PAYING THE PRICE TO DEAL WITH THE CONSCIENCE
With some people, right after they are saved, they begin to deal with their conscience before God in a thorough way. I was saved in 1925. From 1932 to 1935, I learned to deal with my conscience in a severe way. During those few years, it seemed as if I learned no other lesson except to deal with my conscience. By 1935, I could say that my conscience was clean. If a man wants to go to a place by train, he has to buy his ticket at the station, and he has to board the train. If he does not buy his ticket and does not board the train, but instead walks day and night in the countryside, it will be difficult for him to arrive at his destination. In the same way, if a man wants to go on in God’s way, he must obey the Lord. A person can preach the gospel, work, manage a church, and study the Bible, but if he does not obey the Lord, he has not taken a single step forward in God’s way. If a person truly obeys the Lord, the Lord will give him feelings within. Once he deals with one feeling, a second feeling will come. What we need to find today is the way, and not the doctrine.
Let me ask if there are any among us here who have thoroughly dealt with their conscience. If there are, please raise up your hand. Today, there are many preachers, evangelists, and students of the Bible. But there are very few people who seriously deal with their conscience. Many Christians act according to the way their mind analyzes matters. If a thing suits their taste, they will accept it. If it does not suit their taste, they will reject it. But we have to learn to be a person who walks according to the inner feeling and the peace within. Only this kind of person will know God. Today, we have to be delivered from man’s rule into God’s rule. Ephesians 4:19 says that some have cast off all feelings. We cannot cast off our feelings. You can give me two billion dollars. But if my conscience will not give me peace about it, I would rather not take it.
A little chicken does not need us to help it to come out of its shell. If we try to help it, the little chicken will surely not survive well. Only those chickens that come out by themselves will be strong. Today, in order to follow the Lord we have to pay the price. It is difficult for those who will not pay the price to know God. What is it to pay the price? The real price is to cut off our heads. It does not take much of a price to listen to a message. The real price demands that we have our heads taken off. Today, we cannot know God with our head; we have to know Him with our heart. Suppose a child sits in the snow with no clothes on. Others may criticize and study how to clothe the child. But when the mother of the child sees the situation, she will run over and cover him with her own clothing. This is the difference between studying in the mind and paying the price in a real way.
GOD’S CENTRAL WORK
Today, we have to see what God’s work is, and we have to know what is God’s central work in man. We must be led to see the way to receive God’s life. After we receive this life, we should know how to live in this life, so that God can have a way among us. This is God’s central work.
Many people today like to be the peanut shells. Some are worse; they cannot even be compared to the peanut leaves. May the Lord be merciful to us that many of us would be raised up to be the peanut seeds who supply life to others. Only the peanut seeds will grow peanuts when they are planted in the earth. If a person plants the shell or the leaves in the earth, they will never bear peanuts. What we need today is not peripheral works, but God’s central work.
(Messages Given During the Resumption of Watchman Nee's Ministry (2 volume set), Chapter 27, by Watchman Nee/Witness Lee)