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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

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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

Awful Heresy

3 Aug

What does it mean in everyday life to be delivered from the Law? At risk of a little overstatement I reply: It means that henceforth I am going to do nothing whatever for God; I am never again going to try to please Him. ‘What a doctrine!’ you exclaim. ‘What awful heresy! You cannot possibly mean that!’ But remember, if I try to please God ‘in the flesh,’ then immediately I place myself under the Law…

Deliverance from the law does not mean that we are free from doing the will of God. It certainly does not mean that we are going to be lawless. Very much the reverse! What it does mean however is that we are free from doing that will as of ourselves… Having at last reached the point of utter despair in ourselves so that we even cease to try, we put our trust in the Lord to manifest his resurrection life in us.

Watchman Nee

The Normal Christian Life, Tyndale House, 1957/1977, 164-5