THREE VITAL MATTERS
If we are going to serve the Lord in the way of the church service, we need to pay our full attention to these three matters. First we need to be built up as a Body. You cannot have any service outside the church life, outside the Body. You need to be built up.
Second, each one of us needs to exercise to put everything worldly aside. We should be separated from the common things unto the Lord and learn how to remain in the presence of the Lord, how to bring the need of the people, the need of the sinful world, to the Lord and pray. Then we will be the holy priests.
After offering sufficient prayer to the Lord, we will come out from the presence of the Lord to minister the Lord to the world as the Savior, the life, the life supply, and the light in a powerful way. At that very moment we will be the royal priests. There is the need of coordination, the need of separation, and the need of the heavenly authority. We need the coordination of the Body, the separation of the holy priests from the world unto the Lord, and the heavenly authority of the royal priests. Then we will be qualified, empowered, to minister the Lord to others as the royal priests, the kingly priests, with the heavenly authority. To have the real church service, these three things are basic, even vital.
If you have a burden to minister a word to the church, first you need to check whether you have been built up in the reality of the Body and are in the coordination. If not, it is as if you are a detached member. How then could you function?
Then you need to check whether you are separated unto the Lord, and check whether you have spent sufficient time in the presence of the Lord to pray. Without this, you are not qualified to serve, because you are not a holy priest.
Then check the third item: Do you have the authority, the heavenly authority? Do you have something really committed unto you by the Lord? If so, you will minister to the Lord’s people not only by word but by authority. Whenever or whatever you minister, there will be the weight. The message, the word, the ministry, will be weighty because there is the heavenly authority of the royal priest.
The coordination, the separation, and the authority—these three are the qualifications, the equipment we need to minister. It is not merely a matter of knowing something or having a burden to do something. You need to check whether you have been built up in the reality of the Body, whether you are in the coordination of the priesthood. This is something vital. You can never stand by yourself against the evil forces of darkness. The evil forces, the evil spirits, know where you are.
In Acts 19:13-16, the seven sons of Sceva attempted to cast out the evil spirits by using the name of the Jesus that Paul preached. However, the evil spirit told them, “Jesus I know of, and with Paul I am acquainted; but who are you?” The name of Jesus in the mouth of Paul is powerful, but it may not be powerful in your mouth. Paul was coordinated, built up together, with the saints. He was in the coordination of the priesthood, and he had the separation and the authority.
Even to offer a prayer in a prayer meeting or around the Lord’s table, you need these three basic things: the coordination, the separation, and the authority. If you are one in the coordination of the saints, separated from the world unto the Lord, and one with the heavenly authority, when you pray just a short word, others will sense dominion, power, and reality in your prayer. Otherwise, you pray in vain words, without weight, without power, authority, to back up your words.
The real service, the prevailing service, does not depend upon knowledge, ability, eloquence, or so-called gifts. Although these things have a certain place in the service of the Lord, they are not basic. The basic matters are these three: coordination, separation, and authority.
If you would be willing to be built up together with others, simply lose yourself, let yourself be lost, in the building of the church. When you give up yourself to realize the building of the church, you are in the coordination. Then you realize the separation with the saints from the world unto the Lord, and you do have the authority of the heavens. This is the way to have the church service that is powerful and prevailing.
Peter was just an unlearned fisherman. Before the day of Pentecost I doubt that Peter had any gift. But on the day of Pentecost Peter was one in the coordination and was one with the separation and the heavenly authority. How powerful he was! He spoke a brief word with short sentences, without much knowledge, but his word was full of power. He had the coordination, the separation, and the authority. He was in the coordination, he was one of the holy priests, and he was one of the royal priests.
When those one hundred twenty people stayed in the presence of the Lord for ten days, all of them were the holy priests. When the day of Pentecost came, they all came out to the people to meet their need with the heavenly supply. Because they were royal priests, even the highest power on this earth was afraid of them because of their authority. They had the heavenly power with the heavenly authority.
This is the way to have the church service. Until we take care of these three basic matters—the coordination, the real separation, and the heavenly authority—we simply are not ready to begin any service in our locality. We need the building up, we need the coordination, we need the separation, and we need the heavenly authority. We need the reality of the Body, we need the holy priesthood, and we need the royal priesthood. When a group of saints is built up together as one Body in coordination, with the separation and the heavenly authority, at that time the real church service will begin.
(Basic Principles for the Service in the Church Life, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)