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Sit, Walk, Stand

28 Jun

The Christian life consists of sitting with Christ, walking by him and standing in him. We begin our spiritual life by resting in the finished work of the Lord Jesus. That rest is the source of our strength or a consistent and unfaltering walk in the world. And at the end of a grueling warfare with the hosts of darkness we are found standing with him at last in triumphant possession of the field.

Watchman Nee

Sit, Walk, Stand, Tyndale House, 1957/1977, 78

In Christ Alone

6 Mar

Death is weakness produced to its utter extremity… Death means utter weakness; it means you are weak to such a point you can become no weaker… ‘O wretched man that I am!’ cried Paul, ‘who shall deliver me out of the body of this death?’ and it is good anyone cries out as he did. There is nothing more musical in the ears of the Lord. This cry is the most spiritual and the most scriptural cry a man can utter. He only utters it when he knows he can do nothing, and gives up making any further resolutions. Up to this point, every time he failed, he made a new resolution and doubled and redoubled his will-power…

Bible reading and prayer are not wrong, and God forbid that we should suggest that they are, but it is wrong to trust even in them for victory. Our help is in him who is the object of that reading and prayer. Our trust must be in Christ alone.

Watchman Nee

The Normal Christian Life, Tyndale House, 1957/1977, 170-1

Who’s the Wretched Man?

28 Feb

Though the Law in itself is all right, it will be all wrong if it is applied to the wrong person. The ‘wretched man’ of Romans 7 tried to meet the claims of God’s law himself, and that was the cause of his trouble. The repeated use of the word ‘I’ in this chapter gives the clue to the failure.

Watchman Nee

The Normal Christian Life, Tyndale House, 1957/1977, 169

Manifest Weakness

27 Jan

The trouble in Romans 7 is that man in the flesh tried to do something for God. As soon as you try to please God in that way, then you place yourself under law, and the experience of Romans 7 begins to be yours… No, there is nothing wrong with the Law, but there is something decidedly wrong with me. The demands of the Law are righteous, but the person on whom the demands are made is unrighteous…

We are all sinners by nature. If God asks nothing of us, all seems to go well, but as soon as he demands something of us, the occasion is provided for a grand display of our sinfulness. The Law makes our weakness manifest…

God knows who I am; he knows that from head to foot I am full of sin; he knows that I am weakness incarnate; that I can do nothing. The trouble is that I do not know it… God must bring us all to the place where we see that we are utterly weak and helpless.

Watchman Nee

The Normal Christian Life, Tyndale House, 1957/1977, 156-8

Origin Determines Destination

13 Dec

The natural tendency is this. Formerly I used to use my mind to pore over history, over business, over chemistry, over questions of the world, or literature, or poetry. I used my keen mind to get the best out of those studies. But now my desire has been changed, so henceforth I employ the same mind in just the same way in the things of God. I have therefore changed my subject of interest, but I have not changed my method of working. That is the whole point. My interests have been utterly changed (praise God for that!), but now I utilize the same power to study Corinthians and Ephesians that I used before to study history and geography. But that power is not of the new creation; and God will not be satisfied with this simple exchange of interests. The trouble with so many of us is that we have changed the channel into which our energies are directed, but we have not changed the source of those energies…

Anything we can do without prayer and without an utter dependence upon God must come from the spring of natural life that is tainted with the flesh… Whether naturally gifted or not… they must know the touch of the Cross  in death upon all that is of nature, and their complete dependence upon the God of resurrection…

Every plant which my heavenly Father planted not, shall be rooted up (Matt 15:13)… God is the only legitimate Originator in the universe (Gen 1:1)….

Origin determines destination, and what was ‘of the flesh’ originally will never be made spiritual by any amount of ‘improvement’.

Watchman Nee (1903-1972)

The Normal Christian Life, Tyndale House, 1957/1977, 230-234

Fighting From Victory

21 Oct

Armies march into other countries to occupy and subdue. God has not told us to do this. We are not to march but to stand. The word ‘stand’ implies that the ground disputed by the enemy is really God’s, and therefore ours. We need not struggle to gain a foothold on it…

And that is precisely the difference between the warfare waged by the Lord Jesus and the warfare waged by us. His was offensive; ours is, in essence, defensive. He warred against Satan in order to gain the victory…. By the resurrection God proclaimed his Son victor over the whole realm of darkness, and the ground Christ won he has given to us. We do not need to fight to obtain it. We only need to hold it against all challengers…

Today we do not fight for victory; we fight from victory… When you fight to get the victory, then you have lost the battle at the outset… Only those who sit can stand. Our power for standing, as for walking, lies in having first been made to sit together with Christ. The Christian’s walk and warfare alike derive their strength from his position there. If he is not sitting before God he cannot hope to stand before the enemy…

Because victory is his, therefore it is ours.

Watchman Nee

Sit, Walk, Stand, Tyndale House, 1957/1977, 54-6

God is at Work

12 Oct

From start to finish, he is the One who does it all…

We fear that if we do nothing, nothing will happen. After salvation the old habit of ‘doing’ reasserts itself and we begin our old self-efforts again… He has done everything on the Cross for our forgiveness and he will do everything in us for our deliverance. In both cases He is the doer. ‘It is God that worketh in you.’

Watchman Nee

The Normal Christian Life, Tyndale House, 1957/1977, 172-3

He Works for Us

29 Sep

And the first lesson we must learn is this, that the work is not initially ours at all, but his. It is not that we work for God, but that He works for us. God gives us our position of rest. He brings his Son’s finished work and presents it to us, and then he says to us, ‘Please sit.’ His offer to us cannot, I think, be better expressed than in the words of the invitation to the great banquet: ‘Come, for all things are now ready’ (Luke 14:17). Our Christian life begins with the discovery of what God has provided.

Watchman Nee

Sit, Walk, Stand, Tyndale House, 1957/1977, 17

Trying or Trusting?

15 Sep

Living in the Spirit means that I trust the Holy Spirit to do in me what I cannot do myself. This is completely different from the life I would naturally live of myself. Each time I am faced with a new demand from the Lord, I look to him to do in me what he requires of me. It is not a case of trying but of trusting; not of struggling but of resting in him.

Watchman Nee

The Normal Christian Life, Tyndale House, 1957/1977, 176-7

The Lawkeeper Within

16 Aug

God’s requirements have not altered, but we are not the ones to meet them. Praise God, he is the Lawgiver on the Throne, and he is the Lawkeeper in my heart. He who gave the Law, himself keeps it.

Watchman Nee

The Normal Christian Life, Tyndale House, 1957/1977, 166

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