THE CONTENTS OF OUR COMMISSION
The five points of Paul’s commission in Acts 26:18 are all-inclusive. First, we need to open others’ eyes. Whenever you talk with people it should open their eyes. This is something different from merely teaching someone. This is the way to realize whether or not a ministry is living. If a ministry is living, it must open people’s eyes. A man may be quite learned, possessing a high degree, but when he speaks he does not open the eyes of people. On the other hand, another brother may be unskilled in utterance and even stammering in his speaking, but because of his vision he can open people’s eyes. When you have the heavenly vision, you will open others’ eyes even if you speak without eloquence. You may be dull in utterance, but skilled in opening people’s eyes. Saul as a young man in God’s plan had his eyes opened, so he knew how to open the inner eyes of others. Whether or not your word, your ministry, could open other people’s eyes depends upon how much you have seen and how much you have experienced.
What you speak should also turn people. Whoever listens to you speak should not be the same as he was before. You need to turn people from darkness to light and from the authority of Satan to God. Darkness is a sign of sin and death; light, a sign of righteousness and life (John 1:4; 8:12). The authority of Satan is Satan’s kingdom (Matt. 12:26 and note) which belongs to darkness. On the positive side, people have to be helped to realize the real forgiveness of sins from God, and also they need to receive Christ, the Son of God, as their portion.
These five points in Acts 26:18 must be the very contents of our commission which comes from a living vision of Christ, from the real experience of Christ. Because you are living under the heavenly vision, many times you will work unconsciously, and Christ will be ministered through you. You will have a surplus of Christ, and whenever you come to the meetings of the church you will exhibit Christ (see Hymns, 864). If we all would bring a surplus of Christ to the church meetings, Christ would be exhibited in a rich way. When people come into such a meeting they will see that we are weighty, living, and powerful. The Lord wants to recover Christ Himself to be realized by us as everything. Christ Himself is our knowledge, our teaching, our regulation, our form, our gifts, our power, our weight, and our riches. If you have Christ, you have everything. The Christian life is not a matter of religion, of teachings, of forms, of regulations, or of gifts, but a matter of Christ Himself
If you would be faithful to the Lord, the Lord could work out something through you to accomplish His eternal plan. However, if you take the traditional way, the religious way, the organizational way, you cannot carry out God’s plan. If you take the way of Christ, the living way (see Acts 9:2, note 21; and 2 Pet. 2:2, note 22), something wonderful will be worked out through you for the Lord. You may think that you do not have any gift or ability, but you will be a fruitful person bringing many able and gifted persons to the Lord. You will do this not merely by preaching or teaching but by a living contact with people, imparting Christ into them.
This young man, Saul of Tarsus, is a real example to us. It may be that in the entire Scriptures only the Lord Jesus as a man could exceed this man Saul, who was later called Paul. Paul even told us in 1 Timothy that he was a pattern to the believers (1:16). Saul was religious and natural, yet one day he received the heavenly vision and was converted from all things other than Christ to Christ Himself. From that day he became very useful in the hand of God and had a prevailing impact. The Lord was able to accomplish many wonderful things through him. This is the kind of person whom God can use today. May we all go to the Lord and pray, "Lord, here I am. I am open to You, to Your vision, to Your commission, and I am ready to pay any cost, any price. I want to count all things loss and count only Christ as gain. I am ready to be occupied, possessed, and filled by Christ." If we go to the Lord and spend some time with Him to receive the heavenly vision, we will have a living contact with Christ and be a living, functioning member of His living Body. Then we will be persons in God’s plan.
(A Young Man in God's Plan, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)