FELLOWSHIPPING WITH THE LORD,
ALLOWING HIS ELEMENTS TO OCCUPY
AND REPLACE US
Suppose you treat a person well and render him much help. Can you say that this is spiritual? Outwardly speaking, this is very spiritual. Actually, it may not necessarily be spiritual. How then can something be considered spiritual? While you are fellowshipping with the Lord, He may tell you to help a certain person. If you obey His word to help this one, this is spiritual. Furthermore, while you are helping such a one, you do so by trusting in the strength of the Lord all the time and acting according to the inner feeling. You are not only performing what is after His heart; you are also acting according to His feelings and His thoughts, and you are taking Him as your content and as everything to you. Day by day, you will have more of the Lord, and gradually your thoughts and your natural disposition will decrease. Up to a certain point, your own elements will disappear, and the Lord will occupy your whole being. Finally, you will be able to say that it is no longer you, but Christ the Lord.
THE PURPOSE AND PRINCIPLE OF GOD’S WORK—
WORKING HIMSELF INTO MAN
When you have God’s life, nature, thoughts, and love within you, and when you are filled with Him, God’s desire will be accomplished. God desires to mingle Himself with man. God has taken on man’s form. Now He wants man to take on His form. He has put on humanity, and He has ascended to heaven with His humanity. He is the God-man, and He is the Man-God. He desires to see that man has God, in the same way that He as God desires to put on man. God can now say, "O man! I now have the human nature." Man can also say, "O God, our great God! I now have Your nature." This is God’s eternal purpose. It is for this purpose alone that God created man, redeemed him, forgives his sins, regenerates him, and lives in him. God desires to work Himself into man. What is God’s work? God’s work is to work Himself into you. This is God’s principle, and it is God’s law.
THE GOVERNING PRINCIPLE
OF A CHRISTIAN’S LIFE AND WORK
All our living and works have to be measured by this rule. Only then will they be up to standard. For example, here may be a brother who is very capable in leading the hymns. If he has never allowed God to pass through him, and if God has never worked on him before, his leading of the hymns will not carry much weight. But if God is added to him, his hymn-leading will carry much more weight. A person can save a large number of souls without allowing God to pass through him and without much mingling with God at all. A person can do many good works, help others, and visit many people. But the question is whether or not he has allowed God to pass through him. The same is true even with the reading of the Bible and praying. Many readings of the Bible end up being without God. If you study the Bible much, yet you do not fellowship with God in your studying, your Bible study cannot be considered spiritual; it can only be considered mental. It is useless to study diligently the letter of the Bible without having any fellowship with God. A proper Bible reading is one in which a person fellowships with the Lord through his reading. This kind of reading becomes a kind of "gold plating," in which God is "plated" onto you. This will not be mere knowledge, but will become life.
Sometimes even our prayers can take God away from us. At the beginning of the prayer, we may still be fellowshipping with the Lord. But after a while, the presence of the Lord is gone. Prayers that are merely in the mind or in the flesh, that have no spirit in them, are useless. No wonder so many prayers are not answered. If a person is not proper, even his prayers will not be answered. The real problem is with the person himself. In reading the Bible, in praying, and in working for the Lord, the most important thing is that the person has to be right. A person cannot pray according to the mind. Whatever he feels within, he should pray according to that feeling. If he has only a few words, or if he feels to pray for a certain particular person, he should go ahead and pray accordingly. This is prayer in the spirit. The important thing is not that your prayer be beautiful, but that while you pray, God has one more chance to pass through you. In the end, not only will you have your prayers answered, but by praying you will become like God. Your view will be like God’s view. Through prayer, you will allow God to work Himself into you.
ALLOWING THE LORD
TO BE THE HEAD OVER ALL THINGS
All those who have a heart for the Lord and who will answer His call will realize in eternity that what we are talking about during these meetings is something very precious. Do not be concerned whether a thing is good, bad, right, or wrong. Instead pay attention to what lies behind the thing itself, to whether or not in doing such a thing, you are allowing the Lord to be the Head.
(Messages Given During the Resumption of Watchman Nee's Ministry (2 volume set), Chapter 5, by Watchman Nee/Witness Lee)