THE WAY TO BE GOD’S VESSEL
A. Removing Hindrances and
Emptying Out Oneself
God desires to gain man so that He can put Himself into man. God desires to have such a vessel that can contain Him and express Him here and now. This may sound very simple, but actually it is not simple. To pour water into a glass is simple because the glass has no will, emotion, or inclination of its own. If you want to pour water into it, it will not object. If you do not want to pour water into it, it will not complain. However, if you want to pour water into me, it will not be a simple matter. This is because I am a living creature; I have a will, an emotion, preferences, inclinations, choices, a mind, and imaginations, not to mention the many sinful and evil things that are within me. Even for us who are serving God, there are so many things. In the case of the unbelievers on the street, it is difficult to have God put within them. In the case of us who are serving God, it is likewise difficult to have God put within us. Therefore we must empty ourselves, obey God, and consecrate ourselves to Him.
B. Fellowshipping with God
and Walking according to the Spirit
The meaning of consecrating ourselves to God is not to work for God, but to become God’s vessel, and to allow God to fill us up. From morning to evening, are you led by the Holy Spirit in everything you do? Many times, we have good prayers in the morning. But soon after that, we find ourselves doing more than a few things contrary to the leading of the Holy Spirit. If you measure these things according to the letter of the Bible, these things may not constitute very serious mistakes, but your conscience will condemn you. A voice within will tell you that you have not turned to God enough, that you have not been godly enough, and that you have not obeyed Him enough. If you want to love the Lord, there is no need for you to beg, to fast, or to pray for three days. The simple thing to do is to receive the Lord into you. We are not Christians in an outward way. We are Christians in an inward way. We are not Christians according to the biblical teachings and doctrines. We are Christians according to our inner feeling. If we are such Christians, we will surely touch God all the time. If you fellowship with God, you will become God’s vessel. All the time, God will fill you up and will shine His light through you. No doctrine can be our way. The most important thing for us to do is to be a vessel of God. All that God wants is to gain some people who will live before Him. Zeal, love, and emotional sentiments are useless. Only one thing is useful: to take care of the feeling within moment by moment.
C. Not a Result of Teaching,
but a Result of Living
For example, Brother Hwang may hit Brother Hsu on the face one day. Perhaps Brother Hsu does not strike back. If you ask him why, he may tell you that the Bible teaches him not to do that. If he says this, he is not a first-class Christian. We should be Christians not by teaching, but by living. Confucius taught people to honor their parents and to love others, but that kind of honoring and love comes out of teaching. Today, we do not eat because others teach us to eat, but because we have a taste for eating. For you to eat rice today is not a decree of the government, but a choice based on your taste. If you ask me why I am speaking on this subject tonight, I will tell you that it is not the Bible that tells me to speak this way, but the inner feeling that tells me to speak this way. The more I speak this matter, the more I feel happy. In the New Testament, there are many passages with the little word "in" in them. Many outsiders do not understand what this word means. I only wish I could go to the streets and shout to people, "I have God in me! Do not touch me, for I have God in me!"
Man is God’s vessel. God’s work today is to put Himself into man. This is God’s purpose.
(Messages Given During the Resumption of Watchman Nee's Ministry (2 volume set), Chapter 3, by Watchman Nee/Witness Lee)