THE GOSPEL BEING A LIFELONG MATTER
OF LIVING AND LABORING IN THE LORD
Learn to fellowship with the Lord and to live in, by, and with the Lord. Learn to walk in the presence of the Lord. Then in this way, if we have the desire to cooperate with the Lord, He will open the way. He will pave the way for us to contact our neighbors, schoolmates, classmates, and relatives. It is by this that we will bring people to the Lord; it is by this that we will bear the real fruit. I say again, this is not a work, a movement, or an activity. This is a Christian living, and since it is a living, it must be normal. A living is not miraculous. We must have a living in a normal way. Many times the Lord did some genuine miracles in the church. I have no doubt about this. I saw this kind of thing, but it did not happen most of the time. Most of the time the gospel is normal. We live for Christ, and we walk with Him. We come together, we pray, and we declare and proclaim the Lord’s victory. Then the Lord will pave the way and open the door for us to bring people in.
This is a lifelong matter, a matter for the long run. We must change our idea. We cannot have these things as something in a dream. In Matthew 28:19 the Lord spoke concerning the preaching of the gospel, saying, “Disciple all the nations.” In addition, the apostle Paul said that when he preached the gospel, he travailed (Gal. 4:19). To travail is to bring forth, to deliver, a child. All mothers know how much they are spent in travail for their children. We have to spend, and we have to be spent. We are not only preaching the gospel; we are living here for the gospel. This is our life, and this is our living.
In order to have long-lived preaching, we have to make this matter normal. Anything that is normal has a long life, but nothing miraculous can have a long life. We can never live in a miraculous way. We have to live by the normal way. I do not oppose the miraculous way, but that is neither in my hand nor in your hand. That is in the hand of the Lord. Our duty and our responsibility must be normal. We are here for the preaching of the gospel, so we must have a living for the gospel.
THE GOSPEL REQUIRING A PRACTICAL,
REAL TESTIMONY IN OUR DAILY LIFE
This requires us to be overcomers; it requires a real overcoming life. Our life must be victorious and overcoming. This is especially true in this country. This is not a heathen country. Although there are a good number of unsaved ones, nearly all the people have heard something about the gospel. Therefore, in this country there is an even greater need for a testimony in our daily walk, a testimony in the way we live. We must have a practical, real testimony in our daily life. If someone is a teacher, he must be different from the other teachers. In the office as a co-worker or employee, we have to be different, not in the negative sense but in a very positive sense.
In addition, we have to spend something, and we have to be spent. We cannot do the work of preaching in a light way or in the way of a dream that we will receive special power in order to bring in many people. According to history, a greater percentage of people has been saved through a proper testimony than through the so-called miraculous way. I was not brought to the Lord in a miraculous way. I did see a great number of people brought to the Lord through the miraculous way, but regrettably not many of them still stand fast. It is mostly those who are brought to the Lord through the testimony in the lives of the believers who stand steadfast and grow in life. From my whole Christian life I cannot point out many persons who were saved through miracles who could stand fast and grow adequately. There are some, but very few. However, I can point out many others who stand fast in the Lord and grow adequately. Through what means were they saved? It was through a life testimony. We must all realize that the preaching of the gospel must be a part of our life.
THE GOSPEL IN OUR DAILY LIVING
BEING AN ITEM OF THE LORD’S RECOVERY
I believe that among us the Lord will recover mainly four items. First, we must learn to experience Christ in the spirit in a living way. This is the basic matter, the foundation. We must know Christ not in mere teachings or in the gifts, but in life—the inner life and our daily life in the spirit. Second, we must realize the proper ground of the oneness of the Body. We must always keep the oneness and not do anything in a divisive way. Wherever we go and wherever we are, we keep the unique ground of oneness. In this way we can fulfill God’s eternal purpose, coming together to have a local expression of the very Christ whom we experience. Third, whenever we come together on the ground of the local church, we need to have the living, rich, adequate functioning in the meetings to express Christ. In order to express Christ in the church meetings, the saints must exhibit the riches of Christ. Fourth, we must have the outreach of the gospel through our daily living. These four items—to know Christ as our life, to come together as a local expression to exhibit Christ, to have a rich functioning in our meetings, and to reach out to others to bring them into the Lord’s testimony—are the main items in the recovery of the Lord’s testimony.
(Preaching the Gospel in the Way of Life, Chapter 10, by Witness Lee)