THE ECONOMY (ARRANGEMENT) OF GOD
In Ephesians 1:9-11 and 3:9-11, God’s economy is mentioned. In eternity God had a good pleasure, a heart’s desire. According to this desire He has a purpose. This purpose was hidden in Him; thus, it was a hidden purpose. This hidden purpose became His economy. Hence, there is the dispensation (the economy) of the mystery. This mystery was hidden in God from the ages, but has now been brought to light for us.
God’s economy (arrangement) is according to God’s good pleasure which He purposed in Himself (Eph. 1:9). It is also according to the purpose of the ages which He made in Christ (3:11). It makes known to us the mystery of God’s will, which from the ages has been hidden in God, who created all things (1:9a; 3:9). Its end is to head up all things in Christ at the fullness of the times (1:10), so that the multifarious wisdom of God might be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenlies (3:10).
Today we have not yet seen all things headed up under Christ. There is no oneness among men, between the races, and among the nations. But, praise the Lord, we who have been saved in the Body of Christ, through our willingness to be headed up in the church life, and by our growing in life and living in His light, are made to participate in this heading up.
For the accomplishing of God’s economy and His dispensing, first God became flesh to be a man. This wonderful God-man lived on earth for thirty-three and a half years. Then He accomplished redemption for us on the cross. Through His death and resurrection, He became the all-inclusive life-giving Spirit. Now He will enter into all those who call on His name, and He will become their life. This all-inclusive Spirit is the ultimate consummation of the Triune God. As such, He contains all the riches of divinity and all the virtues of humanity. The more we call on Him and experience Him, the more we will receive His element. Spontaneously we will live out a life of love, light, holiness, and righteousness, and will be rescued from the heap of the universal collapse in death and darkness, which was caused by the rebellion of the angels and the rebellion of man, and will be able to participate in everything of Christ, the Head.
According to Paul’s teaching, Christians do not need to pay attention to outward blessings and peace. Instead, they should pay attention to the God who is within them. God has already put Himself into us. In addition, daily He is dispensing Himself within us. However, sometimes we are not willing to give Him the opportunity to do this. Although He is willing to dispense Himself, He cannot get through within us. If this is the case, we will not grow and will become a backsliding Christian. Eventually, when trying circumstances come upon us, we may be revived again. But we should not wait for trying circumstances to come before being revived. We should live a revived life every day. A Christian life should have a dawning, a revival, and a new beginning once every twenty-four hours. God put into the laws of nature a dawning once every twenty-four hours. Dawn brings in a new beginning and new sunshine to all living creatures. This should be the way with our Christian life. Every morning we should have a rising up and a dawning. When we rise up early every morning to contact the Lord and to experience a certain amount of reviving, we allow the Lord to dispense Himself into us.
(The Economy and Dispensing of God, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)