Obeying God’s Sovereignty Brings a Light to My Life

March 10, 2022

By Xiaoyu

Under the influence of my 16 years of school career, from primary school to the university, my mind was occupied with satanic philosophies and theories. I wanted to rely on my knowledge and my hands to fight for an enviable life, owning mansions and fancy cars, just like those nobility on TV shows.

After graduation in 2004, I was assigned as a teacher at a key high school in the provincial town. In the spring of 2005, by chance, I attended a big startup training session. Seeing a lady who was sharing her thoughts and feelings about her success on the stage, I was dumbfounded. She, of the same age as me, was not college educated, but could speak with ease and fluency on the stage, surrounded by waves of applause and cheers from the crowd. This stirred up admiration in me, but even more left me feeling a little jealous of her and depressed. I asked myself continually, “Am I lower educated than her? Or am I physically or intellectually inferior to her? She can succeed, then why can’t I? What I want is just this kind of life—flowers, applause, mansions and fancy cars… I believe as long as I work hard, nothing is impossible. For the fate of man is controlled by his own hands.” So, I made up my mind to carve a niche for myself in the world. I forced myself to work till the summer vacation of 2005, and then I submitted my resignation to the school without hesitation and left the boring cage-like life resolutely. A few days later, when my parents learned that I had handed in my resignation, they were very angry. My father vigorously objected to me doing so. He considered my thoughts childish and ridiculous, and ordered me to return to work in the school. I knew very well that my father had a stubborn temper and cannot be persuaded. So I first wrote my parents a letter secretly. In the letter, I promised to give them a happy life, telling them I hoped they could understand me and believe I’ve made the right choice. Afterward, I told them the school called me to attend a training. And so, with this lie, I left my home.

In less than two years, between July 2005 and March 2007, I traveled around cities big and small, but however I tried, I still failed to find a suitable job. Even though I got one, I just stayed on the job for no more than two months. When at my lowest points, I had only fifty yuan left to cover one month of living expenses. I came up against walls and was frustrated everywhere, this made me disheartened. I couldn’t help thinking, thinking, thinking of the heroic promise I had ever made to my parents at my departure, and thinking of my awkward and disgrace resulting from my childish and careless decision to quit my job. And then I thought that I might have to face the sneers of my relatives and friends. Thinking this way, I rattled, not having a clue how to get on with my life. I was thoroughly overwhelmed by reality, and surrendered to reality. I couldn’t help but turn the question back on myself, “Can man really change his fate with his own ability?” From then on, I dared not harbor any illusions about my future.

Yet man’s end is God’s beginning. In July 2007, when I sank into the depths of despair, my cousin preached God’s work in the last days to me and gave me a book of God’s words. One day, I happened to read this passage of God’s words, “Whatever your background, and whatever the journey ahead of you, no one can escape the orchestrations and arrangements of the Heaven, and no one is in control of their own destiny, for only He who rules over all things is capable of such work. … In any case, all I wish is for man to understand this: Without the care, keeping, and provision of God, man cannot receive all that he was meant to receive, no matter how diligently he tries or how arduously he struggles. Without the supply of life from God, man loses the sense of value in living and the sense of the meaning of life” (“God Is the Source of Man’s Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Every word in the book attracted me, and was even more rocking me to my core. I felt as if God was speaking to me face to face. From these words, I saw God had a thorough understanding of man. Also, I sort of approved of what my cousin said “This is the personal utterance of the Creator to mankind.” Later, I began to live the church life. The brothers and sisters often fellowshiped with me that I should submit to God’s arrangement and sovereignty and let nature take its course. After some time, under the guidance of God’s word and with the help of the brothers and sisters, my mood gradually brightened.

Two months later, through an introduction from my friend, I took a job as a teacher in a private school. This school had set strict rules that all the employees were allowed one holiday every half month, and that no one should be let out of school unless in special conditions. And during that time, I was busy racking my brain to improve teaching performance, having little time for the church life. Sometimes I felt uneasy for not having attended meetings. But later, I comforted myself with excuses: “I will wait until I improve my teaching performance before I live the church life. After the students’ scores have improved, I will be able to have meetings without being controlled by the school.”

One day, I saw God’s words, “If you rely on your knowledge and ability in your undertakings, then you shall always be a failure and shall always be bereft of the blessings of God, because God accepts nothing that you do, and He does not grant that your undertaking is a righteous one, or accept that you are working for the benefit of mankind. He will say that everything you do is done to use the knowledge and strength of mankind to divest man of the protection of God and to deny the blessings of God” (“God Presides Over the Fate of All Mankind” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Looking back, I was really foolish and ignorant. I always wanted to control my fate according to my own imaginations and rely on my own efforts to change everything. Was I not struggling against God’s authority? In fact, without God’s blessings, no matter how hard man works, he will only end up having his hopes crushed? At this moment, I understood: Only if man puts worshiping God and being mindful of His will first, can he gain God’s blessings. But now, just a job, a closed management practice of the school could constrain me to live the church life and worship God normally, how could I gain God’s care and protection? Thus, afraid that my life would have losses, I decided to find a suitable job. And in the meantime, I told myself, “Whatever befalls me in the future, I must let God be the Lord of me first and commit everything into God’s hand rather than go my own way.”

So, I left the private school, just in time for the annual provincial civil services examination. Then I registered for the exam. Indeed, before believing in God, I had taken the exams several times in a row, but all of them ended in failure. In the past, I only focused on how glorious it was to work at a government agency. But now I just considered I would have more free time working in a government agency than in a private company, and that would be beneficial to my belief in God. During that time, I often told God when I had actual difficulty in my heart, “O God, now I am too small in stature and can’t have meetings regularly to worship You. O God, I want to find a less-stressful job so that I can set aside more time to come before You. Yet this is just my own conception and imagination. I don’t know how You will arrange things. I only wish to commit it to Your hand. Regardless of whether I can get that job, I will submit to Your orchestrations and arrangements, and also ought to worship You.”

My attitude towards the exam this time was different from that before. No matter how busy I was with the test prep, I insisted on leading the life of the church regularly, keeping a normal relationship with God. During the roughly fifty days before the exam, as my family knew I needed to prepare for the exam, none of them urged me to look for work. Moreover, my mother-in-law became especially attentive to me. She specially avoided bothering me with the house chores, even the cooking, in order to carve out enough time for me to review for the test. I clearly knew that it was out of God’s wise arrangement, He wanted me to have more chances to quiet my heart for reading His word. Therefore, I drew close to God every day, praying to God about my inner thoughts, and thereby I felt very fulfilled and brightened. With the leading of God’s word, my heart was slowly calmed, and I ceased to pay much attention to the exam results.

Later, I took the exam as scheduled. After handing in my papers, I was very calm, no longer expecting to be on the list, but kept a quiet heart before God. One afternoon, the test results were published. When confirming that not only did I pass the exam but I also got high scores, I couldn’t help but feel the unspeakable sweetness, tears pouring from my eyes. I knew all these were God’s deeds, and I did really see His wonderful deeds. Nevertheless, the test was not fully over yet—I had to take the interview, as the exam consisted of a written test and interview. The interview would be held in the county, and there seemed to be high chances for cheating. Among those nominates I knew, some were leaders’ children, and some had already gone through connections in advance, attempting to improve their interview scores. However, looking at myself, I came out of nowhere and was very likely to be pushed out. Thus I couldn’t help feeling nervous, and got even more tense as I thought that I was not good at speeches. Preoccupied, I entered the exam room in low spirits. There were huge crowds then, so we had to go through a lottery process. My interview was scheduled for that afternoon, and I was the first to be interviewed. And as soon as I finished my interview, I got to know that I scored the lowest among those who had been interviewed (the overall result was the average of the written test score and the interview score). In the meantime, I learned that the candidates after me all had their powerful family standing firmly behind them, some had powerful patrons, some worked in TV stations and were well-connected, while some they themselves were capable. I was rather disappointed: This time I am doomed to fail. I thought I had been ready never to complain regardless of whether I could pass it. But at this point, when facts seemed to really come upon me, I was still sad. After the interview, I returned home and prayed to God in tears, “O God, I am feeling very bad now. Some time ago, I used to resolve before You to take satisfying Your heart in everything as my happiness. But now, when the time came for me to obey Your sovereignty and stand testimony for You, I was such a mess. I hate myself for my weakness and uselessness. God, I have arranged to meet my friend tonight, intending to preach the gospel and witness God to her. Yet, now I look like a loser, and even I am sick of myself for that. Oh, God, may You strengthen my heart and make me strong so as to obey Your sovereignty and arrangement.” Then I thought of the words of “Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life”: “God says that there is a lesson to be learned every day. These words are very realistic. And it proves that people’s living environments are all arranged and ruled by God, and there is God’s good will in all that man encounters. Amongst all the people, events and things that come upon us, some are enlightenments for us, some are guidance for us, while some are disciplines, and some are warning or reminding. And even some are those that you are probably unwilling to accept but might actually benefit you most, or to put it definitively, it can perfect your lacking in some aspect. Moreover, there are many sufferings and trials that man has to undergo and they are more beneficial to man. Only after experiencing all of this, can you taste the sweetness. And at that time you will say, ‘I have learned many lessons from these things. Though my body went through some suffering, I have gained too much without paying any tuition fees.’” The sermons and fellowship on entry into life brightened my heart a lot. Though I didn’t know what sweetness God wanted me to experience, I knew God’ work could not be wrong, and all I needed to do was learn to obey God’s orchestrations and arrangements. Thanks to the guidance of God, I had the determination to satisfy God again, and decided to face the fact calmly. My heart still felt ill at ease, but this couldn’t prevent me from spreading the gospel and bearing witness to God tonight.

Four days later, my neighbor dropped in. He asked me when I would go have a physical examination. “I don’t know. I failed the exam,” replied I. My neighbor opened his eyes wide, and said in bewilderment, “Scores were released yesterday, and your name was right on the list. Haven’t you seen that?” Hearing this, I couldn’t believe it. After he left, I went to check it out on the Internet, and found it really was just as he had said. Though I was not at the top of the shortlist, I was the finalist. At that moment, my heart was filled with surprise and gratitude for God, which was beyond description. And this experience increased my faith in and knowledge of God’s almightiness and realness of ruling over all things. That moment, I really tasted the sweetness of being face to face with God. Thinking deeply about this exam, I was not economically privileged or politically connected, but it is during this bitter refinement that I gained real experience and corroboration of God’s almightiness and sovereignty, obtained true trust and love towards God that money couldn’t buy, and enjoyed the sweetness brought by the grace of God. All of this I gained was far more valuable than any other things.

Now, whenever I see people around me are striving to control their own fates as I did before, I will think of the heartbreaks and pains I have suffered from struggling hard to get a wonderful future, and moreover will think of that God has led me before Him step by step, and made me know God’s sovereignty, allowing me to see clearly that it is God who indeed rules over and arranges everything of man. All this has taken root in the depth of my memory, and is continually encouraging me to walk the right life path of obeying God and fearing God. I am full of gratitude for God: It is God who has saved me, saved me from the dark abyss, brought hope into my dark life, and given me the chance of choosing a happy life. I can’t thank God enough for His salvation! All the glory be to God!

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