Obsession is a tragic thing. God’s children must not be obsessed. Those who are obsessed do not see the true nature of things. In the following paragraphs we will consider the way to see the true nature of things and the way to be saved from obsession.
Isaiah 50:10-11 says, “Who among you fears Jehovah;/ Who hears the voice of His servant;/Who walks in darkness/ And has no light?/Let him trust in the name of Jehovah,/And rely on his God./Behold, all of you who kindle a fire,/Who surround yourselves with firebrands,/Walk into the light of your fire/And into the firebrands which you have lit./You will have this from My hand:/You will lie down in torment.”
Verse 10 is not that easy to understand. If we change the punctuation according to the following way, the meaning may become somewhat clearer: “Who among you fears Jehovah; who hears the voice of His servant—who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of Jehovah, and rely on his God.” This means, “Is there anyone among you who fears the Lord and obeys the voice of His servant?” If someone wants to obey the voice of the Lord’s servant yet walks in darkness and does not have the light, what should he do? He should “trust in the name of Jehovah,/And rely on his God.”
Verse 11 says, “Behold, all of you who kindle a fire,/Who surround yourselves with firebrands,/Walk into the light of your fire/And into the firebrands which you have lit./You will have this from My hand:/You will lie down in torment.” When the Israelites were walking in darkness and did not have the light, it was natural for them to kindle a fire and surround themselves with firebrands. Is it not good that they walked in the light of their fire and in the firebrands that they kindled? No, the result was that they would lie down in torment. Spiritual darkness cannot be removed by human fires. Light comes from God alone and does not come from man. Man’s fire will never bring about genuine spiritual sight.
Our own fire can never be the source of spiritual light. Some Christians have said, “How can you say that I was wrong? I do not think that I was at all wrong. I do not feel that I was wrong at all.” You may think that you are not wrong, you may feel that you are not wrong, and you may believe that you are not wrong, but are you reliable? Some Christians have said, “I have considered a certain matter for a long time. I can say for sure that it should be done this way or that way.” Can you make judgment just because you have thought a matter over? According to God’s Word, this is not the way for Christians to know things. You can try your best to think, but what you come up with is just human fire. A Christian cannot go on in the spiritual pathway by his own fire. He should trust in the name of the Lord and rely upon his God. Only then will he see and only then will he be able to go on in the spiritual pathway. Many times, the more we think by ourselves, the more confused and deceived we become. We must see that spiritual light does not come from our feelings or our thoughts. The more a person searches inwardly for light, the more he will not find light, because light is not there.
Let us read Psalm 36:9: “For with You is the fountain of life;/In Your light we see light.” This shows us that through God’s light, a man sees light and the true condition of things. “In Your light we see light.” The first light is the enlightening light, and the second light denotes the true nature of things. This means that we can only see the true nature of anything when we are in the light of God. One only sees the true nature of something when he lives in God’s light.
Brothers and sisters, it makes a great difference where we live. We must live in God’s light before we can be one who sees. Some Christians command our respect not because they are good men, but because they live before the Lord. First John 1:5 says, “God is light.” All those who know God know the light. We can find God from those who know the light. Once we meet a person who knows God’s light, he will know our true condition, and he will be able to point out our error. He is not fastidious; he is merely sharp with his inward eyes, and he can discover the true condition of things easily. Those who do not have the light may consider some things very good. But those who have the light will discern the true nature of these things. Only those who live in God’s light will see light. Only those who live in God’s light will see the true nature of things. When a man is under the strong light of the sun, there is no need for him to use a torchlight. Those who are under God’s light have no need of human fire. If a man lives in God’s light, the true nature of things will be as clear and bright as light itself. If a man is under God’s light, he will discern the intrinsic nature of things. The only time a person genuinely knows himself is when he knows himself under God’s light. If we are not in God’s light, we may sin, but we will not feel the evil of sin. We may fail, but we will not feel the shame of failure. We may perform well outwardly, but inwardly we will not know how deceitful we are. We may be humble outwardly, but inwardly we will not know how proud we are. We may appear gentle outwardly, but inwardly we will not know how stubborn we are. We may appear spiritual outwardly, but inwardly we will not know how fleshly we are. When God’s light shines on us, our true condition will be exposed, and we will see and admit how blind we have been!
The difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament is that the Old Testament shows men what is right and what is wrong through outward laws, while the New Testament shows men the true nature of things through the Holy Spirit dwelling within. We often see our error through doctrines, but we do not see our error through God’s light. We have to realize that it is superficial to see our error through doctrines. Only when we see our error through God’s light is there a thorough seeing. When we are in God’s light we see what God sees. This is seeing the light in the light.
In order to not be obsessed, we need to live in God’s light. But the greatest temptation for us is to light our own fire. Whenever we encounter problems, we try to search inwardly to find out what is right and what is wrong. Brothers and sisters, this is not the way God wants us to take. We have to humble ourselves and admit that we are not trustworthy, that our judgments are not trustworthy, and that our thoughts and conduct are not trustworthy. It is possible for us to make mistakes. What we consider as right may not be right, and what we consider as wrong may not be wrong. What we consider as sweet may not be sweet, and what we consider as bitter may not be bitter. What we consider as light may not be light, and what we consider as darkness may not be darkness. We should not replace God’s light with our own light; we should receive our light from God.
The Lord said, “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is single, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is evil, your whole body will be dark. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Matt. 6:22-23). Once a Christian loses the inward light, he will become obsessed. It is very pitiful to fail to see what we should see and fail to know what we should know. We must ask God to enlighten us so that we can touch Him. The Christian life should not be one that is filled with questions, doubts, or uncertainties. We should see if something is right or not right. If we see, we will not be obsessed.
The Lord said, “If anyone resolves to do His will, he will know concerning the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself” (John 7:17). The condition for receiving the light is seeking after God’s will. Whenever we are faced with any situation, we should not be so confident to say whether it is right or wrong. We need to ask God for His mercy, so that we may have an absolute desire to do His will. Stubbornness, selfishness, and self-justification can all shut out God’s light. If we want God’s light, we need to be gentle and not selfish or self-assured. We must be humble. May the Lord save us day by day to live in His light, so that we know what is real and what is true. May the Lord deliver us from lies and obsessions.
(The Holy Spirit and Reality, Chapter 2, by Watchman Nee)