APPLYING THE LORD’S PRESENCE
We must be practical in applying this to our present situation. When the young people have their special meetings, they like to consider the way and format of their meeting. Many times they will come to the leading brothers asking for directions and fellowship as to how they must meet. In a sense this is good, but in another sense it is not. They must realize that the Lord is with them. They need only proceed to meet with the present Christ, the living Lord. He will show them how to meet. When they come into His presence, He will lead them and reveal to them moment by moment how to go on. It is really difficult for people to believe that there has ever been such a group of believers meeting in this way on this earth. You see, we are still rather religious even when we come together to meet. We always have the concept that we must know beforehand how we are going to meet. When we come to the meeting we are not so open to the living Jesus, the present Christ. We still retain certain religious concepts concerning how to meet.
When we read the record in this chapter of what the Lord said and did, we cannot find even a hint of anything religious. If we compare the record of this chapter with all the records of the Old Testament, there is a great contrast and difference. Not one matter resembles that which was spoken and performed in the Old Testament. Everything is changed; everything is new. We must realize and admit that in our concepts we still preserve the tenets of religion. If we were there, we would say to the Lord Jesus, "Please stay with us for another four weeks. We have so many questions; we have so many matters which require a solution. We don’t know how to go on. You have told us to go and disciple the nations, but you have not told us: 1) Where? 2) When? 3) Who? 4) How? or 5) What? O Lord Jesus, please stay with us. Make everything clear." Be honest. Would we not speak in such a way?
In the past eight years many have come to me with these same questions: What? Where? When? Who? How? My answer all the time was, "I don’t know. Look to the Lord. The Lord knows." Has the Lord not told us that He will be with us all the days? What else do we want? Why should anyone say to the Lord, "Don’t go, Lord!" He never has gone and He never will—He is with us all the days.
Christians today believe that the Lord Jesus was resurrected, and they also believe that He ascended to heaven. But there are some who tell Him, "Lord, you stay there in the third heaven. Don’t come down to interfere. You be the exalted Lord there, and let us do a good job for you here." So many behave in this way, leaving the Lord in heaven. When they encounter any problems, they fast and pray, asking the Lord to do something for them. But this is not the right way to go on. We must enjoy the Lord’s presence continually. Whenever we face a difficulty, we need only turn to Him saying, "O Lord Jesus, this is not our problem, this is Your problem. You are here. If You can go to sleep, then we can do the same."
(Christ versus Religion, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)