The Pursuit of a Christian, by Witness Lee


Christians are peculiar and contradictory. Any Christian who has not lived a life of contradictions is not a genuine Christian. A life of contradictions is a life in which we speak a sentence outwardly and there is a disapproval inwardly, or we put on a certain item of clothing outwardly and there is an objection inwardly. This disapproval or objection within comes from Christ Himself. Perhaps we have stayed away from sin, yet we have not committed ourselves to Him to be mingled with Him and be lost in Him. Thus, many things in our Christian life cannot gain His approval. Therefore, as Christians, we go through a series of contradictions from morning to evening. Someone once said, “The more I pray to God, the more confused I get. The more I have fellowship with the Lord, the more I sense that everything is wrong. When I put on shoes, they are not the right shoes. When I put on clothes, they are not the right clothes. It seems that nothing is right.” This is wonderful! We have to remember that the more a saved person pursues the Lord, the more he goes through these kinds of contradictions.

Being contradictory is the first stage of the Christian life. In this stage, our thoughts are not the thoughts of the Lord, our will is not His will, our decisions are not His decisions, and our preferences are not His preferences. Therefore, many struggles occur. However, after going through many struggles, one day we will realize that we have decreased while the Lord has increased, that we have lost more ground while the Lord has gained more ground in us, and that we have become less and less while the Lord has become more and more manifest through us. Then we will be completely lost in Him; He and we will be absolutely one. Our will is surrendered to Him; we become Him and He becomes us. Our inclination is His inclination; our preferences are His preferences. In other words, at that time our move is His move. We have become Him. This means that we have attained to the level of spiritual maturity.

Before reaching that stage, however, we have to remember that a Christian is definitely filled with contradictions. It is good to have the contradictions diminished in the course of our pursuit of the Lord, but it is not good to have the contradictions diminished because we have given up on our pursuit of the Lord. If the contradictions decrease because of our obedience, this kind of decrease is good, proper, and necessary. Therefore, we should not be afraid of our inner contradictions. We should not question why we are having so many contradictions when we have already been saved. Do not fear contradictions. The initial stage in the life of a normal Christian is filled with contradictions. The more contradictions he has, the better it is. What we should be afraid of is the lack of the sense of contradiction among us.

(The Pursuit of a Christian, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)