The Normal Christian Faith, by Watchman Nee

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Once I was invited to dinner at a missionary’s home. We sat and talked for a long time concerning this matter. I asked him, "Can you say that you have overcome all your sins?" He answered, "I have to wait and see if this will work or not." What he meant was, "Paul said that he had died and was resurrected. But I cannot say the same because if I say it and then lose my temper, what am I going to do? Am I not still alive? Therefore, I must wait a few days to see if it works or not."

I told him, "God has put you into His Son; you are now dead with Him. God has also put you into His resurrection that He may be your life within. What you should do is believe. Instead you are just waiting. Do you really believe? You are not believing because if you were, you would praise God for Christ being your life. You would not even worry whether this would work or not. God is responsible for it, and He never fails. All His accomplished works become real when you exercise your faith. What are you waiting for? Are you doubting the Word of God?"


Once again it is a matter of faith. Faith always concerns accomplished facts. Anything for tomorrow is not faith. Nor is anything in hope. Many, after hearing such messages, say that they have faith. But whether or not they really possess it is an open question.

Let me illustrate my point by a real story. I have two co-workers. One is a brother by the name of Nee. The other is a sister called Lee. Both started in their Christian work recently and both are nearsighted. Eventually, both had a pair of glasses. Miss Lee went to the Lord and prayed, "Lord, You have healed the blind. Can’t You do the same for me? It is very inconvenient for me to go around preaching in villages with this pair of glasses. Lord, heal me." She made this prayer on a little steamboat on her way to a village. After her prayer she knew that God had answered her request. She had the faith within her to throw her glasses into the river. Her eyes were consequently healed.


The news came to Mr. Nee. One day he came to me, saying, "God has healed Miss Lee’s eyes. I believe that He will do the same for me." I answered, "You said that God will heal you. This proves that you do not have the faith yet. You will not be healed." He insisted, however, that God would work a miracle and that he had such a faith.

After two days he was on a steamboat. He took off his glasses and threw them into the water. A month afterward I saw him, and he told me that his eyes had not improved any. It seemed as if God had not healed him yet. I said, "If you are wise, you had better spend twelve dollars to buy another pair of glasses." He said that he was going to preach in Ku-tien and would be back in four months. He had the faith that by then he would be healed. I said, "If you think that four months from now God will heal you, you are putting your faith in the future. This is not genuine faith."

(The Normal Christian Faith, Chapter 14, by Watchman Nee)