Spiritual Warfare - Bad Things That Happened to New Believers Are Satan’s Temptations
By Titie, United States
I welcomed the Lord’s return.
Since I was little, I had followed my mom in her belief in the Lord Jesus and had enjoyed bounteous grace from Him. After I grew up, blessed by the Lord, I was successful in my career and my family was happy. I was so grateful for everything the Lord had bestowed upon me that I actively attended gatherings and ardently pursued.
At a gathering in the summer of 2003, two brothers testified about Almighty God’s kingdom gospel to me. They fellowshiped with me about various aspects of the truth, such as the purpose of God’s six-thousand-year management plan, the three stages of God’s work, and the significance of God’s name. When they fellowshiped about the scripture: “For as the lightning, that lightens out of the one part under heaven, shines to the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation” (Luke 17:24–25), I realized that the Lord Jesus has become flesh once again and expressed the truth in the image of the Son of man, doing the work of judgment beginning with God’s family; He is condemned and rejected by the pastors and elders in the religious world. This reminded me that the pastor and elders told us to guard against Eastern Lightning at every gathering, stopping brothers and sisters from investigating Almighty God’s work of the last days. It was just like how the Roman government and the Pharisees condemned and rejected the Lord Jesus when He came to carry out His work. This exactly fulfills the words: “But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.” At that time, I felt brightened within and confirmed from my heart that Almighty God is the return of the Lord Jesus. At the end of the gathering, the brother gave me a copy of The Scroll Opened by the Lamb and told me that this book is the personal utterances of the Christ of the last days and that I should read God’s words more in my spare time. On my way home, I was very happy, thinking, “In my lifetime, I am able to welcome the Lord’s return. This is truly my blessing and special favor! I will properly follow Almighty God.”
Afterward, I eagerly read God’s words whenever I had time, feeling these words were so good. Through reading Almighty God’s words, I understood many mysteries in the Bible I didn’t understand in the past, my heart becoming more and more brightened. Just when I was enjoying the bountiful supply of God’s words, Satan’s temptations suddenly befell me.
Temptations befell me.
One morning, just after my husband got up, his waist suddenly hurt so badly that he couldn’t stand straight. Unable to work, he could only lie in bed. Seeing his pained expression, I felt distressed and bewildered, “He was fine yesterday. How could he become like this today?” Then I called my parents-in-law, asking them to take my husband to the hospital. Only a few days later, my daughter, who was always very healthy, got a cough and had a high fever all of a sudden. I iced her forehead constantly and gave her cough medicine, but neither worked. She was still running a high temperature and had a sore throat. I had to take her to the hospital to get an infusion. Seeing that my little daughter kept crying when the doctor gave her the injection, I got saddened but couldn’t do anything to help her.
Misfortunes never come single. The brisk business in my clothing store suddenly went south and the daily profit wasn’t enough to cover the rent. I couldn’t help worrying, “My business has been bothering me, and after getting back home, I have to look after my sick husband and daughter. What if things go on like this?” Pained and weak, I thought, “Why have I encountered so many unfortunate things? Why did God not protect me? Could it be that I put my faith in the wrong place? Before I accepted God’s new work, everything in my life went smoothly: My family was at peace; the business in my store was brisk and whatever I stocked sold well. How come things are like this now?” I was loaded down with these problems. Unable to quiet my heart, I read God’s words perfunctorily. Then, I prayed to God silently in my heart, “Oh Almighty God! Since I accepted Your new work, why do I still encounter these calamities? My husband and daughter both are ill, and my business is bad. I can’t feel Your grace and blessings. Oh God! What’s going on? I don’t understand Your will. Please lead me.”
God’s words resolved my confusion.
At a gathering, I told my sisters about what happened to me. Hearing my words, a sister said to me, “The reason why we encounter these unfavorable matters is because of Satan’s disturbance. Satan is hostile to God and it is unwilling to see people return before God and obtain His eternal salvation. So, Satan uses various ways to interfere and prevent us from accepting the true way. Only when we see through Satan’s schemes can we not be deceived by it.” Then, the sister read one passage of God’s words to me: “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.” After reading God’s words, the sister fellowshiped with me, saying, “Outwardly, your husband and kid suddenly get ill and your business goes south, but actually, it is a spiritual battle; it’s Satan’s wager with God. Today, God’s coming to do the work of judgment in the last days is to save us mankind from Satan’s dark influence, so that we can live under God’s care and blessing. However, Satan is unwilling to let us worship and obey God. So, when God saves us, it trails along behind Him and uses all kinds of methods to tempt and disturb us, doing its best to prevent us from returning before God. For example, Satan targets and attacks our weak points. It makes our family lose peace so that we would fall into its temptation and mistakenly think that we encounter these matters because we put our faith in the wrong place. Its purpose is to cause us to doubt God, deny God and finally refuse God’s salvation and miss the extremely rare chance to be saved. In fact, everything God does in us human is love and salvation; only Satan harms us like this. Yet these matters we encounter are sanctioned by God. God permitting Satan to do so is to make us recognize its evil essence and see clearly the ugliness of Satan that uses various methods to disturb us and stop us from coming before God and obtaining His salvation. Meanwhile, God uses Satan’s obstacle and disturbance to test whether or not we truly follow Him; if we truly believe in God, no matter how Satan disturbs us, we will stand witness for God relying on our faith.”
After listening to the sister’s fellowship, I suddenly realized: These calamities I am encountering are in fact Satan’s disturbance, and it wants to use these to prevent me from accepting the true way. Its motive is too vicious! At the same time, I also understood this: Everyone who accepts God’s new work has to experience the spiritual battle. God’s permitting Satan to tempt me is to make me see through its schemes and know its evil substance so that I can finally stand witness for Him. God’s wisdom is exercised based on Satan’s schemes. After coming back home, I prayed to God, “Oh Almighty God! It turns out that these unhappy situations I encounter are Satan’s disturbances. Oh God! Now I know it is Satan’s scheme. I’m willing to stand witness and won’t forsake You. May You guide me and give me faith.”
I saw through Satan’s schemes.
After my prayer, the emotions I had restrained for so long were a little released. However, after a period of time, the business in my store was still stagnant; sometimes the profit even couldn’t cover the rent. Therefore, I was very distressed, thinking, “Every month, besides our high daily expenses, we not only have to pay the rent but also have to repay the housing loan. We can barely live on my husband’s salary. What if this keeps up?” Unconsciously, I again fell into Satan’s trap. My confidence in God started to ebb away and I felt very weak in my spirit.
Right as I was perplexed, I saw a passage of God’s words: “What you pursue is to be able to gain peace after believing in God — for your children to be free from illness, for your husband to have a good job, for your son to find a good wife, for your daughter to find a decent husband, for your oxen and horses to plough the land well, for a year of good weather for your crops. This is what you seek. Your pursuit is only to live in comfort, for no accidents to befall your family, for the winds to pass you by, for your face to be untouched by grit, for your family’s crops to not be flooded, for you to be unaffected by any disaster, to live in God’s embrace, to live in a cozy nest. A coward such as you, who always pursues the flesh — do you have a heart, do you have a spirit? Are you not a beast? I give you the true way without asking for anything in return, yet you do not pursue. Are you one of those who believe in God?”
Through the revelation of God’s words, I realized that my perspective of believing in God was wrong. I thought as long as I believed in God, He would give me peace and grace and I wouldn’t encounter any unhappy situation. When my family was not at peace and I couldn’t afford the rent, I complained against God and doubted His work. I regarded God as an object that I could make demands of. God is the Creator while I’m only a created being; worshiping and obeying God is the law of heaven for me. God became flesh twice to work to save us and has provided for us selflessly without claiming anything from us, while in my belief in God I blindly made demands of Him. I was so unreasonable. Was I at all like a true believer? In the past, I thought I believed in God sincerely, because since I was little I had believed in the Lord, and I also accepted God’s new work. However, today, faced with the fact, I had to admit that my belief in God was only to gain blessings and grace. I was really unworthy of God’s salvation! “Now Satan is taking advantage of my intention of gaining blessings to disturb me, and to make me shun and deny God, and thereby to cause me to betray God due to not gaining grace. Satan is too evil. If I’m weak and passive and complain against God, am I not falling for Satan’s scheme?” At this thought, I had the will to betray Satan and satisfy God. “No matter what environment I encounter, I am willing to rely on God to experience it and never complain against or doubt Him again.” I thought of God’s words, “Any and all things, living or dead, will shift, change, renew, and disappear according to God’s thoughts. This is how God rules over all things.” “Yeah, everything in the universe is determined by God, and changes according to His thoughts. No matter how savage Satan is, it is also under God’s feet. Whether or not I can afford the rent and whether or not my husband and daughter can recover are in God’s hands. I should look upon God and entrust these to God.” At that time, I was no more restrained by these matters.
God showed His deeds.
Thank God! When I was willing to obey, something miraculous happened. My daughter gradually recovered from her fever and cough, and my husband’s waist slowly got better after treatment; my business also picked up. I couldn’t help giving thanks to God in my heart. If it hadn’t been for God’s protection and the timely guidance of His words, I would have fallen for Satan’s schemes and thus have lost God’s salvation.
After experiencing the spiritual battle, I saw Satan’s meanness and evilness and turned around my wrong perspective of believing in God. Instead of seeking blessings and welfare of the flesh, we believers in God should seek truth and grasp God’s will from all people, events, and things we experience based on a belief that God holds sovereignty over everything; at the same time, we should get to know ourselves through the revelation of God’s words and finally achieve changes in our dispositions and live out the likeness of a real man. Only thus can we be said to believe in God. Just as God’s words say, “True faith in God means experiencing the words and work of God based on a belief that God holds sovereignty over all things. So you shall be freed of your corrupt disposition, shall fulfill the desire of God, and shall come to know God. Only through such a journey can you be said to believe in God.” Thank God! All the glory be to God!
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