PRACTICING THE LORD’S PRESENT RECOVERY
ACCORDING TO OUR SITUATION
IN A GRADUAL AND POSITIVE WAY
You also must take good care of the present situation you are in. You may be in a local church that is not so high, so living, or so encouraging. Hardly anyone may like to visit people by knocking on their doors, and some may even oppose it. What should you do in such a situation? You may have been sick with the same disease, so you should be able to sympathize with all the sick ones. You should be patient with them. You need to visit these dear ones to pray with them, to have fellowship with them, to warm up their cold heart, and to stir up their down spirit. You may have to do this for an entire year to get a few to rise up to realize the burden you are bearing. I believe the proverb that says: "Where there is a will, there is a way."
We need to practice the Lord’s present recovery, His new way, but we should not be too hasty or rough. We need to be patient with the saints and we should not categorize them. We should love everyone with the same love and avoid creating any kind of division. We need to be with the saints the way Paul was in Ephesus. He told the brothers there, "You yourselves know..how I was with you all the time" (Acts 20:18). He was with the saints day by day for three years. Many of us may have to work for a living, but we still should have the evenings and weekends to give to the Lord. We can use our leisure time for the Lord’s interests.
The unbelievers spend much time for their pleasure, amusement, and recreation. Actually, the best amusement is the church life. A brother among us told the story of his grandfather who was a baker. He worked in a bakery from 4 a.m. to 4 p.m., but nearly every day the first thing he did when he came home from work was to go and visit people for the Lord. No matter how we labor, it is much better than being idle. How wonderful it is to be in the Lord’s recovery, and now by His mercy we have a way to practice the church life by the preaching of the gospel, home meetings, small group meetings, and church meetings. This way is full of labor but also full of joy. If we take this way, we will enjoy the Lord’s presence, and we, our family, and our church will be greatly blessed.
According to our present situation, I feel that the wisest thing is for us to go on in a positive way. We must bring the saints into the full realization of the new way gradually by the Lord’s leading. We should not lead the church into this in a hasty way. I want to point out again that the new way is composed of the following steps: 1) preaching the gospel for begetting; 2) having home meetings for nourishing; 3) having group meetings for teaching; and 4) having church meetings for building.
(Elders' Training, Book 09: The Eldership and the God-Ordained Way (1), Chapter 9, by Witness Lee)