COORDINATION BETWEEN THE WORKING SAINTS
AND THE CO-WORKERS
We have to see today that we are not our own and that our possessions are also not our own. Some people should consecrate themselves for the gospel, whereas others should offer up themselves in their occupations. There is the need for the coordination of both sides. Outwardly, you may be managing your own business, but in reality and spiritually, you are doing everything for the church. I reckoned then that this was the only way to have a thorough coordination. Today, if there is a lack with the co-workers, it is a shame to those who are holding jobs. On the other hand, there are some places who have many riches and little work. This is a shame to the co-workers. We have to see what a great force there is when the two sides coordinate together. If we see this principle, we will be free, and we will begin to trust in our brothers in the coordination. If you earn ten thousand dollars, and you spend it all on yourself, you do not need the church to rise up to condemn you; you will condemn yourself. No one will need to say anything to you; you will condemn yourself. If you ask what we should do if some decide to take back their consecration when they hear this kind of words, I would say that we are not afraid of anyone taking back his consecration. If anyone can take back his consecration, let him do it.
ON BEING THE WISE STEWARDS IN MATERIAL RICHES
Brother Nee: When we offer up all our money and then receive it back again from the Lord, the money will be very different. Formerly, we were the masters. Now we become the stewards. If we are a steward, yet waste our master’s money, the Lord’s illustration says aptly that some will accuse us (Luke 16:1). They will say that we are wasting our master’s money. Today, we may hold different standards of living. But the principle remains the same: We have to do our best to be frugal.
Once the problem of money is settled, we will become a broad person. Today everyone’s mind is different. This is why the same word conveys different connotations in different people’s minds. If I say that I will treat you with a meal, the northerners will think that they will have wheat rolls, the southerners will think that they will have rice, the westerners will think that they will have bread, while the poor people will think that they will have corn. In the same way, when we speak of the need of the church, different people have different thoughts and reactions. When some hear about the need of the church, they will say that it is all right to buy less land and build smaller buildings; they think that there is no need to be very serious about the matter. A person who is not serious will not do things in a serious way. However, we cannot consider matters from our point of view. We have to consider matters from God’s point of view. Once the problem of mammon is settled, we will be enlarged. A man cannot serve two masters. Either he serves the Lord, or he serves mammon. The reason we are in darkness and are not in the light is that there is the entanglement of money. If we can solve this problem, many other problems will be solved.
The gospel has been "bottled up" like water kept in a bottle, and money is like the cork of the bottle. If money does not go away, water will not come. If you do not give away your money, you will not even be able to live a proper human life. A person has to open his eyelids before he can see. In the same way, if money does not go away, a person cannot see the Lord.
I know that many brothers here are more well off than brothers in other localities. In other localities, some people cannot even send their children to school. We can be in scarcity, but we cannot become small. We cannot become small just through our scarcity. We have to show other brothers that not one thing is our own.
What should we do as far as our practice is concerned? First, we have to write down a list. Should we consider the matter individually, or should we consider it corporately? Both ways are possible. Many brothers and sisters receive help through others’ testimonies, whereas others look to the Lord directly. This is not the time to talk about the left hand not letting the right hand know what it is doing. It is not a question of myself as a person individually; it is a question of myself being a member in the Body. Even if we will lose our reward, it is still worthwhile for us to cause one or two brothers to rise up. Forget about our personal rewards in the future!
The church does not want to do anything that will eventually come short. We hope that more stewards will be raised up by the Lord. If some of us have made such a decision, they can present their testimonies before the brothers.
(Messages Given During the Resumption of Watchman Nee's Ministry (2 volume set), Chapter 54, by Watchman Nee/Witness Lee)