PRACTICING TO GIVE HEED NOT TO PEOPLE, MATTERS, AND THINGS BUT ONLY TO CHRIST
The Lord must have mercy upon us. The measure of the reality, weight, height, and glory of our church life is determined by the extent to which we live by Christ and live out Christ. Thus, my burden is to fellowship with you on this point. When you have the light, you will focus your eyes on Christ. If you have a problem with your husband, forget your husband; if you have a problem with your wife, forget your wife; if you have a problem with your temper, forget your temper; if you have a problem with your circumstance, forget your circumstance. Just do not forget this One—Christ.
You do not need to deal with your circumstance or with yourself because there is no way to deal with yourself. The more you deal with the self, the more difficult it becomes to be dealt with; the more you deal with it, the more it needs to be dealt with. This is our experience. No matter what, the real subjective truth today is to not deal with yourself but to contact Christ. Do not deal with your temper, your weakness, your shortcoming, or your circumstance. Do not focus your eyes on yourself or on any person, matter, or thing. You just need to gaze on Christ, contact Christ, and let Christ live Himself out of you.
A certain brother often came to me and asked, “Brother Lee, what do you think about the way I did this thing? Was it good or bad?” Or he would ask, “Brother Lee, what do you think about my haircut? Is it good or bad?” When he questioned me this way, I never told him that the thing he did was good or bad or that his haircut was good or bad. I would always tell him, “For your haircut, you need to get in touch with the Lord, contact the Lord. Instead of paying attention to your hair, contact the Lord. When you encounter a certain matter, whether great or small, you must first put the matter aside and contact the Lord.” Some sisters also asked me, “Brother Lee, do you approve of our clothing?” I would always tell them, “You should not care about your clothing; instead, care for Christ. You need to contact the Lord about what to wear. You should ask the Lord, ‘Lord, it is You who live in me. What do You want to wear?’”
Not only did I speak concerning this truth twenty-eight years ago at the meeting hall on Jen Ai Road here in Taipei, but when I came back in 1967, I solemnly spoke again on Christ as our person. However, now I wish to ask you, “Today, this very day, how much have you allowed Christ practically to be your person?” Not much. The truth remains the truth—in actuality we pay too much attention to people, matters, and things, dealing with them all day long. Daily we are concerned with: “What shall I do with my temper?” “I am a quick person, so what shall I do?” “I am a slow person, so what shall I do?” “I cannot coordinate with the brothers and sisters in my home meeting, so what shall I do?” “I cannot get along with my husband and my in-laws, so what shall I do?” Brothers and sisters, we must see that these are all Satan’s deceptions, Satan’s distracting schemes, to draw our heart away from Christ. You and I must see that we ought to be like Peter and John on the Mount of Transfiguration: “They saw no one except Jesus Himself alone” (Matt. 17:8). At home, it should be that you do not see your temper, your impatience, your wife, your husband, your children, your in-laws, and not even yourself; you must see Jesus only. This is to see no one except Jesus Himself alone. I do not care about my temper; I only care to contact the Lord. The Lord is my life, my disposition, and even my person. Brothers and sisters, if the Lord is to have a strong revival in the church today, a revival that is up to the standard, there must be among us many who live by Christ in this way.
CHRIST LIVING, BEING FORMED, AND MAKING HIS HOME IN US
Yesterday morning I said that the light in the church is a sevenfold intensified light. When you are about to lose your temper, the light will shine. Once it shines, your temper is gone. However, this is only on the negative side. What I am speaking tonight is on the positive side. It is not enough to refrain from losing your temper or to be without a temper. You need to let Christ live out of you. “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.”
In pitiful Christianity there is no such thing. Some even say, “Christ is only sitting in heaven; Christ cannot be in the believers.” They also say, “Believers do not have God’s nature in them.” This truly is heresy. The New Testament clearly tells us, “Or do you not realize about yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you, unless you are disapproved?” (2 Cor. 13:5). It also says, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). Not only so, Paul also said, “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me” (Gal. 2:20). It is not just that Christ is doing things for me, helping me, and strengthening me; it is that Christ is living in me.
We must know that to let Christ live in us is not a small thing. Suppose I come to visit you in your home. I may sit there for several hours, but that does not mean that I live there. Only your family members live in your home. The Lord Jesus does not merely stay in us; He lives in us. Today many in Christianity only see the biblical record of Christ’s being taken up in ascension after His resurrection. Hence, they do not understand how Christ can be sitting in heaven and living in us at the same time. They have a one-sided truth, paying attention only to the objective side and neglecting the subjective side. On the one hand, it is true that Christ is sitting in heaven; but on the other hand, it is also true that Christ is in us and even is living in us.
Not only so, in Galatians 4:19 Paul said, “I travail again in birth until Christ is formed in you.” Christ is in you but has not yet been fully formed. What does this mean? This word indicates that, on the one hand, the Christians in Galatia believed in Christ and had Christ within them; on the other hand, they were influenced by the Jewish religion and filled with Judaistic concepts, legalistic ideas, and Old Testament views. Therefore, they did not fully give room to Christ that Christ might be able to spread Himself. Thus, Paul seemed to say, “I have to travail again in birth for you that you may give all the ground within you absolutely to Christ by getting rid of all the concepts of Judaism, the ideas concerning the law, and all the things of the Old Testament that are still in you. In this way Christ will be fully formed in you.” This shows us how real and subjective it is that Christ is in us!
Then, in Ephesians 3, Paul said, “I bow my knees unto the Father…that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man” (vv. 14, 16). This is to be strengthened into our spirit, into our new man, “that Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith” (v. 17). We all understand the meaning of making home. After you move into a new house, you start to furnish the rooms and make them look attractive. You consider a suitable arrangement for the bed, the dining table, and the desk, and then place them accordingly. This is to make home. Probably Christ has not been formed in us, much less has He made home in us. Therefore, today we need God to grant us grace by strengthening us into our inner man that we may let Christ make home in our hearts.
Our heart is composed of several parts, including the emotion, mind, will, and more. We need to open up one part at a time to allow Christ to make His home in each and every part, just as when we first move into a new house, we settle in room by room. Suppose there are two rooms that are still not opened; that means we have not yet made home in those two rooms. Today Christ in us must be so subjective that He could make Himself at home and reside in our entire being. The result is “that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God” (v. 19b).
All this should not be mere doctrine. Perhaps not many Christians have heard this teaching, but among us we have heard it very much. Therefore, brothers and sisters, tonight before the Lord you must solemnly consider this matter and ask, “O Lord, in my practical living day by day, are You living in me? O Lord, are You being formed in me? Have I given every bit of room within me to You? O Lord, have You made Your home in me?” This is not a doctrine.
Here a question might arise. Who is this Lord who is in us? He is the Triune God. The Lord who is in us is not only Christ but also the embodiment of God. He is the Triune God. The Father is in the Son, and the Son is the Spirit. He is not in us as a representative, and all the more He is not in us as a doctrine. He is in us today not only as our life, but also as the Lord of all, a person, complete and unique. He is the Triune God as the life-giving Spirit living in us. Brothers and sisters, I want to ask you, “Is this a doctrine or an experience to you?” We must say, “O Lord, have mercy on us. If this has not yet become our experience, we pray that You will make it our experience.”
(The Subjective Truths in the Holy Scriptures, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)