• Bro. Zilong Lin •
Chapter 9: Leaving My Career to Serve the Lord Full Time
Isaiah 43:1b Do not fear, because I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.
Isaiah 55:12a For you will go out with rejoicing, And you will be led forth in peace…
Though between 1948 and 1949 I am one that have handed over myself, and attended the Kuling training; but at the beginning of 1950s, due to political pressure, all types of church work cannot be conducted, the work of the gospel also discontinued, thus I went back to school to teach. In those couple of years, I taught at Yueyang Middle School, and coordinating with Wenqiou Zheng on serving in the Church in Yuxie. I mostly focused on gospel preaching service; Brother Wenqou Zheng’s spiritual life is stronger than mine, he is responsible for the perfecting of the saints.
1952, the entire Fujian Province’s middle school teachers gathered at Fuzhou to accomplish “ideological remodeling”. Since I majored in education, after learning, the institution transferred me to teach at Fuxing Primary Normal School. So, I moved again to Chengguan. In the Church in Chengguan, Changqi Chen and Binghai Zheng these two responsible brothers and I had very harmonious coordination. Due to these two brothers lacking in the talent of the Word, I started to have service in the Word. At that time, Yanzhi Wang and Huizhen Lin these two sisters are also at Chengguan, Fuxing County, their spiritual lives are very good. Under the harmonious coordination of these brothers and sisters, the spiritual situation of the Church in Chengguan at that time is full of grace.
In the second half of 1954, due to the merger between Fuxing Normal School with Changle Normal School, I went to Changle, and joined the meeting of the Church in Changle. The brothers and sisters there know that I can preach, so invited me to speak in the meeting. That year, the Church in Changle got revived and the numbers increased.
At the end of the second semester of 1955, God keeps on calling within my heart, urging me to set down my career, and come out to serve Him full time. At that time, I first felt that I am a consecrated person, one who has handed myself over, that my time cannot be taken over by career for the long run, and aught have more time for serving God; second, all the churches in Fuxing county left a religious organization this year, and the church got purified, and the church has a more apparent presence of God, the church has much work that need people to do; third, when I was serving in the Church in Changle, I saw God using me to do some work for Him; last, I deeply felt that teaching is only giving people cultural knowledge, just the work of the soul. But serving God, on one hand, I can preach the gospel to usher people to believe the Lord and get life, on the other hand, I can build up people’s spirit, which is the work of the Spirit, its meaning is deeper. Thus, during this period I kept on praying before the Lord; the more I prayed, the more I felt that the Lord is telling me to put aside my career, to come out and serve God full-time.
At the end of this semester, I made up my mind, to look for the school principle to resign. Once, when I walked to his office to tell the school principal that I’m resigning, but something came up to interfere, so that didn’t take. Not long after the school semester ended, the organization transferred me to Yongtai First Middle School as teacher. I came back to Fuxing during summer vacation. It just so happened that co-worker meeting for the gospelization of the whole county took place in Yuxi during this time, all the co-workers over Fuxing were all together. I fellowshipped my burden from within. The brothers heard it, were overjoyed, and all amen to me setting aside my career, to come work for the Lord. So, I send in my resignation to the local Department of Education, and got permission very quickly. Just like that, I sent aside my career, and came out to serve God full-time. At that time, I still live in Chengguan, Fuxing County, so I coordinated fellowship with several brothers and sisters in the Church in Chengguan, started to live a life of faith towards the Lord.
My coming out to serve God full time, not only is the inspiration of the Holy Spirit within, there’s also the Body, the Church’s recognition; at the same time, the Lord also gave me a series of very valuable words. These words is Hebrews chapter 13 verses 1 to 6:
“Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget hospitality, for through this some, without knowing it, have entertained angels. Remember those who are imprisoned as bound with them, those who are ill treated as being yourselves also likewise treated in body. Let marriage be held in honor among all, and the bed undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge. Let your way of life be without the love of money, being satisfied with the things which are at hand; for He Himself has said, ‘I shall by no means give you up, neither by any means shall I abandon you’. So that being of good courage, we say, ‘The Lord is my Helper, and I will nto fear. What shall man do to me?’”
The Lord told me several things thru this Word: First, to serve God requires a heart that loves the brothers, Love is the root, love is the incentive, love is the flowing out of Life. Without love, then there would not be good service towards God and the Church, so serving in love is more important than releasing messages; second, To serve God means that there’s a chance to be detained, and persecuted, so a will to endure hardships is necessary, not only the serving one themselves must have this will, you need to remember the people who experienced the same thing; Third, Respect marriage, be careful of relations between different genders, to save the trouble of falling into the temptation of sins; fourth, Do not love money, take only what you need, trust that God will take care of you in your living because he’s promised, “I would not cast you out, nor abandon you”; fifth, Don’t be scared of the environment, though there might be some imprisonment and the potential for being persecuted, but the Lord will help me, what can man do to me? These encouragement, promises and warnings, become extremely great help in my way of life long service.
Looking back on my forty some years of living in faith, God truly took care of me. When I set aside my career to serve God, my family of six, four young children, my wife also had no stable job. But God is faithful, He made sure that my family did not lack anything. Even during when the economic situation was the worst in Mainland, He touched an old Sister Xia in Hong Kong, that I’ve never met, who often cared and helped me. I am really thankful of God, and grateful of the members that took care of my family in love.