Pastor in Eastern China: 'Christ in Me is the Real Treasure'

A picture show a cross on the grass.
A picture show a cross on the grass. (photo:
By Richard ZouSeptember 9th, 2022

People often want to be praised, but faith means to let go of oneself, give up oneself, and live out the Christian faith.

Having been engaged in the ministry for many years, Pastor L shared how he went from caring about himself so much to only caring about Jesus Christ in a recent interview with the Christian Times, an online Chinese Christian newspaper.

Many years ago, when Pastor L was pastoring in a certain place, his dream at that time was to build the largest church in China there. Pastor L admitted that this was actually his personal ambition at that time that in the name of doing a great job for God, it was himself who wanted to accomplish something. God was just a tool to help him achieve his goals. Although he didn't realize it at the beginning, he believed that his thoughts were in line with God's will, so God would definitely help him accomplish his goals.

At that time, Pastor L told his congregation, "In a few years, many people will see the name of our church on the Internet, and they will also see the name of the pastor of our church on the Internet.

He added, “When things are finished, I will say ‘thank God’ by mouth, all was done by God. But because it is done, I am complacent in my heart, my personal righteousness is revealed-It is I who finishes the job, who can compare with me? As you cannot do it, am I holier than you? Am I more mature than you?"

"Man cannot go before God. When God is doing His job, we just follow His steps. The Lord Jesus also said, I am in the Father, and the Father is in me. The Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does, the Son also does. Rather than saying we don't want to do something, we can actually do nothing on our own, and we often say to the Lord, Lord, take a rest for a while and let me do it, which is the case."

Over the past few years, Pastor L's church has grown significantly, and the number of the congregation has slowly increased to more than 500 people. However, he was not satisfied with this,. “What kind of megachurch do you think it is, a church of only 500 to 600 people?” Because he wasn't looking at a few hundred people, he had in mind tens of thousands of believers, just like some megachurches abroad.  Since there were only over 500 believers, so it certainly could not be called a "megachurch".

Later, for some reason, Pastor L left the church, but he found himself in a worsening situation.“No matter how hard and diligent I tried, the church could never reach 500 people, much less,” he revealed.

Pastor L was confronted with such a situation and began to reflect deeply on what went wrong.

He said, "Then I found a problem: once the church gets bigger, I want both my co-workers and other people who know me to be able to say that I am a big vessel and can build a megachurch. To some extent, I would like people to make such positive comments about me.”

"I definitely don't want to hear anything negative or passive in front of me, I only want to hear words that praise me, which is a weakness of human nature."

“The reason why we deteriorate after serving for some time is that we do not rely on Christ who is our rock. Therefore, the strength in our hearts is gone, so we can only fill our inner deficiency, weakness, and ego with external things, then we can only seek satisfaction from the outside. It is natural to begin to credit ourselves with fame, power, or whatever else from the outside.”

"My own personal experience is that I hope people comment on me as a good person. ‘Look at Pastor L. He graduated from a famous university and has built megachurches, has a great impact, has great credit, has a great role.’" Pastor L. said, "To be honest, I used to enjoy hearing this and liked to be affirmed and praised by others. But now I've put it down, what is man? What am I? That's all I am. If the Lord wants to use me, He can use me, if He doesn't want to use me, He can put me aside. My performance is good or bad, I have my own weakness, but I don't care. I don't care what people think of me.”

“I think the difference from before is that now I have Christ in me, and that's the real treasure, and what are the things other than those? What is reputation? Some people slander me, some people attack me, and some people defend me, but what's the point? It doesn't matter to me. This is a mystery, a mystery that has been hidden from all generations before the ages. Now, this mystery has been revealed to us, and this mystery is to see Christ in us, not the Christ who sits on the throne of heaven, nor the Christ who reigns on earth, but the Christ who is in us, in our hearts,” he concluded.

- Translated by Richard Zou

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