Spiritual Warfare | I Witness God’s Love in the Midst of My Spiritual Battle
Spiritual Warfare| I Witness God’s Love in the Midst of My Spiritual Battle
An Old Illness Returns and Complaints Arise in My Heart
Just as my resolve was overflowing, however, Satan’s temptations and disturbances came upon me once again …
One evening, puerperal fever (an illness I had suffered from when giving birth to my children) suddenly flared up again. My whole body hurt, and I could neither sit nor lie down. Sweat ran from my head and my body, until finally I wasn’t able to move at all, and I had to ask my husband to help me if I wanted to turn over. That night, it hurt so much that I couldn’t even close my eyes, and I thought to myself: “This illness has come too suddenly. Normally, I only get this fever when the weather is cloudy, and even then it’s only my lower back that gets a little tender and I feel a bit sick, and then I’m all better when the sun shines again. But it’s been sunny the past few days, so how come I’ve gotten sick? What’s more, this attack of fever is much worse than normal. It’s really unusual. Could it be that Satan is trying to tempt me and attack me once more? No way! I must not fall foul of Satan’s deceitful schemes!” I then said a prayer to God in my heart: “O God, I’ve suddenly gotten sick, and I don’t know whether this is Satan attacking me and harming me or not. O God, You know that I am of small stature, so I ask that You give me faith and lead me to overcome Satan’s disturbances, and may I not complain against You.” The next day, my husband saw that I was in so much pain that I couldn’t bear it, so he went to buy me some medicine. I thought: “Whenever I took medicine before, my condition would get better. Now that I believe in Almighty God, I should get better even quicker.” Contrary to my expectations, however, I took medicine for two days and still felt no better. During the day, I could force my body out of bed by leaning on the wall. At nighttime, however, it would hurt so bad that I couldn’t get out of bed or walk at all. The medicine was totally ineffectual and I couldn’t do anything. I constantly prayed to God, but I still didn’t get any better. I couldn’t help but think: “I have two young children to look after, so what am I going to do if I never get better? I’ve prayed to God as well, so why doesn’t God watch over me and protect me?”
God’s Words Guide Me in My Weakness
Just as I was feeling weak and negative, a sister from the church heard about my situation and came to look in on me. The sister fellowshiped patiently with me about God’s will, and then read two passages of God’s words to me: “The environment around us as well as the people, matters and objects, all are permitted by His throne. Do not have a complaining heart, or God will not bestow His grace upon you. When sickness happens it is due to God’s love, and His good intentions are surely behind it. Even when your body endures suffering, take no ideas from Satan” (“Chapter 6” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “Behind every step that God does in you is Satan’s wager with God — behind it all is a battle. … 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” (“Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
The sister gave fellowship, saying, “God’s words reveal to us the true situation in the spirit world, where God battles with Satan. This illness that has now come upon you so suddenly is Satan trying to harm you. But this is happening with God’s permission, and behind it all there rages a spiritual battle. Satan knows that we greatly cherish our flesh, and so it uses sicknesses of the flesh to attack us, attempting to destroy our faith in God and make us misunderstand and blame God to the point where we deny and betray God. God’s wisdom, however, is built upon the deceitful schemes of Satan, and God uses Satan’s temptations to test whether or not we are true believers in God. A true believer in God will stay loyal to God, will stand witness for God and satisfy God, and will not complain about God, much less deny Him and leave Him no matter what situation they may encounter that is at odds with their own notions, and no matter how Satan may try to disturb and tempt them. Take when Job was tempted by Satan, for example. He lost all his property as well as his children, and he was even afflicted with painful boils from his head to his toes, and he suffered great pain and torment. And yet Job uttered not a word of complaint, much less did he deny or betray God because of the pain in his flesh and in his spirit. Job’s reverence and faith for God, as well as his obedience to God, caused Satan to be utterly shamed and defeated. Amidst temptation, Job stood witness for God and was doubly blessed. We should emulate Job, too. No matter what illness or hardship we encounter, we should keep faith in God, stay loyal to God and stand witness for God, and we should fight back against Satan and shame it by means of our actual behavior.”
After listening to God’s words and the sister’s fellowship, I finally understood that this suffering that had now befallen me was actually God’s love: God was giving me an opportunity to discern Satan’s deceitful schemes and stand witness for Him. I thought about how such a tiny, insignificant creation as I was could be worthy of being tested by God, and I knew that God was exalting me! And yet I didn’t understand God’s will; my flesh had suffered for days, and when I hadn’t witnessed God protecting me, I’d lost faith and had begun to complain about God. I had become mired in Satan’s temptations and had kept asking God to hurry and take my illness away. This was no kind of testimony to bear before God! Coming to this realization, I felt terribly ashamed.
I Reflect on Myself and Find That the Motive of My Faith Is to Gain Blessings
The sister then gave fellowship based on my situation, and said, “When we get sick, on the one hand we have to be able to understand the battle raging in the spirit world and see through Satan’s deceitful schemes, while on the other, we have to reflect on our own wrong views on faith in God and find the root cause of our complaints to God, for only by doing that will we be able to thoroughly resolve our problems. It’ll all become much clearer when we read another passage of Almighty God’s words. God says, ‘How many believe in Me only so that I might heal them? How many believe in Me only so that I might use My powers to drive unclean spirits from their bodies? And how many believe in Me simply to receive peace and joy from Me? How many believe in Me only to demand from Me more material wealth? How many believe in Me just to spend this life in peace and to be safe and sound in the world to come? How many believe in Me only to avoid the suffering of hell and to receive the blessings of heaven? How many believe in Me only for temporary comfort but do not seek to gain anything in the world to come? When I brought down My fury upon man and seized all the joy and peace he originally possessed, man became doubtful. When I gave unto man the suffering of hell and reclaimed the blessings of heaven, man’s shame turned into anger. When man asked Me to heal him, I paid him no heed and felt abhorrence toward him; man departed from Me to instead seek the way of evil medicine and sorcery. When I took away all that man had demanded from Me, then man disappeared without a trace. Therefore, I say that man has faith in Me because I give too much grace, and there is far too much to gain’ (‘What Do You Know of Faith?’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“God’s words expose the states and behaviors in our faith in God, such as making deals with God and asking God for grace and blessings in return for believing in Him. After we were corrupted by Satan, our nature became incredibly selfish; we do nothing unless there’s something in it for us, everything we do is for our own personal profit, and we even believe in God just to obtain grace and blessings. Our conceptions make us think that, because we believe in God, then He should protect us and watch over us, keep us in good health, keep our families living in harmony, make our businesses go well and give us bright futures. We believe that, no matter what we want from God in return for our faith, He must always grant it. When we get sick or something bad happens within our family, therefore, we self-righteously blame God for not protecting us, so much so that we can even betray God and leave Him. This shows that we do not believe in God in order to pursue the truth and achieve obedience to and reverence for God, but that we instead make deals with God, and we use God and try to cheat Him in order to achieve our goal of obtaining blessings — our faith in God is truly so defiled! God is the Creator and we human beings are His creations. Without the breath God gives to us and all the things we need to live that He bestows on us, we would simply be unable to survive. And yet we persist in demanding grace and blessings in return from God, and what conscience or reason do such people as us then possess? Consequently, we must take our proper place before God, and whether God grants us grace and blessings or not, we should always obey and worship God unconditionally, for this is what someone with conscience and humanity should do.
“Sister, is the root cause of why we complain to God when we get sick now clear? It is actually because our views on faith in God are wrong. If, when Satan harms us and uses the sicknesses of our bodies to disturb us, we are unable to discern Satan’s deceitful schemes but instead keep making senseless demands of God, then the end result will be that we become negative and weak when we see no improvement in our condition, and we will begin to complain to God. God permits Satan’s disturbances to come upon us, and thereby He exposes our motive to obtain blessings, He allows us to remedy our wrong views on faith in God before it’s too late, and He allows us to be able to believe in God and worship God in our proper positions as created beings. Only in this way can our faith obtain God’s praise.”
After I’d listened to God’s words and the sister’s fellowship, my heart was even more filled with light. When my puerperal fever first hit, although I’d realized that it was a temptation of Satan and that I mustn’t complain about God, I’d thought in my heart that as long as I prayed to God and took my medicine, then God would make me better very quickly. But when I took my medicine and saw no improvement in my condition, I lost my faith in God, and I began to complain to Him. Reflecting on myself thus, I saw that my views on faith in God really were wrong, and that I was believing in God just so I could ask for grace and blessings. And it was precisely this desire for blessings that Satan used to disturb me, to make me complain to God and, before I knew it, I’d fallen foul of Satan’s deceitful scheme. I knew then that I had to remedy my wrong views on faith in God and correct my state of mind — whether my illness got better or not, I would worship God and obey God. And so, I said a prayer to God: “O God, I wish to repent to You. Whether my illness gets better or not, I will not complain to You again, but will stand witness and cause Satan to be utterly shamed, and I will follow You to the very end!”
I Desire to Obey God and so Witness God’s Deeds
Once I’d understood God’s will, I no longer lived in a state of sickness and I no longer complained to God. Although I still needed my husband to turn me over at nighttime, I endured the pain and continued to attend church gatherings, to pray and to read God’s words. A few days later and without me being aware of it, I found that the pain in my body had grown less. I was then able to turn myself over at night, and I was also able to slowly get out of bed and walk again. I had witnessed God’s wondrous deeds and my faith in God was strengthened.
Later, I went out with my sisters from the church to spread the gospel. Although I was still in some pain when I rode my bicycle, I was no longer constrained by my illness. When I saw some brothers and sisters from my old Catholic church accepting the work of the second coming of the Lord, I felt very peaceful and at ease. In this way, I kept busy preaching the gospel and my mind no longer paid any heed to the sickness of my flesh. Over time, I became completely well again without even being aware of it! Thanks be to God!
What I Came to Know From My Experiences
Now, when I look back over my experiences of that time, I truly appreciate the fact that my getting sick was not a bad thing, but a good thing, for it really helped me to be sure of God’s way. If God hadn’t used Satan’s temptations, then I simply would not have known about the battle in the spirit world, and I would have had no discernment of Satan’s despicable motive behind its great efforts to fight with God over man, and its great efforts to control and possess man. I would also have had no comprehension of the painstaking efforts God goes to to save us from the influence of Satan. Though my flesh suffered some pain during these experiences, I came to understand God’s will and I corrected my wrong views on faith in God. All the pain I’d suffered had been worth it, and I give thanks to Almighty God!
Source from: The Church of Almighty God