LIVE BY ME
The daily walk of a Christian is not a matter of morality or ethics. It is the living of this divine life. “As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me shall also live because of Me” (John 6:57). To live because of Him means that He is your life. He is within you as your life, and He has to be without as your living. Though He is one Person and you are another, He wants you to be one with Him. Human culture, whether western or eastern, has developed a code of ethics to uplift morality. We have all been raised under this influence. Our natural concept when reading the Bible is to find out how we should behave ethically. This concept is a frustration to the proper Christian life. Though the Christian life undoubtedly represents the highest ethics, it is not concerned with ethics. Our morality, humility, love, and kindness are the highest because they are Christ Himself. In our dictionary there is only one word, Christ, and one footnote, the church! It is Christ who is our love or humility or kindness. We live Him. He is our everything. This I say partly from what I have read, but mostly from my experience.
Let us come back to the illustration of the cake. When I found out my wife had given away the cake brought for me, years ago I would be annoyed and ready to say some angry words to her. But within I would be checked, “Who is this who is angry—you or Christ? Those angry words about to come out are yours, not Mine. Remember the message you gave last weekend on not living by yourself? Who is chasing after this cake? Is it Christ or you?” I would feel so ashamed I would not have the boldness to say the Lord’s name or to pray. I could not and would not pray. I would just go on strike! After many such experiences, I learned. Now, by His mercy, however many cakes are concealed from me, I can smile and say, “Praise the Lord!” Because that is what He says, I say it too. I live Him. He does not want that much American dessert. I am one with Him. He is my life and I am His living.
You may sing, “Amen the Word of God,” but suppose the Lord says, “No more cake for you! All the cakes that come are for your grandchildren.” Will you still say amen? Saying amen is not what matters; He wants you to be one with Him. This is what Paul testified of in Galatians 2:20. It was no longer Paul that was living, but Christ who lived in him. The Lord said in John 14:19-20, “Because I live, you shall live also. In that day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.” Christ and we live together, having only one life and one living.
You need to come to the Word several times daily in order to receive the supply of Christ. Do not use the Word the way many Christians do when they have a Bible study. Suppose there is a Bible study class every week, and one week the topic is Ephesians 5. The Bible teacher charges the husbands in accordance with the Scriptures to love their wives. Then he charges the wives to submit to their husbands. After the class a quarrel develops between a husband and wife, each accusing the other of not fulfilling the exhortations they heard.
Such is the effect of teaching. There is no life supply. The Bible teacher has made the Bible the tree of the knowledge of good and evil instead of the tree of life. We should rather pray when we come to the Word, “Lord, supply me. I come to Your Word to receive nourishment. I am not interested in knowledge or instruction. I care only for Your supply.” Do not try by yourself to do the things that are taught in the Bible. I realize this sounds strange, but I know what I am talking about. Come to the Word with a sincere heart and an open spirit, to receive the Lord Himself through the Word as your supply. The best teachings do not come from the black and white pages, but from the real nourishment. The nourishment of life will teach you.
NOT TEACHING, BUT TRANSFORMATION
This kind of teaching through being nourished transforms you. It seems to be a correction, but actually it is transformation. The Word as the life supply metabolically changes you, carrying away the old and replacing it with the new. This change is organic, not lifeless.
To practice living out this life, do not do or say things quickly. If your spouse gives you a hard time, do not be troubled. Be steady. Check with the Lord. “Lord, You act in me. I would not do anything. I am one with You. You be the One to answer for me.” Do not be pushed into reacting hastily. If you will practice this secret, you will see how different we are from worldly people. They have only their own life, but we have the life of Christ. This makes us a special people. We are privileged to have Christ as our life. Now He wants us to live Him and to have Him as our living. That is why I said that we should not try in ourselves to keep the word of the Bible. That is the wrong way. Just be one with the Lord. Hold the attitude that you are one with the Lord and that He is your life. This is the secret of how to take the life revealed in the Gospel of John.
(Life Messages, Vol. 1 (#1-41), Chapter 39, by Witness Lee)