Examples of judgment (50)

Examples of judgment (50)

  Date:August 31, 1948

Testimony by brother G. C.

  I was born into a Christian family. At the age of thirteen I accepted the Lord. When I asked to be baptized, I was told by the brothers that I was too young and that I should wait until I was older. Later my father apprenticed me to a shop, and I worked there for three years. Once, I was in a certain place, and I observed that only the rich were allowed to be baptized, and I became very angry. Later, a brother baptized me. At the time I was baptized, I was hoping that heaven would open to me and that a voice from heaven would witness that I am a son of God.

  I confess that I am wicked and selfish like Jacob. A brother told me that we have to leave the superficial things and seek after the deeper things. I thought I was very zealous, but there was no depth to my condition. Later I realized that I had not learned that many lessons and that I was actually quite superficial. At the age of twenty-one I prayed to the Lord and asked for a good sister. The Lord heard my prayer. At that time the brothers and sisters meeting with me asked me to give messages. I was afraid to speak. I feared that some of the things I said would be beyond my own power to carry out. But the responsibility of the Lord’s Day morning message was on my shoulder, and I had to speak. The business affairs in the church became more complicated, and I found no one to coordinate with. There were many opinions. Even I had many plans. It seemed I was taking the way of the recovery, yet I found that I could not make it. I was monopolizing the work of the church, and I felt that the responsibility was too heavy for me. Later I heard that there was a young peoples’ meeting in Shanghai. At that time I was twenty-four years old, and I wanted to join it. Later there was a conference in Foochow, Fukien, and I was able to attend. When I heard that we have to exercise our spirit, I wished so much that I could be broken. Then I heard that we have to fall down before God, and I became quite discouraged. Afterwards, it seems that I received a revelation. I know that it is the Lord who is doing everything and that I cannot do anything.

Brother Nee’s comment

  In order to know this brother, we have to consider him in relation to his age. The measure of a person’s spirituality can only be expected to be commensurate with his age. Spiritual condition has much to do with age. If there are strong peculiarities in us, we need strong breaking. For example, some people are particularly strong in their emotion. Others are particularly strong in their mind or their will. These are not problems related to age, and they require the Lord’s particular breaking, without which there can be no building. For example, a cancerous tumor in man has nothing to do with his weakness. It grows because his body is strong. It is a kind of cell that grows independently without restriction. The whole body resists other diseases, but the whole body feeds this disease. It takes up all the nutrition in the body. The same is true in the spiritual realm. Christians who are strong in certain areas require all kinds of supply to support these areas. These strong areas are actually cancerous cells. Anything you put into them will be used to feed such cells. Therefore, God has to destroy them.

  We do not detect in our brother anything that is inordinately strong. He is a clever man, and his thoughts are clear and logical. Perhaps these elements are somewhat too active in him, but we cannot say that these are his strong spots. They are not his problem. He is only in his twenties, and the Lord has given him only so much. At the present time, we cannot expect him to see too much. Young ones have to realize that older ones are more experienced in many areas. At least the Holy Spirit has been in the older ones longer than in them. Within the constraints of your age, you should take in as much as you can. It is good for our spiritual pursuit to be compatible with our age. In spiritual things, it does not mean that one gets more by seeing more. Spirituality has much to do with time. As much as you can, you should try to understand the things you have heard here. Whatever you do not understand, you should wrap up and store away in your closet. At a certain point they may become useful to you. You have to ask the Lord to show you when they will become useful to you. Now you know that it is not that easy and simple to be a Christian and to work for the Lord.

  This time on the mountain, I have shown you a little of the “scene behind the veil.” Now you can ask the Lord to bring you into deeper depths. The thing that worries me the most is when young people or young co-workers think that they have reached the peak. You still have a long way to go. If you can cover this journey in twenty, thirty, or forty years, it would be exceptional grace from God. Moses saw the land of Canaan on Mount Pisgah, but he was not able to enter. The knowledge, doctrines, and teachings that one receives in his mind, but which have never been wrought into his being, are easily erased. They are like letters written with a pen of reed; as soon as trials come, they are gone. Such a person has not actually possessed these things. The Lord has to burn them into you before they are unerasable. When pottery is burned in a kiln, a picture that is drawn on it will not easily be removed.

  Our brother has an advantage of still being young. He has a straight course ahead of him. If he continues to learn and gain experience in the next twenty years, he will become very rich. Today he is only twenty-four years old. We cannot ask too much of him. If he were forty-four years old, my word to him would be much stronger. Our brother must fall down totally at least once. You do not have to be concerned as to how you will fall. You have to ask the Lord to show you what He showed Moses on Mount Pisgah. Sister M. E. Barber once said that whoever places himself in the Lord’s hand will be broken. You have to pray that the Lord will deal with you without reservation, and you have to place yourself in His hand without reservation. Consecration is not a light matter. The Lord will break us according to our prayer. If you want to be a whole piece of bread, you should not offer yourself to Him. Once you offer yourself to Him, you should not murmur and complain when you are broken. Only those who are broken bring blessing to others, because they have changed; they have become rich, and they are now able to nourish many.

  Peter tells us not to consider it strange when fiery ordeals come to us. Those who consider it strange are short of light. There is nothing unusual in the Lord breaking us when we place ourselves in His hand. This should be expected. During these few months on the mountain, you have to see that the discipline of the Holy Spirit is a lifelong spiritual pathway. This is the only pathway to take. We all must go through great trials. None of us can avoid this. The clay has to be burned in the furnace. It is useless to merely paint something on its surface. Every person whom God has greatly used has passed through fire. There is no ground for boasting in the spiritual pathway. You still have a long way to go. Whether or not you will be a rich person depends on how much experience you pass through. The more experience you pass through, the more you will learn and the more supply you will have. This is like a doctor who gains experience through seeing a multitude of patients. He would be ineffective and inefficient if he only saw one patient a year. The same can be said of the Christian pathway. We have to go through much experience before we become rich and before we have something to minister to others.

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