Examples of judgment (8)

Examples of judgment (8)

  Date:June 28, 1948

Testimony by sister F. R.

  I am willing to expose myself fully to the judgment of the church. In my family I was the only daughter, and I have been loved by everyone since my youth. This is the reason I am so proud of myself and not afraid of others. When I was in a gospel meeting, I heard a line of a song: “While others have received it, do not pass me by.” I was touched by that word and prayed to God to save me. I prayed not to be passed by, and I was saved. Later God revealed Himself to me and told me to serve Him. I came to the local church and began to fellowship with the saints. Later I joined Brother Nee’s training in Yu-Hwa Village, Shanghai. At that time I was like a wild horse. I received much help from the training. I saw that everything apart from Christ was vain. Even my prayers were filthy, and my reading of the Bible was unacceptable to Him. For years in the sisters’ meeting, I did not open my mouth, and I did not open myself to others. Some have said that I am too arrogant. Later the Lord arranged a spiritual sister to stay with me. Outwardly, I rebelled and would not submit, but inwardly, I said “amen.” Had it not been for the grace of God, I would have run away a long time ago.

  I have heard many messages and I thought that I had the reality. But when trials came I found myself being defeated. From the messages on authority and on the breaking of man, I saw that I have weaknesses which I myself was not aware of. I have been slow in running this race. It seems that I move one step only to fall down the next step. May God be merciful to me and speak to me in a strong way through our brother.

Brother Nee’s comment

  I admit that it is not an easy thing to deal with your natural disposition. You need God to smite you in many different ways before you can fall. Presently, the negative dealings should increase in you. You do not need to seek for too much or to expect too much. These experiences will come to you spontaneously. He will give you the light and the dealings. God Himself will continue to deal with you.

God granting grace apart from our reason

  Someone said one time, “God can grant me grace apart from my condition.” This is a very positive word. All those who know God will testify sooner or later to the reality of this. God does things beyond what we can do. The work of breaking is absolutely necessary. Many brothers and sisters will not be softened unless they have passed through the breaking. But this is in the hands of God. We have to look to God to do this work without our interference. God does not deal with us according to our expectations. God grants grace to us apart from any expectation on our side. When we say “apart from us,” we are not saying that this work is carried on outside of us. Rather, we are saying that it is carried on apart from our expectations. If we want God to go along with our reasons, we will not receive any blessing. In order to make us a blessing to others, God has to deal with us in a realm beyond our expectation so that we can receive grace that is beyond our expectation. In this race, the positive things are God’s blessings, mercy, grace, and power. In Romans 9:15-16 Paul spoke of how God said to Moses, “`I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.’ So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.” If God is gracious to us and grants us much grace, we have to remember that it has nothing to do with us.

  God works on us according to His pleasure, not according to our pleasure. It is a good thing that we are dealt with by Him. But we have to know that our being dealt with and being broken are not the basis and condition for us to receive His blessing. It is a great misconception to think that God’s breaking is His basis for blessing us today and in the future. If God wants to use us, it has nothing to do with us. If He finds us useful in any way, we can only say that this is the result of His mercy. God dispenses gifts according to His will, not according to our will. It is God’s grace that He breaks us, tears us down, and deals with us through the environment. But we cannot bargain for God’s grace according to the dealings we have received. Sister, if you can be free from the self, it will be a great deliverance to you. Those who know God know that we do not receive grace for any reason of our own.

  Esau’s life did not have any mark of God’s hand. But Jacob experienced God’s hand throughout his life. He had times of loss and times of gain. He cheated others and, in turn, was cheated by others. God’s hand was heavy upon Jacob. God will have mercy on whom He will have mercy. We have to see that it is a mercy that a man can be broken and destroyed. We can call this a destruction, and we can also call this a blessing. The only thing we are afraid of is God taking away His breaking hand. Today the Lord may want me to speak to others and to minister to them. I obey Him, but this is not my business, it is His business. We boast of His pleasure, not of our accomplishment. The most positive things are those that are according to the Lord’s pleasure. If we can take the dealings well, we should thank the Lord for it. If we cannot take the dealings well, we still should thank the Lord. Nothing can replace the Lord’s pleasure.

  Putting Paul’s word more explicitly, we can say, “If God wants to do something a certain way, what can you do?” Jacob could say that he was stubborn, but if God wanted to use him, what could he say? All positive items such as mercy, blessing, and usefulness are based on God’s pleasure and desire. Our eyes should never be upon ourselves. However, eight out of ten people set their eyes upon themselves. My heart rejoices when I realize that God’s work is accomplished apart from me. The Lord did not consider how we would react or how the world would react when He came to the earth. His coming was according to His own pleasure; He blesses according to His salvation. We do not have to pay attention to the Lord’s breaking; that is the Lord’s business. The trimming of the vine tree is God’s business. God will do as He sees fit. Once we see that God accomplishes His work apart from us, we will experience great liberation.

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