II. THE NATURAL STRENGTH AND ABILITY
ACTING ON THEIR OWN,
NOT ACCORDING TO GOD’S WILL
When both Moses and Peter were younger, they acted on their own, not according to God’s will. Today it is possible that we may act and do some service for the Lord on our own according to our natural strength and ability, but not according to God’s will. Because we have the strength and the ability, we feel we do not need to pray, to wait on the Lord, to seek the Lord’s will, or to look for the Lord’s leading. This was exactly what happened to Moses. When he slew an Egyptian to protect his fellow Hebrew, he did this on his own and not according to the Lord’s will (Exo. 2:11-12). The sad situation in today’s Christianity is that people work for the Lord mostly on their own by their natural strength and ability. They do not pray for the Lord’s leading. They may pray only for the Lord to bestow His blessing upon what they do. They do not pray that much for the Lord’s will, because they trust in their natural strength and ability.
III. THE NATURAL STRENGTH AND ABILITY
SEEKING THEIR OWN GLORY
AND SATISFYING THEIR OWN DESIRE
When we work in our natural strength and ability, the goal is to seek our own glory and the motive is to satisfy our own desire. If we see this vision, it will kill our self-seeking and impure motive. Actually, in the Lord’s work, we should not have our own desire, and we should not have our own goal for our glory, for our boast. We should do things simply because the Lord leads us to do them. We should not do them because we have something to achieve for our goal. That is wrong. The goal must be the Lord’s.
To kill our desire and our goal means to kill our strength and ability. Our own desire and our own goal for our glory are one with our natural strength and natural ability. The people of the world and even many Christians do things by their strength and ability for their desire and glory, but we have to condemn and reject this.
IV. THE NATURAL STRENGTH AND ABILITY
NEEDING TO BE DEALT WITH BY THE CROSS
The natural strength and ability need to be dealt with by the cross. To overcome and deal with sin is not as hard as this. To overcome our natural strength and ability is a great, subjective lesson; it is more subjective than dealing with sin. In a certain sense, our natural strength and ability equal our self, our natural constitution. Our natural strength and natural ability are the embodiment of our self. This is why after the denial of the self we need a lesson on rejecting the natural strength and ability and dealing with them by the cross.
(Basic Lessons on Service, Chapter 20, by Witness Lee)