TAKING THE LORD’S PERSONALITY
Suppose I tell a certain brother that I love him. This involves a lot. He is a person with a strong personality, having his own will, desires, and intentions. He also has his likes and dislikes. I say I love him, but does this mean that I ask him to follow my desire? This is not love; this is a demand. If I really love him, I must follow his desire. This is why the Lord told Simon Peter to follow Him after Peter said that he loved Him. The Lord was saying that to take Him as our life and as our Person, we must take His desire as our desire. We must take His will as our will. We must take His intention as our intention. To love Him as a Person, we must take His personality.
If you are a husband, do you really love your wife? The best way to love your wife is by taking her personality, taking her will as your will. Suppose I am a husband, and I tell my dear wife, “Oh, I love you, but you must realize that I am the head! You have to submit yourself to me! Whatever I say, you must follow me!” Is this love? If I really know what love is, I would take her personality as my personality. I would take her will as my will. I would take her intention as my intention. However, to say this is easy, but to do it requires real love.
With the sisters it is the same. Do not say that because you love your husband, you prepare something for him. You may think that you prove your love in this way, but he may not like what you prepare. Merely to prepare something for him is not love. To love him is to take his desire as your desire, and to take his personality as your personality.
We may have many teachings with all the gifts and power, and yet we would not take the personality of Christ. The Lord Jesus does not need someone who has teachings, gifts, and power. He needs someone like Peter to love Him, someone to tell Him, “O Lord Jesus, I love You! I follow You. I take You as my Person. I take Your personality as my personality. I take Your will as my will. I take Your desire as my desire. I don’t care for teachings, gifts, and power. I just care for Yourself. I love You, and I follow You, taking You as my Person.”
During the past years of my Christian life, I have heard many teachings, and I have been taught to do many things. But nothing works unless we love the Lord Jesus. Some people teach that we must reckon ourselves dead with Christ. But if we do not love Him, regardless of how much we reckon ourselves dead, we are never dead. On the other hand, if we say from our heart, “Lord Jesus, I love You; I take Your personality as my personality,” there is no need for us to reckon ourselves dead; we are dead already.
Others teach about holiness. But what is holiness? Holiness is simply the Lord Jesus Himself. If we try to be holy and have holiness, we get nothing. But if we just tell the Lord all day long, “Lord Jesus, I love You,” something will happen. When we are in the department store, let us say with every item we pick up, “Lord Jesus, I love You.” Automatically so many things will be dropped. Eventually, we will come home with nothing but the Lord Jesus. When we are home we will still say, “Lord Jesus, I love You.”
Brother John Nelson Darby lived to be over eighty-four years of age. One day when he was quite old, he was traveling and stayed overnight in a hotel. Before going to sleep, he said to the Lord, “Lord Jesus, I still love You.” None of his writings inspired me as much as this single short sentence. That short word touched my heart. By that time he was quite old, yet he could still speak such a word to the Lord. It was many years ago when I read this. I immediately told the Lord, “Lord, keep me loving You all the time. I just ask You to do this one thing.”
FOLLOW AFTER LOVE
Give yourself to love the Lord. No other way is so prevailing, and no other way is so safe, so rich, and so full of enjoyment. Just love Him. Do not care for anything else. Teachings, doctrines, gifts, and power do not mean much. We must continually tell the Lord, “Lord, keep me in Your love! Attract me with Yourself! Keep me all the time in Your loving presence!” If we will pray in this way, we will see what love we will have toward the Lord and what kind of life we will live. We will simply live by the Lord Himself. As long as we love Him from the deepest part of our being, everything will be all right. If we need wisdom, He will be the wisdom to us. If we need power, He will be the power. If we need the proper and adequate knowledge, He will even be that to us. Whatever we need, He is. Do not try to get anything else; just look to Him that He would reveal His love to you. Song of Songs 1:4 says, “Draw me, we will run after thee.” We must ask the Lord to draw us, and then others will run after Him with us. To take Him as our life, we must love Him in such a way.
In Revelation 2 the degradation of the church began with the loss of the first love toward the Lord Jesus. The church in Ephesus had many good works and was even strong in faith, but the Lord rebuked her by saying, “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” They had lost the fresh and best love toward the Lord. This started the degradation of the churches. When we lose our love for the Lord, we start to backslide. We must go to the Lord and make a deal with Him: “Lord, be merciful to me! I do not need anything or anyone else but Your loving Self. Simply show me Yourself! Draw me that we may run after You. O Lord, show me Your love that I might be constrained by Your love! I do not want to do anything for You, Lord. I just want to love You. I just want to take You as my Person. I want Your personality as my personality, Your will as my will, Your desires as my desires. I want Your everything as my everything.”
Thus, we see that it is not simply a matter of believing, but also a matter of loving. We must learn to love the Lord Jesus. If we would have such a burning love toward the Lord Jesus, we will enjoy all that He is. Therefore, I do not encourage you to seek anything else. Go to the Lord and ask Him to draw you that you may run after Him. You must realize that the “zoe-life” is such a loving, wonderful Person and that love is the way to deal with Him.
(Life and Building as Portrayed in the Song of Songs, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)