Throwing off Satan’s Yoke Is Liberating
Before I believed in God, no matter what I was doing, I never wanted to fall behind. I was willing to accept any hardship as long as it meant I could rise above everyone else. After I accepted God, my attitude remained the same, because I firmly believed in the saying, “No pain, no gain,” and saw my attitude as proof of my motivation. When God revealed the truth to me, I finally realized I had been living under Satan’s yoke, living under its domain.
Not too long ago, the church made plans to send the sister I partnered with out to serve in a leadership position. Upon hearing the news, my heart sank. We both used to serve in leadership roles until we were reappointed as editors. Now my sister would be returning to a leadership position and serve God with unlimited growth potential, but I’d still be stuck at a desk, performing my duty in obscurity. What future would there be in that? On second thought, I was reminded of the old saying, “There are a million different paths to success.” As long as I fulfilled my duty properly, I could also be successful. I just needed to redouble my efforts at pursuing the truth. If I focused on editing sermons so they better communicated the truth, maybe one day the leaders would see that I understood the truth. Then they’d promote me and my future would be equally as bright. After this realization, the gray clouds began to retreat in favor of a renewed determination. I threw myself into my work, and I ate and drank God’s word when I was not busy, not daring to slacken for even a moment.
One day, I saw the following passage: “Everything that restricts you from pursuing God and seeking the truth is one of Satan’s shackles. If you are bound by just one of Satan’s chains, you’re living your life under its domain” (“Tasks that Servants of God Must Complete” in Fellowship and Preaching About Life Entry III). After hearing this, I could not help but ask myself, “Which of Satan’s yokes am I living under? Which of its poisons are hindering my pursuit of the truth?” As I quietly tried to ponder this question, I was reminded of my recent situation. After my sister was sent off to her new post, I was not passive. In fact, I became even more devoted to eating and drinking God’s word, praying to God, and actively fulfilling my duty. On the surface, I seemed even more diligent in pursuing the truth than before, but if you peel back the curtain and analyze it, my ability to accept falling behind was only because I harbored ambitions of leaping forward someday. My burning desire to be the best of the best was the reason I didn’t become passive and instead pursued the truth more actively, but my so-called pursuit of the truth was just an illusion, an impure pursuit. I was co-opting a momentary pursuit of the truth to fulfill my own selfish ends. Thinking back on my years spent following God, I realized that all my sacrifices were paid for by Satan’s poison “No pain, no gain.” This is how it bound me like an invisible shackle and drove me to strive for excellence. When I already had a position, I was still pursuing an even higher one; When I lost my position or failed to advance, I didn’t become passive; I still appeared to be willing to pay the price to seek the truth. However, this was not because I understood the truth and was willing to sacrifice for it. I simply wanted to use the appearance of sacrifice in an effort to succeed. That’s when I finally understood that my “No pain, no gain” stance was actually one of Satan’s poisons flowing through my veins. I had been tricked; the poison had sapped me of all my humanity. I was arrogant and ambitious without any sense of perspective. The whole thing happened right under my nose. I actually thought my ambition was a testament to my aspiration. I thought my arrogant disposition of unwillingness to fall behind was a sign of my motivation. I worshiped Satan’s fallacies as truth and saw them as a badge of honor instead of a scarlet letter. How stupid was I to have been tricked by Satan like that, to have failed to differentiate good from evil? I finally saw just how pathetic I was. I also learned just how insidious and despicable Satan is. Satan uses specious fallacies to deceive and corrupt us. It leads us astray, and we swear fealty to its deceitful schemes. This is all done without our knowledge. We think we’re pursuing the truth and sacrificing for the truth, but we’re actually living in self-deception. Satan’s poisons are potent indeed! If it wasn’t for God’s enlightenment, I would never have seen the truth that I was corrupted by Satan, and I certainly would never have seen through its deceitful schemes. If it wasn’t for God’s enlightenment, I would have kept on living under Satan’s yoke, until Satan eventually consumed me whole.
At that time, I thought of God’s words: “If you are glad to be a service-doer in the house of God, working diligently and conscientiously in obscurity, always giving and never taking, then I say that you are a loyal saint, for you seek no reward and are simply being an honest man” (“Three Admonitions” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words showed me the way of practice: As one of God’s creations, I should love Him and satisfy Him unconditionally and devoutly fulfill my duty. This is the sense that one of God’s creations should possess. This is a pursuit that is in line with His will. From this day forward, I will do my best to pursue the truth. I will rely on truth to penetrate Satan’s deception and throw off its yoke. No longer will I pursue anything of the flesh. Instead, I will toil in obscurity, fulfilling my duty to satisfy God. Even if I’m left with nothing in the end, I will continue on willingly with nary a regret, because I am just one of God’s insignificant creations. Satisfying the Creator is my one true purpose in life.