After Escaping the Shackles of Money, I Am Free (II)

By Xiao’ai

Clearly Seeing the Essence of Money, Refusing to Make the Same Mistake Again

But before long, I saw that my family needed money for many things, and I thought that I needed to earn more money so that we no longer had to live such an impoverished life. I secretly began to do calculations in my heart: I worked 3–4 days a week, so outside of my meetings, I still had some time, and I wanted to make use of this time to earn more money. With that in mind, I began to look everywhere for part-time work, and whenever I had free time, I earned extra money. Gradually, meetings became just a formality for me. While I was at meetings, I was actually thinking about ways to make more money. In the evenings when I got home after work, God’s words didn’t sink in when I read them, and sometimes I was so tired that I went straight to bed and fell asleep…. I was further and further away from God, and had returned to my previous life of living for money.

Just as I was again becoming trapped in the vortex of wealth, I read this passage of God’s words, “Because people do not recognize God’s orchestrations and God’s sovereignty, they always face fate defiantly, with a rebellious attitude, and 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; they are thwarted at every turn. This struggle, which takes place deep in one’s soul, is painful; the pain is unforgettable; and all the while one is frittering away one’s life. 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 because of the paths people take, the ways people 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 and decided for you is a great benefit, and is a great protection, then you feel your pain gradually lighten, and the whole of you become relaxed, free, liberated.

God’s words touched my heart. I thought that although I followed God, I didn’t have any real understanding of God’s dominance, nor did I possess any real obedience. During this time, I had only thought about how to make more money. I hadn’t even bothered to read God’s words or pray regularly, and meetings seemed to get in the way of my earning money. But now, I saw that I still lived by the satanic notion and view that “Money is first,” and saw money as supreme. The Lord Jesus said, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26). Yes, what was the point of earning money if it cost me my life? I thought of how for all these years, I hadn’t understood the significance of life. I only knew that I had to struggle with all my strength to earn money, and the result was that I was riddled with illness, lived in unspeakable torment, and now, even as I had come before God and knew that God expresses words of salvation for mankind, I still didn’t take them seriously, and I still single-mindedly pursued making money based on satanic notions and ideas. Yet, through this pursuit, I was only damaging my own life. The fact is that I earned enough for my family’s needs at my usual job, but I had extravagant desires, and wanted enough money to live a wealthy lifestyle, which is why I returned to my single-minded pursuit of earning money. I didn’t want to make the same mistakes again. I wanted to betray these satanic notions and views, pursue according to God’s words, place myself in God’s hands, and obey God’s orchestrations and arrangements. I offered this prayer up to God, “God, thank You for lifting me up and bringing me into Your house. However, I have been blind and ignorant, I have clung to the notion of making money and been unwilling to let go, and I have clearly known the truth yet not pursued it. God, I don’t want to continue like this. I wish to obey Your sovereignty and arrangements, and not live by satanic views.”

In the days that followed, outside of work, I spent more time pursuing the truth. I practiced spiritual devotion and prayed to God every day. My relationship with God became ever more normal, and without my realizing it, my health greatly improved and my sleep became normal.

Finding Release and Freedom After Ceasing My Struggle for Money

One day, when I had just arrived at my workplace, my manager greeted me with a smile and asked me if I wanted to be a shift leader, a promotion which would come with a raise. When I heard the manager say this, I was a little moved, and my colleague next to me said, “If it were me, I wouldn’t even have to think about it, I’d say yes immediately.” When I saw the longing in her eyes, I couldn’t help but think of how I was willing to pay any price to earn money, of how desperately I worked to earn money, I had driven myself to exhaustion and illness, and I lived in torment. Now that I had come before God, I knew that all of these harms come from following Satan’s evil trends, and I was determined to betray them. If I took the job as shift leader, it would occupy all of my mental energy, and I wouldn’t even have time to go to meetings. In addition, I still suffered pain in my legs, and if I tired myself out that way, I would only aggravate my condition, and I would have to return to the pain I experienced before. The amount of money I can earn is preordained by God, and not something I can change through my own effort. The path I had walked was too difficult, and when I thought of that, I swore an oath in my heart to never again walk that path. So, I said to the manager, “I haven’t been a shift leader for a long time now, and I’m still suffering from sciatica. Thank you for the thought, but I think you should find someone else.” When I said this, I felt a peace and steadiness I had never felt before. Through this environment, I became more certain that money cannot bring me true peace and joy, that only pursuing the truth and walking the path of obedience to God is valuable in life, and that this was what I should pursue.

In the days that followed, I went to spread the gospel with my sisters, and every day I felt especially at peace. Whenever I see that there are still so many people living under the influence of Satan, who run themselves ragged for money and for lives that surpass others’ lives, and who don’t know what pursuits are meaningful, I feel God’s eagerness to save people even more urgently, and become even more determined to pursue the truth, perform my duties as a created being, and bring more people before God to repay God’s love.

The End.

Part One: After Escaping the Shackles of Money, I Am Free (I)

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