Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 02: The Word of the Cross, by Watchman Nee


Before we are clear about God’s will, it is best that we not do what we are not clear about. We should absolutely wait before God until we are clear, and then act accordingly. Sometimes God sees that we will profit if He delays revealing His will to us. At such times, we should adopt the attitude that we will not do what we do not know. The psalmist said, "Neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me" (Psa. 131:1). Therefore, before we are clear, and when things are "too high" for us, we should not do anything lest we regret it later. Many mistakes and regrets come from hasty decisions. Our danger lies in being active and trying to act before we are clear about the Lord’s will. The Lord wants us to wait on Him, to advance at His pace, and to move on only after we are clear about God’s will. Unfortunately, we are often urged by our environment to do things rashly. When this happens, we do things outside God’s will. We can be assured of one thing: when we do things rashly, eight out of ten times, we are not walking according to the Lord’s will. When the Lord Jesus was on earth, He never did one thing rashly. We should imitate Him. Before we are absolutely clear of the Lord’s will, we should not move presumptuously. We have to make up our mind not to initiate anything until we are clear about God’s will.

Sometimes when we are stirred up or when we are pressured, we make promises to others. If we find out later that this was not God’s will, what should we do? God’s Word says, "Should he swear to his harm, / He does not change" (Psa. 15:4). This verse refers to the conduct of a believer. A believer should deal righteously with others. "Let your word be, Yes, yes; No, no" (Matt. 5:37); we should not be "yes and no" (2 Cor. 1:19). Therefore, we cannot break our promise. If we find ourselves in this situation, the only thing we can do is to confess the mistake of our promise before the Lord and pray that the Lord would cause the promise not to come into effect. He will open up the way. Perhaps through such a mistake, the Lord will show us some additional matters to which we should submit. Although it is a curse to make mistakes, the Lord can turn "the curse into a blessing" (Deut. 23:5). At these times we should be particularly patient and wait on the Lord.


Many busy activities are vain because what is done is not done according to God’s will. If our work is done apart from God’s will, the Lord whom we serve will not be happy. We may be busy from morning till evening, but the work we do may not reap spiritual benefit; we will not receive praise or reward from God for these works. If we are willing to work only after we are clear about God’s will, we will save ourselves many unnecessary hours of busy work. We will not be busy from morning till evening, and we will have more quiet time before the Lord to fellowship with Him.


In our daily life, we should seek after the Lord’s will this way in everything. If we seek after our own will and act carelessly in the small things of our daily life, and do not seek after the Lord’s will until we encounter the great things, the Lord will seem very far away from us when we do seek after Him. This will appear to be God’s will, and that will appear to be God’s will. Every way will appear to be the right way. Then it is difficult to find God’s will even though we try. We should seek after God’s will in small things as well as in big things. We should familiarize ourselves with God’s will every day so that when something suddenly happens to us, it will not be hard for us to know His will. We should be well acquainted with His will so that we build up for ourselves a habit of knowing His will. Then whatever happens, we will find ourselves knowing His will and acting according to His will. Of course, Satan is most crafty. Once he knows that we are seeking God’s will in everything, he will raise many small suggestions in our mind and make us think that this or that is God’s will. His suggestions are often contrary to common sense. For example, we may be walking down a road, and the proper way may be to take the main street. But he may tell us to take a winding and tortuous path. These things happen frequently. Every day he will try to counterfeit God’s will. He will tell us many things. At these times we should take an opposing stand against Satan. We should do as was mentioned above—test to see if what we have encountered is God’s will. At times it is possible for extraordinary things to happen; God may instruct us to take the circuitous way in order to protect us. Although God has His will in everything, God does not annul our reasoning in the small things. After our mind has been renewed by the Holy Spirit, God’s Spirit leads us through our reasoning in all the small matters. Therefore, we must not be deceived by Satan in the small things. We should exercise our discernment to differentiate. Sometimes Satan will accuse us when we do not follow his counterfeit will, and tell us that we have gone off from God’s will. At such times we have to withstand him. (Please note that this paragraph only applies to the small things.)

(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 02: The Word of the Cross, Chapter 5, by Watchman Nee)