PAYING THE PRICE
God is very wise, and He knows how to deal with us. God does not ask us to pay anything for the first step. Both the first step and the last step are free. However, we must pay for the second step. Although we are poor and have nothing worth selling, we nevertheless must pay something. For example if the sisters would give up their love for shopping, the Lord Jesus would fill them up. Do not think that shopping is an insignificant thing. You cannot imagine how much the sisters are killed by their shopping! Suppose a sister is in a department store looking at a piece of material. The more she looks, the more the Lord within says, "Don’t touch it." However, she continues to look at it and then buys it. For at least three days she will be unable to pray. However, if she would drop her buying, on the way home she would be shouting and praising the Lord, saying "Hallelujah! Christ is Victor!" If you pay something, you will get something. If you pay the price of giving up shopping, you will gain more oil.
Sometimes it is easy for brothers to debate over doctrines and experiences. However, the more you debate, the more you lose. You must pay the price to give up debating. If you do this, immediately you will gain more oil. It is easy for the sisters to gossip and to talk about others. You need to pay the price of giving up gossiping. If you will give it up, you will gain more oil.
COOPERATING WITH THE LORD
If we are faithful in matters such as these, we will be giving the Lord the best cooperation. This means that we are opening ourselves to allow the Lord to spread into our being little by little. In this way He will saturate us, transform us, fill us, and make His home in our heart. We will gain an extra portion of oil in our vessel. Unfortunately, few Christians pay the price of offering the Lord the proper coordination. Although they may study the Bible or speak in tongues, they have little inward change and little inward transformation in life. Matthew, which is a book of seeds, does not emphasize teachings and gifts, and neither does such a basic book as Ephesians. Eventually, in Revelation, the book of harvest, there are no teachings and gifts, but there is life. There is the river of life flowing and the tree of life growing. This flowing and growing of life requires our cooperation. The seed cannot grow without proper coordination. What is proper coordination? It simply means to eliminate the stones, uproot the thorns, and make yourself the good ground. If you cooperate with the Lord, He will take the opportunity to spread Himself into every part of your being by the flowing of the river of life and the growing of the tree of life. By this you will be transformed, and the Triune God will saturate your whole inward being.
Actually, only one thing is crucial in God’s economy: the Triune God working Himself into your being. Everything must serve God’s intention of working Himself into our being and saturating us with the all-inclusive Spirit. First God enters our spirit, and then He spreads into our soul until finally we are matured in Christ as life. This maturity is the full coming, the full manifestation, of the kingdom.
(The Kingdom, Chapter 18, by Witness Lee)