BEING CALLED TO CALL ON THE LORD
Verse 2 of chapter one continues to say, “With all those who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” We have to call upon the name of the Lord. We have been called to call. We are the called ones, and we are the calling ones. As to our position we are the called ones; as to our situation we are the calling ones. Day by day we call, saying, “O Lord Jesus! O Lord Jesus! Jesus Lord!” We are the calling ones, all the time making a cry. Even when we visit our relatives, we have to be the calling ones, all the day calling on the name of the Lord Jesus.
OUR CALLING ON THE LORD BEING OUR BREATHING
To call on the Lord is to enjoy the Lord, to breathe the Lord in. Calling is just breathing. Jeremiah was designated the “weeping prophet.” After the book of Jeremiah, he felt he was not finished, so he wrote Lamentations as a weeping book. In this weeping book there are two wonderful, joyful verses: “I called upon Your name, O Jehovah, / From the lowest pit. / You have heard my voice; do not hide / Your ear at my breathing, at my cry” (3:55-56). Our calling is our breathing. We have to call on the name of the Lord because to call on the Lord is to breathe. Sometimes our dear husband or wife or our children put us into “the lowest pit.” Whenever you get into “the lowest pit,” do not murmur or complain. Simply call, “O Lord Jesus,” and you will be in the third heaven. To call on the Lord is just to breathe Him in. Verse 56 says, “Do not hide / Your ear at my breathing, at my cry.” The Lord turns His ear to our breathing. This spiritual breathing is our calling, “O Lord Jesus, O Lord Jesus.”
To call on the Lord is to take the Lord in. First Corinthians 15:45b is a very important verse which tells us, “The last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.” Spirit in Greek is pneuma, the word for breath. Therefore, this verse may be translated as, “The last Adam became a life-giving Breath.” Today Christ is the Breath, the Air, the Spirit, the life-giving Pneuma so we can breathe Him in. The way to participate in Christ and enjoy Him is to call on Him. Because He is the Breath, to call on Him is to breathe Him as the Breath into us.
Whenever we feel lonely, we should call on the Lord. Right away we will have the sensation that the Lord is with us. The more we call on Him, the more He is with us and the more we enjoy His presence. This is because the Lord is the Breath. When we breathe deeply by calling on the Lord, we have a refreshing sensation within. To call “O Lord Jesus” is refreshing and spiritually enjoyable because when we call on the Lord, we breathe Him in. He is the Breath; He is the Air; He is the life-giving Spirit.
OUR CALLING BEING THE KEY FOR ENTERING INTO THE RICHES OF CHRIST
First Corinthians clearly tells us that Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God to the called ones (1:24). He is also the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread (5:7b-8). The only way to enjoy such a Christ is to call on Him. This book is in the hands of all Christians, and I believe most Christians have read it. Very few, however, have seen the matter of calling on the Lord. We all must know that this is the key to get into the riches of the Lord. If we have not seen calling on the Lord, we do not have the key. This may be compared to having a wonderful building but no key. We can appreciate the building, but we cannot enter into it. In Christianity certain teachers teach people that unto us, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. Such teachers may present a picture of a wonderful “building,” but where is the entrance? Most of them do not know. People may talk much about Christ as power and wisdom, but how can we get into Christ? The key to entering into such a Christ is to call, “O Lord Jesus!”
The fundamentalist teaching in Christianity tells us that as long as we believe in Christ, we are in Christ and we have everything. Fundamentalist teaching is objective. It is wonderful, but merely “in the air.” The Pentecostal teaching tells us that we have nothing until we speak in tongues. Nothing is ours; we even have not been saved and regenerated. Therefore, we have to pray, seek, fast, and wait until some great power falls upon us, and then we start to turn our tongue, exercise our jaw, and speak anything but English. Neither teaching is accurate. The fundamentalist teachings are too much at one extreme, and the Pentecostal teachings are too much at the other extreme. We have to come back from both extremes. Forget about the Pentecostal teachings and forget about the fundamentalist teachings. Come back to the pure word of the Bible.
The pure Word says that the Lord is “rich to all who call upon Him” (Rom. 10:12). It is so easy. If we just call on the Lord, all the riches of Christ are ours. There is no doubt about this, but we have to participate. The manna comes down from heaven, but we have to go and pick it up. In the morning someone may serve us breakfast, but we have to go to the table and use our hands and mouth to eat. We cannot say that because everything is on the table, it is ours. The more we say it is good enough that it is on the table, the more it is not enough. After we say, “Good enough,” for ten days, we will be ready for a funeral. We need to eat. Yes, all the riches of Christ are ours, but we may not participate in them. There is much on the table, but only that which we take into us is really ours. There may be thirty pounds of beef on the table, but if we eat only two and a half ounces, only that much is ours. We have to participate and eat.
The way to eat Jesus and participate in Him is to call, “O Lord Jesus!” There is no other way. Romans 10:12 does not say that the Lord is rich unto all that merely believe on Him. Merely to believe on Him is not enough. If we only believe that a meal which has been prepared for us is good, the cook may say, “Silly brothers, I don’t care to see that you believe. I like to see that you eat. I don’t care whether you believe this food is good or not. I don’t care even if you complain. As long as you eat, that is good enough.” Merely to believe in the Lord and to love Him does not work. Only one thing works: to call, “O Lord Jesus!” Try to call in this way. To be sure, this will cause us to reject all the fundamentalist teachings. We may tell others, “I don’t care for this teaching. I only care for calling, ‘O Lord Jesus!’” After calling for ten minutes, we may tell the Pentecostal teachers, “I don’t need to wait, and I don’t need to fast. After calling on the name of the Lord for ten minutes, I can go to breakfast, because I have enjoyed Him.” Regardless of whether you are old or young, I would challenge and encourage you all to do this. Try it tomorrow morning for ten minutes. After calling on the Lord for ten minutes, you will be on fire. Hallelujah, we have the entrance, and we have the key! This little key truly works. The Lord is rich to all who call upon Him!
First Corinthians 1:2b says “With all those who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, who is theirs and ours.” Christ is our portion, yours and mine. The way to participate in our portion is by calling on Him. This is wonderful. By calling in this way we are truly feasting, not fasting, day by day. Our Christian life is a feasting life. Day by day we enjoy Christ as a feast.
(Enjoying the Riches of Christ for the Building Up of the Church as the Body of Christ, Chapter 12, by Witness Lee)