THE NATURE OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
What, then, is the Christian life? It is a life involving two persons, but these two persons have only one life and one living. The life is His, and the living is ours. All day long we must be in the reality of this life. This means we must deny our own life. It is our life which must be put aside, that we might live His. The living must be ours, however, because He is concealed, not only in the heavens but also within us.
Go to the Lord to pray about this. “Thank You, Lord, that we two—You in me and I in You—have but one life. Show me this life. Grant me the grace to realize this life and to take this life by putting aside my own life. Thank You also, Lord, that You and I can have just one living, not Yours but mine.” Keep praying this way day after day till you become clear. Do not esteem human culture and ethics. Do not resp6ct moral, natural concepts. Drop your religious ideas. Pick up the Bible with a purged mentality and read it by prayer and the exercise of your spirit. Then you will become clear about what the Christian life is. You will come to the deep realization that you and Christ do not have two lives but one and that your own life must be set aside.
PUTTING ASIDE YOUR OWN LIFE
You can put your life aside by putting aside your own will and your own glory. The One sent by the Father told us that He did not seek His own will (John 5:30) nor His own glory (8:50). If you put your will and your glory aside, you will be denying yourself. Your will is within; your glory, without. Every human being is for these two things. Why do you like to live by yourself? It is that you may carry out your will for your glory. From my own experience I have learned that the difficulty in putting aside my life lies in my will. The “I” has its center in the will, which is within. Without is personal glory, which includes position, rank, display, and popularity. Not only in worldly society is everyone for his own glory; even in the church we all like to be somebody. I heard of a Christian group which claimed to make somebody out of everybody. In the church, however, you are made a nobody. The church annuls everyone. If you want to be somebody, do not come to the church. The aspiration to be somebody may be called self-exaltation. It is the glory of the natural life. When you put down the will of the natural life and lay aside its glory, the natural life is finished.
When the Lord Jesus said that He did not seek His own will nor His own glory, He was declaring that He was simply taking the Father as His life, that He was fulfilling the Father’s commission by seeking only the Father’s will and the Father’s glory.
BEING HELPED BY THE WORD
If you have this same attitude, of laying aside your will and your glory, you will find you have the best way of coming to the Word. Otherwise, the help you receive from the Word will be fragmentary. Thorough help from the Word will be yours only if you do not seek your own will and your own glory. Seek Christ as your life and live Him out.
As long as you are somebody, you are taking yourself as life. Only when you are willing to be nobody will you take the Lord Jesus as your life. On the first day that the Lord began His ministry, He went to John the Baptist to be buried. From that day the man Jesus lived a terminated life. All He had to do was to live the Father. His whole life from that first day was under the cross. He lived a crucified life. If you read the four Gospels again in this light, you will see how new they become.
We need to live a crucified life, one in which our will and glory are constantly annulled, making us nobodies. Then Jesus Christ becomes our life, and we live Him. This is the Christian life. It is for this life that we need to come to the Word. The Word does not nourish the natural life. But when you live Christ, the Word nourishes you in His life.
(Life Messages, Vol. 1 (#1-41), Chapter 40, by Witness Lee)