HAVING A START OF FRUIT-BEARING
We all must realize that we have been appointed to go forth and bear fruit, so we should all have a start. We were appointed with a purpose and a command that we should go forth. To go forth is to have a start. The Lord has set us in the race, so we have to run. If we never have a start, nothing will change; we will remain in barrenness. We must hate our barrenness and endeavor to bear fruit. We were chosen for the start of fruit-bearing. We all need a start. Then after being chosen and after starting, we need to be discipled. We need to go out, but not in a natural way. Being natural even a little bit can kill our purpose and annul our effectiveness. We all must have a spirit to learn. Anything that is old or natural must be crossed out. We have to be discipled. In addition, we need a lot of prayer. When we pray, we touch the Spirit. This will change us, disciple us, and cross us out. Only the Lord Spirit can change us, so we must have adequate prayer for us to be discipled. We also need to ask the Father in the Lord’s name for the giving of life to produce the remaining fruit.
We all need to take Paul as our pattern. In 1 Corinthians 9:16 Paul said, “For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; for woe to me if I do not preach the gospel.” There must be a necessity laid upon us to preach the gospel. If we do not preach the gospel, we will suffer woe; if we preach the gospel, a reward is waiting for us (v. 17). If we love the Lord and His recovery, we must have a new beginning in fulfilling our New Testament priesthood of the gospel to go and visit people. Then there is much possibility that we could bear fruit. After this, we must exercise further to be discipled so that our fruit will remain.
If you are faithful to the Lord and faithful to go out once a week for forty-eight weeks in a year, I believe you can baptize five to ten. Out of these, probably four to six will remain, yet not all of the remaining fruit will be brought to the church. It may be that only two of them will be brought into the church life. The others will simply be saved without coming into the recovery. By this we can see that if we are faithful, we will be able to gain a good number for the Lord.
I do not expect that all the saints meeting with us will go out to visit people, but I do expect that one-third of the saints in each locality will go out. If the Lord stirs up one-third of the saints to preach the gospel, He will gain a good percentage of increase every year. That will stir up all the saints’ interest in the church life, and the church will have a way to go on. To accomplish this, we all have to endeavor to rise up to fight against our barrenness.
(The Exercise and Practice of the God-Ordained Way, Chapter 11, by Witness Lee)