ACTING ACCORDING TO THE SITUATION
Recently a gospel team went to visit a couple on a Saturday night. The next day this couple came to the Lord’s table meeting. During the meeting the husband was very touched by the Lord, and he was baptized after the meeting. Then on Tuesday night this team went to the couple’s home to see them. On their first visit, one of the brothers had given the husband a hymnal and a book used for a time of morning revival. When they arrived, they realized that the house had been prepared for them, and these two books had been laid out on the table. Then this new brother picked up these books and joined them, so they felt they should sing something from the hymnal to help him to know something more about Christ. After singing this hymn, they sensed that he needed something, that he was not so free. They told him that there was something that could make him really free. They shared that as Christians we have two very powerful treasures: inwardly we have the Spirit of God dwelling in our spirit, and outwardly we have the Bible, the Word of God, which is the truth (John 17:17). When we feel that we are bound, we need to get into the Word by using our spirit to touch the Word, and the truth will set us free. Today the Lord is the Spirit, and He dwells in our spirit. Wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Cor. 3:17). By sharing these things, they encouraged him to use his spirit by calling on the Lord when he gets up in the morning to have his morning revival. He told the brothers that he had already read through almost half of the morning revival book, and at the end of their time, he stood and prayed with them in a very good way. In only thirty minutes they had used the Word, showing him the verses which say “the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32) and “the Lord is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:17), and they had encouraged him to exercise his spirit with them. The meeting ended in a very pleasant way, and he was willing to come to a small group meeting on the following Friday and again to the Lord’s table on the Lord’s Day.
They did a very good job within about thirty minutes. When they entered this new one’s home and saw that he had put out the hymnal and the other book of morning revival verses, they realized that this man was ready to receive something. They did not need to do anything to prepare him but could go directly to the point. They simply went to this new one’s home and acted not according to any preparation but according to the real situation.
We all must learn not to be formal, legal, or religious but to go and see what the situation is and then act accordingly. These brothers did not choose a subject beforehand. They simply saw the situation. That new one put out the hymnal and something related to the Bible, showing that he was happy with those two gifts, so one of the brothers took that opportunity to speak something. It was very wise to talk to him based upon those gifts that he was so happy about.
If the brothers had selected a subject beforehand, they might have presented their prepared talk without caring about the situation. That kind of talk would not have been so successful, so positive. It was good that these brothers did not do this; they went according to the likes and dislikes of the new one. This was wise and flexible, making their speaking very effective.
BEING EQUIPPED IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH AND IN THE EXPERIENCE OF LIFE
To take this way is not easy because it requires us to be properly equipped with much knowledge of the truth and experience of life. You must be so experienced and so knowledgeable that you can take care of any situation. We must also learn to be very keen and alert to know people’s feelings and desires. We must know what is within the ones to whom we are going to talk. This requires much experience. I know that when some of the young saints have an appointment to visit someone, they are very anxious. All day they may pray concerning that appointment, and they may also read some messages or some books on the way to talk to people. By all these things they get themselves very much prepared, but that is not the same as being equipped. That is a kind of temporary preparation which could kill the home meeting.
You all must be equipped, not by only one day’s labor but by over two years’ labor. You must get yourselves equipped in the knowledge of the truth and in the experience of life. Then you will be rich, and you will also be so keen to know people’s feelings and intentions. You need to pray much that the Holy Spirit will be with you to help you to realize the real situation of the new ones. Then when you go, you can speak something rich according to the situation and according to the real need of the ones you are contacting.
NEEDING TO PRACTICE
We all have to learn two things: to be normal and spontaneous, and to grasp the opportunity to impart something of the Word. The best way to learn is for four or five of you to come together to practice. You can demonstrate how to begin a home meeting and how to talk to people according to many different situations. This will help you. I believe that most of you have enough experience to go to the home meetings. However, you do not know how to express yourselves. Some young ones, especially the sisters, are so self-conscious when they go to a home meeting. They do not know how to stand, how to sit, or where to put their hands. It seems that they are afraid of everything. Therefore, they have to practice. In 1927, over sixty-two years ago, I realized that for my whole life I would speak for Christ. I did not study at a seminary or a Bible school, and I did not have anyone to teach me how to speak. The company I was working for at that time was very close to the ocean. After lunch we had about one hour, and I used to go to a little hill near the ocean and practice speaking there. This is how I learned to speak. In the evenings I went home and stood in front of a long mirror where I could see my whole body, and I practiced speaking and gesturing. This helped me, and I advise you all to practice the things that I have shared with you. Do not wait until you go to a home. If you never practice, you will not know what to do when you go to a home. Practice these things, and you will be able to have proper home meetings so that your fruit will remain.
First Peter 2:2 says that the newborn babes long for the milk of the Word. The newborn babes do not know how to drink, but we have to feed them. Without the mother’s feeding, no newborn babe can take the milk. We have to go to the new ones’ homes not only to feed these ones with milk but also to teach them how to feed. Then they can grow by our feeding. We have to go to the new ones because they do not know what to do. Then we have to teach or tell them many things concerning the spiritual life. The first four things we must tell them are to read the Bible, to pray to the Lord as the Spirit, to keep the practice of morning watch, and to come to the meetings. To do this requires much learning and skill.
(The Exercise and Practice of the God-Ordained Way, Chapter 15, by Witness Lee)