THE CONSECRATION OF OUR BODIES
BEING THE CONSECRATION OF OUR TIME
How can a person consecrate his body? Brother Suen answered that we have to not love our life unto the death. However, I am afraid that rarely do we encounter death experiences in our lifetime. Others answered that we have to serve, to consider all things as dung, or to not love the world.
Brothers and sisters, the consecration of the bodies is the consecration of time. The body is limited to time. When we present our time, we present our bodies. If we do not present our time, we will not be able to present our bodies. In order to serve the Lord, we have to set aside definite times for the Lord’s work. Some people say that they read the Bible and pray from morning until evening. However, we are not counting merely on these things. What is really precious is for a person to set aside two hours a week to devote himself fully to the service of the Lord. With many people, their service today is a kind of capricious service. They do not set aside time consciously. Instead, they do it whenever they like to and give it up whenever they do not like it. The consecration that we are speaking of is definite. It is not a matter of joining the crowd. Today, the church needs more brothers and sisters to consecrate their time. If some brothers and sisters will exercise themselves to give a third or even half of their time to the Lord, not for serving as a preacher, but in the way of presenting their bodies, God will be able to take great strides among us. Suppose the responsible brothers would take up a job in the morning and would devote themselves to serving the Lord in the afternoon. They may be holding a job, but at the same time they set aside definite times to work for the Lord in the church, and they allocate definite periods of time for the Lord’s use. This would be a most beautiful thing to have. I hope that the brothers and sisters among us would start practicing this even from their youth.
All the services spoken of in Romans 12 require time. To manage, to teach, or to exhort, all require time. If a person does not present his time, the services of the Body will never be realized. If a brother spends a lot of time on his business, how can he participate in all these services?
Concerning money, a person should also set aside one-tenth of what he has to the Lord in a definite way. Even if you are without food and without clothing, you nevertheless have to set aside this one-tenth to the Lord. Later, the Lord may lead you to offer up two-tenths, or three-tenths. The young brothers and sisters should be legal about this and should be as strict as possible about it.
If our time is presented, our bodies will be presented also. When our bodies are presented, the work will come, and the blessings will come. The more we serve, the more there will be things in which to serve, and we will never find a day of rest. When the Brethren were raised up in England in the nineteenth century, everyone put in their hearts and their time. As a result, the Lord blessed them. Today, in London alone there are two hundred eighty of their meeting places. We all love the Lord today, and we have all consecrated our hearts to Him. What we need to do now is to present our time. This is a word for practice.
(Messages Given During the Resumption of Watchman Nee's Ministry (2 volume set), Chapter 51, by Watchman Nee/Witness Lee)