THE NEED FOR THE MEMBERS TO BE COORDINATED
Today, you young ones have put yourselves into the Lord’s hands for the preaching of the gospel in the villages. Is this something that you can do by yourselves? Certainly you cannot do this alone. Do not say that you have the Lord. Just to have the Lord is not enough. You need companions. You need to coordinate with others who are the members of the Body. On the one hand, you are brothers and sisters. On the other hand, you are members one of another.
Members cannot be dislocated. Members must be joined together. The joining together is for the coordination. In serving the Lord, not only are we unable to do anything apart from the Lord, but neither can we do anything apart from the members. You need to know that once you are separated from the members, you are separated from the Body. For example, if my hand is separated from my arm, it is separated not only from the arm but from the whole body as well. You only need to be separated from one member, and you are separated from the whole Body. Therefore, your working for the Lord has to be different from that of the worldly ones. They can do things individualistically. But we cannot serve the Lord in an individualistic way. This is because our serving the Lord is the move of the whole Body. We are all members of the Body, and we need to coordinate one with another.
THE SECRET OF COORDINATION BEING TO STAY ON THE CROSS AND TO BE WITHOUT OPINIONS
What is the secret of coordination? Coordination must be a matter of “no more I.” There must no longer be you or I. Once there is you and I, there is no coordination. On the day the gospel teams were sent out, I made an overseas telephone call to talk to them. Since then, although I have not been there with them, news reached me. Praise and thank the Lord! There was much good news. But there was some news that was not as good. Team members have found out that it is not an easy thing to coordinate together. Everyone has opinions. You may argue that man cannot survive without opinion. Yet the strange thing is that the Bible requires us to have no opinion.
In Philippians 2:2 Paul says, “Make my joy full…think the same thing, having the same love, joined in soul, thinking the one thing.” In other words, to make Paul’s joy full, the Philippians must not have opinions. However, it is not easy to be without opinions. This morning I will tell you a secret. The best way is to stay on the cross. The best way for two people to work together without any argument, opinion, or long face, is to crucify both on the cross. Thank the Lord. He has already crucified us on the cross!
Let me tell you one thing. It is my experience during the last few decades of being involved in the Lord’s work that both in His work and in His church, there is always a gopher undermining everything. This gopher is ambition. Ambition is the desire to be somebody, to occupy a high position, and to gain a high name. It is the desire for others to say something good about me, for others to consider me as somebody, and for me to take the lead wherever I go. From youth, man loves to compete. He loves to strive to be somebody and to be the first. Often, “number two” is jealous of “number one.” Even though “number two” may be younger in age, he still wants to be somebody and is always aspiring to be the head. I have been observing this matter for more than sixty years. I saw this in mainland China time after time. Since I came overseas, not only have I seen this again, I personally have been in the middle of it as well. I even became the target because of it. I have studied the darts that were thrown at me. To put it simply, all of them have to do with the desire to be somebody, to take the lead, and to occupy a high position. Of course, those who are ambitious would never say it this way. They use very nice speeches and words to cover themselves up. Strictly speaking, they are not trying to attack me. They are only trying to be somebody.
What is opinion? Frankly speaking, opinion is just the desire to be somebody. Before the Lord Jesus went to the cross, He was leading a group of disciples, especially Peter, James, John, and Andrew. For three and a half years, they followed the Lord Jesus day after day. If the Lord Jesus went to Galilee, they also went to Galilee. If the Lord Jesus went on the boat, they also went on the boat. Wherever the Lord Jesus went, they went along with Him. If you read the four Gospels, you will discover that they surely had opinions. One time when they went with the Lord Jesus to Jerusalem, He told them clearly on the way that He was going to Jerusalem and that the scribes and the Pharisees would crucify Him on the cross, but that He would resurrect after three days. The Lord repeated this three times, but the disciples did not understand it a bit. Immediately after the Lord Jesus spoke, they began arguing about who should be the first. Today in the Lord’s work in the church and among the gospel teams, one must remember that there are always problems ahead.
When I was young, whenever a brother and a sister were married, they always expected me to say a few words at their wedding. At first, I would always say something nice. After I was forty years old, I did not say anything nice anymore. Although my words were no longer nice, they were true. I still do not believe that it is possible for a couple to have a sweet honeymoon without any argument for more than thirty days. Recently, I heard directly from a brother that he and his wife argued on the third day of their honeymoon. Often when a couple argues, the ultimate contention is whether the woman or the man should have more power. Whose word counts, his or hers? Which one of them should make the decision? I live together with Sister Lee. I like to eat Chinese rolls, but she likes to feed me rice. Whenever rice is served at the table, my eyebrows are raised. But there is no way for me not to eat it. You may ask me what I can do. I can do nothing. There is only the cross. The cross is the way.
(The Glorious Vision and the Way of the Cross, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)