NO NEED TO DEMAND, BUT TO WORK IN AN ORGANIC WAY
I know that while you are serving in the different meeting halls, there are difficulties. Some elders may not be one. This has to do with your degree of maturity, your concern, your view or perception, and the extent to which you give yourself. Hence, we should not put demands on each other. Even if you make demands on others, they may not be able to do it. Everyone should just work in an organic way. You should believe that as long as you go forward, some will follow. Making demands will only create problems, and, even more, condemning others will accomplish nothing. Hence, you do not need to demand or condemn at all. Just do as much as you can. If you cannot do it, just wait. You can only pick the grapes when they are ripe. For this reason, we have to strive, but we also have to be patient.
In the last message, we said that the Triune God has been consummated to become the Spirit and that He is in our spirit. Hence, we all have to learn to live in this mingled spirit. When we are about to speak, we should touch the inner feeling to see if we are in the spirit or not. If we are not in the spirit, even if what we do is good, God will not be pleased with it. Originally, we may want to say something, but when we turn to the spirit, we may choose not to speak. If we learn to live in the spirit this way, others will follow us. In this way, one by one they will walk according to the spirit and touch life, and they will spontaneously have an organic service.
THE LIVING IN THE BODY
What God Desires Being the Body and Not Individuals
Now we must consider the matter of the living in the Body. On the one hand, the Body is for the expression of Christ; on the other hand, it is for the corporate service to Christ. For expression, its emphasis is on life, and life requires a kind of living. We have to see clearly that not only our service is a matter of the Body, but even our living is a matter of the Body. Practically speaking, however, we are not used to living a Body life. This matter depends on the degree of our understanding. Strictly speaking, according to the revelation of the New Testament, a person who truly touches God’s heart and is an overcomer in the eyes of God is one who is living in the Body and practicing the Body life. He is not spiritual individually and is not overcoming individually. Rather, he understands clearly that he is a member in the Body.
No member can live apart from the Body, yet almost all of us live an abnormal life. We may think that as long as we do not love the world or lust after sin, we are all right. But in fact this is not enough. The most important thing is whether or not we are living in the Body. Is our loving of the Lord and being spiritual, sanctified, and overcoming something in ourselves or something in the Body? If it is in ourselves, it is not worth much. Humanly speaking, it is better to be spiritual than not to be spiritual, and it is better not to commit sin than to commit sin. But from the view of God’s eternal economy, unless we are in the Body, whether or not we are spiritual and whether or not we sin are not worth much. God is not after a group of spiritual and sinless people. Rather, He is after a Body. Only our being in the Body will have eternal value in the eyes of God.
Living Corporately with the Members under the Head
To live in the Body is to live corporately with the members under the Head (Col. 1:18). To live the Body life, first we must be under the Head and take the Head as the life, the principal object, and the center (Eph. 4:15-16). Many people desire to be holy, spiritual, and overcoming. But these are their own desires. They are not under Christ the Head. Instead they are their own head. This makes them unable to live the Body life. To have the Body life, whatever we think or do has to be under the control of Christ the Head; we have to take Him as the center of our whole being. Second, we have to coordinate with all the members to live a life that expresses the Head (Rom. 12:5). We have to learn to live in the Body and submit to the Head all the time, to care for the feeling of the Body, and to live together with all the members. We should not take our own spirituality, holiness, or victory as the center. This will make us particular and individualistic and will cause us to condemn others and make demands on them. Neither should we try to keep some regulations and conform ourselves to others. Rather, we should live in the Spirit to express Christ in an organic and coordinated way.
(The Oneness and the One Accord according to the Lord's Aspiration and the Body Life and Service according to His Pleasure, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)