THE BELIEVERS’ GIVING
"Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews. For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place...and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" (Esth. 4:13-14). I am greatly reminded whenever I read these verses that at that time Esther’s brothers, the Jews, were in an extremely dangerous situation. They were soon to be annihilated by their enemy. Besides Esther, probably no one else could have saved them. Here, Mordecai’s warning to her was really God’s advice to those who have the ability to help their brothers. To save the Jews is God’s purpose. God has ordained that His people be saved. He could not bear to see His people suffer. God respected Esther and desired to use her as an instrument to help save the Jews. If Esther failed God, then God would have to select another vessel to save His people. Esther then would lose the glory of assisting God and the joy of helping her people. Because the Jews must get "enlargement and deliverance...from another place."
At present among God’s children there are many in need. They have many needs not only in spiritual things but also in material things. Many servants and handmaids of the Lord are willing to give up everything to go out and preach for the sake of the Lord and to take nothing from the Gentiles (3 John 7). They are indeed poor materially. For the need of His children, God "will fill your every need" (Phil. 4:19), because He will not put to shame those who rely on Him. This is God’s ordination and His purpose.
At present He is choosing the vessels for His work, the channels for the river to flow through.
God respects you and grants you the glory of assisting Him. We should realize that to give to God’s children is not to our loss. To "give" is not to "lose," and to "donate" is not to "diminish." When you give alms, there is nothing to boast of. On the contrary, it is your glory that God would esteem you, honor you, and use you. May we not belittle such glory. "Then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place." If you fail the Lord by shirking from what He wants you to do, do you think that the Lord has no other way? Indeed, He still has "another place." Of necessity He will search for others, but you will lose your opportunity to show your allegiance to the King! You will be belittling God’s esteem and disregarding God’s good intention in honoring you! Thus, you will fail God, and God will be delayed in His purpose for man. However, with Him is the source of riches. Originally He intended to honor men by allowing them to participate in His miracles and in His work. If they all fail, will He not rain manna from heaven or dispatch ravens again? Nevertheless, He will always have His "another place." The pity, of course, will be that we will lose the joy and the glory of co-working with Him. All those who have intimate fellowship with the Lord know the value of co-working with God. Those who make the Lord’s heart their heart know the misery of disappointing the Lord. If the Lord will use His word to divide our soul from our spirit and will give us the experience of ascension, we will know how to sympathize with Him and how to take His interest as our interest. In such a case, we will certainly not be so indifferent toward the work of God’s other children on earth.
Finally we should remember, "Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" The Lord allows you to have a surplus today in order that you may give today.
(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 07: The Christian (5), Chapter 24, by Watchman Nee)