I’ve Found My Place
By Si Fan, South Korea
After I believed in God, I pursued very enthusiastically. No matter what duty the church arranged for me, I obeyed. When I had difficulties in my duty, I could also suffer and pay the price without complaining. Before long, I started to practice watering newcomers, and I was continuously promoted. I felt I was a talent, someone who God’s house was cultivating, and that I pursued more than others, so as long as I worked hard at my duty, I would be promoted and given important roles. When I thought of this, I felt very proud.
Later, I saw many brothers and sisters around my age performing important duties such as team leaders and supervisors, and I was envious. I thought, “If they can perform such important duties at such a young age, be valued by the leaders, and admired by the brothers and sisters, I can’t be satisfied with the status quo. I have to pursue well and strive to make a major breakthrough in my duty so I can also have an important role.” So, I worked harder in my duty. I was willing to stay up late and suffer. When I had trouble in my duty, I searchedto resolve it. But my effort didn’t bring about any change. Due to my poor work ability, I was assigned to do some routine work. After that, when I saw others around me being promoted, I was even more envious. I knew that I was inferior to them, so I always encouraged myself, “I can’t be discouraged or be satisfied with the status quo. I have to pursue and improve. I still need to read more of God’s word and put more effort into my life entry. Once you improve your professional skills and make progress in life entry, you’ll be promoted.” So, as I worked hard to improve, I also looked forward to the day I would be promoted.
Before I knew it, I had been in this duty for two years, and my new partners kept coming and going. Some were promoted, and some became leaders and workers. I began to wonder, “I’ve done this duty for quite a while, and those who have done it for a shorter time are promoted, so why hasn’t my duty changed at all? Do the leaders think I’m not worth cultivating, and that I’m only suitable for routine work? Do I have no chance at all of being promoted? Will I be stuck in this obscure duty forever?” When I thought about this, I suddenly felt like a deflated ball. I wasn’t as diligent in my duty as before, and I felt no sense of urgency to handle things that needed to be done. I simply went through the motions every day or muddled through until I could say tasks were done. As a result, some deviations and oversights often appeared in my work, but I didn’t take it seriously, and I didn’t reflect on myself. Later, I heard that even more brothers and sisters I knew were promoted, and I felt even more distressed. I thought, “Some of them used to do the same duty as me, but now they’ve all been promoted, while I’m right where I started. Maybe I’m not someone who pursues the truth, or a worthy subject for cultivation.” This thought felt like a heavy weight on my shoulders. It felt miserable. In those days, I was very depressed, and I felt unmotivated in my duty. I always felt I had no future in my belief in God. I felt very aggrieved, and couldn’t accept it. I thought, “Am I really that bad? Am I really only suited for routine work? Is there no value in cultivating me at all? All I want is one chance. Why do I have to stay stuck in the corner all the time, where no one notices me?” The more I thought, the more aggrieved I felt. I sighed all day, and my legs felt too heavy to move. During that period, I would cry silently in bed at night, thinking, “If my professional skills are inferior to others, then I’ll work hard to pursue the truth. I’ll read more of God’s words and focus more on life entry. One day, when I can fellowship with some practical knowledge, when the leaders see I focus on pursuing the truth, won’t they also promote me?” But when I thought about it, I also felt a little guilty. Pursuing the truth is a positive thing, and it is what a believer should pursue. But I was using this for the purpose of standing above others. If I pursued like this, with ambition and desire, God would detest and hate it, wouldn’t He? Why wasn’t I satisfied to do my duty in obscurity? I felt really guilty, so I prayed to God as I cried, “God, I know my pursuit of status is wrong, but my ambitions and desires are strong. I always feel like it’s useless of me to perform my duty in obscurity. God, I can’t get out of this state. Please lead and guide me in understanding Your will and knowing myself.”
After I prayed, I read two passages of God’s words. “For antichrists, status and prestige are their life. No matter how they live, no matter what environment they live in, no matter what work they do, no matter what they strive for, what their goals are, what their life’s direction is, it all revolves around having a good reputation and a high station. And this aim does not change; they can never put it aside. This is the true face of the antichrists, and their essence. You could put them in a primeval forest deep in the mountains, and still they would not forsake status and prestige. You can put them among any group of people, and all they can think about is still status and prestige. Although antichrists also believe in God, they see the pursuit of status and prestige as equivalent to faith in God and give it equal weight. Which is to say, as they walk the path of faith in God, they also pursue their own status and prestige. It can be said that in the antichrists’ hearts, they believe that faith in God and the pursuit of the truth is the pursuit of status and prestige; the pursuit of status and prestige is also the pursuit of the truth, and to gain status and prestige is to gain the truth and life. If they feel that they have no prestige or status, that no one admires them, or venerates them, or follows them, then they are very frustrated, they believe there is no point in believing in God, no value to it, and they say to themselves, ‘Is such faith in God a failure? Is it hopeless?’ They often deliberate such things in their hearts, they deliberate how they can carve a place out for themselves in the house of God, how they can have a lofty reputation in the church, so that people listen when they talk, and support them when they act, and follow them wherever they go; so that they have a voice in the church, a reputation, so that they enjoy benefits, and have status—they often ponder such things. These are what such people pursue” (The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Item Nine (Part Three)). “For an antichrist, attacking or damaging their reputation and status is a matter more serious even than trying to take their life. No matter how many sermons they listen to or how many of God’s words they read, they will not feel sadness or regret over never having practiced the truth and their having taken the path of the antichrist, nor over their possession of the nature and essence of an antichrist. Instead, they are always racking their brains for ways to gain status and increase their reputation. … In their consistent pursuit of reputation and status, they also brazenly deny what God has done. Why do I say that? In the depths of an antichrist’s heart, they believe, ‘All reputation and status are earned by people themselves. Only by gaining a firm foothold among people and gaining reputation and status can they enjoy God’s blessings. Life only has value when people gain absolute power and status. Only this is a befitting human life. On the contrary, it would be cowardly to live in such a way as to submit, as in the word of God, to God’s sovereignty and arrangement in everything, to willingly stand in the position of creation, and to live like a normal person—no one would look up to them. A person’s status, reputation, and happiness must be won through their own struggles; they must be fought for and seized with a positive and active attitude. No one else will give them to you—waiting around passively is useless.’ This is how an antichrist calculates. Of course, that is the sort of essence antichrists have; if you try to get them to ponder God’s words, seek His will, and seek the truth to get to where they can submit to God, act in accordance with the principles of the truth, and serve as ordinary followers until they ultimately can revere God and eschew evil, then they absolutely will not do it” (The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Item Nine (Part Three)).
Reading God’s word pierced my heart. God revealed that antichrists regard status as more important than life. All they say and do revolves around it, and they only think about gaining and keeping it. Once they lose their status, they lose the motivation to live. For the sake of status, they can resist God, betray God, and establish their own kingdoms. I realized I had always regarded status as very important. When I was young, my family taught me things like “No pain, no gain,” and “man struggles upwards, water flows downwards.” I had always regarded satanic laws of survival as wise sayings. I thought a life of gaining status and being held in high esteem was a dignified and worthwhile life, while being content with my lot and being an ordinary, down-to-earth person showed that I lacked ambition or any real goals. I thought people like that were useless and cowardly. After I believed in God, my thoughts and views never changed. Outwardly, I didn’t contend for status, but my ambitions and desires were not small. I only wanted a more important duty, high status, for others to think highly of me. When I saw the brothers and sisters around me being promoted to team leaders and supervisors, this only stirred my desire even more. To be promoted, I rose early and stayed up late into the night. I was willing to suffer and pay any price for my duty. When my hopes were shattered again and again, I was filled with complaints and resistance to the environment around me. I even felt that there was no point in believing in God and became tired of my duty. I just went through the motions and muddled through what I could. I saw that since I believed in God, the path I took was not the path of pursuing the truth at all. Everything I did was for fame and status. Actually, that I could come to God’s house and fulfill my duty was God giving me a chance to be saved. In my duty, God wanted me to pursue the truth, understand the truth and enter into its realities, and escape my corrupt dispositions. But I neglected my task. My mind was not on pursuing the truth, I desired nothing but gaining a high status, and when my desire was frustrated, I only dug my hole deeper. I really had no conscience or reason! I thought, despite many years of believing in God, because I didn’t pursue the truth, even now, I didn’t have much knowledge of my own corrupt disposition. I couldn’t even do my current duty well. I still muddled through, and there were often deviations and shortcomings in my work. Even like this, I wanted to be promoted and do bigger work. I was so shameless! Only then did I see that believing in God, without pursuing the truth, and blindly pursuing status, would only make me more ambitious and more arrogant, always wanting to be above others, but unable to obey God’s arrangements. Such pursuit is self-destructive, and is hated and cursed by God. I thought of the antichrists expelled from the church. They don’t pursue the truth, they always pursue fame and status. They always want to be admired and looked up to and try to win over and control people, and the result is that they do too much evil and are eliminated by God. Weren’t my pursuits the same as theirs? Wasn’t I walking the path of resisting God? God’s disposition is righteous and cannot be offended. If I refused to change, I would definitely be rejected and eliminated by God. With this in mind, I swore an oath to myself: From now on, I will not pursue status, I will submit to God’s arrangements. I will pursue the truth, and do my duty properly and in a down-to-earth manner.
One day, during my devotionals, I read another passage of God’s word. “Because people do not recognize God’s orchestrations and God’s sovereignty, they always face fate defiantly and with a rebellious attitude, and they always want to cast off God’s authority and sovereignty and the things fate has in store, hoping in vain to change their current circumstances and alter their fate. But they can never succeed and are thwarted at every turn. This struggle, which takes place deep in one’s soul, brings profound pain of the sort that carves itself into one’s bones, as one fritters away their life all the while. What is the cause of this pain? Is it because of God’s sovereignty, or because a person was born unlucky? Obviously, neither is true. At bottom, it is caused by the paths people take, the ways they choose to live their lives. Some people may not have realized these things. But when you truly know, when you truly come to recognize that God has sovereignty over human fate, when you truly understand that everything God has planned for you and decided for you is a great benefit and protection, then you feel your pain begin to lighten, and your whole being becomes relaxed, free, liberated. Judging from the states of the majority of people, they objectively cannot truly come to terms with the practical value and meaning of the Creator’s sovereignty over human fate, even though on a subjective level, they do not want to keep on living as they did before and want relief from their pain; objectively, they cannot truly recognize and submit to the Creator’s sovereignty, and still less do they know how to seek out and accept the Creator’s orchestrations and arrangements. So, if people cannot truly recognize the fact that the Creator has sovereignty over human fate and over all human matters, if they cannot truly submit to the Creator’s dominion, then it will be difficult for them not to be driven and fettered by the idea that ‘one’s fate is in one’s own hands.’ It will be difficult for them to shake off the pain of their intense struggle against fate and the Creator’s authority, and, needless to say, it will also be hard for them to become truly liberated and free, to become people who (The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique III). God’s words stirred my heart. Before, I had never compared my state to what these words of God reveal. I thought that these words were addressed to the unbelievers, while I believed in God, and I acknowledged and obeyed God’s sovereignty. But when I calmed down and contemplated this passage, I realized that acknowledging God’s sovereignty does not mean obeying God’s sovereignty. It doesn’t even mean that you know God’s sovereignty. Although I believed in God, my views on things were still the same as those of unbelievers. Unbelievers always think people’s fate is in their own hands, and always want to fight against fate. They want to change their destiny through their own efforts and live a life of excellence. As a result, they suffer a lot, pay a high price, until finally they are bruised and bruised, and even then they don’t want to turn back. Wasn’t I the same? I always wanted to change the status quo through my own efforts and relied on my own struggle to strive for promotion and important roles. For this purpose, I suffered in silence, paid a price, and worked to learn professional skills. When my desire was frustrated, I became passive and resistant, and dug in deeper. Only then did I see I was so miserable and so tired because I took the wrong path and chose the wrong way of living. I considered satanic fallacies like “One’s destiny is in his own hand,” and “Man can create a pleasant homeland with his own hands” as maxims to live by. I believed that to achieve my goal, I had to work hard for it. So I couldn’t bring myself to obey the arrangements of God’s house. I always wanted to fight against God, break free from His sovereignty, and gain reputation and status through my own efforts. Only then did I see I believed in God in word only. I didn’t believe in God’s sovereignty in my heart, and I couldn’t obey His arrangements. What was the difference between a believer like me and a nonbeliever? God is the Creator, and God has sovereignty and control over everything. Each person’s destiny, their caliber and special skills, the duty they perform in God’s house, what kind of situations they experience at what time, and so on are all controlled and preordained by God, and no person can escape them or change anything. Only by obeying and accepting God’s sovereignty can we obtain God’s protection and blessings, and live a life of release and freedom. Knowing this, I suddenly felt pitiful and pathetic. I believed in God for years, and I had eaten and drank much of God’s word, but I was just like an unbeliever. I didn’t know God’s omnipotence and sovereignty, and I always resisted God. I was so arrogant and ignorant! I contemplated God’s word, “When you truly understand that everything God has planned for you and decided for you is a great benefit and protection, then you feel your pain begin to lighten, and your whole being becomes relaxed, free, liberated” (The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique III). I wondered, how could I know this environment was good for me, and was protecting me? As I sought, I realized since I started believing in God, I had never experienced a failure, a setback, or being dismissed or transferred. I had been continuously promoted. Unconsciously, I started thinking I was someone who pursues the truth, and that I was a key subject for cultivation in God’s house, so I naturally came to regard “being promoted” as a goal to pursue. Every time I was promoted, I didn’t receive it as a commission and responsibility from God, and I didn’t pursue the truth in a down-to-earth manner or think about how to use principles in my duty. Instead, I saw God’s commission as a tool to pursue status and be looked up to by others. I thought the higher the duty and status, the more people would admire and value me, so I was very concerned about promotions, and I worried about these gains and losses all the time. I had long forgotten what to pursue in my belief in God. Thinking back, my ambition was too big. If I had been promoted as I wished, I don’t know how arrogant I might have become or what evil I might have done. There are too many examples of such failures. There are many people who can sincerely perform their duties when they have no status, but the moment they have status, their ambitions grow, they start to do evil, and they deceive and draw people in. To maintain their reputation and status, they exclude others and suppress others, and bring ruin to themselves as a result. I saw that status, for those who pursue the truth and walk the right path, is practice and perfection. For those who don’t pursue the truth and walk the right path, it is temptation and revelation. As of that moment, I still had no status, yet only because I hadn’t been promoted, I was so angry that I didn’t even want to do my duty. I could see that my ambition and desire went beyond ordinary people. If I was actually promoted to an important duty, I was certain to fail as badly as they did. At this point, I truly felt that there were God’s good intentions in me not being promoted to team leader or supervisor. God used this environment to force me to stop and reflect on myself, and to make me turn back and walk the path of pursuing truth. Such an environment was what my life required, and it was God’s great protection for me. Thinking of these things, I felt that God had done a good thing. I was blind and ignorant, and I didn’t understand God’s will, so misunderstood and blamed God. I had truly hurt God.”
After that, I read another passage of God’s word. “What kind of heart does God want? First of all, the heart must be honest. It must be able to perform a duty in a sincere and down-to-earth manner, able to protect the work of God’s house, and without so-called great aspirations or lofty goals. It should be one that wants to walk one step at a time in following God, worshiping God, and living as a created being. It should not desire to be a bird in the sky or any created being on another planet, let alone wish to be someone with supernatural abilities. Furthermore, this heart should love the truth. What does loving the truth mainly refer to? Loving positive things, possessing a sense of righteousness, being able to genuinely expend for God, being able to genuinely love God, being able to obey God, and being able to testify about God” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. The Five States Necessary to Be on the Right Track in One’s Faith). After reading God’s word, I was very moved. I felt God’s hopes and requirements for people. God does not want people to be famous, great, or lofty. God doesn’t ask us to engage in great undertakings or have any great achievements. God hopes people pursue the truth and submit to His arrangements in their duties, and fulfill their duties in a down-to-earth manner. But I didn’t understand God’s will, and I didn’t know myself. I always wanted status, and to be a master or a mighty figure. Without status and attention, I felt I lived a suffocated, useless life. I had no humanity or reason at all. I was clearly grass that wanted to be a tree, a finch that wanted to be an eagle, and as a result I strained until I was miserable and exhausted. Realizing this, I prayed to God, “God! In the past, I always pursued fame and status. I always wanted to be admired and admired. I wasn’t content to perform my duty in obscurity, which You loathe and detest. Now I understand that this is the wrong way. I wish to submit to Your arrangements. Regardless of whether I am promoted in the future, I will pursue the truth in a down-to-earth manner and perform my duty well.” After I prayed, I felt a great sense of release, and I felt closer to God. Later, through reading God’s word, I gained some knowledge of my mistaken views on pursuit. God’s words say, “When someone is promoted to serve as a leader or worker, or they are cultivated for some sort of technical work—for which they are appointed supervisor—this is nothing more than God’s house entrusting them with a burden. It is a commission, a responsibility, and of course, it is also a special duty, an extraordinary opportunity; it is an exceptional elevation, and this person has nothing to brag about. When someone is promoted and cultivated by God’s house, it does not mean they have a special position or status in God’s house, so that they can enjoy special treatment and favor. Instead, after they have been exceptionally exalted in God’s house, they are given the opportunity and better conditions to practice and enter into the realities of truth, so that they are able to do more specific work involving the principles of the truth. That is, principles are highly involved in this work, and the requirements and standards of God’s house will be higher, which is very beneficial for people’s life entry. When a person is promoted and cultivated in God’s house, it means they will be put under strict requirements and tightly supervised. God’s house will strictly inspect and supervise the work they do, and will get to understand and give attention to their life entry. From these points of view, do the people promoted and cultivated by God’s house enjoy special treatment, special status, and special position? Absolutely not, and even less do they enjoy any special identity. For people who have been promoted and used in important roles, if they feel that they have capital, and stagnate and stop pursuing the truth, then they are in danger when they encounter trials and tribulations. Some say, ‘If someone is promoted and cultivated as a leader, then they have an identity. Even if they are not one of the firstborn sons, they at least have hope of becoming one of God’s people. I have never been promoted or cultivated, so what hope do I have of counting as one of God’s people?’ It is wrong to think this way. To become one of God’s people, you must have life experience, and you must be someone who obeys God. No matter if you are a leader, worker, or an ordinary follower, anyone who possesses the realities of truth is one of God’s people. Even if you are a leader or worker, if you lack the realities of truth, you are still a service-doer” (Identifying False Leaders). I understood from God’s word that promotion and cultivation in God’s house does not mean people have a special status, nor do they receive special treatment like officials in the world. It’s simply an opportunity to practice. It’s only a more important commission and a greater responsibility for people. Being promoted and cultivated only means a person is switching from one duty to another. It does not mean that a person’s identity and status are higher than others, and it doesn’t mean you understand the truth or possess its realities. Not being promoted doesn’t mean you are inferior, and it doesn’t mean you have no future and cannot be saved. In short, no matter what duty you perform, whether or not you are promoted, God treats all people fairly. God’s family arranges duties reasonably according to each person’s caliber and skills, so that each person’s caliber and skills can be used to the fullest. This benefits both the work of God’s house and our personal life entry. Whether or not you are promoted to an important duty, God’s expectations for people and the provision for everyone are the same. God wants people to pursue the truth and change their dispositions as they perform their duties. Therefore, God’s salvation for people does not depend on their status, qualifications, or age. Rather, it depends on people’s attitude toward truth and their duty. If you walk the path of pursuing the truth, as you perform your duty, you can get more practice, and you will keep making progress in life. If you don’t walk the path of pursuing the truth, no matter how high your status, you won’t last. Sooner or later, you will be dismissed and eliminated. I didn’t have a pure understanding of promotion in the past. I thought being promoted meant getting status, and the higher my status, the better my future and fate. As a result, I didn’t focus on pursuing the truth in my duty, and solely pursued status. Only then did I realize this view of things is absurd! Actually, God’s house gave me the chance to practice, but my caliber was too low for more important tasks. I had no self-awareness, so I felt like I was capable and could be promoted to take on a greater commission. I really didn’t know myself at all. No matter what kind of work we do in God’s house, we all need to understand the truth and enter the principles of truth for our work to achieve good results. But I didn’t understand the truth, and I couldn’t do any practical work. Even if I was promoted, what good could I possibly do? Wouldn’t I just get in the way? Never mind that I would be utterly exhausted, I would also hinder the work of God’s house. That would hardly be worth it. At this point, I finally realized that my current duty was very suitable for me. I was capable of it, and it made use of my strengths. This was helpful for my own life entry, and beneficial to the work of God’s house. Through the enlightenment and guidance of God’s words, I became more and more aware of God’s will, I found my own place, and my passive state was resolved.
After that, I was no longer controlled by my status, and I bore a burden in my duty. When I was not busy with work, I used my spare time to practice preaching the gospel and testifying God. When I saw people who truly believe in God and love the truth accept the work of God in the last days, I felt a great sense of ease and comfort. Finally, I understood it doesn’t matter how important a position you are put into, what matters is whether you can play the role of a created being as you perform your duty. This is the most important thing. Now, although I often hear news that brothers and sisters I know are promoted, I am much calmer, and I am no longer jealous or envious, because I know although we perform different duties, we all strive for the same goal, that of spreading God’s gospel of kingdom to the best of our ability. Now, I have finally found my place. I am only a small created being. My duty is to obey the Creator’s orchestrations and arrangements. In the future, no matter what my duty is, I am willing to accept, obey, and do my best in my duty to satisfy God!