Life-Study of Genesis, by Witness Lee

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Although the "Tyrian" father must die, the "Danite" mother, our human existence, must remain as a widow. Young people, if you take this word, after a number of years you will be able to say, "Lord, I thank You for that word about the ‘Tyrian’ father and ‘Danite’ mother. I have earned a doctor’s degree, and the father of this degree has died, but the ‘Danite’ mother still lives. As the son of this widowed mother, I still possess my skills." If you are like this, you will certainly be useful in the Lord’s hand.

Although we believe that the Lord is coming soon, we should still expect to have a long life on the earth for the Lord’s use. In my early ministry I repeatedly prayed Solomon’s prayer for wisdom in coming in and going out among God’s people (1 Kings 3:7, 9). I can testify that the Lord has answered my prayer, helping me learn how to behave in the house of God and how to come in and go out among the saints. In addition, I have often prayed that the Lord would give me long life. I do not want to learn the things of God and then die shortly afterwards. Rather, I want to live a long life so that everything I have learned may be useful. All the young people should have this attitude and say, "Lord, I know You are coming soon. But I don’t want to see You in resurrection—I want to see You in rapture. I want to live a long life until You come, not that I might have enjoyment, but that I might be useful for Your purpose on earth."

When my mother died in 1945, I wept. Although I have undergone many sufferings in the thirty-two years since then, I have hardly wept at all in these years. However, when in 1972 the news came to me that Brother Nee had died, I wept. I wept because I knew him intimately, had spent many years with him, and had received great help from him for the Lord’s recovery. Year after year, he saw new things and had new experiences. Nearly everything he learned he passed on to me. From 1952 until he went to the Lord in 1972, he was in prison. I am sure that during those twenty years he learned many things, but not one word came out. This was the real reason I wept. How different the situation would be today if Brother Nee were still alive among us. Although I thank the Lord for those who are bearing the ark with me, I nevertheless constantly have a deep feeling of loneliness. If Brother Nee and my other senior co-workers were still living, I would not have this feeling. When I was with them on mainland China, I had some more experienced ones with whom I could have fellowship. I could refer matters to them, and they would always render me the help I needed. But when I refer matters to the brothers today, I feel that I am alone. I hope that in the coming years all of you will have many others with you on your level.

That the "Tyrian" father must die and our mother must keep on living means that we should ask the Lord to give us a long life. We should say, "Lord, I don’t want to die early. I want to live to be eighty or ninety. If You do not come then, I am willing to die. But I still prefer to live until You come." We all, especially the young people, should pray like this.

The Lord has been merciful in answering my prayers for long life. But do not think that I have never had any diseases or illnesses. I have had a stomach ulcer, and it took me two and one half years to recover from a serious case of tuberculosis of the lungs. In order for our human existence to remain, we must stand against any weakness. Tell the Lord that you do not want to have a weak, unhealthy body. Do not think a spiritual person must be physically weak. Do not hold the concept that only by being physically weak can you learn to trust in the Lord. This concept is too spiritual. If you are too spiritual, you are not truly spiritual at all. Rather, you should say, "Lord, I don’t agree with having an unhealthy body. Grant me a good appetite, the proper digestion, and the best sleep. Lord, promise me, as you have promised others, that my strength would be as my days. Every day must be filled with strength. I don’t want to spend one day lying idly in bed. I refuse that kind of existence. I want to have a strong, healthy existence that is useful for Your purpose."

In addition to praying in this manner, you must also learn to take proper care of your body. Do not be unwise in your eating. The Lord has given me a good wife who exercises control over my eating. If it were not for her, I would take every opportunity to eat dessert. But because of her concern for my diet, I am healthy today. Daily, I eat the most healthy foods. Do not commit gradual suicide over a period of years by eating unwisely, but learn to keep yourself healthy. Take care of your body that your widowed "Danite" mother may go on living. Our purpose in this is not our health, but our being useful to the Lord.

In spite of the opposition, rumors, and criticisms, the Lord is opening doors throughout the country. He has given us an open door that no one is able to shut. But we are short of pillars. Recently, we have heard testimonies of what the Lord is doing in various places. However, we do not have the pillars to match the Lord’s move. Doors are also opening in Europe, but there are not enough pillars. We must admit that we are short of pillars. This lack is due to the past situation. But, beginning now, we must cut off our past and go on. The young people must arise and tell the whole universe that the past situation is over. Young people, speak to the Lord, saying, "We young people have no history. We all will rise up. Lord, be merciful to us and do everything You can in the next several years to make us all pillars." This is my burden. I long to see that after some years many young ones will be ready to be sent out. If we had two strong pillars to go to one of the new places, within a few months three other localities would open up. The open doors always multiply like this. We go to one place, and our going there opens up other places. It all depends upon the pillars.

Most of the older ones among us have wasted many years. All the years spent sitting in Christianity have been wasted. Year after year went by, but everything remained the same. Our young people must not be like this. Even one month must make a difference. Nevertheless, the older brothers and sisters should not be disappointed. It is not too late for them to go on. There is a great need for those who can shepherd others. We all must endeavor to become useful.

I am certain that the way we are now taking is absolutely right. Do not consider any other way—dive into this flow and stay in it. Use this opportunity to learn, to be trained, to be adjusted, to be saturated by the Lord, and to be made useful for Him. We all must learn this way and never return to the old way.

I hate the old way. According to the old way, many go to the meetings clinging to their opinions and thinking that they are so experienced. When the brothers minister the Word, they "discern" the message (actually they are being critical), wanting to determine whether or not the brothers are scriptural. It is not your responsibility to discern the brothers. Let the Lord take care of that. Instead, you must learn your own lessons and have all the dealings necessary to make you useful. We all should hold this attitude. Do not think that you are too old to be useful. Everyone who wants to be useful can become useful.

This is not a doctrine; it is my practical fellowship with you all, especially with the young ones. Young people, I hope that your whole being will be open so that you may make a clear decision and say, "Lord, this is it. From now on, I will do everything possible to learn all I need to learn. Lord, I ask You to help me in this matter. After I graduate, my ‘Tyrian’ father must die, but my ‘Danite’ mother must continue to exist. Lord, grant me this kind of living that I may be useful to You."

(Life-Study of Genesis, Chapter 86, by Witness Lee)