The Experience of Christ, by Witness Lee

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Verse 13 says, "For it is God which worketh in you both the willing and the working for his good pleasure" (Gk.). We can work out our own salvation because God works within us. God is mysterious, invisible, and abstract, but He is nonetheless within us. We need to be in fear and trembling lest we miss God, who is our daily salvation. If we miss Him, we miss this practical salvation. It may seem that it is impossible for us to work out our own salvation. If the Philippians had said this, Paul might have replied, "Don’t you know that God is working in you? He is working in you both the willing and the working. You may say that you do not have the willingness. But God is working the willingness into you. He is also working in you for the working out of His good pleasure. He works in and you work out. Thus, there is no need for you to do the work by yourself."

Take the example of driving a car. When we drive a car, does the car move us, or do we move the car? We do not have the power to move the car. Thus, it is the car that moves us. For us to move the car is extremely difficult. But for the car to move us is an enjoyment. If we are out of gasoline, we must move the car. But if we have plenty of gasoline, the car moves us and we enjoy driving. Likewise, as we work out our salvation with fear and trembling, God is working in us both the willing and the working. Because He works in, we can work out. This is like driving a car that is already running. If the car were not running, we could not drive it. In like manner, because God is working within us, we are able to work. Eventually, this is not something fearful; it is an enjoyment. The only reason to be fearful is that we may miss the mysterious, marvelous God within us. We need to care for the indwelling God. If we take care of Him, He will drive the car, that is, He will work in us that we may work out our salvation.


Again I say that we work out our salvation by thinking the one thing. This is the key. We need to think the thing that God is working in us. But when we reason, God stops working. And when He stops, we do not have any enjoyment; rather, we are in a hell. Likewise, our murmuring about things causes God to stop working and puts us into a little hell. The only thing that can cause our reasonings and murmurings to cease is to think the one thing. We need to remember the experience of Christ and to recall how excellent the enjoyment of Christ is. To think this one thing locks the gates of Hades. Even if a brother offends you many times, you need to be occupied with Christ as our enjoyment. Do not care for the brother’s offense or allow it to touch you. Rather, have your whole being filled with the thought of the enjoyment of Christ. When our being is filled in this way, we shall have no capacity, energy, or room to think of anything else. If our being is filled with the thought of enjoying Christ, nothing will be able to offend us. Instead of being troubled or offended by others, we shall say, "I am thinking the one thing. Hallelujah for the excellency of the enjoyment of Christ! Hallelujah for the experience of Christ!"

Because God is working in us both the willing and working for His good pleasure, we can do all things without murmuring or reasoning. If God does not work in us, we shall be murmuring and reasoning all the time. The occupation of the brothers is to reason, and the occupation of the sisters is to murmur. If the brothers do not reason and if the sisters do not murmur, they will all be unemployed. They will be silent. When we think the one thing, everything else is excluded.

(The Experience of Christ, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)