THE LORD’S RECOVERY BEING A RECOVERY OF OUR SUBJECTIVE EXPERIENCE OF THE LORD
We all say that we are for the Lord’s recovery. However, what is the Lord’s recovery? The Lord’s recovery is to recover our subjective experience of the Lord in order that the church can be realized practically. The church issues from the subjective experience. With us, how much of the church element there will be, how weighty the church will be, and how high the church life will be all depend on how much Christ is lived out from within us. We need to be burning in spirit. This is good, but this is not good enough. We must be able to say, “It is Christ who lives in me, it is Christ who is being formed in me, and it is Christ who is making home in me. My life is He, my disposition is He, and my person is He. I am His dwelling place, His habitation, and I live by Him. I do not care for the world, sin, or my circumstances, including all the people, matters, and things around me. I even do not care about my disposition or my temper. I only care for this precious Christ and live by Him. When He is happy, I am happy. When He suffers, I suffer. When He works, I work. When He stops, I stop. This is because He is my life and my person.” We must experience Christ to such an extent.
Do not be joyful because you are doing good, nor be happy because you feel you are perfect. No! You must ask, “Am I really living out Christ? Has Christ really made home in me? Is Christ able to live freely in me? Do I indeed take Him as my life, my disposition, and my person?” These are the questions you should ask yourself.
THE TESTIMONY OF THE CHURCH BEING THE LIVING OUT OF CHRIST
The reason Christianity has fallen into a religion is because of the neglect of many to live Christ, paying attention instead to outward religious conduct, such as being friendly to others, loving others, being compassionate toward others, and being willing to suffer loss. I tell you, all of these are religious concepts. In terms of human conduct, these are good. However, the church is not formed by these things. Then how is the church formed? The church is formed by the Christ whom we live out. What the church needs today is not the living out of good behavior but the living out of this glorious Christ. The church as the lampstand does not shine forth man’s good behavior but Christ Himself. Only when Christ is lived out of us and shines forth from us can there be the church life.
This morning, I am bold to encourage the young people to go forth to spread the testimony of the church to every place. I hope that you will not repeat the history of Christianity. Rather, I hope that no matter how many of you go to a locality, there will immediately be a living testimony. What is a living testimony? It is Christ. You must let people see that the church is not Christianity, nor a religion, nor outward conduct, but it is the glorious Christ being lived out of His members.
We must have this kind of subjective experience; even it should be so subjective that we can say, “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.” Furthermore, it should be to such an extent that not only can we say this, but even those who observe us can testify, “I have been watching you for about half a year, and I truly sense that you are extraordinary people. What you live out is not humanly possible.” This should be the proper condition. Perhaps others can only say to you, “Your patience is tremendous. You are also quite meek. In all things you are willing to suffer loss while letting others take advantage of you. You are so good. You are a very benevolent person!” If you go to a place and receive this kind of praise from others, I tell you, your testimony is a failure because you are not testifying the church. The church is not a testimony of a benevolent person but a testimony of Christ. You need to live out a life that no one can describe yet they would admit that it is not anything humanly possible. This is the testimony of the church. This is the recovery that the Lord wants today. This recovery is not doctrines or regulations, but the living Christ being lived out from within us.
BEING WATCHFUL IN PRAYER TO ENTER INTO EXPERIENCE IN REALITY
This message uses Scripture verses that are very familiar to you. I hope that you will pray-read them carefully and fellowship about them thoroughly until these words enter into you, and you also truly enter into these words. Thus, you can have this experience: “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. Daily I give all the ground within me to Christ. Daily I allow Him to be formed in me. Daily I allow Him to make His home in me. I take Him as my life, as my disposition, and as my person. I let Him be my ‘I.’ For me, to live is He.” This is Christ and not Christianity. This is the church and not an organization.
This requires us to watch and pray. We need to be watchful in all things and not allow anything to distract us from Christ. Do not let your temper and your disposition trouble you, causing you to be distracted from Christ. You should say, “Satan, get behind me! I do not pay attention to my temper or my disposition. I only pay attention to the Christ who lives in me. I let Him live in me, I let Him be formed in me, and I let Him make home in me.” This is the condition that the Lord wants today.
If from today onward, these words can hit home in all of us, bringing us into this experience, then everything will be a success. The churches in all the localities will definitely be living and will bear a proper testimony. You need to pray and pray, pray in every way, praying until you get out of yourself and get into Christ. Pray to the extent that you neither pay attention to your circumstances nor care for your own condition. Pray until you are on the Mount of Transfiguration, where you see no one except Jesus alone. Go on to pray that the churches in all the localities will bear the testimony of a living Christ.
(The Subjective Truths in the Holy Scriptures, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)