28. A Haughty Spirit Before a Fall
By Baixue, Liaoning Province
I was recently transferred to another church to perform my duty. I had heard that all the work at this church had achieved good results, and so I felt especially grateful to God that I had been asked to come to such a good church to do my duty. So I silently made a resolution to God: I will definitely do my very best in my duty to repay God’s love.
However, after I arrived, I discovered many loopholes in the work being done. As a result, I took it upon myself to begin inspecting each item of work. As I was performing my inspections, I also thought to myself: “How on earth have they done their work like this? I thought the work done here would be excellent. I never imagined it would be like this, and that it would be worse than that of the church I was in charge of before! Now that I’m here, it must be properly managed, and each item of work carried out according to the work arrangement. I will lead all the brothers and sisters to enter into life and get the results from each item of our work up to scratch.” Later, I got together with the co-workers and began learning about each item of work, and then communicating, planning, and making arrangements. When we fellowshiped, I frequently revealed my true feelings: The work quality here is so low. My work before wasn’t like how yours is now. At my old workplace, we always managed work in such-and-such a way, we always did such-and-such to do our jobs well, and the brothers and sisters there were obedient to God in such-and-such a way. After these meetings, some of the co-workers would say: “Exactly right! We haven’t done any practical work. This time, we need to start over and do our work according to the principles.” Others would say: “Thank you for your fellowship today. Otherwise we really wouldn’t know how to do our work properly.” Upon hearing these words, I was very happy. I felt that I was indeed better than their former leader. But while I was feeling proud of myself, I also couldn’t shake a faint feeling of guilt: “Was it really appropriate for me to talk like that? Why did I always say that my former workplace was better?” But on the other hand, I thought: “What’s wrong with saying that? I was just trying to teach them how to do a better job.” In this way, I didn’t follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit to examine myself. In the Bible, there is a proverb which says, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Pro 16:18). Just as I was about to dive head-first into my work with very high hopes, I suddenly felt that I was losing touch with God; I was not seeing any signs of improvement in our work, and also the effectiveness of our gospel work went from soaring high to taking a nosedive. I sank into a state of extreme pain, but wasn’t sure where I’d gone wrong. So, I went before God to pray and seek guidance in earnest, and just then, I remembered a passage from a sermon: “To be a leader serving God you must have principles. … no matter what, you still need to testify and exalt God. Say as much as you understand, exalt and testify God to the greatest extent that you can, and under no circumstances exalt yourself or allow others to worship you. This is the first and the most fundamental rule to follow” (“One Must Have Principles in Serving God” in Collection of Sermons—Supply for Life). Right then, tears streamed down my face. Remorse, self-reproach, and gratitude all filled my heart at the same time. I recalled all that I had said to the co-workers in fellowship and I felt that I was really indebted to God, and that I hadn’t lived up to His exaltation of me. The church arranged for me to come here to do my duty so that I could exalt and bear witness to God, lead brothers and sisters before God, and help them to know Him. Yet, I shamelessly showed off, and had the audacity to exalt myself, bear witness to myself, and build myself up, so that others would look up to me and worship me. I was so arrogant and conceited, and how could such a despicable person as me, who was engaged in my own business in the name of loving and satisfying God, ever deserve to serve God? How could the work of such a person be blessed by God? All I was doing was striving for fame and position; I was walking the path of an antichrist, I was acting purely in defiance of God, and was truly detested by God. The more I thought about it, the more I detested myself. I couldn’t help but remorsefully prostrate myself before God, and pray to Him, “O God! Thank You for Your chastisement and judgment that have awakened me and enabled me to recognize my satanic nature. Your chastisement and judgment have also revealed the direction in which my service must go, and have made me understand that only if I exalt You and bear witness to You can my service be after Your heart. That is my duty as a created being. O God! From now on, in the performance of my duty, I wish to examine my intentions and motives when I speak or act, to consciously exalt You and bear witness to You, and to lead the brothers and sisters to know You. I’m willing to be someone who possesses truth and humanity and perform my duty properly to comfort Your heart.”