Why does God allow setbacks or failures? How should we trust God in difficult times and thus keep our faith in God? Read this article to find the answers.
We Have Found the New Work of the Holy Spirit (I)
We Have Found the New Work of the Holy Spirit (I)
(1) How to get the Holy Spirit’s working?
I live in a remote mountainous area where few strangers come. Recently, thanks to the great love of God, over ten brothers and sisters who preached well from another church came to our village. They helped us do farm work during the day, and had meetings with us in the evening, which made us taste the Lord’s love. Later, they came a second time, and it was already 9 p.m. when they arrived. I shook hands with Brother Zheng and said in a moving voice, “When you came here last time, in addition to fellowshipping with us in meetings, you helped us do farm work. What you did helped us a lot and aroused our enthusiasm. But after you left, we were weak again, and brothers and sisters were again busy with their own farm work and went after the world. We really do not know what to do. You give up your comfortable city life and come to our mountain village. You really can bear hardships and have love, thank the Lord!” Brother Zheng said, “It’s because of the strength and love God gives us. We can’t live out love by ourselves. May God bless us so that we can love and support each other.” Then, we went to a host home, had dinner and then went to bed.
The next day, at the news that there came some strangers, many brothers and sisters came one after another. Finding that they were Brother Zheng and several others, the brothers and sisters were particularly pleased. A brother said gladly, “Brother, we are negative and have no enthusiasm again after you left last time. Every day I hope that you can come again to fellowship with us. Now, more than a month later, you really come again. Talk more to us this time, please.” Another brother said in a hurry, “I heard that you believed in the Lord later than us, but your faith and love are greater than ours. You buoyed our faith when you came last time. This time you’d better stay here for a few more days, and we’d like to get more.” Brother Zheng said smilingly, “Thank God, we also miss you. You have faith because of God’s blessing, and our faith is brought about by God’s work and leading. We also often for preparing for us so that we can come and meet you early, and make progress together.”
When brothers and sisters gathered together, I led them to sing some hymns. After the prayer, I began to preach. Because I had no enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, I could only talk about the scriptures literally, and couldn’t solve the practical difficulties of brothers and sisters. Then, I said to Brother Zheng, “Brother, I find you are quite vigorous, full of faith. You do have the working of the Holy Spirit. Could you tell us how to get the Holy Spirit’s working?” Brothers and sisters all cast envious eyes to Brother Zheng. He stood up and said in a touching tone, “I read such a passage from a book: ‘The principle of the Holy Spirit’s working is that he works through man’s cooperation. Only through man’s initiatively praying, seeking, and drawing near to God will the results be produced and will the Holy Spirit inspire and enlighten him. It is not that the Holy Spirit works unilaterally or that man works unilaterally. Both are indispensable. The more one cooperates and strives toward the standard required by God, the more the Holy Spirit will work on him.’ (from The Word Appears in the Flesh) If we want to get the Holy Spirit’s working, we need to pray to God more, be open with God more, speak our mind to God, and tell God our difficulties, because the Lord once promised us: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened the door to you.’ (Matthew 7:7) Below is one of my experiences. One day, when we three or four brothers and sisters were having spiritual devotion together, we read such words of the Lord, ‘Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.’ (Matthew 7:21-23) At that time, we sought and fellowshipped about this chapter with each other, and talked about our own understanding. A sister shared her knowledge with us that ‘those who said to God, Lord, Lord’ not only referred to people of other denominations, but also to ourselves. At that time, we all felt the light was good, and then prayed, ‘Lord, we thank You. Through reading Your words, we see the light You give us. We’re willing to continue to pray to You. Please illuminate us. We indeed don’t do Your will in some things and do evil, because what You say is the truth. May You lead us!’ Later, we continued to ponder and reflect on ourselves. A brother said, ‘Our leader told us not to associate and fellowship with people of other denominations. This is against God’s will. The Scripture says that we should entertain travelers with love. God also requires us to pursue peace with all men and holiness. So, God won’t delight in our listening to the leader’s word instead of God’s word!’ Another sister said, ‘Yes, aren’t we looking up to man and believing in man?’ At that time, all of us felt it was very good to draw near to God in that way, and we also recognized the deviation in our previous practice. We all felt that this was the enlightenment and illumination from the Holy Spirit. Through reading God’s words and checking ourselves in that way, we had the way to practice in future. Brothers and sisters, our condition of several years ago was the same with yours. We were also weak and passive, and did not know the cause at that time. Later, by seeking and fellowshipping, we realized that it was because we did not listen to the word of God but always looked up to man and listened to man’s word. We thought the leaders who could talk much and the preachers who preached the gospel were the ones with a high stature and the ones used by God. But we never tried to distinguish whether they were the ones who did the will of the heavenly Father. We listened to whatever the leaders said and obeyed whatever they did in the church, and we simply treated their words as the words of God. We obeyed and looked up to the leaders so much, and that’s why we gradually lost the Holy Spirit’s working. After that, I read the words of the Lord, ‘Woe to you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.’ (Luke 6:26) By reading this word, I realized that I looked up to my leader, and brothers and sisters looked up to me. They complimented us leaders. Whatever happened, they all came to ask us, sought help from us, and opened their hearts to us, but never prayed to God or associated with God. Haven’t I brought brothers and sisters before me? Isn’t it a woe? Brothers and sisters did not rely on God or look up to God when they met with difficulties. Haven’t I offended the Lord? Haven’t I infuriated God greatly? After I realized that, I shared the light with other co-workers, and they all agreed with me. Then we made a prayer of repentance to the Lord together. Afterwards, we told brothers and sisters in the church: We believers in God cannot look up to men but should follow God alone. When we practiced that way, we saw God’s deeds: Brothers’ and sisters’ faith was gradually aroused, and they also had love for each other. Hence, today when we believe in God, we should rely on and look up to God more, pray more, seek the truth in God’s word more, and act according to God’s requirement. No matter whether it is from the workers or from brothers and sisters, as long as what they fellowship about is God’s word and after God’s heart, we shall obey. If the leaders and workers talk about their own ideas that go against the Lord’s words, we shall not accept or obey. This is the only way of practice for us to get the Holy Spirit’s working.”
Then a sister said, “Yes, no wonder we are negative and weak. So it’s because we listen to the leaders but not God. We act on whatever our leader says, and never measure them against the words of the Lord to see whether their doings are after the Lord’s heart. We need to repent in this regard.” A brother suddenly rose to his feet and said angrily, “Brother Zheng, you are wrong. Our leader Brother Liu said that leaders are established by God, because Romans 13: 1 says: ‘Let every soul be subject to the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.’ So I shall listen to our leader.” Brother Zheng said calmly, “What you read was said by man, not by God. I remember such a passage: ‘Since you believe in God, you should obey God worship God, should not exalt man or look up to man, and should not regard God as the greatest, the man you look up to as the second greatest, and yourself as the third greatest. You should not have consider man, especially the man you adore, to be the same as God or to be equal with God. This is what God cannot tolerate.’ (from The Word Appears in the Flesh) Brothers and sisters, God is a jealous God, and He doesn’t live in a filthy temple. To worship a corrupt man is to exalt Satan and worship the idol. If we believe that way, we will not have a good outcome, and our believing in God will be in vain. We are all men corrupted by Satan, so we have nothing worthy of compliment, and even less do we deserve others’ worship. We believers in God should magnify God and be absolutely obedient to God. Only this is after God’s heart. Therefore, brothers and sisters, we need to repent.”
When hearing that, brothers and sisters said, “The consequence is so serious. So we are believing in men in the church, not God. We are worshiping Satan!” I sighed, “Ay, I don’t know it before you fellowship about it. Previously, I never realized this error but thought that listening to the leader was obeying God. We have committed a great sin and offended God. We cannot look up to man when believing in God. We must read and hear God’s word more!” A sister said with emotion, “Thank and praise God. God loves us so much. Through your fellowship, we know the way to repent! We also have hope!” An old sister said, “Brother Zheng, we understand too little. Fellowship more with us, please.” At that time, brothers and sisters moved their chairs closer to Brother Zheng. Brother Zheng said, “All the work today is done by the Holy Spirit. Do not think we are capable of fellowshipping. All is entirely enlightened and guided by the Holy Spirit. God works on us, and He also works on you. Today He works in this church, and tomorrow He may work in that church. The working of the Holy Spirit moves. So we believers in God should be obedient to God’s guidance. Do not fix our eyes on man, for God will not lead us if we acts like that.” Brothers and sisters all nodded, and said happily, “Yes, yes, thank God! All is done by God!” I was surprised and asked, “Why does the working of the Holy Spirit move?”
Disclaimer: This article on our website is original. If you wish to reproduce it, please indicate that we are the source.
Do you want to welcome the Lord Jesus? Do you want to be raptured before the disasters? Our website provides messages about theof Christ. Please click the button below to communicate online with us at any time.