HANDING OVER OURSELVES BEING
THE FIRST CONDITION FOR SERVICE IN THE BODY
If I do not hand myself over, but instead I study and pursue after spirituality by myself, I will end up in poverty. The first condition for serving in the coordination of the Body is to hand ourselves over. We should hand over ourselves to God, and we should hand over ourselves to the church.
ONLY BY HANDING OVER OURSELVES
WILL THERE BE THE PRACTICAL SERVICE
Here is a brother from Tsingtao. I have known him for eight years. Perhaps he has helped the brothers and sisters, and he has offered money and provided hospitality for others. But can these services be counted as service according to the Bible? We cannot replace gold with brass. How can we gain the practical experiences in our service? I say that God’s way today is to hand over ourselves, to offer up everything, to throw it away and to drop it. We have to empty out everything in our pockets and put it all in the church. When Brother Chiu handed over himself, he discovered that there was a "tail" behind. How strong is that something that is holding onto his "tail." Brother Chang’s testimony shows us that as soon as he was saved, he wanted to serve the Lord in a proper way. But my concern is this: It is one thing to have a heart to serve the Lord; it is another thing to be willing to hand over everything. Have we handed everything over to the church? If we have not, what should we do? We all know that we should hand over ourselves to the Lord. But practically speaking, have we handed ourselves over?
Some brothers forgot the question of their living when they handed over themselves. Later they asked the responsible brothers, "What should we do about our living? What should we do about the children’s education?" When I heard that, I laughed within myself. You have too many worries. O men of little faith, if you can be concerned for yourself, will God not be concerned about you also? Do you think that all the responsible brothers in the church are cruel people? Will the Body not love its own members?
PRINCIPLES IN OUR PRACTICE
In the history of the church, many brothers and sisters have consecrated everything to the Lord. But today we have received God’s revelation. Not only do we have the light; we are clear also as to the way to go on. In the past, the persons may have been right, but the methods were wrong. For six years, I have been pondering over this matter. I feel that here are two principles. The first is on the spiritual side, and the second is on the practical side.
A. On the Spiritual Side
1. On the One Hand,
Accepting All The Offerings of the Saints
2. On the Other Hand, Making Arrangements
according to the Amount of Grace Each Receives
If you have less grace, the church will make fewer arrangements for you. But if you have more grace, the church should make more arrangements for you. If a newly saved believer offers up everything, the church should mark his condition and should accept all his offerings. The church should say to such a one that the church has accepted one hundred percent of what he has offered up. However, soon after that, the church should return to him ninety percent of what he has offered up and should only take ten percent. Later, when this brother is strengthened in grace and grows in life, the Lord will provide other measures to take care of him.
I know of a newly saved brother who was not very strong in grace. The church only took ten percent of what he offered. This is like a child giving things to the mother. The mother only takes ten percent of what the child offers and returns the other ninety percent back to the child.
(Messages Given During the Resumption of Watchman Nee's Ministry (2 volume set), Chapter 60, by Watchman Nee/Witness Lee)