TOUCHING THE LORD IN WHATEVER WE DO
Today although many people pray, they do not gain much of Christ. If you merely pray for your family to enjoy peace, your children to be free from danger and harm, and your business to prosper, you miss the real significance and purpose of prayer. Real prayer is for you to contact and touch Christ. We need the light to see that if we do not touch or meet Christ, it would be better not to pray. This is not to say that we should not unload our burdens before God; rather, this is to say that we should do all these things in spirit. We have to touch Christ and tell Him, “O Lord, I still have this problem. Would You like to solve this problem for me? I still have this burden. Would You be willing to bear this burden for me?” We should touch and contact the Lord in our prayers. His answering our prayers is a minor thing. What we should treasure is His contact with us during the process.
For example, before you go to visit someone, to do a certain activity, to help the saints, or to preach the gospel, you should first touch Christ and ask Him, “Am I doing good, helping others, and preaching the gospel out of myself or out of Christ? Am I doing all these things by myself or by Christ?” The same matter may be of two different sources; it may be out of ourselves, or it may be carried out through Christ. The same matter may originate from us or may originate from Christ. Different sources will have different outcomes.
We need to realize one thing. Not only hatred comes out of ourselves, but love can also come out of ourselves. We should not only reject our hatred, but we should also reject our love. We have to seek to touch the Lord’s presence, because in Him is love, and it is by Him that we love others. By touching Him in this way, it will not be we who love but He who loves. Consequently, when we love, He loves.
Ten years ago someone from the northern part of China asked me a question, “Since our love may come either out of ourselves or out of Christ, how can we tell the difference? How do we know if our love is of ourselves or of Christ?” This question is hard to answer. However, we know that when we love others, we do have some feeling within. Sometimes when we love someone, we are murmuring within, asking why we love this person so much even though this person does not love others. If this is the case, we should know that this kind of love is one hundred percent of ourselves. When you have the feeling that you love people, yet others do not love people, this kind of love is, no doubt, from yourself. When your love is of Christ, although obviously you love others, you do not sense that you are one who loves others, nor do you boast in yourself.
GETTING RID OF OURSELVES FOR CHRIST TO INCREASE IN US
It is the same with virtues such as goodness, meekness, and humility. If our virtues are of ourselves, we will boast in ourselves and condemn others. If, however, our virtues are of Christ, others will sense them, but we will not have any feeling about them. We can see this principle in Moses. People saw the shining of his face, but he himself did not see it (Exo. 34:29). Perhaps some will ask, “If we do not have any feeling that we are doing something, how can we do it? If we do not feel that we are meek, how can we be meek?” Seemingly, this is paradoxical, but actually, when we are living in our spirit, we will know and sense what is from our self and what is from Christ. When we have a clear feeling that something comes from our self, we have to reject it. At that time, Christ will come out of us. When we have a feeling of the self, we have to hate and reject it. We have to hate and reject not only the evil self but also the good self. We do this because we have a revelation within. We see that Christ has a place in us and that He is our life and our nature. Because of this seeing, we will not allow our evil self to replace Christ, nor will we allow our good self to replace Christ.
If we really have the light, we will see that many things in us are enemies of Christ and that many matters in us are substitutes of Christ. If we have the light, we will see that all these things are frustrations to God and to Christ. May God have mercy on us by removing these substitutes and frustrations from us so that Christ may increase and grow in us. Eventually, Christ will be mingled with us to such an extent that we and He, He and we, will be completely one. This is genuine spirituality and real spiritual growth. This is God’s eternal purpose and God’s work.
(The Crucified Christ, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)