Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 18: Notes on Scriptural Messages (2), by Watchman Nee


If anyone among us would like to be satisfied, I can tell you the way. The Lord Jesus said, "But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall by no means thirst forever; but the water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water gushing up into eternal life" (v. 14). You will never thirst after you drink the water that the Lord gives you because the water will become a spring of water gushing up. Will this satisfy you for three or five days only? No, it will spring up into eternal life. This is what the Lord will give to us. Whatever comes from outside is of no use because anything that comes in from outside cannot satisfy us. Once you receive Christ, He will be in you a spring so that you will be satisfied every day. What we lack is the inward satisfaction.

One day someone went to a doctor and said to him, "I have lost all taste to live. I have lost all hope. What is wrong with me?" The doctor examined him and said, "You do not have any illness." He asked, "What shall I do?" The doctor answered, "You should look for some pleasures. Perhaps you should watch a comedy show more often. A comedian can make people laugh and be happy." The patient said, "I am a comedian. Although I can make other people laugh, I cannot make myself laugh." This is all that the world can offer to men.

Why is it that in the church someone can lose everything and still be happy? It is not because he had a good outward environment or that he lived a good life materially. It is because he has something satisfying within him—Christ. Some missionaries went to isolated islands to live with the natives. Sometimes they only received one letter from the outside world in a year. They should have suffered more loneliness than lighthouse keepers. How could they be happy? They could be happy because there was something within them which caused them to sing and say, "Hallelujah!" Although I do not know music, I want to sing; even though I cannot sing, I want to say, "Hallelujah!" I have said before that we do not love the world because we have lost our taste for it or because we are disenchanted with the world, like some old folks who no longer enjoy the worldly blessings because they have lived long in this world. Christians overcome the world because they have drunk enough and are full. What are the worldly things worth? Since Christ has satisfied our heart, we have left the world behind.


"The woman said to Him, Sir, give me this water so that I will not thirst nor come here to draw" (v. 15). When the woman began to ask the Lord, did she understand what she was asking? She understood nothing at all. Even though she did not understand anything, did the Lord answer her request? He had to answer because He had said, "You would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water" (v. 10). Mr. Wilkes said, "The woman just asked once, and she received." This is true. Jesus did not say that one will have something when he understands in his mind. Rather, when one asks, according to the Lord’s word, He has to give it to him.

"Then the woman left her waterpot and went away into the city, and said to the people, Come, see a man who told me all that I have done. Is this not the Christ?" (vv. 28-29). "Is this not" surely means that it is. Whenever a sentence begins with "is it not," the answer is surely affirmative. This shows that she had obtained the gift. Although she did not understand and did not know what she was asking for, she recognized that this man was the Christ. She was satisfied. Today many are weary and thirsty. But as soon as you believe in Him and ask Him, you will be satisfied.

Mr. Wilkes told of a story. A naval vessel was once anchored at a certain place. Several sailors went ashore to listen to the preaching of some women missionaries. One of them heard and believed. After returning to the ship, he prayed on his knees beside his bed at night. The sailor’s nickname was "Old Seventy." Among the sailors, he liked to play tricks and joke with others the most. When he knelt down and prayed, his companions said, "Look! Old Seventy is playing new tricks again; he is mimicking a praying Christian." They threw shoes on his head and mocked him one by one. He did not pay any attention to them. They said, "Look, Old Seventy is really acting well." He stood up and told them, "I have believed in Jesus." They did not believe him and said, "You are really acting well." The next day, Old Seventy met a half-converted Christian and told him, "I have believed in Jesus." The man said, "Once a man believes in Jesus, he must feel peaceful and happy like being in heaven. Do you feel this way now that you have believed in Jesus?" He said, "I do not have those feelings." The man said, "Then your faith is not trustworthy." He went to see the women missionaries quickly and said to them, "You told me that once a man believes in Jesus, he is saved. This is not right because when others believe in Jesus, they feel peaceful and happy within. Why do I not have those feelings at all?" One missionary said, "I do not ask if you feel different or not; I only ask if there is any change in you." He pondered and stopped for a while. Then he jumped up and said, "Yes, there is a difference. I used to make fun of others more than any of the other sailors on the ship. They could joke, but I could joke better. However, when I believed in Jesus and went back to the ship, I heard my companions’ talk and felt that their words were very offensive and filthy. I worried about what would happen to them because of what they said. Before it would have been a wonder if I did not fight them all. I would have been in a rage when they threw their shoes at me like they did last night. But I was not mad at all last night. On the contrary, I pitied them and felt sorry for their ignorance." The Western missionary said, "Good! It is not important whether or not you feel different; as long as you are changed, that is good enough."

O friends, the Lord Jesus can satisfy your heart and quench your desire for anything in the world. If you are willing to say to the Lord today, "Lord, I believe in You; I give myself to You," you will be saved. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but the Lord’s words shall not pass away. It is not important whether or not you can feel it. If you believe, it is enough. Believe first, and then the feelings will follow. You do not feel first and then believe. Peace and joy come after one believes. One does not believe after he has peace and joy.

(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 18: Notes on Scriptural Messages (2), Chapter 15, by Watchman Nee)