Bye Bye, Games!
Hello everybody! Online games are one of the trends that are present in society these days. Many young people are deeply addicted to these games. Those that are harmed by these games also know that playing these games brings all sorts of negative consequences to their future prospects and their families. However, no matter what, they are unable to break free. Just how can they thoroughly break free from these games? Next, we will listen to Brother Zhangjin share about his experience. Afterward, from what he shares with us, you will be able to find the answers you need.
In June, 2016, during my spare time off duty, I started to search on the internet for all sorts of games with my tablet computer. One day at noon, I found a role-playing game. There were many aspects to that game that were similar to those of the internet games that I liked in the past. The 3D graphics were extremely detailed and the fight scenes were very exciting. Based on my experience of playing games, I could confirm that this game was exactly the type that I liked. Actually, I knew that playing games was not good. However, I thought that since I was only using my spare time to play this game a little bit, as long as I did not become lost within the game, it would be fine. In the afternoon, without scruple, I spent two hours of time on the game until I had a good command of all the operations associated with its different functions. Unconsciously, I was secretly delighted: I have finally found a good game to play! In this way, during a time when I let my guard down, temptation quietly befell me.
When I first started, I only used my spare time to play this game. As my ranking in the game began to improve, I began to become addicted. I started using more and more time to play. Within a week, my tablet and I had become inseparable. During the day, while I was fulfilling my duties, I secretly placed my tablet next to my computer monitor and left the game on auto-pilot so it could play for me. I was constantly monitoring the battle progress of my game. During the night, when everybody was sleeping, I would secretly play under the covers. I had my blankets wrapped around me tightly so that the light rays from the tablet screen would not be noticed by my brothers who had yet to fall asleep. Sometimes, I would play until very late at night. During the day, when I was fulfilling my duties, I had no energy left. At the time, I was completely engrossed within the game. Even when I went to the bathroom, I would take my tablet with me…. Since my heart was possessed by this game, I did not receive any enlightenment or illumination when reading God’s words nor was I willing to pray. Within, I could no longer feel God’s presence. Each day, my heart was empty. Since the game had different tasks all the time, whenever it came time to complete a task in the game, my heart would be disturbed. Sometimes, I would even stop performing a duty in order to finish one of the tasks in the game. Once I finished the task, I would once again pick up where I left off in regard to fulfilling my duties. However, my train of thought was broken and I basically had to start from the beginning. This caused my efficiency in fulfilling my duties to become very low. Sometimes, I would think of how treating the fulfillment of my duties lightly was equivalent to seriously betraying God. Sometimes, some of God’s words would pop up into my mind: “When people play games for a long time, their willpower would evaporate. The unbelievers have a word to describe this. What is it? It is ‘decadence.’ Always playing games, always playing on the computer—this kind of person is decadent. ‘Decadence’ is a word of the unbelievers. We say that these people have no normal humanity. They have been filled with the violence and killing of these games and with the things of virtual worlds. The things of normal humanity have been stripped away by these games, filled and forcibly occupied by them, and they have forcibly occupied the things within people’s thoughts as well as any room they have for thought; they are then decadent” (“Young People Should See Through the Evil Trends of the World” in Records of Christ’s Talks). In my heart, I knew clearly that games were not a positive thing. Playing games would cause me to degenerate, cause me to become decadent and even ruin me. I also knew that those were warnings from the, yet I was not willing to accept the that came from God, because I was fully aware that once I was serious about , it meant that I must abandon my games. Since I was not willing to give up playing games, again and again, I chose to give up putting the truth into practice. As a result, I secretly played computer games for more than half a month. It was during this time when I was engrossed in this game and obstinately persisting in doing the wrong thing that God’s judgment and chastisement befell me.
One afternoon, I suddenly discovered that a source material in a particular card went missing. I became very alarmed: Could it be that I forgot to copy it when one of my brothers had given that card to me? I could not help but break out in a cold sweat. I thought, “If it really went missing, this could delay the progress of the work. Wouldn’t I be responsible for disturbing and interrupting the work of?” The more I thought about it, the more scared I became: It seems like this time, I have committed a transgression before God. After I confirmed that the source material really had not been copied, my heart rate increased as I quickly looked for the brother who had given me the card. I asked him whether he had a backup. He gave a card to me saying that only the source material in this card had not been deleted and that all the other material had been deleted. When I received the card and could see that there was still a shred of hope, I quickly prayed to God, “God! I know that I have become addicted to computer games. I have neglected my duties and caused You to loathe me. What happened today was Your way of warning me. Regardless of whether or not this card contains the source material that I did not copy, I absolutely will not continue on like this. …” After I returned, I opened up the card and saw that within was exactly the source material that I had forgotten to copy. A great weight was lifted off my chest. In my heart, I repeatedly offered thanks to God. My heart was clearly aware that the things that befell me on that day were definitely not incidental, and that God used this situation to speak to me and He used this situation to issue me a warning. I thought back to a passage of a sermon that I had once read, “What are the methods by which God speaks to us? One method is the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit. This is a way God directly communes with and speaks to us. What else? Speaking to or warning us through all sorts of people, things, and events, using various circumstances to guide us and speak to us, and speaking to us with facts through various trials and refinements. If you are truly a living being possessed of a spirit, you ought to be able to comprehend and understand this. If we experience God’s work in this way, is this true communion with God? Although we cannot see it with our eyes, we can completely sense it with our heart and our spirit…. If you ignore it one time or two times, then can you still be uncertain about it after eight or ten times? God hates people’s rebellion. When we willfully rebel against God, when we care about the flesh and satisfy ourselves, then God hides His face and becomes distant from us. At that time, our spirits feel darkness, depression, and pain. We are unable to touch God and are without happiness or enjoyment. What does God do to us here? The work of revealing His disposition. What does He tell us? ‘You’ve rebelled against God. I dislike you. I hide My face from you, I am distant from you, and I ignore you.’ This is what it means” (“Sermons and Fellowship About God’s Word ‘Knowing God Is the Path to Fearing God and Shunning Evil’ (III)” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (X)). From this passage of fellowship, I understood that God was using the situations I was encountering to speak to me and to convey His will. That day, I had just gone through a daunting experience without any mishaps. This was God giving me a warning. At the same time, it was God conveying His attitude and disposition: God loathed my rebellion. Since I deliberately sinned, paying no heed to the Holy Spirit’s rebuke and willfully rebelling against God, God hid His face from me, and my inner state was dark. Recently, in this past half a month, I was fully aware that my heart had become possessed by this game and that I was absentmindedly performing my duties. I also was fully aware that my state was not normal and that my spirit had become dark and depressed. However, I did not repent to God but instead, I chose to avoid God. In order to satisfy my fleshly desires, I consciously disobeyed God. Since my thoughts and energy were consumed by the game, not only did that negatively affect my entry into life, it also caused me to neglect my duties and nearly delay the work of the church. If God had not defended His own work, it would not be possible to repair the damage that my transgression would have caused. After experiencing this episode of God’s warning and dealing, I had a bit of an understanding of God’s righteous disposition: Once I violate God’s words and the truth and start to live in evil, it is something that God really despises and loathes. For a period of time afterward, I did not dare once again to commit a deliberate violation and to wantonly indulge my own fleshly desires, especially when I was fulfilling my duties. Whenever I had the desire to play computer games, I consciously forsook my own fleshly desires and quieted myself before God. I was determined not to treat my duty lightly and make the same mistakes I had in the past.
After a while, my mind would occasionally wander and I would start to think about images from the computer game. My heart, just as before, would long for the game. Since I did not seek the truth to resolve this issue, gradually, my will began to waver and I started to yield to myself. I thought, “I should not have standards that are too high for myself. As long as I plan my time well each day and as long as playing my computer game does not interrupt the fulfillment of my duties, it should be fine.” That’s how, because I was unable to restrain myself, I once again started to play. While I was playing the computer game, in order to hide what I was doing from my brothers and sisters, I became like a thief, occasionally checking whether other people were looking at me. While my hands were engaged with playing the game, I would, from time to time, scan the environment from the corner of my eye to see if it was “normal.” This kind of dishonest expression and guilt could not stand up to God’s examination. I felt like I was a clown in God’s eyes, yet, I chose to continue ignoring God’s examination. Sometimes, in order to squeeze out a little more time to play, I would sleep a little less in the morning. When I woke up, the first thing I did was not to practice spiritual devotion. Instead, it was to complete the game’s task of the day. I thought that as long as this did not interfere with my duties, it would be okay. However, practically, it was a different story. When completing a task in the game conflicted with fulfilling my duties, I would want to play even though my duties had not been completed. Even though I reluctantly chose to fulfill my duties, my heart was disturbed by the fact that I wanted to complete one of the tasks of the game on time. In regard to fulfilling my duties, I was basically just going through the motions to complete the tasks that I was assigned. Sometimes, my brothers and sisters were dissatisfied with the source material that I produced. Sometimes, they would even have to completely revise it. Since my mind was preoccupied both day and night by the scenes of the computer game, I had no more mental resources for fulfilling duties, and while performing them, I didn’t receive the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment and illumination, and my spirit no longer felt God’s presence at all. When I attended gatherings, I had nothing to say, and I felt dry and constrained in my spirit. When I read God’s words, I was basically just going through formalities. I knew that I could not continue to play, and that if I did so, I would ruin myself. However, my heart could not escape the pull of the game. In this manner, I stubbornly played for another half a month. At this point, God’s discipline befell me.
One night after dinner, I took a walk with a few of my brothers. Nearby, there was a steel rope that was approximately 4m high and 50m long. We would usually attach ourselves to it with some rope and someone else would pull us from one end to the other. When it was my turn, my hands suddenly lost strength halfway across. I started falling from a height of 4m. As I was falling, my hands rubbed against the rope. Since I was falling quite fast, eight of my fingers were injured due to the friction caused by holding onto the rope. The skin of two of my fingers on my right hand was rubbed off. Within a minute after I fell, because the friction produced a lot of heat, the palms of my hands began to blister. It was indescribably painful. Since I was born, I had never experienced such a pain. After I came back, my hands were in so much pain, I could no longer operate a mouse or a keyboard. In my heart, I could see very clearly that the event that transpired that day was God’s discipline befalling me. That night, I read God’s words: “When you are once again faced with a trial, God wants to see whether your viewpoint, your ideas, and your attitude toward God have had any growth in the meantime…. God always observes people from their side, watching their every word and deed, their every act and movement, even their every thought and idea. Everything that happens to people: their, their faults, their transgressions, and even their rebellions and betrayals, God will record it all as evidence in establishing their outcome” (“How to Know God’s Disposition and the Result of His Work” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). From God’s words I could see that God keeps watch at our side and examines everything. God can see man’s perspective on situations that he encounters as well as his attitude toward God. God keeps records of everything that we do and say. When I thought back to the previous two months, I realized that playing games had disrupted my spiritual life and my ability to fulfill my duties. Even though my heart frequently felt rebuked, I neglected the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment and rebuke all along. In order to satisfy my own fleshly desires, I treated God like the air and I disobeyed God’s word time after time. I violated the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment and illumination and I did many things that would not be able to withstand God’s examination. I thought back to the period not long ago that I experienced God’s dealing and discipline for almost interrupting the work of God’s family and how even now, I still had not repented. Externally, I was just playing a game. However, in actuality, I was walking a path of disobeying God. Now, due to my injuries, I even had difficulties using a mouse and a keyboard. My heart knew that the reason I encountered God’s discipline was because I had ignored my duties. God’s words say: “Toward things that are evil, and sinful, and wicked, He is profoundly wrathful, such that He is unceasing in His wrath” (“God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). As I was facing the temptation of playing the computer game, all along I knew that the violent depictions shown in the game were evil and that God does not commend people for seeking these things. However, I was still unable to forsake them. Only through my personal experience of God’s discipline and judgment was I able to learn that God’s attitude toward these evil things is one of hate and anger, and that God’s righteous disposition involves His cursing of these evil things. I thought, “If I continue to be engrossed in these things, I would be challenging God’s wrath. Now, the discipline that I encounter originates from God’s righteous disposition. It is God’s chastisement and judgment of my rebellious nature as well as His protection and salvation of me. If I obstinately persist in going down the wrong path, I would encounter God’s spurn and elimination.” This instance of discipline allowed me to deeply feel: God’s presence is so real. Additionally, God transparently and openly conveys His disposition. He examines my thoughts, ideas, deeds and conduct. Meanwhile, He has prepared a suitable environment to warn and discipline me and at the same time, He has also given me an opportunity, and He is waiting for me to turn around. This episode of discipline helped me to have some reverence for God. Afterward, I no longer dared to battle God. However, God’s test had not yet concluded.
After that episode of discipline, I deleted the computer game. For a while, I no longer played. Sometimes, when I inadvertently noticed my tablet that was close at hand, even though images from the game would appear in my mind, however, what was dividing my heart from the game was that experience of discipline that I had just encountered not long ago. What was in between my heart and the game was my experience of God’s disposition. These things were a defensive perimeter that constrained me from indulging in my flesh. Since the last episode of discipline, there was a period of time when I did not access the computer game. The scars on my hands had healed a long time ago and the pain had gradually subsided. However, not long afterward, a few of my brothers, who worked with me, almost all went out one time. I felt that, due to this situation, I would not need to be secretive with indulging in my flesh. The first few days, I was still able to resist. However, after a few days of persevering, my desire to play computer games became increasingly strong. Once again, I downloaded that computer game on my tablet. After I had installed the game, I was still hesitant about logging in. However, when I thought about the scenes in the game and all the different kinds of skills involved with playing the game, I wanted to play more and more. My heart started to beat faster and with fear and trepidation, I logged into the game once again. While I was playing the game, I could feel that God was watching me. I could also feel that this sort of action was testing God. However, I still engaged in wishful thinking: I’ll just play one time. Afterward, I will not play again. However, one time, turned into two times which turned into three times. Just like that, the computer game had returned into my life just as it did in the past…. However, this time around, when I played the game, my heart felt pain, self-blame, self-loathing and remorse most of the time. I hated myself for failing to live up to God’s expectations and not having a shred of will to put the truth into practice. When I felt indebted to God because I had failed to resist my fleshly temptations, I would shut myself into a room and hit myself on the face. While I was hitting myself on my ear, I could feel God’s heart was laden with grief. I thought of God’s words: “His sorrow is due to mankind, for whom He has hopes but who has fallen into darkness, because the work He does on man does not come up to His expectations, and because the mankind He loves cannot all live in the light” (“It Is Very Important to Understand God’s Disposition” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). From God’s words, I could feel that God’s heart was sad and distressed when He was watching me fall into Satan’s net and be fooled and harmed by Satan and unable to throw it off. God hopes that man is able to accept the truth, put God’s words into practice, live under God’s care and protection and, as early as possible, break away from Satan’s harm. However, when facing temptation, I did not have the will to rebel against my flesh and break with Satan. Time and time again, I got trapped by temptation. I did not seek God’s will and demands, much less consider whether God’s heart was laden with grief. I was preoccupied with satisfying my own selfish desires. I gave in to my fleshly desires and continued playing games. I did not bear witness at all. I was truly very selfish and degenerate! Although I was so rebellious, God still did not give up on my salvation. When I realized that God’s heart was laden with grief and that God was concerned about me, I was very moved and cried uncontrollably. I prayed to God: “God! I am too rebellious and lowly! During this period of being exposed, I no longer have any confidence in myself. My addiction to computer games has only brought me pain and suffering and it has caused me to grow distant from You, to avoid You and to disobey You. Even though I have experienced Your discipline, I still have not been able to conquer this temptation. God! I do not want to live within darkness. I do not want to live in a situation where I am opposed to You and where I am rebellious and grieve Your heart. Moreover, I do not want to be loathed and rejected by You. God! You are my only support. Please save me and help me to break away from the lure of this computer game. Change my rebellious nature….” During that time, my heart no longer avoided God. I frequently brought this matter before God and committed it to Him as well as looked up to Him. Sometimes, I really wanted to make an oath to God. However, I was scared that I would not be able to fulfill my oath once I made it. During that time, my heart was all along in a state of struggle. One day, I listened to a sermon given by the man used by the Holy Spirit. The sermon said: “Who are the ones who love to have fun? People that love to play video games are among them, these people won’t amount to anything. They’ll be abandoned. The people I loathe and hate the most, and the people God loathes and hates the most are twentysomethings and thirtysomethings who have nothing better to do than play games. Video game consoles are the devil’s playthings. They love those kinds of things. Do you think that stuff is the truth? Do you think that stuff is a positive thing? Some people play games for hours without eating or sleeping. They are devils who will never accomplish anything. Those people will be abandoned, they are the dregs of humanity, worthless slovenly creatures, ones who do not attend to their proper duties. Among those who perform duties in God’s house now, are there ones who play games secretly when they have some free time? These people should be isolated. If they do not repent, they are not allowed to perform duty…. Don’t you think that people who cannot accept any truth are degenerates? They’re all degenerates. What do we mean by ‘degenerate’? People who cannot accept any modicum of truth and are beyond redemption. These people are degenerates. They cannot be saved” (Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life: Series 125). The man whom the Holy Spirit uses strictly pruned and dealt with those that play games and do not walk the right path, and I felt like each sentence was piercing my heart. It was as if God was judging and chastising me face to face. This helped me to understand that God’s attitude toward the people that play games is one of loathing and hate. I thought: “For the past two months, my heart was preoccupied with the game I was playing. I had no heart to pursue the truth or to fulfill my duties. What was in my heart was things that were sordid and unjust, and I decadently followed the evil trends of the world. Not only did playing games interfere with my duties, it also caused harm to my own life and it made me unworthy of God’s grace. God has provided me with the truth and the life. In response, not only have I not sought to obtain it, I also have not abandoned evil and chosen the truth. All along, I have not developed the resolve to completely give up playing games. Aren’t I just a demon? Aren’t I someone that is most deserving of God’s loathing and punishment? If I obstinately persist in going down this dark path and if I continue to turn my back on God and play games, my life would truly be ruined. Once God no longer treats me with patience and lenience, all that would befall me would be His spurn.” I was very afraid that I would be sucked back into the games and God, as a result, would eliminate me. I was also very afraid that my life of following God would conclude in this manner. So I really wanted to break free from the bindings of my computer game addiction. The dealing and pruning of the man used by the Holy Spirit inspired me, who was hesitating, with the courage to break free from my computer game addiction. When night came, I made an oath to God swearing that I would never play computer games again.
After that day, even though I no longer played computer games, when I thought about the past almost three months in which my heart had been occupied by computer games so that I was well aware of the truth, but I did not put the truth into practice, I disobeyed and resisted God over and over again and I did not take God’s commission seriously and instead simply went through the motions, I saw that I was very corrupt and my rebelliousness was very serious. So sometimes, I would think whether God would still save someone like me. In my heart, I could faintly feel there was quite some distance between God and me. I felt that I was not worthy to read God’s words or to pray to God. So I prayed to God about this state of mine. Afterward, I thought of David’s experience: David had committed adultery. However, when God’s judgment befell him, he quickly accepted it and obeyed. He was able to truly repent. He used the remaining years of his life to show that he was being sincere in front of God. When I contemplated David’s experience, I came to see this: God’s disposition is righteous and holy. Even if people whom God commends sin against God, they would likewise be chastised and cursed. Today, I have disobeyed God. Furthermore, my nature is completely one that resists God. How could I escape from God’s righteous judgment and chastisement? Through my reflections, I came to an understanding. There was an estrangement between me and God in my heart. That was simply because I did not want to face and accept the fact that God’s righteous disposition had come upon me. If I could truly accept in my heart that God’s disposition is righteous, not merely righteous toward other people, but also toward me, then, I should not be distant from God, I should not be on guard against God and I should not misunderstand God. Instead, I should, since I had personally experienced God’s righteousness, offer gratefulness and praise. When I pondered what God did in David, I also understood that God does not determine people’s final destination based on their transgressions. Instead, He bases this decision on their essence. He sees whether or not someone would truly repent after he has committed a sin. He sees what that person ultimately pursues in believing in God. If that person is willing to repent and start anew, God would change the attitude with which He deals with him. This is precisely as God said: “God’s disposition is a complete whole; it is not at all split. Regardless of whether He is expressing anger or mercy and tolerance toward people, these are all expressions of His righteous disposition. God’s disposition is real and vivid. He changes His thoughts and attitudes according to the development of things. The transformation of His attitude toward the Ninevites tells humanity that He has His own thoughts and ideas; He is not a robot or clay figure, but the living God Himself. He could be angry with the people of Nineveh, just as He could forgive their pasts according to their attitudes; He could decide to bring misfortune upon the Ninevites, and He could change His decision because of their repentance” (“God Himself, the Unique II” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). From God’s words, I obtained some understanding of God’s righteous disposition: God has principles when He deals with people. When someone stubbornly disobeys God, God will smite and discipline that person. If that person obstinately refuses to yield all along, God will punish and curse that person. However, if that person truly repents, God will be merciful and forgiving to him and He will give that person an opportunity to turn over a new leaf. I thought, “David used the remaining years of his life to verify that he had indeed repented by revering God and shunning evil. I have sworn an oath to God. Now, am I also able to use the rest of my life to uphold that oath?” At that moment, I understood that God’s righteous disposition befalling me was a great protection for me. God’s purpose was to guide me to walk the proper path of life. God’s righteous disposition not only contains majesty and wrath, it also contains mercy and leniency. God will not remember man’s transgressions. As long as man is able to turn back to God, keep far from the path of evil and no longer disobey and resist God, he will be able to obtain God’s mercy and God will not convict and eliminate him. At this moment, I was somewhat grateful that God’s righteous disposition had been revealed in me. I could feel that although God’s judgment, chastisement, smiting and discipline carried God’s righteousness and majesty, they had protected and saved me. This kind of true feeling resulted from God tolerating and being patient with my disobedience. It contained God’s painstaking price and it also contained God’s love. Even though I really did not want to face the period of time when I was playing games and disobeying God, however, in that period of time was bitter sweet. The bitterness involved me being chastised for being stubborn and disobeying God. The sweetness was that I was able to gain a true experience and understanding of the Creator’s righteous disposition, and additionally, I was grateful for God’s disposition of tolerance and mercy. As a result, I could not renounce my will and determination to pursue the truth.
I started reflecting on myself: “Ordinarily, I recognized that playing computer games was not good and I knew perfectly well that it was harmful to me, but why did I get trapped and why was it so hard to break free from it? There must be a truth concerning this that I need to seek.” Afterward, I read God’s words: “When your stature is immature and you have no discernment, you may first take those evil trends in and see them as positive, as things that are very normal. ‘Why can’t I imitate these things? Why can’t I desire them? They’re just normal.’ You then see them as legitimate things. This is one way in which Satan poisons people so, tell Me, is Satan not evil? There really are all manner of ways in which Satan corrupts man. You are probably able to see clearly that Satan does those things that are unimaginable to people, those things that are weird and hard to come to terms with, that normal humanity doesn’t engage in. Once you realize how scary and sickening these evil trends are, do you then have any discernment toward what Satan does? What should your attitude be? Should it be to abandon these things? When you have free time, you should put your thoughts in order and see what kind of strange things are still in your mind. There are many strange things in your minds. Why is that? Because your generation is too poisoned. There are way too many of these things, such as leaping over roofs and up walls, being Spider-Man, and being Batman. All the things that normal humanity shouldn’t have, the things that normal humanity doesn’t normally need, the things that normal humanity doesn’t possess—if you are determined to pursue these things, and are set on sampling them and experiencing them, then you may possibly bring on the work of another kind of spirit. Once people have been taken captive by an evil spirit then this is a cause of great trouble: God will no longer want them. This is then no longer a matter of whether it is dangerous or not. If you are taken captive by Satan, can God still want you? God won’t want you and you will be in danger. So how can this matter be resolved? You should implore God often, that you not fall into temptation, and that you not be deceived by Satan. In this evil age, in this age infested by unclean spirits and devils, you should pray that God’s kindness and protection will often be with you, that He looks after you and protects you, so that your heart won’t leave God, and you can strive to use your heart and your honesty to worship God. Is it a right way to follow? (Yes, it is.) So do you wish to walk this path? Are you willing to live often under God’s care and protection, often to be disciplined by God, or do you wish to live in your own free world? If God disciplines you, and sometimes causes your flesh to suffer pain, are you willing to accept this? (Yes.) I will see how you behave when the time comes. If any among you become seriously ill because you are disobedient or too rebellious, I will see whether or not you will complain. Despite your saying ‘yes’ now, ‘yes’ is a word that is hard to live up to. It is feared that young people are unsettled, are derelict in their duties and never think of anything serious” (“Young People Should See Through the Evil Trends of the World” in Records of Christ’s Talks). From God’s words, I understood that internet games are one of the tools that Satan uses to harm people. Satan uses internet games to entice people and cause people to get stuck within the games with no way of extricating themselves. When you play games, you feel that the real world holds no interest for you, and you live in a virtual world that is manufactured by Satan. The result is that you are divorced from reality and from everything within normal humanity, thereby distancing yourself from God and no longer having the inclination to accept God’s salvation. Previously, when my mind relaxed, the majority of thoughts that floated up were of the fight scenes that I had seen in movies, anime and computer games. I imagined myself being like the heroes with a sense of justice in those films and games who can fly around wielding their swords and doing whatever they please…. The things in those scenes are not what a person with a normal humanity should have. I just thought of these kinds of day dreams as a form of enjoyment. I never thought that there was anything wrong with it. Even more so, I did not consider it to be evil. During this period of time when I was engrossed within these scenes, my heart would frequently think about how I could improve my character’s rank and equipment in the game. My brain would frequently be thinking of these scenes when I ate, walked and even read God’s words. The higher the rank of my character in the game, the more his status improved and the more enjoyment I felt when playing the game. Imperceptibly, I began to personify the character that I played in the game. Unconsciously, I became imprisoned in Satan’s net. I was not aware of it at all. I had become Satan’s toy. From God’s words, I could see that when a man has nothing to do, if he always pursues, experiences, imagines and samples inhuman things, this could possibly attract another kind of spirit. Once someone has been taken captive by an evil spirit, God will no longer want that person, God will abandon him and we can well imagine what that person’s fate would be. Getting addicted to a computer game can cause someone to walk a road of no return. Immediately, I felt my blood run cold. “It turns out that these games conceal such evil and poisonous schemes of Satan.” Through God’s enlightenment and revealing I was able to differentiate Satan’s schemes. I started to have some lingering fears about my addiction and I thought of God’s warning to man, “You should implore God often, that you not fall into temptation, and that you not be deceived by Satan.” From that warning, I understood that when we cannot see through evil trends, we need to frequently implore God to watch over us and protect us, and that we should choose to live under the discipline of God rather than to wantonly live in our own free world. At that point, I had the will and the faith to rebel against my flesh and put the truth into practice. I resolved that I would no longer give an opportunity for Satan’s work and I would never again allow it to take advantage of me. After I learned of the source of my failure, whenever I encountered this type of temptation once more, I had a path that I could put into practice. Sometimes, when I was alone, I still had the urge to play games again. When I had these kinds of thoughts and ideas, I would consciously calm my heart down and reflect on God’s words. God’s words say: “Did you think that your oaths had already passed away? I tell you, even if your fleshes pass away, your oaths cannot pass away. At the end, I will condemn you based upon your oaths” (“Your Character Is So Lowly!” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Since I had already pledged an oath before God and also experienced God’s discipline and how God’s righteous disposition does not tolerate man’s offense, and had come to know that God examines my every word and every action and determines my ending according to my deeds and conduct, at that time, I was able to be careful of my own footsteps, and I did not dare try and disobey God or do things that test God’s disposition. Sometimes, when I couldn’t sleep at night, my mind would once again wander off into those scenes from the computer game, and when I felt the desire to follow those thoughts and experience those kind of feelings again, I would think of God’s words, “These games are the world of devils…. What things now constitute the majority of young people’s thoughts and souls? … One cannot use the words ‘dirty’ or ‘evil’ to describe the things they think about; so many of them are inhuman” (“Young People Should See Through the Evil Trends of the World” in Records of Christ’s Talks). When I thought of God’s words, I knew that those thoughts were Satan’s schemes and I was able to consciously forsake them and stop thinking about those scenes and scenarios from the game. While performing my duties, when I unintentionally viewed propaganda for an internet game, I wanted to pay close attention to it. At that moment, I thought of the words in a particular sermon: “A prudent man foresees the evil, and hides himself; but the simple pass on, and are finished” (“What Kind of Person Will Be Perfected by God” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (VII)). As I knew that my nature loved these kinds of evil things, that it was easy for me to tumble in this regard, and that I had to be even more cautious with my footsteps, through quieting myself before God, I was able to restrain myself and not give an opportunity for Satan’s work.
Now, more than a year has passed. Not only have I no longer played any games, also, when thoughts associated with computer games come up, I am able to distinguish them and I am able to forsake them. My spirit is set free and liberated. God’s righteous disposition has granted me protection and salvation! In this experience, I learned that when I committed an intentional sin and continued to disobey God, God revealed to me His righteous disposition that does not allow offense. This caused me to develop a heart that reveres God and my desire to play computer games subsided. If it had not been for God’s righteous disposition, I would still be engrossed in the world of computer games with no way to free myself and I would continue suffering Satan’s harm and tease. My time and energy would be wasted on evil things and I would end up living decadently, not knowing what the proper path of life is. God’s righteous judgment has saved me and helped me to break free from the temptation of computer games. Thanks be to God! Due to God’s righteous disposition, I am able to distinguish between good and evil and beauty and ugliness. Due to God’s righteous disposition, I flinch from the path of evil. Due to God’s righteous disposition, I now have a heart that loves positive things and turns toward the light. Through this experience, I have truly learned that God’s love for me is so real. There are still many things in me that are not in line with God’s will. However, from now on, I am willing to experience more of God’s judgment, smiting and discipline so that I can have a deeper understanding of God’s righteous disposition and soon become someone who reveres God and shuns evil, who has been obtained by God.
Thank you for listening. May all the glory be to!