THE RESULT OF PAYING A PRICE
What is the result of paying a price? The result is that by handing yourself and all you have over to God, God and all that He has are mingled with you. Paying a price is not only for you to receive a reward and be raptured in the future. Rather, it is for you and all that you have to be taken away and for God and all that He has to be added to and mingled with you. Those who are raptured first are those who have been filled with God. Those who enter into the kingdom to receive a reward are those who have been filled with Christ. Those who participate in the out-resurrection are those who have lived in the power of Christ’s resurrection today. Strictly speaking, it is not those who pay a price who will enter into the kingdom. Rather, it is only those who have paid a price and are thereby filled with Christ who will be able to enter into the kingdom. It is not the price itself that qualifies you to enter into the kingdom, nor is it the price itself that gives you the qualification to be a king. Rather, it is the Christ with whom you are filled who brings you into the kingdom and qualifies you to be a king.
If you want to be filled with Christ, you need to pay a price. God’s element cannot come into you unless your element goes out. If you are short of God, you cannot mature early. If you are short of Christ, you will lose your qualification to be a king. Therefore, the result of paying a price is not that you will enter into the kingdom to receive a reward but that you will receive more of God and of Christ. However, those who are full of God and full of Christ are those who will ripen and be raptured first, and only such ones will enter into the kingdom and reign on the throne.
If all day long children think only about receiving their parents’ possessions but do not love their parents, they are as unreasonable as robbers. If we do not pay a price, love God, or pursue the Lord, but all day long we only think about being raptured and receiving a reward, then we are just daydreaming. On the contrary, if children do not care for their parents’ possessions but only know to constantly love their parents and to please them, eventually all that the parents have will be theirs. We should not consider the reward, the rapture, and the kingdom to be the goals of our pursuit. Madame Guyon said that we have become fallen if we pursue the reward merely for the reward itself. The goal of all our pursuits should be God and Christ, and we should pay any cost to gain Him. If we would pursue with such singleness of heart, how could we not mature early? How could we not receive the reward?
If you read the biography of George Müller, you will see that in every matter he sought God’s leading and tried to sense God’s feeling in fellowship. He wrote a book with the title, Narrative of the Lord’s Dealings with George Müller, which corresponds exactly with the content of the book. He sought the Lord in fellowship regarding every matter, whether great or small, in his living. One thing which is deeply impressive is that after his death, people tried to make an inventory of his belongings, yet they found none, because he had completely handed over himself and all that he had for the sake of Christ. In man’s eyes, he was so destitute after his death, unlike many people today who leave a great inheritance after their death for their children to fight over. However, in God’s eyes, Müller was a person who was according to God’s heart and who pleased God.
We have said again and again that the purpose of paying a price is for us to gain God and to have God added to and mingled with us, thereby replacing everything of ourselves. People who desire this willingly reject their natural life and disposition and take God’s life and nature. They live and walk not by their own wisdom but by God’s wisdom, and they forsake their possessions, relatives, fame, and position and want only God to come into them to be their all. This is what is meant in the Bible when it says that we must leave all and follow the Lord and suffer the loss of all things in order to gain Christ. This is what it means to pay the price, and this is the result of paying the price. Only people who pay the price have God operating in them both the willing and the working, have Christ being magnified in them all the time, whether through life or through death, and can say that for them to live is Christ. They are filled with Christ, filled with God, and can be used by God.
In summary, the first requirement for our being used by God is God’s visitation, which is not of us but of God. God’s visitation is His coming to us to visit with us. This is the beginning of God’s using us. Whenever we have a desire to serve God, we know assuredly that God has reached us and visited us. However, merely having such a desire does not enable us to be used by God, because on our side we still have to pay a price.
One day God came to Isaiah, and as a result Isaiah was determined to go and work for God (Isa. 6:1-8). However, at that time he could not be used by God. He still had to pay a price. The result of paying a price is that by giving up all that we have, we take in all that God has. Only people like this can be used by God. Therefore, paying a price is the basic requirement and fact for us to be useful to God.
(How to Be Useful to the Lord, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)