Spiritual Man, The (3 volume set), by Watchman Nee

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If we fully consecrate ourselves to God, we can believe that He has indeed prepared a body for us. We often think that it would have been great if we could have decided how our body was to be formed. Our greatest hope is that our body would be free from so many natural defects and that it would have greater resistance so that we could enjoy a longer life without pain and illness. But God did not consult us. He knew what we should have. We should not blame our forefathers for their mistakes and sins; neither should we doubt God’s love and wisdom. Everything which concerns us was decided before the foundation of the world. God has His good intention in giving us a body that is prone to being limited by pain and illness. His purpose is not for us to forsake this body or consider it a burden; instead, He wants us to lay hold of a new body by the indwelling Holy Spirit. When He prepared our body for us, He knew all of its limitations and dangers, intending that we would seek a new body through our painful experiences, one which does not live by our natural strength but by the life of God. Thus we can exchange our weakness for His strength and realize that even though our body has not become new, the life by which it lives is already new.

The Lord loves to saturate our every nerve, blood vessel, and cell with His strength. He does not exchange our weak constitution for a strong one, nor does He simply impart a great amount of strength to us. He desires to be the life of our body so that we may live by Him every moment. Some may think that receiving the Lord Jesus as the life of our body means that God conducts a miracle to transfuse a great amount of strength into our body, with the result being that we will no longer suffer or become sick throughout our entire life. But this was not the apostle’s experience; he said, "For we who are alive are always being delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh." His flesh was always weak, but the life of the Lord Jesus continuously flowed into him. He lived by the life of the Lord moment by moment. To receive the Lord Jesus as life for our body requires continued dependence. In ourselves we cannot deal with the environment for one moment, but through our dependence on the Lord, He will give us the strength we need moment by moment.

This is what God meant when He spoke to Jeremiah: "But I will give your own life to you as spoil in all places where you may go" (Jer. 45:5). We do not feel safe at all in our natural strength; instead, we commit ourselves to the Lord’s life for every breath. There is the most security in this because He lives forever. We do not have any reserve strength by which to act freely. Rather, every time we need strength, we must draw breath from the Lord. A moment’s breath enables us a moment’s living; nothing can be put in reserve. This is a life completely joined to and dependent upon the Lord. "I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me" (John 6:57). This is the secret of this life. If we were able to live independently of the life-giving Lord, would we not be led to follow ourselves and lose our heart of dependence? Would we not be like those of the world who waste their strength wantonly? God wants us to have continuous needs and continuous dependence. Just as manna could be gathered only once daily, so must our body live by God hourly.

(Spiritual Man, The (3 volume set), Chapter 41, by Watchman Nee)