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Love With a Capital L

17 Apr

We try to show love, and, finding we have none, ask the Lord for love. Then we are surprised that he does not seem to give it to us… You were surely not wrong in seeking love from God? No, but you were wrong in seeking that love as something in itself, a kind of package commodity, when what God desires is to express through you the love of his Son…
We have been accustomed to look upon holiness as a virtue, upon humility as a grace, upon love as a gift to be sought from God. But the Christ of God is himself everything that we shall ever need.
Many a time in my need I used to think of Christ as a Person apart, and failed to identify with him in this practical way with the ‘things’ I felt so strongly the lack of. For two whole years I was groping in that kind of darkness, seeking to amass the virtues that I felt sure should make up the Christian lie, and getting nowhere in the effort. And then one day – it was in the year 1933 – light broke from heaven for me, and I saw Christ ordained of God to be made over to me in his fullness. What a difference! Oh the emptiness of ‘things’! Held by us out of relation to Christ they are dead. Once we see this it will be the beginning of a new life for us. Our holiness will be spelled thereafter with a capital H, our love with a capital L. He himself is revealed as the answer in us to all God’s demands.”

Watchman Nee

Sit, Walk, Stand, Tyndale House, 1957/1977, 36-8

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Don’t Strive to Receive the Holy Spirit

20 Feb

Now the principle on which we receive the enduement of the Holy Spirit is the very same as that on which we receive forgiveness of sins. The Lord has been crucified, therefore our sins have been forgiven; the Lord has been glorified, therefore the Spirit has been poured out upon us. Is it possible that the Son of God shed his Blood and that your sins, dear child of God, have not been forgiven? Never! Then is it possible that the Son of God has been glorified and you have not received the Spirit? Never! Some of you may say: I agree with all this, but I have no experience of it. Am I to sit down smugly and say I have everything, when I know perfectly well I have nothing? No, we must never rest content with objective facts alone. We need subjective experience also; but that experience will only come as we rest upon divine facts… Enduement with the Holy Spirit becomes yours… by putting your faith in what the Lord has already done.

Watchman Nee

The Normal Christian Life, Tyndale House 1957/1977, 128

Tempted into Independence

5 Dec

The object of temptation is always to get us to do something… Satan’s temptations are not designed primarily to make us do something particularly sinful, but merely to cause us to act in our energy; and as soon as we step out of our hiding-place to do something on that basis, he has gained the victory over us.

Watchman Nee

The Normal Christian Life, Tyndale House 1957/1977, 178

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