However much we “worship” God, He is still God and we are still ourselves. What He wants is that we receive Him; to drink Him is to receive Him. God is not satisfied with an outward relationship. When we drink Him, He is assimilated into us, just like our food. If we eat a stone, we shall not be able to digest it, because it is not organic. But when we take something nourishing into us, it is organically assimilated.
So it is with the Lord Jesus. When we receive Him, He becomes part of us in an organic way. He is Spirit and life, and we can assimilate Him. After we have eaten our food and it has been digested and assimilated, even a surgeon cannot remove it from us! After we receive the Lord, we may want to get rid of Him. We may resolve not to believe in Him any longer. But it is too late! He has been assimilated into us and is part of our very being. There is no way for us to expel Him.
The idea of worshipping God in silence and awe is not to be found in the Bible. His people are to shout for joy (Psa. 5:11; 132:9, 16; Isa. 12:6). They are to sing (Psa. 30:4, 12; 98:4-5; Isa. 12:5) and praise Him (2 Chron. 5:13; Psa. 135:1-3; 150:1-6). When we shout for joy and praise with singing, we are eating and drinking Him. The more we do this, the more He is assimilated into us and the more we are joined to Him in one spirit.
Our relationship with God, then, is organic. It is a union of spirit and of life. We are one spirit and one life with Him.
This life relationship between God and us has five great functions or processes. Of course, our human life has its functions too. If we are ill, for example, the doctor may perform surgery. But nothing he could do would be of any help if we were dead. It is only because we have life that the techniques the doctor applies can restore us to health. This life in our physical body carries on its functions and thus sustains us.
The first function of the divine life is to regenerate us. When this life comes into us, we are born again and receive “a spirit of sonship in which we cry, Abba, Father” (Rom. 8:15). This spirit of sonship, which is the Spirit of life, enters into us and makes us sons. It then becomes quite natural to call God our Father.
Someone once went to Brother Nee to ask how he could be sure that he was truly a son of God. Brother Nee asked him if he was married. Yes, he was. “What did you call your father-in-law the first time you met him?” was the next question. “Well,” the brother replied, “I forced myself to call him Dad, but it felt very awkward.” Brother Nee then asked, “How do you feel at home when you call your own father Dad? Does that seem awkward to you?” “No,” was the reply. “That is sweet to me.” Brother Nee then pointed out to him that the awkward feeling when he called his father-in-law Dad was evidence that he was not born of his father-in-law. The tender feeling he had in saying Dad to his own father was proof that he had indeed been born of him. “How do you feel,” Brother Nee then asked, “when you call God Father?” “That is also sweet to me,” was the brother’s response. “This is an evidence that you are saved and a son of God,” Brother Nee told him.
Romans 8:15 has the two terms, Abba and Father; not only Abba, but also Father. This is doubly sweet. Because we have been regenerated, it is natural to us to call God Father, Abba Father. “The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit that we are the children of God” (v. 16). Before we were born again, we were not God’s children. We were only creatures, higher perhaps than dogs or cats, but still not His children. We were created by Him and had His image and likeness, but we nonetheless did not have His life. Now—praise Him!—we have been regenerated. The spirit of sonship has entered into us to become our life. We are no longer only His creatures, but His children, with His life in us.
(Life Messages, Vol. 2 (#42-75), Chapter 20, by Witness Lee)