THE BELIEVERS’ RECEIVING AND ENJOYING OF CHRIST
Every living creature needs to grow and to mature. An inorganic object does not have life; hence, it does not need to grow. The human life is the highest life in God’s creation. Today, in addition to our human life, we have God within us as life. The divine life needs to grow all the more. The growth in life depends on the increase of the life supply. We need to receive the supply in the milk of the word. We also need to receive nourishment through the solid food. Many Christians do not grow. They are like a person with an ulcer: although they may eat a lot, they do not assimilate the food. When they come to listen to a message, they may criticize the speaker. Of course, this kind of person cannot receive the supply of life and cannot grow in life.
There are conditions to the growth in life. For a plant to grow, first, there is the need of sunlight; second, there is the need of air; and third, there is the need of water. After these things, there is still the need of nutrients and the soil. If they have these five things, plants can grow well. When we read the Bible, we see that Christ is the real soil; He is the good land (Col. 2:6-7). He is also the light, the air, and the water (John 8:12; 20:22; 7:37-39). At the same time, Christ is the food (John 6:27, 33). This food is our nutrient.
Christ as Daily Food to the Believers
Christ is all the elements for our growth. But how can we receive and enjoy all these items of Christ? First, we must know the Bible. The Bible is not a book for the increase of our knowledge. No doubt the Bible is a book of teaching. However, it is not merely a book for our mental knowledge, but one that supplies us with food through its teachings. The Bible is a heavenly, spiritual, and mysterious book. It is full of symbols. It says that Christ is the unleavened bread (1 Cor. 5:8), the Lamb of God (John 1:29), and the living water (John 4:10; 7:38-39). All these are symbols that speak of spiritual realities.
When we read the Bible, we must come before the Lord to have a quiet time to take in His word as food. We not only need to read the Bible, but we also need to pray with what we read. We must turn the words that we read into prayer. Through this kind of pray-reading, we bring the words that we read into the Holy Spirit, and the words will become spirit. When we read the Bible, we receive the Lord’s word. When we pray, the words that we receive become the Spirit. The word and the Spirit are one. When we receive the word, this word becomes the Spirit within us. When we speak it out to others, it becomes the word again, and when others receive this word, it again becomes the Spirit in them. This is why the Lord Jesus said in John 6:63, "The words which I have spoken unto you are spirit and are life." This is the supply of life, and it is also the dispensing of life.
Christ is the bread of life based on His being the word, which is spirit and life (John 6:63). When we the believers receive the word of Christ, we receive and enjoy Christ Himself in spirit. By receiving the Lord’s word in reading the Bible, and by contacting the Lord’s Spirit in prayer, we receive and enjoy Christ (Eph. 6:17-18a).
Just as we need to take our meals daily at set times, so we need to come to the Lord at set times every day (cf. Psa. 55:17) to feast on and be filled with God through His word and His Spirit. It is not healthy to stuff ourselves with food for three days and then go without food for the next three days. All healthy people eat at set times and eat a fixed amount of food; they eat frequently but in moderation.
Christ is our daily manna; He is our food (John 6:31-35, 48-51). The most important time to receive Christ as food is the time of the morning revival (Psa. 119:147-148; 143:8; Lam. 3:22-26). We need to spend twenty to thirty minutes every day to pray-read three to five verses. When we pray-read in this way, we are eating, drinking, and enjoying God. The word is the embodiment of the Triune God. When we eat, drink, and enjoy God’s word, we eat, drink, enjoy, and assimilate God. In this way, we receive God’s rich supply and His bountiful dispensing.
In addition to the above, during our morning break, our lunch hour, our afternoon break, and when we return home in the evening, we can take out the Lord’s Word and enjoy it in this way. If we do this, we will become one who enjoys and receives the Lord through His word, and our spiritual life will surely be healthy and living.
Furthermore, when we pray-read the Lord’s word, we not only need to receive and enjoy the sweet supply in the Lord’s word, but we also must receive the enlightening and rebuking of the Lord’s word, and the killing function of the Spirit in the Lord’s word (Eph. 5:13-14; Rom. 8:13). The Lord’s word always enlightens. With this enlightening, there is a rebuking. In our daily life, we often offend the Lord and are defiled by the filth of the world. We often walk by the flesh and make mistakes. Through His word the Lord enlightens us, rebukes us, and points out our shortcomings. We do not need improvement. Our only need is to hand over our transgressions to the cross through the Spirit in our spirit, and to allow the effectiveness of Christ’s all-inclusive death to do the killing work. In this way, we will not only receive the supply and dispensing of all the riches of the Triune God, but we will also be washed and rescued through the water in His word.
(A message given by Brother Witness Lee in San Francisco, California, on August 25, 1990)
(The Economy and Dispensing of God, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)