How I Let Go of a Secure Job
By Lizhi, Japan
I was born in a poor and backward rural family. Even as a child, my father demanded that I study hard, so that in the future, I could get into a good school and have a prosperous life. But things didn’t turn out as I hoped. I failed the high school entrance exam three years in a row. This made me confused about my future path, and I lost confidence. At the time, I was under a lot of stress, and felt a lot of pain. That was until the fourth year, when I was finally admitted to a railway engineering school, and after graduation, I got a secure job at a Railway Bureau office.
In March of 1999, my wife and I accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days. Later, I actively did my duty and participated in church life, and six months later, I was chosen to lead the church. But after becoming a leader, as I spent more time at gatherings and on my duty, conflicts with work arose. To avoid missing gatherings, I had to take leave several times a month. In addition to salary deductions, I also lost my bonus at the end of the month. My boss said unhappily, “You’ve just started this job, so you need to do a good job. If you always ask for leave, you lose much of your salary, and lose your bonus, isn’t this stupid? I’ve taken good care of you, but if you always ask for leave, it will be hard to promote you.” Later, when I asked for leave again, I felt very conflicted. I thought, “My boss here is good to me. If I always take time off and give him a bad impression of me, it will be hard to get promoted. I can’t take any more time off, or my boss won’t be happy with me.” But then I thought, as a church leader, if I didn’t go to gatherings, I wouldn’t know much about the work of the church and the state of my brothers and sisters, and I wouldn’t be able to do church work well. So I was very conflicted. After that, there were several times I chose to stay at work, but I felt deeply guilty about this.
Once, my upper-level leader notified me about a co-worker meeting, and I started fighting with myself again, so I prayed to God to seek His will. Then, I read a passage of God’s word. “In every step of work that God does within people, externally it appears to be interactions between people, as if born of human arrangements or from human interference. But behind the scenes, every step of work, and everything that happens, is a wager made by Satan before God, and requires people to stand firm in their testimony to God. Take when Job was tried, for example: Behind the scenes, Satan was making a bet with God, and what happened to Job was the deeds of men and the interference of men. Behind every step of work that God does in you is Satan’s wager with God—behind it all is a battle. … Everything people do requires them to pay a certain price in their efforts. Without actual hardship, they cannot satisfy God; they do not even come close to satisfying God, and they are just spouting empty slogans! Can these empty slogans satisfy God? When God and Satan do battle in the spiritual realm, how should you satisfy God, and how should you stand firm in your testimony to Him? You should know that everything that happens to you is a great trial and the time when God needs you to bear testimony. Though they may seem unimportant from the outside, when these things happen they show whether or not you love God. If you do, you will be able to stand firm in your testimony to Him, and if you have not put the love of Him into practice, this shows you are not someone who puts the truth into practice, that you are without the truth, and without life, that you are chaff!” (The Word, Vol. 1. God’s Work and Knowing God. Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God). From God’s word, I saw that on the surface, we are interacting with people every day, but behind this is Satan’s bet with God, and we need to stand firm in our testimony. When Job’s trials came to him, he lost all his wealth overnight, and outwardly this was robbers stealing his property, but Satan’s temptation was behind it, and when Job stood firm in his testimony, Satan withdrew in shame. The conflict of my meeting time with my work was actually a spiritual battle. Outwardly, my boss cared for me and wanted to promote me, but actually, Satan’s disturbance was behind this. Satan was using fame and fortune to lure me into focusing only on working and earning money. It wanted to destroy my normal relationship with God, and keep me far away from God, so that I had no time to meet and do my duty. In this, there were Satan’s evil intentions. Thinking of this, I prayed to God, “I won’t fall for Satan’s tricks, I will attend the meeting, fellowship on Your words, maintain a normal relationship with You, and never allow Satan’s schemes to succeed.” Later, I found the courage to ask my boss for leave and attended the co-worker meeting.
But as church work got busier and busier, many things had to be arranged and implemented promptly, and if I wanted to do my duty well, I had to take time off. During that time, I was very tormented, and many times I couldn’t overcome it, which affected church work as a result. Sometimes I thought I should just quit my job, so that I wouldn’t delay the work of the church, but I worried that if I did, there was no way I would have a good future. It was such a good job that I felt reluctant to quit, and it was like there was a constant tug of war in my heart. When I got home, I told my wife that I wanted to quit my job and shared my thoughts. I said, “I can’t bear to give up this job. I studied hard for many years to get this job, and the salary is high. If I quit, what will my relatives, friends, and classmates think of me? My parents will be furious when they find out. Besides, if I quit my job, we can’t buy a house in the future, and we may be poor for the rest of our lives. But now, I’ve read so many of Almighty God’s words, and I understand God’s will. The brothers and sisters have chosen me to be the church leader. If I delay church work because of my job, aren’t I neglecting my duty?” After listening to me, my wife asked me to pray more to God and make my own choice. That night, I tossed and turned, and couldn’t fall asleep, so I prayed to God and asked Him to guide me. One day, I read in Almighty God’s word, “Who can truly and completely expend themselves for Me and offer up their all for My sake? You are all half-hearted; your thoughts go around and around, thinking of home, of the outside world, of food and clothing. Despite the fact that you are here before Me, doing things for Me, deep down you are still thinking of your wife, children, and parents at home. Are all these things your property? Why do you not entrust them into My hands? Do you not have sufficient faith in Me? Or is it that you are afraid I will make inappropriate arrangements for you? Why do you always worry about the family of your flesh? You always pine for your loved ones! Do I have a certain place in your heart? You still talk about allowing Me to have dominion within you and occupy your entire being—these are all deceptive lies! How many of you are wholeheartedly committed to the church? And who among you think not of yourselves, but are acting for the sake of the kingdom of today? Think very carefully about this” (The Word, Vol. 1. God’s Work and Knowing God. Utterances of Christ in the Beginning, Chapter 59). God’s word reveals that when people don’t have genuine faith in God, they don’t dare put their future and destiny in God’s hands. They always worry and plan for their own flesh, fearing that God won’t arrange things properly. Such people do not have a place for God in their hearts. Didn’t I also have no faith in God? I always worried that if I quit my job, financial constraints would leave me no way to live. I had too little faith in God. I didn’t have the slightest actual understanding of God’s sovereignty over everything. I thought of what the Lord Jesus said, “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they?” (Matthew 6:26). “Seek you first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). I often recited these verses, and often used these words to exhort others, but when things actually happened to me, I didn’t have any genuine faith in God. As I contemplated God’s words, I realized that everyone’s future and destiny are in God’s hands, and God will always make suitable arrangements. God promised that He wouldn’t mistreat those who sincerely expend for Him. Why didn’t I have that trust in God? At this point, I wanted to immediately quit my job and properly do my duty. But when I arrived at the office, my colleagues were talking about their salary raises and bonuses, I began to hesitate, unwilling to give up my job. I knew there was a price to pay in order to practice the truth, so I prayed to God, asking Him to guide me in overcoming the flesh, so that I could quit my job and do my duty.
Not long after, I experienced something terrifying that made me reflect on my future path in life. One night, I was working with the conductor, yardmaster, and others to connect train cars. I was standing on the ladder of a moving train, using the walkie-talkie to instruct the conductor in connecting the vehicle. The train was moving very fast. Following the work procedure, I gave the order to slow down when we were the distance of ten cars away from the train car we were going to connect to. But the conductor didn’t slow down, and I watched helplessly as the train was about to hit the car parked on the track. It was moving so fast that I couldn’t jump out of the car. All I could do was jump from the ladder into the car I was on. I shut my eyes, clung to the side of the car to prevent myself from being flung out, and I called out over and over to Almighty God in my heart. With a loud clang, the train and the car collided. The co-conductor’s arm was broken, and he was rushed to the hospital for treatment overnight. I was frightened, but I was unharmed. The more I thought about it, the more frightening that night seemed. I knew that many people in the railway shunting profession had accidents. Some had their arms crushed, and some had their legs crushed…. I saw that in the face of danger, a secure job couldn’t keep me safe or protect my life. After this accident, I felt that pursuing money can only bring temporary fleshly enjoyment. Nothing could be sadder than losing God’s care and protection, and then losing your life. If it cost me my life to earn money, what was the point of a good job? I could no longer let my job get in the way of my duty. I decided to live by God’s word, entrust everything I had to God, and submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangements. I thought of God’s words. “As someone who is normal, and who pursues the love of God, entry into the kingdom to become one of the people of God is your true future, and a life that is of the utmost value and significance; no one is more blessed than you. Why do I say this? Because those who do not believe in God live for the flesh, and they live for Satan, but today you live for God, and live to do the will of God. That is why I say your lives are of the utmost significance. Only this group of people, who have been selected by God, are able to live out a life of the utmost significance: No one else on earth is able to live out a life of such value and meaning” (The Word, Vol. 1. God’s Work and Knowing God. Know God’s Newest Work and Follow His Footsteps). God’s word was very moving for me. It’s true. Those who sincerely love God don’t live for fame, fortune, or fleshly enjoyment, they live for God. Only living for God is a worthwhile and meaningful life. Because of God’s predestination and selection, I was fortunate enough to hear the Creator’s voice, understand some truth, and have the chance to do a duty. This was a wonderful thing. I had to stop living in my own little world and pursuing money and material enjoyment. I should obey God’s orchestrations and arrangements, and perform my duty as a created being.
After that, I read another passage of God’s word. Almighty God says, “How will you pass on what you have seen and experienced to those pitiable, poor, and devout religious believers who hunger and thirst for righteousness and are waiting for you to shepherd them? What kind of people are waiting for you to shepherd them? Can you imagine? Are you aware of the burden on your shoulders, your commission, and your responsibility? Where is your sense of historic mission? How will you adequately serve as a master in the next age? Do you have a strong sense of masterhood? How would you explain the master of all things? Is it really the master of all living creatures and of all physical things in the world? What plans do you have for the progress of the next phase of the work? How many people are waiting for you to be their shepherd? Is your task a heavy one? They are poor, pitiable, blind, and at a loss, wailing in the darkness—where is the way? How they yearn for the light, like a shooting star, to suddenly descend and dispel the forces of darkness that have oppressed man for so many years. Who can know the full extent to which they anxiously hope, and how they pine, day and night, for this? Even on a day when the light flashes past, these deeply suffering people remain imprisoned in a dark dungeon without hope of release; when will they weep no longer? Terrible is the misfortune of these fragile spirits who have never been granted rest, and long have they been kept bound in this state by merciless bonds and frozen history. And who has heard the sound of their wailing? Who has looked upon their miserable state? Has it ever occurred to you how grieved and anxious God’s heart is? How can He bear to see innocent mankind, whom He created with His own hands, suffering such torment? Human beings, after all, are the victims who have been poisoned. And although man has survived to this day, who would have known that mankind has long been poisoned by the evil one? Have you forgotten that you are one of the victims? Are you not willing to strive, out of your love for God, to save these survivors? Are you not willing to devote all of your energy to repaying God, who loves mankind like His own flesh and blood? When all is said and done, how would you interpret being used by God to live your extraordinary life? Do you really have the resolve and confidence to live the meaningful life of a pious, God-serving person?” (The Word, Vol. 1. God’s Work and Knowing God. How Should You Attend to Your Future Mission?). From God’s word, I felt God’s love and concern for humankind, as well as God’s urgent desire to save people. Now, we are in the last days, and disasters are growing. God expresses the truth and does the work of judgment and chastisement, to save people from the dominion of Satan. I was fortunate to hear the voice of God and accept God’s salvation, which was God’s grace. But many who yearn for God’s appearance have not welcomed the Lord, are still deceived and controlled by antichrist pastors and elders in the religious world, and have no way to hear God’s voice and welcome the Lord. If everyone was as selfish as me, if they only cared about fleshly comfort, and didn’t preach the gospel and testify to God, when the great disaster comes, they would all fall into it and be punished. Nothing could be more upsetting to God. After contemplating God’s will, I understood what I should choose and pursue. So, I made up my mind to let go of my work, properly do my duty, and expend for God. Just when I wanted to resign, the assistant station director suddenly came to see me, to teach me how to give gifts and who could help me get promoted. He took great care to explain everything to me. Not everyone has the chance to be promoted, and my wages would go up a lot. After some discussion, my determination to let go of work began to waver again. Not long after that, I experienced something else terrifying that completely changed my thinking. One day, on the day shift, after a freight train entered the station, it needed to be disconnected and reconnected. After that was done, I was responsible for putting the brake shoes under the wheels. After the lunch break, before the train started moving, I forgot to remove the brake shoes. The conductor started to drive, and the brake shoes were dragged along the track by the wheels. He noticed and stopped the train in time, just as it was about to pass the switch, which avoided a derailment, or even a rollover. That day, without God’s protection, if the train had derailed or rolled over, the consequences would be unimaginable. I was frightened, and I couldn’t help but reflect on myself and ask why this happened. I realized, as a church leader, I knew my job had become a hindrance to my duty, which seriously affected the work of the church, but I was greedy for money and fleshly pleasure, I was never willing to give them up, and I frequently swore oaths to God and then deceived God by betraying them. I thought of God’s word, “You have received endless grace from Me, and you have seen endless mysteries from heaven; I have even shown you the flames of heaven, but I have not had the heart to burn you. Nevertheless, how much have you given Me in return? How much are you willing to give to Me?” (The Word, Vol. 1. God’s Work and Knowing God. You Are All So Base in Character!). Outwardly, what happened wasn’t a good thing, but I clearly understood that this was God’s love, reminder, and warning for me. God has expressed so much truth, and has explained people’s outcome and destination as clear as day. He only wants us to understand His earnest desire, properly pursue the truth and perform the duties of a created being, and gain His salvation. But I was stubborn. I always thought I could survive and live a good life by relying on my job, so I was unwilling to give it up, follow God, and do my duty. These two terrifying incidents completely awakened me. In the face of disaster, no amount of money could save my life. I recalled that the Lord Jesus said, “Whoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:33). Only now did I truly understand the meaning of the Lord Jesus’ words. When we cherish money and material enjoyment, these things occupy our hearts, and it becomes impossible for us to truly love and follow God, expend for God, and do our duties as created beings. Such people still crave the flesh and the world, and are unworthy to be God’s followers. I didn’t want to disobey or disappoint God anymore. I had to change my view of things, submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangements, follow God wholeheartedly, expend for Him, and repay His love. So, I told my boss that I wanted to resign and went through the procedures to terminate the labor contract. In that moment, I was very relaxed. I felt like a bird flying out of a cage. I didn’t have to worry about asking for leave anymore, and I didn’t need to suffer because church work was impacted due to my job. I was very happy to have made such a choice.
My father was very angry when he heard that I quit. He came to see me and said, “I worked hard to raise you. I borrowed money for your schooling. You finally got a good job, and now you don’t want it? What are you thinking? A Railway Bureau job is a great thing to have. Believe in God if you want, but how can you quit your job? Without your job, how will you survive in the future?” Seeing my father’s angry expression made me sad. I remembered how my parents saved money for me to study, in the hope that I would find a good job, escape poverty, and live an outstanding life. I also wanted to bring my parents from the countryside to the city to live in a high-rise and have a good material life. But I had chosen the path of belief in God and no longer pursued money and material enjoyment, so I felt indebted to them. Faced with my father’s words, I didn’t know how to answer. Tears welled up in my eyes, and I didn’t dare look at him. But in my heart, I knew I had made the right choice, because the Savior of the last days has appeared and is doing His work. He expresses the truth to save us from this dark and evil world, and this is the only way to be saved and enter God’s kingdom. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. How could I give it up because I craved fleshly comfort? How could I let work entanglements stop me from pursuing the truth and fulfilling the duty of a created being? In pain, I silently prayed to God, and asked Him to protect my heart from being disturbed. I thought of God’s words. “God created this world and brought man, a living being unto which He bestowed life, into it. Next, man came to have parents and kin, and was no longer alone. Ever since man first laid eyes on this material world, he was destined to exist within the ordination of God. The breath of life from God supports each and every living being throughout growth into adulthood. During this process, no one feels that man is growing up under the care of God; rather, they believe that man is doing so under the loving care of his parents, and that it is his own life instinct that directs his growing up. This is because man knows not who bestowed his life, or from whence it came, much less the way in which the instinct of life creates miracles. He knows only that food is the basis on which his life continues, that perseverance is the source of his existence, and that the beliefs in his mind are the capital upon which his survival depends. Of God’s grace and provision, man is utterly oblivious, and thus does he fritter away the life bestowed upon him by God…. Not a single one of this humanity that God cares for day and night takes it upon themselves to worship Him. God only continues to work on man, for whom He holds out no expectations, as He has planned. He does so in the hope that one day, man will awaken from his dream and suddenly realize the value and meaning of life, the price God paid for all that He has given him, and the eager solicitude with which God waits for man to turn back to Him” (The Word, Vol. 1. God’s Work and Knowing God. God Is the Source of Man’s Life). “You must suffer hardship for the truth, you must give yourself to the truth, you must endure humiliation for the truth, and to gain more of the truth you must undergo more suffering. This is what you should do. You must not throw away the truth for the sake of a peaceful family life, and you must not lose your life’s dignity and integrity for the sake of momentary enjoyment. You should pursue all that is beautiful and good, and you should pursue a path in life that is more meaningful. If you lead such a vulgar life, and do not pursue any objectives, do you not waste your life? What can you gain from such a life? You should forsake all enjoyments of the flesh for the sake of one truth, and should not throw away all truths for the sake of a little enjoyment. People like this have no integrity or dignity; there is no meaning to their existence!” (The Word, Vol. 1. God’s Work and Knowing God. The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment). God’s words enlightened me. I thought it was my parents who raised me, and who scraped and saved so I could finish studying, so if I didn’t listen to them and gave up my job for my duty, I would owe them, but my opinion was ridiculous and absurd. Only God is the source of human life, and all of our lives come from God. Everything we have comes from God’s supply and blessing. Without God, we would have nothing. That my parents raised me to adulthood was God’s sovereign arrangement. I had to be grateful to God and repay God’s love. If I couldn’t fulfill my duty as a created being to satisfy God, even if I had a stable job and enjoyed a good material life with my family, it wouldn’t have any value or meaning. These temporary pleasures couldn’t allow me to understand the truth and gain life. Moreover, to God, I would be rebelling against Him, and wouldn’t gain His approval. To gain the truth, I had to suffer and go through pain. Only in this way could I live with character and dignity, and only then could I gain God’s approval. At this moment, the more I thought about it, the stronger I felt. So, I again testified to my father of God’s appearance and work, and told him without belief in God, all pursuits are empty, and they have no value or meaning. Now, the Savior has come to express the truth to save people, and only by believing in God, pursuing the truth, casting off sin, and truly repenting to God can people survive the disasters and enter the kingdom of God. All those who pursue the world, no matter how rich their material life, will ultimately perish in the disasters and be punished. But no matter what I said, my father still didn’t agree with my resignation, and finally he left in anger.
Later, my father asked my relatives to come to persuade me. They all said a position in the Railway Bureau is a job that gifts and money can’t buy through a back door, and said my parents raised me in vain. When I heard my family’s accusations, I knew Satan was using my relatives to attack me and hinder me from forsaking and expending for God. I thought of the words of Almighty God, “You must possess My courage within you, and you must have principles when it comes to facing relatives who do not believe. For My sake, however, you also must not yield to any dark forces. Rely on My wisdom to walk the perfect way; do not allow any of Satan’s conspiracies to take hold. Put all your efforts into placing your heart before Me, and I shall comfort you and bring you peace and happiness” (The Word, Vol. 1. God’s Work and Knowing God. Utterances of Christ in the Beginning, Chapter 10). After contemplating God’s words, I felt confident, and I found the courage to say to my family, “Today, people especially worship money, fame, status. For these things, people scramble, intrigue, fight each other, and husbands and wives even cheat on and betray each other. Everyone lives like this, so even if we find good and secure jobs and have good material lives, is it really possible to feel happy?” Almighty God says, “All manner of disasters will befall, one after another; all nations and places will experience calamities: Plague, famine, flood, drought, and earthquakes are everywhere. These disasters are not just happening in one or two places, nor will they be over within a day or two; rather, instead they will expand across a greater and greater area, and become more and more severe. During this time, all manner of insect plagues will arise one after another, and the phenomenon of cannibalism will occur everywhere. This is My judgment upon all nations and peoples” (The Word, Vol. 1. God’s Work and Knowing God. Utterances of Christ in the Beginning, Chapter 65). Using God’s words, I continued my fellowship, “Now, the disasters are growing. Only following Almighty God can protect us from the disasters. My belief in God, spreading the gospel, and doing my duty is a thousand or even ten thousand times more important than my work. My belief in God isn’t foolish, like you think it is. When Noah preached the gospel, people said he was a lunatic, but when the flood came, out of the entire human race, only Noah’s family of eight survived. Noah wasn’t crazy or stupid. He was the wisest man and the most blessed by God. Today, the evil and corruption of humankind has reached such a point that God will destroy this wicked and corrupt race, and we can only survive by worshiping Almighty God. I am telling you this wonderful news today in the hope that you will also believe in Almighty God. Don’t try to persuade me, because I’ve already decided. I will follow Almighty God for the rest of my life.” After I said this, my aunt, who believes in the Lord, said, “Thank God! It’s good that you believe in God, and choosing to preach God’s gospel is pleasing to God.” She said to the others, “The path he chose today is the right path. Being rich doesn’t matter. What matters is life. We should respect his choice.” After that, the others said nothing. This made me very happy. When I stood my ground and chose to satisfy God, my family felt ashamed and stopped persuading me. Since then, I am no longer constrained by the people and things around me, and I can do my duty full-time.
Later, seeing that so many people accept Almighty God’s work in the last days, I feel an indescribable joy in my heart. Bringing those who sincerely long for God back into His house is a very meaningful thing, and the most comforting thing for God. Thinking back on choosing to put down my job and take the path of belief in God, I know this was the wisest choice I have ever made in my life. Being able to expend and dedicate my life to preaching the gospel and testifying to God is more valuable and meaningful than anything else I could do.
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