The Life and Way for the Practice of the Church Life, by Witness Lee


Brothers and sisters, the church life needs the real growth in life and the transformation by the life of Christ. I do not feel that I need to talk a lot about how Christ is life to us. But I do have the burden to give you a challenge. Do you live by Christ or by yourself today? You need to go to the Lord and have a genuine and thorough prayer before Him. Just pray for one thing: "Lord, do I take You as my life day by day? Do I live by You?" Also, how much room in your life has been given to the cross? How much ground does the cross have in you? Do you really mean it when you say that "it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me" (Gal. 2:20)?

I believe that if we go to the Lord and pray in such a way, we will be exposed in the light of the Lord and will find out that even up to now we are still very natural. We have very little transformation. We know that Christ is life to us, but day by day we do not live by Christ. Moreover, we are not learning the lessons of the cross. We do not always take the cross as a check to our daily life. We have the knowledge in our mentality, but we do not have the practice in our daily life.

If you take the cross and are checked by the cross, you will realize that Christ is so living and real within you. He is not only active but also acting. Because He is living, you will sense something acting, enlightening, anointing, regulating, ruling, and governing within you. There is something within you, and that is Christ in a practical way.

In this chapter I am giving you a simple secret. You need to pray about this matter today. Pray to Him in a real and thorough way, saying, "Lord, I am here. I have been a Christian for many years, but I wish to know where I am and how I am. Put me in Your presence and in Your light. Expose me and let me see where I am. Lord, do I really mean it when I say that You are my life? Do I have some experience of the cross by applying it to my daily life? Do I have some transformation?" I urge you to go to the Lord and pray in this way. Then you will see where you are.

Forget about taking care of your behavior. More than thirty years ago I was a young learner in the service of the Lord. At that time I did only one thing: I was always careful about my work, my attitude, and my actions. I tried to be very careful in these matters. Many times I went to the elderly saints and asked them in a humble way, "Have I done something wrong in these days? Would you be kind enough to let me know? Please tell me."

In those early days I spent much time with Brother Watchman Nee. Many times I went to him asking him to tell me something about my condition. He just smiled and never said anything. Later, the Lord revealed to me that when I was so concerned about my behavior, my attitude, and my work, it proved that I was so much in myself. One day the Lord opened my eyes to see that I needed to forget everything about myself and learn the lesson of being checked by the cross. The problem today in the church life is the natural life. The natural life has to be put away, eliminated, and Christ must be everything.

I say again that if you would go to the Lord and pray in this way, I have the assurance that you will sense how real, how living, how active, how positive, and how illuminating Christ is within you. You will have the living Christ, the acting Christ, and the anointing Christ operating within you experientially all the time. Then you will learn how to forget about yourself and to live and walk by taking Christ as your life. Eventually, you will have a transformation in life and not just some correction or adjustment in your behavior. Your whole being with your very nature, element, essence, and substance will be transformed by Christ in a living and real way. In this way you will realize the church life in a way which is absolutely different from the past.

(The Life and Way for the Practice of the Church Life, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)