, and I am a created being; You perfect me, and I am still a created being; even if You do not perfect me, I will still love You, for I am only a created being. I am only a small created being created by the , one of the created mankind. You created me, and today You put me in Your hand to be controlled as You like. I am willing to be Your tool and willing to be a setoff to You, because all this is ordained by You and can be changed by no one, and all matters and all things are in Your hand.” At that time, you won’t place importance on things such as position, and you will be freed from it. Only in this way can you rest easy and pursue boldly, with your heart restrained by nothing. After you get released and free yourself from that, you will not have any worry.’” (from The Word Appears in the Flesh) Sister Yihua continued, “After reading the words, I felt they were quite good and exactly showed me the way. I pondered, ‘Man originally is a small created being created by God out of the ground. This is man’s inherent status. No matter whether one’s position among man is high or low, he is only a created being. Even if he has a high position, he is only a man out of the ground in the eyes of God. Regardless of whether I’m a preacher or an ordinary follower in the church, my substance will never change, and I’m still a created being in God’s eyes. It is the most legitimate pursuit to submit to the authority, sovereignty, and ordination of God. No matter what place God puts me in, I should obey God’s sovereignty and arrangements, fulfill the duty of a created being to satisfy God, perform my function as a created being according to the demands of the Lord, and give as much light as the heat can produce.’ Peter, for example, was only a fisherman and had no position originally. Yet after he followed the Lord, he pursued the truth wholeheartedly and pursued to fulfill the duty of a created being. And thereafter, as he loved God in his heart, he became the most beloved disciple of the Lord . So the Lord gave the keys of to Peter, yet Peter never stood in his position but pursued to properly perform the duty of a created being as usual. Even if doing service, he had no complaints. Therefore, it can be seen that what God values is man’s heart of loving the truth, rather than man’s position. Hence, I was willing to emulate Peter and practice according to these words. When I felt grieved over not gaining the position, I would pray before God and made a resolution that I was willing to obey God’s orchestrations and arrangements, and I would pursue hard to love God regardless of whether God would give me a position. If God predestined me to be grass, I should conduct myself well, keep my own position, and should not think about being a tree. The more I practiced in this way, the more I felt enriched and peaceful and had enjoyments within, and felt that I was very close to God and had God’s presence. And the more wonderful thing was that when I practiced in this way, I no longer kept dwelling on the fact of not being selected as a preacher, but realized that all people, matters, and things are under the orchestration of God’s hand and do service for God. God makes those who pursue to love Him get benefit. Thus, my desire for position weakened, and I became relaxed and liberated.”
I listened to her fellowship attentively, felt very fresh, and immediately felt bright within. I said seriously, “Yihua, how do you know so much? I’ve never heard such good preaching during my belief in the Lord. Although I read the Bible and attend meetings regularly, I’m often greatly tormented by the condition of living in the sin and unable to overcome it. I despise myself sometimes, but I have no way to go. So many times I came before God and prayed to Him weeping bitterly and made a resolution not to sin. However, when matters happen, I will still contend earnestly for position. I live too miserably and yearn for a way out. Today, through your fellowship, I felt much brighter and more released. I’m so grateful to God for His arrangement for our reunion after so many years.” Yihua said with a smile, “All the glory be to God! To change the viewpoint of pursuing position we should not only recognize our own substance and inherent status and identity, but also pursue to know God.” “Well? Is it related to knowing God? Tell me quickly, please.”
Yihua said, “The status of God is the Creator. He created everything and holds dominion over all things, yet God does not stand in His position. He can both ascend to the highest place and humble Himself by becoming a man to save mankind. One day I came across a passage of words, ‘God can humble Himself to a certain extent to do His work on these filthy and corrupt people and perfect this group of people. God is not only incarnated to eat and live with people and shepherd them to supply what they need, but more importantly, He does His extremely great work of salvation and conquest on these extremely corrupt people. … He is incarnated and takes an image of the flesh, letting people see that He has the normal human life and has the needs of a normal man. This is sufficient to prove that God has humbled Himself to a certain extent. God’s Spirit is realized in the flesh; His Spirit is so supreme and great, but He assumes an ordinary and small person to do the work of His Spirit. As far as the quality, insight, sense, humanity, and life of every one of you are concerned, you are too unworthy to receive such work of God and too unworthy to let God suffer so greatly for you. God is so lofty and is supreme to a certain extent and people are lowly to a certain extent, but God still works on people; He is incarnated to supply people, speak to people, and live with people. God is too humble and too lovely.’ (from The Word Appears in the Flesh) From these words I understood that God is supreme, yet He can humble Himself in the flesh to save us corrupt mankind. He never gives up saving us because of our low status. God is so lovable! In order to redeem all mankind, the came to earth from heaven and humbled Himself to work among man. No one knew He was Christ and God Himself, and even His disciples didn’t know it. People regarded the Lord Jesus as a teacher, a prophet, or a great physician, yet He didn’t care about how man treated Him and still silently did the work that He should do to redeem man. After the Lord Jesus performed signs and wonders or healed the sick and cast out demons, never did He ask man to publicly preach what he did nor did he proclaim His own identity to let man think highly of or worship Him. In addition to that, He dined with the sinners, and humbled Himself to wash the disciples’ feet. All that He did enables us to know that He is so supreme, yet He never stood in His position, never revealed arrogance, and never despised man. He lifted the needy from the dunghill, and no matter what troubles man had, He never shunned them, but always gave them necessary help and supply and caused man to benefit from it. From the Lord, we have seen God’s beautiful and good substance, known that there is no difference of position in God’s eyes, and felt that God is so holy. I made up my mind to emulate the Lord Jesus and not to place importance on positon any longer. When I encountered certain circumstances and wanted to pursue the position again, I would pray to God and ask Him to give me faith and strength, so that I could practice the truth and give up pursuing position.” I said to Yihua, “Your fellowship makes me have a new knowledge of the disposition of the Lord and have the way to practice to set aside position. After hearing your words, I come to realize that my living out is indeed too ugly. The Lord is so great and so lovely! He is highly worthy of our true worship. I often read the Bible and listen to sermons, however, I’ve never had such understanding before. I truly thank the Lord for His love! I’m willing to pursue the truth and seek to submit to God and worship Him. And I don’t wish to pursue position and make others think highly of me anymore. Yihua, the more I listen to your fellowship, the clearer I am. Please fellowship more with me later! ”
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