What will of God is concealed within the Lord Jesus’ refusal to observe the Sabbath? And what inspiration does it bring to us today?
Stepping Forward Into the Dreamland of Happiness – Spiritual Awakening
By Mengting, Hong Kong
In 2012, I was fortunate to accept God’s salvation in the last days. My experiences throughout these years have helped me deeply appreciate that are the truth, which has changed me and made my family no longer full of complaints but happy and well. It was God’s great salvation and mercy that led me toward the dreamland of happiness step by step. …
I was once a gambler, a mahjong addict and a slave to money. When I came into contact with mahjong, I played it just for fun, and then went out to gamble together with some friends. Unconsciously, I was involved in it and unable to save myself, sinking deeper and deeper. At that time, I felt this was what a comfortable life should be. Afterward, I felt I didn’t have my fill of fun on the outside. As a result, I directly bought a mahjong table and put it at my house. In this way, not only it was convenient for me to play mahjong, but I could earn some gratuities by entertaining others when they played mahjong at my home.
Tempted by the addiction to gambling, I didn’t even stop playing before I was about to give birth. When my baby was just one month old, I started to play mahjong again, with my baby in my arms. My gambling friends smoked, the room full of cigarette smoke, but I didn’t consider whether the smoke would affect my baby’s health. Worrying about our baby’s health, my husband blamed me and forbade me to play mahjong. But I regarded his word to be so much hot air without paying the slightest attention to it. Playing mahjong became almost my job.
After a few years, due to giving myself to playing mahjong, I had cervical spondylosis, dizzy and muddle-headed all day long. When I won, I would splurge on eating, drinking and merry-making; when I lost a pile of money, I would be in a fret and cross with my children. What upset me most was that because of my indulging in mahjong all day, my family and I no longer had a normal routine in our life, the house was in a mess and the conflict between my husband and me steadily escalated. My husband often blamed me. Facing his nagging, I knew that I was wrong and then made a resolution inwardly: I will gamble as little as possible. However, after my husband went to work, I was possessed to cast my resolution to the wind again and continued to contact my friends to come to my home for gambling.
I seemed to be mired in a quagmire, unable to extricate myself, which made me feel wretched. Additionally, with cervical vertebra, dizziness and headache nagging me all day, I was in a fuddled state, like the walking dead. I didn’t know how I should live and what I lived for. Exceedingly empty life made me suffer an unspeakable amount. I knew the adverse effects of abandoning myself to mahjong and also wanted to give it up, yet I couldn’t help myself. Seeing my two hands, I really wanted to cut off them but didn’t have the heart to do it. I thought about suicide to end my own life, but thinking of my two young daughters, I didn’t have the heart to cast them aside. Confusedly, I lost the direction of my life, having no hope and feeling worse than death. Just when I came to a dead end, God’s salvation of the last days came to me and led me to start anew and have a new life step by step.
The sisters who spread thefellowshiped with me about various truths: All things in the universe were created by God; God rules over all things and is in control of everything; how God has led and provided for us mankind; how He has saved the profoundly corrupt human race and so on. After hearing that, I was very interested in these words. Then a sister gave me a book so that I could read it at home.
After returning home, I opened the book and began to read. Though I didn’t understand every piece of God’s words, I felt these words are novel. The more I read, the more I was interested in them. I saw God says, “Mankind, who left the supply of life from the Almighty, does not know why they exist, and yet fears death. There is no support, no help, but mankind is still reluctant to close their eyes, braving it all, drags out an ignoble existence in this world in bodies without the consciousness of souls. You live like such, with no hope; he exists like such, with no aim. There is only the Holy One in the legend who will come to save those who moan in suffering and long desperately for His arrival. This belief cannot be realized so far in the people who are unconscious. However, the people still yearn for it so. The Almighty has mercy on these people who suffer deeply. At the same time, He is fed up with these people who have no consciousness, because He has to wait too long for the answer from humans. He desires to seek, seek your heart and your spirit. He wants to bring you food and water and to awaken you, so you are no longer thirsty, no longer hungry. When you are weary and when you begin to feel the desolation of this world, do not be perplexed, do not cry., the Watcher, will embrace your arrival any time. He is watching by your side, waiting for you to turn back. He is waiting for the day your memory suddenly recovers: becoming conscious of the fact that you came from God, somehow and somewhere once lost, falling unconscious on the roadside, and then, unknowingly having a father. You further realize that the Almighty has been watching there, awaiting your return all along. He longs bitterly, waiting for a response without an answer.” Every sentence of God’s words attracted and warmed my heart. At that time, I burst into tears, as if a child who had wandered for so long suddenly heard his mother’s calling and as if my mother was anxiously anticipating my coming back to her. The good words moved my heart. I couldn’t restrain my inner stirring and plunged headlong into the quilt, sobbing bitterly.
Seeing my unusual behavior, my husband rushed over and asked me what had happened, yet how could he know my inner stirring? Pondering God’s words, I realized that I came from God. I struggled painfully in this world, completely degenerated, and was in hopelessness and despair. This was because I departed from God and lived under Satan’s dark influence. I was addicted to gambling, living in suffering and despair. Afterward, through the sisters’ fellowshiping with me about the truth in God’s words many times, I had some understanding of God’s work of saving mankind. God used words to water me, which made my numb heart be revived gradually. I often lived the church life, communed and shared God’s words together with my brothers and sisters. The devotion of more time to having meetings with brothers and sisters naturally left less time for gambling.
Later, I saw God’s words say, “Satan uses these social trends to lure people one step at a time into a nest of devils, so that people caught up in social trends unknowingly advocate money and material desires, as well as advocate wickedness and violence. Once these things have entered man’s heart, what then does man become? … People are not willing to live the simple life of normal humanity, but instead wish to enjoy high status and great wealth, to revel in the pleasures of the flesh, sparing no effort to satisfy their own flesh, with no restrictions, no bonds to hold them back, in other words doing whatever they desire. So when man has become immersed in these kinds of trends, can the knowledge that you have learned help you get free? Can the traditional culture and superstitions you know help you cast off this dire predicament? Can the traditional morals and traditional ceremony that man comprehends help them exercise restraint? Take the Three Character Classic, for example. Can it help people pull their feet out of the quicksand of these trends? (No, it cannot.) In this way, man becomes more and more what? More and more evil, arrogant, condescending, selfish, and malicious. There is no longer any affection between people, no longer any love between family members, no longer any understanding between relatives and friends; human relations have become full of cheating, full of violence. Every single person wants to use cheating means and violent methods to live in amongst their fellow man….” I was shocked by the true fact revealed by God that Satan uses the social trends to lead man astray and benumb man. It turned out that I led a besotted life and couldn’t extricate myself just because I wandered into some sort of maze laid by Satan, and was caught into its trap. I thought hard: Those who revel in mahjong are friends when they don’t play mahjong together, but once they play together, they will become enemies for fighting over money and often argue over half-a-crown until their faces turn red; human relations have become full of violence. Because I was addicted to gambling, my children didn’t get mother’s love and care, I had no time to contact my relatives and the conflict between my husband and me was hard to be reconciled. I completely lost the normal life. In this way, the social trends caused to arise by Satan gradually lured us into a nest of devils. Thinking of this, my heart was even more grateful to God’s great love and salvation.
Later on, a sister fellowshiped with me to let me take on hosting duties and I agreed. But I still put the mahjong table at home due to my shallow understanding of the truth. I thought I could earn some money through it. Sometimes if my friends were one player short, I could join in and gamble. In this way, I received not only my brothers and sisters who came to have meetings but those who came to play mahjong. In such case, I had to lie to them, saying that my relatives would come to my house or I was busy. However, when I saw God’s words calling on us to be honest people, I was rebuked in my heart. I wanted tofor God to have my mahjong table broken, but I was afraid that once God took it away, I would lose this source of income. When I was on the horns of a dilemma, I asked my sisters what I should do. They had me seek God on my own and make a decision according to my family situation. Then I asked of God, “O God, You know all that I think. I know my leaving the mahjong table at home is what You loath, but I just can’t let go of it. I beg You to enlighten and guide me to know what I shall do.”
Afterward, I saw among God’s words the following: “Something is revealed through the human disposition of the people in this world, including yourselves sitting here. How is this interpreted? It’s the worship of money. Is it hard to get this out of someone’s heart? It is very hard! It seems that Satan’s corruption of man is thorough indeed! Can we say that? (Yes.) So after Satan uses this trend to corrupt people, how is it manifested in them? Don’t you feel that you couldn’t survive one day in this world without any money, that even one day would just be impossible? (Yes.) People’s status is based on how much money they have as is their respectability. The backs of the poor are bent in shame, while the rich enjoy their high status. They stand tall and proud, speaking loudly and living arrogantly. What does this saying and trend bring to people? Don’t many people see getting money as being worth any cost? Don’t many people sacrifice their dignity and integrity in the pursuit of more money? Don’t many more people lose the opportunity to perform their duty and follow God for the sake of money? Isn’t this a loss for people? (Yes.) Isn’t Satan sinister to use this method and this saying to corrupt man to such a degree? Isn’t this a malicious trick?” (“God Himself, the Unique V”). God’s words made me understand: That I still wanted to earn money through the mahjong table was because Satan used money to tempt me and control my thinking. Even though I knew God wished to save me, I was still reluctant to give up the mahjong table. To achieve my goals, I deceived my brothers and sisters, unable to abide by my duty. Didn’t this show that I was subject to Satan’s mocking? How could I speak of being saved by God? In recognizing all of this, I hated Satan all the more. I prostrated myself before God and resolved: “O God! I’m ready to abandon Satan and give up the ill-gotten gains. I’m determined to put off the mahjong. May You give me confidence and strength. I’m willing to seek the truth with my heart and soul and fulfill my duty to satisfy You and repay Your love.” After the prayer, I felt inspired and relieved. Then I sold the mahjong table and completely freed myself from all the ties and the bonds of the evil trends of Satan. Having more time to read God’s words and equip myself with the truths, I lived freely and without restraints every day.
However, Satan was not willing to let go and still carried out the ruses to tempt me. When moms of my daughter’s classmates came to invite me to go out to gamble, I was somewhat tempted at first, but it suddenly occurred to me that this was Satan’s scheme. Then I prayed to God to give me faith and make me overcome Satan’s temptations. I thought that God’s will was to let me clam my heart before Him, and not be occupied by men, events or things from without. Thinking of my current life, I often fellowshiped about God’s words with my brothers and sisters in the church. We were all pure and simple, and helped each other through life, living easily and freely. I also felt more at ease, illuminated and supported inside my heart. This was the good life. With these thoughts I politely declined their invitation.
Although I sold the mahjong table and refused the mahjong friends’ invitation, yet having, I didn’t lack money at all in my life, and each day was very enriching and peaceful. When I returned to my hometown to visit my relatives, I said to them I had abstained from the mahjong, and they thought it was incredible. At that moment, I couldn’t help but thank God from my heart. Moreover, since I didn’t play mahjong, the conflict and quarrels between my husband and I had disappeared. Also, my husband was elated at my changes. He played with our children happily after work and strongly supported my performing the duty. Now, my life is very full and happy. Besides, I feel in much better health. I gave a heartfelt thanks to God for His great salvation. I’m willing to fulfill my duty to repay His love. All praise be to God!