CONSECRATION AND DAILY AFFAIRS
Every believer should do his individual preaching, but it is not mandatory that every believer be a full-time preacher. Those who work for the Lord, of course, labor daily in the Lord’s work. However, an ordinary believer has to go to work to make his living and to provide for his family.
The person who genuinely works for the Lord realizes that what he does is God’s work and that eventually he will gain his reward. This being the case, the more he works, the more he will be interested in his work, and the more he will love his work.
But the ordinary believers have a difficult task. What they are engaged in are occupations of the world, and they fully realize that such works are vain and will pass away. Nevertheless, for their stomach and their family, they have to do their duty. Therefore, there is not much enjoyment in their work.
The most difficult cases are those of the sisters in the Lord. Many sisters love the Lord and are willing to work for the Lord. They may be fervent with a burning heart, and they may want to work for the Lord. But they are wives and mothers; they already have a family. In the family they must do washing, shopping, feeding, and cooking. These things already occupy most of their time. They love to serve the Lord, but they are unable to do so. As a result, many become unhappy.
Furthermore, those who labor for the gospel often feel God’s presence, because they do God’s work. Those who take care of secular things, however, may hear the children’s cry and the crowd’s noise; or they may quietly sit in an office or be busy in the kitchen, but in all these environments it seems difficult for anyone to have God’s presence.
Nevertheless, is not God the Father of us who believe in Him? How kind, tender, and caring is the word "Father"! Those who preach the gospel are His children, and those who take care of secular things are also His children. Just as He cares for those who preach the gospel, in the same way He cares for those who make a living in the world.
If we want to meet God and to have His presence in all our works, we should remember the word, "Whatever you do,...as to the Lord and not to men" (Col. 3:23). This is the gospel of the believers! We ought to praise God!
He not only accepts the work done for Him directly, but He also gladly accepts the work done by all His children for His sake. "Whatever you do"—any proper work without the mixture of sin—we all can do it as unto the Lord. Therefore, a mother who takes care of her children can count her work as done unto the Lord. A wife who takes care of the household can count what she does as unto the Lord. Laborer, office worker, servant, all can count what they do as unto the Lord. Therefore, we should remember that whatever we do is unto the Lord. Whenever you work—whatever work that may be—please say to the Lord, "O Lord, I do this to You. The reason I do this is because of You!" In this way, all our works in the world will be sanctified to the Lord. In everything we do, we can serve the Lord. However, if the Lord wants us to serve Him solely, we should obey Him.
ALONE WITH GOD
God’s children quite often are lost among the crowd and therefore lose their fellowship with God. How many distracting things there are in our daily life! How much these distractions have affected our spiritual life! The most serious mistake of believers is to associate themselves too much with people and have too little fellowship with God.
People have asked me, "How can I feel the Lord’s presence more, and how can I have a better understanding of the Lord’s love?" My reply is that you have to fellowship with the Lord all the time. You should be alone, face to face with the Lord, to meditate over His Word and on His deeds. You should ask Him to show you what He wants you to do, and you should tell Him the sorrows and desires of your heart. Peacefully rest in His presence. Lift up your head to the sky, listen to His small voice, and behold His lovely face. At least half an hour each day (the more the better), you should take the Bible with you and go away from your family and folks; you may walk alone in the wilderness, or quietly sit on top of a hill, or stay alone in a certain place, or quietly stay in your room. You should kneel before the Lord and fellowship with God the Father and the Lord Jesus, His Son, in quietness. If you do this, you will see His power manifested in you. His glory, His love, and His holiness will be much more real to you day by day.
I feel the biggest lack among today’s believers is their lack of a quiet time with God. Believers care too much for social encounters and for conversation with people. They have neglected their fellowship with God. It would be good if we could say together with Jeremiah, "Because of Your hand I sat alone" (Jer. 15:17).
The high-flying bird is not with the flock. Birds such as the eagle always roam alone in the sky. The more a saint’s spiritual life develops and grows, the more he feels he cannot join company with others, or walk together with others in spiritual matters. It seems that besides the Lord, no one can be his company. This is a kind of loneliness of sanctification! These people are like the poet, who was "as a sparrow alone upon the house top" (Psa. 102:7). In their life there is a kind of quietness, serenity, and peace that the worldly people do not have. The presence of the Lord is so real that in their speech, conduct, and thought, it seems there is much "heaven," which makes others reckon them as outsiders and heavenly people. What they breathe is the heavenly uncontaminated air.
Because of such separation from the world, the sanctified life of these ones bears a tremendous impact with them. Wherever they go, they carry such an atmosphere with them, and they touch people with such an atmosphere. "Silence is better than noise."
But this does not mean that they refuse to live together outwardly with other human beings, as the ancient monks did. It means that their spirit cannot love the world. However, because they know more of God, they love people more, and they become more lovable. It is not because they are peculiar. Spiritually such people are like heavenly people, and outwardly they are filled with Christ’s love and tenderness. In their daily life they always set aside a certain time when they physically get away from people to seek after spiritual edification in seclusion.
What a blessed life this is!
(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 07: The Christian (5), Chapter 25, by Watchman Nee)