The Treasure in Earthen Vessels, by Watchman Nee


Finally, I would like to say that I especially thank God because no human weakness can limit God’s power. What do we think in our hearts? We tend to think that if there is sorrow, there should not be joy; if there are tears, there should not be praise; if there is weakness, there should not be power; if there is pressing on every side, there should be constriction; if there is casting down, there should be destruction; and if there are doubts, we should be unable to believe. But tonight I would like to loudly declare that this is not true. God wants us to arrive at the point where we see that everything human is just an earthen vessel to contain God’s treasure. Everything human is an earthen vessel for God’s treasure. Nothing human is able to bury God’s treasure. We do not need to be disappointed when we meet with disappointment. Although we cannot make it, we should allow something positive to come in, and when it does, it shines better, more brightly, and more gloriously. Many times we have doubts after praying, and we think that everything is finished. When faith comes, however, it magnifies the treasure despite the lingering presence of doubt. Faith makes the treasure more glorious. I am not speaking of an ideal; I know what I am saying. God’s treasure can be expressed in earthen vessels. This is a spiritual paradox; it is precious to every Christian. It is in the context of this spiritual paradox that we live and learn to know our God.

As we journey along this way, we will discover the immensity of the spiritual contradiction that exists within us. As time goes on, we find this cleavage, this dividing gulf, is ever widening; the contradiction within us is ever accentuated. At the same time, the treasure is expressed ever clearer. The earthen vessel remains an earthen vessel. How wonderful this picture is! We find a man whose original traits remain intact, yet God gives him a patience far more excellent than his natural resilience. It is better to see a man in whom God has placed humility than to see a naturally reticent person. It is better to see a man in whom God has placed meekness than to see a person who is weak and impotent by nature. It is better to see a person in whom God’s power resides than to see a naturally strong man. The inward difference is enormous. It matters little what kind of earthen vessel we have; the treasure can always go inside. The earthen vessel remains an earthen vessel, but it is now a filled vessel. All weak people think that they are too earthen; their vessels are too full of clay and they are without any hope. Please remember that we have no reason to be disappointed or troubled. Whatever is spiritual, strong, powerful, and comes from the Lord can be manifested in us and will shine brighter and be magnified through the earthen vessel. Since this is the case, we can see the importance of the treasure.

Brothers and sisters, everything depends upon the treasure. I must repeat, all situations revolve around this matter. Every outcome is positive. Those whose eyes are on the negative things are fools. The Lord can express Himself through everyone. When we have the treasure, many will know it.

(The Treasure in Earthen Vessels, Chapter 1, by Watchman Nee)