How to Be Useful to the Lord, by Witness Lee


At the end of the New Testament, when life has reached full growth and maturity, there is the New Jerusalem. What is the final issue of the New Jerusalem? Revelation 22:3-5 says that those who are in the New Jerusalem serve God forever and ever. In chapters twenty-one and twenty-two we see the manifestation of the New Jerusalem in the new heavens and new earth in eternity future. The New Jerusalem is the ultimate issue of God’s work both in the old creation and the new creation throughout the ages, that is, both in God’s work of creation and redemption. From the beginning of chapter twenty-one through verse 2 of chapter twenty-two we see the nature of the New Jerusalem. Then there are three short verses, verses 3 through 5, which show us what the people in the New Jerusalem will be doing. They will do nothing but serve God eternally.


On the day we were saved, the life of Christ entered into us. If we would love the Lord more and more, consecrate ourselves to Him, abandon our future, allow our natural life to be broken and our disposition to be dealt with, follow the spiritual light, and live in Christ, then the life within us will have the opportunity to grow from within. That outgrowth of life is our function, our service. Eventually, the function of a prophet grows out of one saint while the function of a teacher grows out of another. Out of a third saint grows the function of an elder while the function of a deacon grows out of another one, and the function of one who shows mercy grows out of still another one. All kinds of Christian functions grow out of the life within.

The functions for service to the Lord are not learned through seminaries. Instead, they are outgrowths of the life within. A person who serves the Lord is not necessarily a person with a degree. However, a person who serves the Lord is certainly a member of the Body. The function of any member is dependent upon the growth and strength of the life within that member. How does a child grow to be an adult? His growth does not require our teaching. It requires only that we provide him with different kinds of food that he may eat adequately and fulfill the requirements for the growth in life. Then one day he will naturally grow to be an adult.

Many people think that only those who are very wise can be used by the Lord and that since they themselves are foolish, they could never be used by the Lord. This is not true. Do not say, “I do not have eloquence, I do not know how to speak, and I cannot preach the word, so what am I good for? Only those who have a high level of eloquence, who can talk fluently and endlessly, are really good for something. Only they can really be used by the Lord.” This is not true. Whether or not we are useful to the Lord depends solely on whether or not the Lord’s life has had the opportunity to grow in us. We should ask ourselves, “Do I love the Lord? Have I consecrated myself to the Lord? Do I give the Lord’s life the opportunity to grow? Do I allow the Lord’s life to have a place in me? Have I cast aside my future? Am I willing to let my natural life and my flesh be broken and dealt with, allowing myself to be put aside?” Whether or not we are useful in the Lord’s hand is not a question of whether or not we have the ability and capability to be useful but a matter of whether or not the life in us has grown.

(How to Be Useful to the Lord, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)