GROWING UP INTO THE HEAD, CHRIST, IN ALL THINGS
In Ephesians 4:15 Paul said, "But holding to truth in love, we may grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, Christ." We need to grow up into the Head, Christ, in all things. Even in small matters such as getting our hair cut, combing our hair, and choosing a necktie, we need to do them in Christ. Certain sisters may take twenty minutes to comb their hair yet not spend two minutes to pray. This is a great loss. We need to grow up into Christ in all the small matters in our daily life.
We do not need to conduct ourselves in a certain way because we are forced to do so by outward regulations. We need to grow to the extent that we are in Christ. If we grow into Christ, when we comb our hair, we will comb it in Christ and with Christ. In combing our hair we may say, "Lord Jesus, I am with You; be with me in my combing my hair." Ephesians 4:15 says that we need to grow until we reach the level of being in Christ in all things—in shopping, in buying a pair of shoes, in spending our money, and even in choosing a pair of eyeglasses. It is a great thing to grow up into the Head, Christ, in all things.
GROWING UNTO THE MEASURE OF THE STATURE
OF THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST BY BEING
PERFECTED BY THE GIFTED PERSONS
According to Ephesians 4:11-13, we also need to grow unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ by being perfected by the gifted persons. Every person has the stature of a human being, but verse 13 speaks of "the stature of the fullness of Christ." The stature of the fullness of Christ is the stature of the church (Eph. 1:22-23). The church as the Body of Christ has a stature, and this stature has a measure. We need to grow to match that measure. The church is "tall," yet we are still so "short." Therefore, our measure does not match the stature of the church. If this is the case, how could the church be built up? In a family, if the children do not grow but remain small, the family cannot be built up. Today it is difficult to realize the building up of the church, because most Christians have not grown but have remained infants (1 Cor. 3:1-2; Heb. 5:12). Among Christians we can see many opinions, criticisms, reasonings, and outbursts of temper. Today, who is mature? Very few have grown unto the measure of the stature of the proper church.
GROWING WITH THE GROWTH OF GOD
Colossians 2:19 says that we are growing with the growth of God. This verse indicates that our God who is living in us is growing. In Himself He does not need to grow, for in Himself He is perfect and complete. Yet in us He needs to grow. He has been within many of us for years, but we may not allow Him to grow. I have seen some children who were so small at their birth that they had to be put into an incubator. However, from the time of their birth they lived in a situation and environment which fit in with their growth in every aspect. As a result, they grew to be very strong. In the same way, we need to give God a situation and environment that are fitting for Him to grow in us.
The growth of a plant depends on the environment in which it is placed. A plant in the shade may grow and yet bear no blossoms, whereas the same kind of plant placed in the sunshine may grow and produce many blossoms. In order to grow properly, plants also need to be in an environment where there is water and fresh air. Do we give our God the adequate environment for Him to grow in us?
Shopping is a great temptation to the sisters. Many of the sisters like to read the newspaper on Saturday to see what is on sale. When they are considering whether or not to go shopping, something within them restricts them. At such a time they need to say, "Lord, thank You for Your restriction. I give You the opportunity to grow. I drop my shopping." If they would do this, Christ would grow in them. However, most of the time the sisters would not care for the Lord’s inner restriction. Instead, they would still go shopping. That restricts the Lord from growing in them. In many things we have an inner restriction, but we do not listen to that restriction. Instead, we go our way. Going our own way is a restriction to the Lord’s growth in us. Spending money loosely without any care for the Lord restricts God’s growing within us. In everything we have to consider Him. We need to give Him the convenience and let Him have the liberty, the free way, to go on in us. If we do this, He will grow in us. He will become a "strong young man" in us (1 John 2:14b). We grow with the growth of God, and the growth of God simply means the increase of God. God is in us, but He is short of His increase in us because we do not provide adequate room, adequate space, for Him to grow.
(The Organic Union in God's Relationship with Man, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)