TAKING HEED TO LABOR
I feel that the great lack we have today in the matter of bringing Christ to the meetings is that our harvest is not rich. This is why sometimes when you come to testify, you try to use some gimmicks. I am not saying that you should refrain from all kinds of methods, but I am afraid that you have these without content. The gimmicks are for embellishment; they are not the content. I would prefer not to have any gimmicks or methods but rather to have more content. We cannot gain substance in our testimonies in only a few days; we need to labor for an extended period of time.
Brothers and sisters, we have to turn back to the Lord to have a harvest. We have to labor that we may grow something. Sometimes the Lord is like the grain sown into us; at other times He is in us as a small tree. This tree may be an olive tree, a vine, a fig tree, or a pomegranate tree. You need to cultivate it that it may grow and bear fruit. Then when you come to the meetings, you will have the firstfruit to offer to God.
The problem today is that when we come to the meetings, we only know how to release our spirit and call on the name of the Lord; we cannot present anything with substance to enjoy with others. This may be likened to coming to the feast empty-handed or with only a small pigeon, which is enough for only one meal. Since many are devoid of things to present, they have to resort to some amusing activities to make people laugh. Regrettably, everyone then remains empty within.
If we have an abundant harvest and are rich in grain, new wine, bulls, sheep, and pigeons, we can bring in our produce, basket upon basket and pile upon pile. We can present our bulls, sheep, pigeons, and fruit. That will be very rich. Everyone will be very supplied and will want to come back the next time.
I hope you will not spend your energy on gimmicks; rather, you will use your effort to produce a content. You need to sow the field, cultivate the fruit trees, tend the cattle, and take care of the pigeons. Subsequently, the crops in the field, the trees on the mountains, the bulls, sheep, and pigeons on the farm will all grow. You will be rich because everything in you will be continually growing. By this way the sower has seed, the eater has bread, and the offerer has something to offer. When everyone brings his riches to the meetings, the meetings will be delivered from all the old ways.
I have this much to say at this time. Now we all have learned to eat. We have learned that there are two kinds of eating. One is the eating in sowing, and the other is the eating in harvesting. The eating in sowing cannot constitute our worship; we need the eating in harvesting. When you bring the eating in harvesting, that will constitute the true worship and the genuine church life. The church needs this. We have to look to the Lord and open up to Him that we all may learn to be exercised in the matter of eating.
(Eating the Lord, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)