“I HAVE FED YOU”
When Paul wrote of how he had cared for the Corinthian believers, he said, “I have fed you with milk, and not with meat” (1 Cor. 3:2). The way Paul took care of the Corinthians was not to teach them but to feed them. Yes, there are verses which mention teaching and learning, but there is this concept here that the believers need to be fed.
In verse 6, Paul said, “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the growth” (Gk.). Our need is for growth, not for an improvement in behavior. Where do the gold, silver, and precious stones, mentioned in verse 12, come from? Our nature by birth is wood, hay, and stubble; that we are now in the nature and form of gold, silver, and precious stones indicates that we have been transformed.
We may feel like wood, hay, and stubble most of the time, but be strong in faith. We are in the process of transformation. Declare to Satan, “I am in the process of being transformed into gold, silver, and precious stones. Even if it takes a long time, my God is not worried about time. To Him a thousand years are as one day.” In the Lord’s recovery, we have the planting and the watering. Be assured that the growth is coming. Be ready to welcome it.
BEHOLDING AND REFLECTING
Second Corinthians 3:18 gives us another picture of how this transformation comes about. “But we all, with unveiled face beholding and reflecting as a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image, from glory to glory, as from the Lord Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18, Gk.). How are we all being transformed into the same image? We must first ask the Lord to remove any veils from us that we may behold Him openly. The thought in this verse is that we are a mirror, facing Christ. As we behold and reflect Him, we are transformed into His image. The more we behold and reflect Him, the more He comes into us and changes us, from one degree of glory to another. In this beholding, His element is being added to us, just as the grafted branch receives the life juices from the better tree to which it has been grafted.
Stay in the church life to be part of the beholding and reflecting mirror, and to be the grafted branch, absorbing the life supply which flows from the better tree! Over the years I have seen the saints being transformed from one degree of glory to another as from the Lord Spirit. Day by day the Lord has been adding Himself to us, and we are being transformed.
“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thes. 5:23). God as the life-giving Spirit comes into the center of your being, your spirit, and begins to saturate you. This saturating sanctifies you. This twofold process gradually spreads outward into the surrounding soul, and from there it encompasses even your body. When your body is sanctified, you are mature and ready to be raptured.
To be raptured is to be reaped. Christ, the heavenly Farmer, is coming to reap us. But first we must grow, so that we are no longer so green and tender. To grow is to be saturated with the element of God. When we are fully sanctified, from the spirit through the soul and out to the body, we are ready to be reaped, for we shall then be completely transformed into His image. The sanctifying and saturating are even now going on within us.
(Life Messages, Vol. 1 (#1-41), Chapter 30, by Witness Lee)