As we practice this secret, we should not have any preference concerning what we do in Him. We, however, may prefer to do certain things in Him, but not other things. We hope that we could keep these things from Him. In this regard, we are like husbands and wives who have secrets from one another. Every husband has kept certain things from his wife, and every wife has kept certain things from her husband. The reason we do this is that we have our own preferences and do not want others to know about them. In the matter of living by Christ we also have preferences. Because of all these preferences, we seldom turn to Him and ask Him what He wants to do in a given situation. But we need to pray, "Lord Jesus, do You want me to do this? If so, show me Your way to do it, Lord." We have Christ living in us, but we may not live by Him or do things in Him. The secret in Philippians 4 is to do all things in Him. The way to experience Christ is to do everything in Him.
For more than fifty years, the Lord has been teaching me to live by Him. I still have not graduated, because l have not been that faithful. Sometimes I was faithful to live by Him for several days. In those days nearly everything I did was in Him. But then I would become unfaithful again. Consider your Christian life. Have you always been faithful in the matter of living by Him and doing all things in Him? Christ does not want us to do anything. He wants to do everything for us. In a sense, we have already signed the agreement for Him to do this. This took place on the day we consecrated ourselves to Him. By consecrating ourselves to Him, we offered ourselves to Him. However, after consecrating ourselves, we have not been faithful to live by Him. Rather, we have continued to live by ourselves. Without exception, we all have broken our agreement.
OUR HABIT OF BEING INDEPENDENT
The problem with doing all things in Him is not only a matter of intention, but also a matter of habit. We were born with a fallen nature, and we do not like to do things by others. This is even true of little children. The little ones may not want their mothers to feed them. They prefer to eat by themselves. They want to be free, liberated, and even wild. In this country the young people are anxious to be eighteen years of age, for then they can fly away from the cage of their family. To many, to be free means to be wild. This illustrates the fact that by nature not one of us likes to do things by others. Because we are used to going our own way, it is often troublesome to have Christ living n us.
When I preached the gospel more than forty-five years ago, I told people that we Christians had the most happy life. I asked the unbelievers to join us in this happy life. But later I no longer had the boldness to preach this way, for I learned that as a Christian my life is a life of troubles. I have Someone in me who is always giving me difficulty because He wants to do things differently from the way I would like to do them. Even if I should want to give up being a Christian, He would not let me go. Our problem is that we do not like to do things in Him.
The secret of the Christian life is that another One, Christ, lives in us. Christ is in us, and we must also be in Him. But we do not like to live in Him and with Him, nor do we like doing things by Him. By birth, we have the habit of being independent, and we all have our preferences. But every preference is a suffering, a loss, a failure, a defeat. The reason we do not have a victorious Christian life is that we are not faithful to live by Christ and to do things absolutely in Him.
(The Experience of Christ, Chapter 10, by Witness Lee)