I. BEWARE OF:
To fulfill the obligations of the co-workers and elders, first, we need to beware of certain things. The word beware tells us that certain things are against us and are damaging us; hence, we need to be cautious and beware of them.
First, we need to beware of ambition. Ambition is something terrible. Of course, everyone has ambition. Anyone who is not ambitious is not human. However, when you come to serve as a co-worker or an elder, you must not come with your ambition. When one becomes a professor, he wants to be a top professor; when one engages in business, he surely wants to operate a top business; and when one opens a bank, he certainly wants to open the largest bank. This is ambition. Even from the time our children are still young, we raise them to have ambition. Without ambition our children will not study well and will not be able to graduate. We teach them that after they graduate from elementary school, they must be ambitious to go to junior high, to senior high, to college, and then to graduate school. In this way ambition is instilled in them. However, to fulfill the obligations of the co-workers and elders, you must not bring in your ambition. Ambition nullifies your obligations as co-workers and elders. Once you have ambition, you are finished.
1. To Fulfill the Obligations of a Co-worker or an Elder, You Need to Have a Pure Heart
To fulfill the obligations of a co-worker or an elder, you need to have a pure heart, purified from any form of subtle ambition in intention, purpose, motive, and action in the Lord’s recovery. According to my over sixty years of observation, I understand the subtle words uttered by people. Some brothers who may be useful in the church behave outwardly in a humble way, but in their heart they are lifted up. That is subtle ambition, and that is a little fox that prevents them from making progress. The Lord will not give anything more to such a one, because if more is given to him, he will be lifted up. Only those who are humble without ambition can be used by the Lord, can receive gifts from the Lord, and can be entrusted with the Lord’s ministry.
2. Never Hunting to Be the First in Any Work for the Lord
We should never hunt to be the first in any work for the Lord. In the church, sometimes we need to arrange for certain ones to bear certain responsibilities. Those who are not assigned may act outwardly as if they do not care, revealing nothing either in their tone or in their expression, yet inwardly they are depressed and unhappy. This is the insidious work of hidden ambition to compete with others to be the first.
I have a twofold burden for this conference. On the one hand, I want to show you the high vision, which is the contents of the first three messages that include the extract of the entire New Testament. On the other hand, I want to expose the base things in our nature, such as loving or hunting to be first. May we all be enlightened to see our real condition.
(How to Be a Co-worker and an Elder and How to Fulfill Their Obligations, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)