God’s Words Showed Me a Direction in Life

February 9, 2024

By Xinyi, Thailand

I’ve always gotten good grades ever since I was young and would compete in literary and art competitions. You could say I made smooth progress throughout my academic career. My family all hoped I’d distinguish myself and bring honor to our family. They would often say: “Those with knowledge are respected, highly regarded, and only they can gain a footing in society. Those without knowledge and learning are looked down upon and will never be able to hold their head high.” I completely agreed with my parent’s opinions, and just like that, “Standing out above the rest, and bringing honor to your ancestors” became the goal which I sought. To achieve this goal, I would study from morning till night and would persist no matter how tired I felt. In my free time I’d go online to study even more. I would never miss class or arrive late and would closely listen to each of my teachers’ lectures. After class, others would go out to play, but I’d stay inside to do homework. I was always one of the last to hand in my tests, making sure to look closely over my answers. In the pursuit of study, I didn’t eat at normal hours or do any exercise and I was often underslept. Through tireless effort, I eventually tested into my dream school: Chiang Mai University. When parents, friends and teachers heard the news, they all looked at me with admiring and envious gazes. I felt so incredibly happy. I thought that I was embarking on the beginning of a wonderful, remarkable life, that lots of companies would be lining up to hire me when I graduated and I would certainly make a name for myself and stand out above the rest. Unexpectedly, my mother got cancer and was diagnosed at a late stage. The doctors said she had very little time left. The news was like a bolt from the blue and completely overwhelmed me. It seemed like everything I’d planned had been torn to shreds. I had worked so hard in school so that I could become a standout in the future, have the means to support my mom in the future and make her proud. But my mom had gotten cancer before I even graduated. I felt so depressed. I wanted to go home and take care of my mom, but I thought of how much work I’d put into testing into university and that I ought to have something to show for all the effort I’d put in for years. If I abandoned my schooling to take care of my mom, wouldn’t all my hard work have been in vain? I felt so conflicted and didn’t know how to proceed. One time, my mom called me and said: “I don’t think I’ll make it to when you graduate, but for the sake of your own future, you must complete your schooling and go on to live a good life, then I can pass without any regrets.” Having been convinced by mom, I didn’t return home to take care of her and continued my studies. Not soon after that, my mother passed away. I was consumed by recollections of my mother, and all I could think of was the task she entrusted me with. I resolved to study hard and make a name for myself to live up to my mother’s hopes.

At first I managed to adapt my life at university, but eventually I came to see that life there was rather dry and boring, it was nothing like how I had imagined. To the contrary, life at school was full of competition. Students formed cliques based on their family backgrounds, and there was a lot of teasing and ridicule. Some teachers would even join along with students with good grades or family backgrounds to tease those with bad grades or poor families. This led students who already felt inferior to become even more so, and some students even transferred or withdrew. I utterly despised the atmosphere there, but in order to distinguish myself, I stubbornly persevered in my studies to attain good grades. Through hard work, I attained good grades and results both in school and in my professional career. Under-classmates all looked up to me, and took me as a role model to emulate in their studies. I got the fame and gain I had desired, but I felt empty within,and I gradually came to be bored and fed up with that lifestyle. I didn’t understand why people wanted to live that way. I had thought that by studying knowledge I could stand out, attain happiness and lead the life I wanted to live. So why did I feel more empty and agonized the more I sought that life? Sometimes I’d think: Was the purpose of life to just work to experience the feeling of success and then eventually die? And given that we take nothing to our graves and have nothing to show for our efforts, what was the point of all this? Were there no more meaningful ways of living?

One day I saw a post on Facebook about the true meaning of life. After liking the post and leaving a comment, I got friended by someone that began chatting with me about religious faith, which was when I realized that he must be a Christian. He spread the gospel of Almighty God’s last days’ work of salvation to me. I read many of Almighty God’s words and came to know many truths I had never heard before, including the source of man’s life, the root of man’s suffering, and methods by which Satan corrupts mankind, etc. God’s words slaked my thirst for life’s truths. I had never heard any of these truths in school. After that, I came across this passage on Facebook: “Since mankind’s contrivance of the social sciences, the mind of man has become occupied by science and knowledge. Science and knowledge then have become tools for the ruling of mankind, and there is no longer sufficient room for man to worship God, and no more favorable conditions for the worship of God. The position of God has sunk ever lower in the heart of man. Without God in his heart, man’s inner world is dark, hopeless and empty. Subsequently many social scientists, historians, and politicians have come to the fore to express theories of social science, the theory of human evolution, and other theories that contradict the truth that God created man, to fill the hearts and minds of mankind. And in this way, those who believe that God created everything have become ever fewer, and those who believe in the theory of evolution have become ever greater in number. More and more people treat the records of the work of God and His words during the age of the Old Testament as myths and legends. In their hearts, people become indifferent to the dignity and greatness of God, to the tenet that God exists and holds dominion over all things. The survival of mankind and the fate of countries and nations are no longer important to them, and man lives in a hollow world concerned only with eating, drinking, and the pursuit of pleasure. …(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Appendix 2: God Presides Over the Fate of All Mankind). After reading this passage of God’s words, I realized that because men’s hearts are consumed with science and knowledge, leaving no place for God, they become increasingly empty. So they seek to investigate what is the purpose of life, what value is there in life and what is life’s meaning, but the more one tries to use science and knowledge to investigate these issues, the less one obtains real answers. This knowledge only gives people a temporary sense of consolation, because science and knowledge are not the truth and cannot provide a true supply of life. Before I had always believed that the more knowledgeable someone was, the more insight they would have into life and the more realizations they’d have about things, and because those that sought knowledge were well thought of, they lived a life of value and could attain more happiness. But after studying so much knowledge, I still didn’t know what the purpose of life was, where man came from, what his destination was, and I hadn’t attained the happiness I sought. Even when I aced my tests, ranked first in my class and was admired by all, I still felt empty and agonized inside, and the difficulties I faced had not been resolved. I saw how the other university students would try to fill in the emptiness by going shopping, singing karaoke, going out to bars and attending concerts held by famous singers. At first, I also had fun while seeking after these trends with them, but afterward I would feel even more empty. Only after reading God’s words did I realize that the reason for man’s spiritual emptiness is his pursuit of science and knowledge. Science and knowledge lead people to deny that God created man. Not only do they not know or acknowledge they came from God, they also conclude that God’s words and work are just legends or myths. As such, God loses His place in people’s hearts and they become ever more distant from Him. How could they not feel empty given they do not know God and do not have Him and His words in their hearts? My life comes from God. All that has happened in my life has resulted from God’s arrangements. As a created being, I must follow and worship God to have a better fate. After that, I accepted God’s last days’ work and it felt as if I was finally coming home.

Later on, after attending gatherings for a while, I felt more and more spiritually fulfilled, enjoyed myself much more and felt peaceful and joyful. One time after a gathering, I still wanted to read more of Almighty God’s words, so I went on the GOSPEL OF THE DESCENT OF THE KINGDOM website to look for books of God’s words. On the website, I found a passage describing how Satan corrupts mankind: “Once someone is mired in fame and gain, they no longer seek that which is bright, that which is righteous, or those things that are beautiful and good. This is because the seductive power that fame and gain have over people is too great; they become things for people to pursue throughout their lives and even for all eternity without end. Is this not true? Some people will say that learning knowledge is nothing more than reading books or learning a few things that they do not already know so as not to lag behind the times or be left behind by the world. Knowledge is only learned so they can put food on the table, for their own future, or to provide the basic necessities. Is there any person who would endure a decade of hard study just for the basic necessities, just to resolve the issue of food? No, there are none like this. So why does a person suffer these hardships for all these years? It is for fame and gain. Fame and gain are waiting for them in the distance, beckoning them, and they believe that only through their own diligence, hardships and struggles can they follow the road that will lead them to attain fame and gain. Such a person must suffer these hardships for their own future path, for their future enjoyment and to gain a better life(The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique VI). “Satan uses fame and gain to control man’s thoughts, until all people can think of is fame and gain. They struggle for fame and gain, suffer hardships for fame and gain, endure humiliation for fame and gain, sacrifice everything they have for fame and gain, and they will make any judgment or decision for the sake of fame and gain. In this way, Satan binds people with invisible shackles, and they have neither the strength nor the courage to throw them off. They unknowingly bear these shackles and trudge ever onward with great difficulty. For the sake of this fame and gain, mankind shuns God and betrays Him and becomes increasingly wicked. In this way, therefore, one generation after another is destroyed in the midst of Satan’s fame and gain. Looking now at Satan’s actions, are its sinister motives not utterly detestable? Maybe today you still cannot see through Satan’s sinister motives because you think one cannot live without fame and gain. You think that if people leave fame and gain behind, they will no longer be able to see the way ahead, no longer be able to see their goals, that their futures will become dark, dim and gloomy(The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique VI). Through reading these words of God, I saw that people are fettered by their seeking of fame and gain. They believe that the pursuit of fame and gain is man’s motivation and the goal of life. They do not know that this is a mistaken path and they don’t have the courage or the ability to break free from it. I thought of how my own life goal was to stand out and bring honor to my ancestors, how I thought those who achieved such goals were life’s winners. These ideas had been instilled in me while I was still in school. To achieve my goals, I had buried myself in studies for years, studied knowledge and sought after an advanced degree, so that I could ultimately land a good job, lead a good life and enjoy a better living standard. I was particularly influenced by one of my mom’s common refrains: “You have to endure great suffering in order to come out on top.” I believed that in order to stand out and come out on top, I had to struggle and bear hardships and that all the hardships would be worthwhile. In my pursuit of fame and gain, I paid no attention to the outside world, was completely consumed by my studies, and even when my mother fell deathly ill, I didn’t leave school to take care of her, worrying doing so would influence my studies. I had spent more than ten years pursuing fame and gain, and had never once stopped to think if it was really worth it to do so. Despite earning the respect and admiration of my peers, I didn’t feel truly happy. Quite the opposite, I became increasingly selfish, arrogant and disparaging of others. I particularly looked down on average people that only concerned themselves with making a living. Outwardly, I didn’t express such feelings, but inside I disparaged them. I realized I was walking the wrong path and had wasted so much time. Ultimately, I had failed to attain the life of happiness and value I had imagined. Through God’s revelation I realized this: Satan uses fame and gain to tempt and corrupt people. Seeking fame and gain led me to a life of suffering and left me with nothing. Hadn’t I fallen for Satan’s treacherous plot? I knew I was going down the wrong path and should not pursue fame, gain and status, but rather should follow God and walk the path of pursuing the truth. But I also thought of how hard I’d worked all those years and was only one step away from graduating and attaining my advanced degree, which would earn me respect in society. Later on, when I went to work, I could say I had graduated from such and such university and could carry myself with dignity. I didn’t have the confidence to abandon my studies and wanted to pursue a master’s and Ph.D.

One time while performing my duty, a sister asked me what my plans were for the future. I said: “I want to pursue a master’s and Ph.D. but I’m having some doubts. If I pursue advanced studies I’ll have to spend even more time on academics and will have less time to do my duty. I am seeking to find out if pursuing these studies is the right thing to do.” My sister read two passages of God’s words for me: “Peter was born into an ordinary Jewish farming household. His parents supported the entire family by farming, and he was the eldest of the children, with four brothers and sisters. This, of course, is not the main part of our story; Peter is our central character. When he was five years old, Peter’s parents started teaching him to read. At that time, the Jewish people were quite erudite, and were especially advanced in such areas as agriculture, industry, and commerce. As a result of their social environment, both of Peter’s parents had received higher education. Despite being from the countryside, they were well-educated and comparable to the average university students of today. Evidently, Peter was blessed to have been born into such favorable social conditions. Clever and quick on the uptake, he readily assimilated new ideas. After beginning his studies, he figured things out very easily during lessons. His parents were proud to have such a bright son, and made every effort to allow him to go to school, hoping that he would be able to distinguish himself and secure some sort of official post in society. Without realizing it, Peter had become interested in God, which meant that, at fourteen, when he was in high school, he grew fed up with the curriculum of Ancient Greek Culture he was studying, especially with regard to the fictional people and made-up events in ancient Greek history. From then on, Peter—who had just entered the springtime of his youth—started trying to find out more about the human life and the wider world. His conscience did not compel him to repay the pains his parents had taken, because he clearly saw that people were all living in a state of self-deception, they were all living within meaningless lives, ruining their own lives in their struggle for wealth and recognition. His insight was largely to do with the social environment he inhabited. The more knowledge people have, the more complex their interpersonal relationships and internal worlds are, and therefore the more they exist in a void. Under these circumstances, Peter spent his free time making wide-ranging visits, most of which were to religious figures. In his heart, there seemed the vague feeling that religion might be able to account for all that was inexplicable in the human world, and so he would often go to a nearby synagogue to attend services. His parents were unaware of this, and before long Peter, who had always been of good character and fine scholarship, began to hate going to school. Under the supervision of his parents, he barely completed high school. Swimming ashore from the ocean of knowledge, he took a deep breath; from then on, no one would educate or restrict him any longer(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Interpretations of the Mysteries of “God’s Words to the Entire Universe”, On the Life of Peter). “Throughout his life, Peter fished for a living but, more than that, he lived to preach. In his later years, he wrote the first and second epistles of Peter, as well as several letters to the church of Philadelphia of that time. The people of this period were profoundly touched by him. Instead of lecturing people using his own credentials, he provided them with a suitable supply of life. He never forgot Jesus’ teachings before He left, and was inspired by them throughout his life. While following Jesus, he resolved to repay the Lord’s love with his death and to follow His example in all things. Jesus agreed to this, so when Peter was 53 years old (more than 20 years after Jesus’ departure), Jesus appeared to him to help fulfill his aspiration. In the seven years following that, Peter spent his life getting to know himself. One day, at the end of these seven years, he was crucified upside down, thus bringing his extraordinary life to an end(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Interpretations of the Mysteries of “God’s Words to the Entire Universe”, On the Life of Peter). After hearing these two passages, I saw that my own situation was much like when Peter became tired of the empty knowledge he learned in school. He knew that there was no life in knowledge and that the school and society were full of conflict. So he walked away from his studies and began a life of pursuing the truth and life. I saw that Peter had the resolve to walk away from his schooling and society, didn’t care at all how others would judge him, didn’t get bogged down in his affections, but just had firm resolve and personal belief and wasn’t influenced by current trends. He was brave enough to make a change from living in the old way that so many lived in order to seek positive things. It was quite incredible that Peter was able to make that kind of decision in that era, it took an incredible amount of faith. God’s words had a great impact on me. Outwardly, it may have seemed like Peter hadn’t attained any reputation or profit, but he had gained God’s commendation. I realized that pursuing the truth and performing one’s duty as a created being like Peter, practicing according to God’s words, living out the truth reality, and knowing and submitting to God were the elements of a truly valuable and meaningful life. I thought about my diligent efforts in my studies: After finishing high school I attended university and was now considering pursuing a master’s degree. Was I not setting ever higher goals just to stand out and distinguish myself? Was this a meaningful pursuit? I thought of how my mom had studied hard from a young age to stand out and rise to the top, had labored diligently in her vocation, and finally come out on top at thirty, rising above past hardships, enjoyed improved material conditions, and attained fame, gain and the respect of others. From the outside, she seemed quite honorable, but in the end, she got cancer and passed away. Her fame and gain could not save her from sickness. I realized that seeking fame and gain has no value or meaning. Later on, I read another two passages of God’s words, that allowed me to realize even more what path I should choose. Almighty God says: “You are a created being—you should of course worship God and pursue a life of meaning. If you do not worship God but live within your filthy flesh, then are you not just a beast in human attire? Since you are a human being, you should expend yourself for God and endure all suffering! You should gladly and assuredly accept the little suffering you are subjected to today and live a meaningful life, like Job and Peter. … You are people who pursue the right path, those who seek improvement. You are people who rise up in the nation of the great red dragon, those whom God calls righteous. Is that not the most meaningful life?(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Practice (2)). “Young people should not be without ideals, aspirations, and an enthusiastic desire to better themselves; they should not be disheartened about their prospects, and nor should they lose hope in life or confidence in the future; they should have the perseverance to continue along the way of truth that they have now chosen—to realize their wish to expend their entire lives for Me. They should not be without the truth, nor should they harbor hypocrisy and unrighteousness—they should stand firm in the proper stance. They should not just drift along, but should have the spirit to dare to make sacrifices and to struggle for justice and truth. Young people should have the bravery to not succumb to oppression by the forces of darkness and to transform the significance of their existence. Young people should not resign themselves to adversity, but should be open and frank, with a spirit of forgiveness for their brothers and sisters. Of course, these are My requirements of everyone, and My advice to everyone. But even more, these are My soothing words for all young people. You should practice according to My words. In particular, young people should not be without the resolve to exercise discernment in issues and to seek justice and the truth. You should pursue all things beautiful and good, and you should obtain the reality of all positive things. You should be responsible toward your life, and you must not take it lightly. People come to the earth and it is rare to encounter Me, and it is also rare to have the opportunity to seek and to gain the truth. Why would you not prize this beautiful time as the right path to pursue in this life?(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Words for the Young and the Old). God’s words gave me a new understanding of life. Man should not live to seek fame and gain, but should worship God, pursue the truth and expend himself for God. This is what constitutes a valuable and meaningful life. As created beings, even if we attain fame, gain and the respect of others, if we do not worship God and fulfill our duties as created beings, we will have lived in vain. Despite at first claiming that I was willing to follow God, make renunciations and expend myself, I didn’t actually put any of that into practice. I still sought the comforts of flesh, good future prospects and the respect of others. I still hadn’t understood the true meaning and value of man’s life. I thought of how it was a blessing and by the grace of God that I was born in the last days and had accepted God’s work at such a young age. God had arranged for me to grow up in this advantageous environment in which I’d learned to speak many languages, including Chinese, allowing me to read God’s words and put my skills to use in my duty. My age, background and language abilities were all well-suited to pursuing the truth and performing my duties. If I single-mindedly sought fame, gain and status, and attained both fame and gain but lost my opportunity to follow God and pursue the truth, what meaning would there be in that attainment? Nothing in this world compares to the attainment of truth, and there is no comparison between a life deemed good by people versus a life commended by the Creator. Only a life that is commended by God is meaningful and valuable. Having realized this, I gained the resolution to pursue the truth and submit to and satisfy God. I was also willing to forego university to expend myself for God. I prayed to God and said I must break free from this boring, dry lifestyle, that I must pursue the truth, follow God and walk the right path.

Later on, I called my advisor, told him I was planning to withdraw and asked him to sign off on my withdrawal application. However, not only did he not agree to sign, he also said: “You’ve only got one more year left before you graduate, wouldn’t it be a shame to quit now? You’re clearly aware that salaries for college graduates are much higher than those for non-college graduates. Without a college degree, you might even have trouble finding a job; people won’t look at you the same way. If you have an issue, you can defer study for a year and then come back once things are resolved. Isn’t that a better option?” After hearing my advisor’s advice, I felt a bit conflicted. I thought maybe I should defer like he’d said and then I could come back later. That way, I could graduate, get my degree and would be able to find a good job and be respected later on. But I also thought that this might be Satan’s treacherous plot. Satan didn’t want me to follow God and perform my duty, so it used fame and gain to tempt me. I thought of God’s words which say: “When God works, cares for a person, and looks upon this person, and when He favors and approves this person, Satan trails closely behind, trying to dupe the person and bring them to harm. If God wishes to gain this person, Satan will do everything in its power to obstruct God, using various evil ploys to tempt, disturb and impair the work of God, in order to achieve its hidden objective. What is this objective? It does not want God to gain anyone; it wants to snatch possession of those whom God wishes to gain, it wants to control them, to take charge of them so they worship it, so they join it in committing evil acts, and resist God(The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique IV). If I abandoned my studies to follow God, I would have more time to pursue the truth and do my duty, but my advisor had said certain things to try to tempt me. Outwardly, it seemed like he was looking out for me, but Satan’s treacherous plot was working in the background. Satan wanted to tempt me to continue seeking fame, gain and status and become mired in my pursuit of fame and gain. I couldn’t fall for Satan’s trick. Realizing this, I responded to my advisor, saying: “I understand what you mean, but I’m even more clear now about God’s urgent intention. I have thought long and hard about choosing this path of faith and I’ve already made up my mind. I will devote my life to faith, following God, expending myself for Him, and will never return to pursue studies. I have decided to withdraw, I hope you can understand me.” Seeing that I’d made up my mind, the advisor didn’t try to convince me anymore, and signed the papers for my withdrawal. So I directly withdrew.

After withdrawing, I had much more time and energy to do my duty, and I became much more focused and quiet before God. I also had more time to ponder God’s words, fellowship the truth with brothers and sisters and do my duty. I felt I was growing ever closer to God. It has now been almost a year and a half. While performing my duty, I revealed my corrupt dispositions, but through this, I learned how to work harmoniously with others, and when I encountered issues, I wouldn’t get bogged down in them and would seek the truth to resolve them. I gained so much during this past year. If I had waited another year to start doing my duty, I would have missed so many opportunities to attain the truth, which would have been a major loss for me. I also have seen that world catastrophes are growing increasingly severe. Ukraine and Russia are at war, major conflicts have arisen throughout the world, the pandemic intensified, and earthquakes and floods are becoming more frequent. I thought of how when the calamities come, even if I had gotten my degree and attained fame, gain and respect, it would all be meaningless if I didn’t have life. Just like the Lord Jesus said: “What is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?(Luke 9:25). I must believe in God and follow Him wholeheartedly, that way I can attain truth and life. This is the most valuable thing in the world and the highest blessing! My decision to forego schooling to follow God and perform my duty as a created being is the best decision I’ve ever made! Thanks be to God for His guidance!

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