REMEMBERING WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE WE ARE
In our practical Christian experience, we must always remember what we are. We must remember that according to our fallen nature, we are corrupt and evil. When we appreciate or think very highly of ourselves, we can easily be mistaken. When spouses lose their temper and exchange words with one another, if the husband considers himself to be better than his wife, his anger seems to increase. But if the husband remembers that he is mean, dirty, ugly, and altogether of no use, his anger will be reduced. Sometimes, as we are about to criticize someone else, we are reminded about our own condition. This kind of remembrance always keeps us in our proper place and saves us from making mistakes. Every day we all need to be reminded concerning what kind of people we are.
We were created by God in a wonderful way, but we were also spoiled and contaminated by Satan. We were redeemed and saved by the Lord, but we still have our fallen body which is full of filthy, evil lusts. For this reason we groan that we might be delivered from our corrupted, fallen body (Rom. 8:23). Because our entire being was contaminated, we need the blood of Jesus Christ to continually and constantly cleanse us from all sin (1 John 1:7). The cleansing of the blood is like a shower which runs all the time. Under this cleansing current, contamination is taken away. But when we are not under this cleansing, contamination returns. Therefore, we need to apply the cleansing of the blood many times throughout the day.
In the Old Testament, the priests offered many offerings daily. These offerings signify Christ in His various aspects. We must offer Christ as our daily sin offering and trespass offering for our continual cleansing (see Experiencing Christ as the Offerings for the Church Meetings, pp. 69-97, published by the Living Stream Ministry). Many times throughout the day we need to apply the blood of Christ to our case.
The remembrance of our rottenness and corruption saves, safeguards, and protects us. To consider that we are above others because of our level of education or national heritage really damages us. We must always realize and be reminded that we are corrupt people, that our body of flesh is full of lusts, that our soul is saturated with the evil one, making our self the embodiment of Satan (Matt. 16:23), and that our spirit is deadened. Though our spirit has certainly been regenerated (John 3:6), it is still under a deadening condition today. Second Corinthians 7:1 says that we must cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit. This defilement of our spirit is the deadening of our spirit. The reason our spirit is often empty, dry, low, and contaminated is because it is not so living. Because our spirit is deadened, it is easy for us to lose our temper or to criticize others, but it is difficult to praise the Lord. At morning watch, our spirit may become very living, but at other times during the day, our spirit is not so living. So, it is easy for it to be contaminated. A lifeless, wooden pole can easily become dirty or contaminated, but not a living tree.
HAVING NO CONFIDENCE IN THE FLESH
When we remember that we are persons whose bodies are full of lust, whose souls have become one with Satan, and whose spirits are deadened, we will have no confidence or trust in ourselves. Paul was such a person. According to Philippians 3:3, Paul boasted in Christ Jesus and had no confidence in the flesh. He had no confidence in himself, so he did not trust in himself. This kind of experience brought Paul to trust in the Lord Himself. We need to experience the same thing. We must realize that there is no one for us to trust in but Christ. Our trust must altogether be in Him, and without Him, we are just pitiful people. We should not say that we are anything; it is better for us to say that we are nothing. We are pitiful people who need the Lord.
In order to know the experience and growth of life, we do need to know a number of different teachings throughout the Bible. Yet, in addition to these things, we also need to know two very crucial things. First, we need to know that the Lord Jesus has made Himself one with us (1 Cor. 6:17). As a result, we should no longer live a life by ourselves; we must live a life with Him. Second, we must know that our entire being—spirit, soul, and body—has been corrupted. Therefore, we should have no trust or confidence in ourselves. With these two realizations, we may pray, “Lord, I have no trust or confidence in myself. My trust is altogether in You. Without You, I am just a pitiful person. Without You or apart from You, I can do nothing. But in You, the One who empowers me, I can do all things.” This is the Christian life.
(The Experience and Growth in Life, Chapter 30, by Witness Lee)