THE NEED TO PRAY
AND CARE FOR THE LORD’S LEADING
Although the Lord has burdened us to go to the campuses, we should not turn this into a movement. Any decisions that you make by yourself for others are an insult to the Spirit. If you have done this, you must repent and, if necessary, ask the others to forgive you because you gave them instructions about what they should do. None of us should ever tell others where they should go. What an insult this is to the Lord! Who are you? Who authorized you to make suggestions to others? You need to help the others to contact the Lord. Young brothers and sisters, you need to pray. Yes, we are burdened and led of the Lord to work on the campuses. But the young people must bring this matter to the Lord, pray, and offer themselves to the Lord once again, saying, "Lord, I want to go on with You. Lord, where do You want me to go?" Everyone must pray until he is clear about the Lord’s leading. Do not expect others to instruct you where you should go. That is organization, religion. Every one of us, from the leaders to the least among us, must be brought into the presence of the Lord to contact Him. Yes, the Lord is moving to the campuses, but perhaps in His sovereignty He will not allow you to go. He may lead hundreds of others to go, but He may tell you to stay where you are. This will be a proof that what is taking place among us is not a movement, but absolutely a matter of the Lord’s leading.
We all must go into the presence of the Lord and pray for some time. For years, I have been learning this lesson and practicing it. We are not in any kind of movement. Everything must be brought into the presence of the Lord. I cannot go to the Lord for you; you must go to the Lord yourself. We all must learn this lesson that no one can go to the Lord for someone else. That is the clergy-laity hierarchy. If I can go to the Lord, then you can go to the Lord also. Even the newest one among us, the one most recently saved, must still go to the Lord himself. Eventually we all shall be able to say, "I am going to this place because I have inquired of the Lord, and He has led me to go there." But you must never go somewhere because a certain brother has encouraged you to do so. Never tell anyone where he should go. Instead, you must have the assurance that the Lord is leading. Otherwise, we shall be in a movement, and there will be no spiritual value in what we do. Do not expect to be clear after one day. You may not even be clear after ten days. A number of times I was not clear concerning the Lord’s leading even after a hundred days. Every day I prayed and said, "Lord, have mercy on me." Finally, one day the clearance came, and I knew the Lord’s leading. Whenever I have acted upon such a leading of the Lord, I have never regretted it.
God’s New Testament economy is a matter of the Spirit. Acts 16:6 says that Paul and those with him "were forbidden of the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia." When they were trying to go into Bithynia, the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them (Acts 16:7, Gk.). However, Paul and his companions did not hold a conference to discuss the situation. Rather, as Paul was waiting on the Lord, he saw a vision by night. Acts 16:9 says, "And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us." Paul and his companions concluded that the Lord was calling them to preach the gospel to the Macedonians (Acts 16:10). Even after seeing the vision, Paul might have wondered whether or not the Lord was leading them to Macedonia. By this we see that the apostles walked and worked not according to their own decisions, but only according to the Lord’s leading. However, the tragedy of today’s Christianity is that so many do not have the Lord’s presence and do not care for the leading of the Lord. For all practical purposes, they exalt themselves to be the Lord.
(The Spirit and the Body, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)