Chapter 16: My Burden Before God
Eph. 4:2-4 With all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, bearing one another in love, being diligent to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace: one Body and one Spirit, even as also you were called in one hope of your calling.
2 Tim. 2:21a If therefore anyone cleanses himself from these, he will be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, useful to the master.
These few decades, the way of my life took many unexpected turns, time and time again the Lord permitted me to enter suffering, time and time again He brings me out of the furnace of suffering. I marvel at Lord’s miraculous leading, I believe that He has a wonderful design upon me, for the completion of His eternal plan. Whenever I’ve experienced tribulations, the more the real of my service that the Lord has measured for me, increases as well. Before 1956, I was only serving the Lord in only in two places, Chengguan and Yuxi in Fuqin county. After I left prison in 1957, the Lord extended the sphere of my service to the entire Fuqin county and the neighboring county. The second time I went to jail in 1963, and after leaving prison in 1973, the Lord extended my work to the entirety of Fujian Province. In 1983 I went in jail for a third time, from leaving prison in 1991 until today, the Lord expanded the sphere of my service to the entire nation. This wasn’t by my own choice, but what God Himself has ordinated Himself. Now I feel that I have these few burdens before God:
A. Encouraging the Oneness of the Body of Christ in All Localities in the Country
After the reforms in 1980 opening up, the contact and fellowship with the saints from overseas increased, the saints in various localities in the country also started to see the importance of standing on the ground of the local churches to walk the path of the recovery. Regrettably, various brothers who declared that they are walking the path of the Recovery cannot be in one accord, this truly hurt God’s heart!
During this period, several groups of brothers from various localities came for fellowship, I really have the burden to help them see the importance of the oneness of the Body of Christ. Because if the Body is not one, then it’s hard to speak of the building of the Body. To achieve oneness of the Body, the brothers must experience the cross, willing to put aside the self, don’t worry about individual or small group’s gains and losses, only care about God’s interest, to make God happy. While needing more mutual coordination, help with each other’s burdens in love, use harmony as the connecting points, only then would oneness of the Body of Christ in the spirit be achieved. I believe that is God’s heart’s desire, and our heart’s desire. If I live one day, then I must take the burden of this goal for a day, to prevent the brothers from being divided, prevent disputes, and truly bare the testimony for the Body of Christ.
Not only that, I asked that the Lord open our eyes, increase our capacity, so that we can accept everything that the Lord can accept, and love everything that the Lord has loved, be it any of God’s children in the Christian organizations, all those who have truly received grace and were saved, have God’s life, we are willing to have fellowship in life with them, and to love one another with them, so that we can express Christ, and testify that we all have His life and are together in the same Body of Christ. This is my first burden before God.
B. Perfecting Some Young People to Become Valuable Vessels Suitable for the Lord’s Use
The closer it is to the Lord’s Second Coming; the more busy and intense the Lord’s Work becomes. Today, the gospel must be spread, the sheep need to be nourished, the church requires building, and these works all need people, and need people that are suitable for the Lord to use. Thus, we hope that we can continue doing some work that perfects the young people. These couple of years, we have been perfecting young people, we had set such a goal, which is “For the propagation of the Lord’s gospel, and the building of the Body of Christ, the young people really need to be perfected in life, be armed with the Truth, adjusted in character, disciplined in living, set apart from lowly things, fight to become valuable vessels, suitable for the Lord’s use.” This work, the Church must double its attention on.
C. Encouraging the Saints to Live out the Reality of the Spiritual Life Even More
I feel that in the Lord’s Recovery, the truths are many and good, saints in all localities are learning and spreading it. But what must not be overlooked is the fact that we do not let ourselves be constituted by the Lord’s word enough, did not live out enough reality of the life, this is far from fulfilling God’s heart’s desire. God’s demand for us, is not on how much we understand His truths, but on how much we are constituted by His Word and loved out how much of it. If we understand that a loving heart is very important, but there is not one bit of love flowed out from us, then what use is knowing the knowledge? If we do not have the content of life, what we speak is ust making noise, without value whatsoever. So, I encourage that the brothers and sisters be aware of the reality of life, follow the spirit, love according to His life, in order to truly live out Christ, magnify Christ.
D. Fixing and Recovering a Normal Relation with the Believers in “Christian Meeting Place”
The Lord’s Recovery in Mainland, started by a group of brothers that count Watchman Nee among them, in the early 1920s. The believers of “Christian Meeting Place” follow the truth of the foundation of the local church seen by Brother Nee, and were originally in the Lord’s Recovery. Later, Brother Lee built upon the foundation of the truth seen by Brother Nee and continued forward, they are just unwilling to accept it. Despite that, we are still one with them in the life of Christ; we are in the Body of Christ, still the same members as they are. So, we and them should love one another and take care of one another. In the past, due to man’s opinions and deeds, we’ve both had some misunderstandings, and slandered one another, this is not something God approves. So I really wish that from now on, the brothers and sisters from both sides can have much contact and fellowship, gradually get past the misunderstandings, neutralized the hypocrisy, so that our relations can be recovered to the normal point, both putting Father God’s heart’s desire as the priority, increasing a heart for mutual loving, and bare the testimony of the oneness of the Body of Christ, this truly is my last wish.