A Young Man in God's Plan, by Witness Lee


We have to see what God’s plan is. Do you think God’s plan is to make you so zealous, religious, and spiritual? To be religious is much better than being sinful. To be zealous for Christianity is really better than being worldly, and to be spiritual is really better than being carnal. Yet you have to realize that even being spiritual could be a barrier between you and Christ and could be a substitute of Christ to you. One young man may be very worldly. He may love the world, seek the worldly things, and pursue after the world. Another young man may be very religious and may have given up the world totally. But what is the difference between these two young men as far as Christ is concerned? There may be no difference. In the worldly young man we cannot see Christ, and in this religious young man we can neither see anything of Christ.

We can use two bottles as an illustration. The purpose of these bottles is to contain some kind of beverage. One bottle may be dirty and the other may be clean, but the bottles were not made merely to be clean. They were made to be filled with a certain beverage. In like manner, God does not merely desire to have many "clean people." What God wants to have is many people filled with Christ. He does not want religious people but Christians. A Christian is a Christ-man, a man filled with Christ, a man mingled with Christ, a man lost in Christ. All over the world, it is relatively easy to meet Christians, but it is not so easy to meet some Christians who are filled with Christ and whose goal is Christ Himself. It is possible to meet many working Christians, religious Christians, and active Christians who act for Christ, yet it is not so easy to meet some Christians who are one with Christ, filled with Christ, and occupied solely by Christ.

I have the impression that many may be working for a religious system just like Saul of Tarsus worked for Judaism. You may be working for religion and have nothing to do with Christ. I hope that the Lord has opened our eyes to see that God’s plan is to reveal His Son in us so that we can be conformed to the image of His Son. God’s intention and God’s plan is not for us to be religious, good, spiritual, or knowledgeable of the Scriptures, but God’s plan is for us to be filled with Christ, to be occupied, possessed, saturated, permeated, blended, and mingled with Christ. This is why Paul tells us in Philippians 3:7-8, "But what things were gains to me, these I have counted loss on account of Christ. But surely I count also all things to be loss on account of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, on account of whom I have suffered the loss of all things and count them refuse that I may gain Christ." Paul was brought to the realization that the only gain in the universe was Christ Himself To him Christ was the one reality of all. Nothing was real to him but Christ.

In Philippians 3:3 Paul says, "For we are the circumcision, who serve by the Spirit of God and boast in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh." The phrase "serve by the Spirit of God" can also be rendered "worship God in the spirit" (KJV). This is similar to what the Lord Jesus said in John 4:24, that God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit. Philippians 3:3 also tells us that Paul did not boast in his religion, in his purity, in his cleanness, or in his religious activity. He boasted in Christ Jesus. We should worship God in the spirit and boast in Christ as the reality. Nothing other than Christ should be important to us or should be real to us. Our lives need to be occupied solely with Christ Himself

(A Young Man in God's Plan, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)