As we see in Ezekiel, the Lord is recovering His people inwardly by life, and the result is that any desolate places will become like the garden of Eden, and the Lord increases His people with men like a flock.
However, there are two aspects to the Lord’s recovery, as seen in Ezekiel: one is outward and the other is inward.
Outwardly, the Lord comes in as the good Shepherd to lovingly cherish and nourish His scattered sheep and bring them into His flock, taking an all-inclusive tender care of them in love so that there would be one flock and one Shepherd.
Inwardly, the Lord gives us a new heart and a new spirit, and He puts His Spirit into our spirit so that we may live no longer in our natural man but by the spirit and according to the spirit.
How we need the Lord constant shepherding, so that we may be brought back from any scattering, backsliding, or worldly situation, and into the church life with the saints, where we can enjoy the Lord’s tender care in love! Furthermore, how much we need to cooperate with the Lord to maintain the newness of our heart and our spirit!
Through regeneration the Lord gave us a new spirit and a new heart; with our new heart we love the Lord and desire Him, and with our new spirit we contact Him and receive Him.
Now we need to maintain the newness of our heart by daily turning our heart to the Lord, loving Him, and being open to Him so that He may purify our heart, soften our heart, make our heart loving toward Him, and keep our heart at peace.
We need to daily maintain the newness of our spirit by exercising our spirit to call on the name of the Lord, pray-read the word of God, unceasingly pray, always rejoice, not quench the Spirit, and practice to prophesy for the building up of the church.
We need to realize that we believers in Christ are very special people: we have a mingled spirit, that is, the divine Spirit came into our human spirit and mingled Himself with our spirit as one spirit.
Therefore, we need to daily exercise our spirit, remain one spirit with the Lord, and walk according to the spirit, and the requirement of the law will be fulfilled in us.
We need to simply do one thing: walk according to the spirit, that is, turn to our mingled spirit and live in spirit, and God’s purpose will be fulfilled in us.
The Result of the Inward Recovery by Life is that Any Desolate Place becomes like the Garden of Eden
The result of the inward recovery by life is that the land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden, and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited (see Ezek. 36:35).
The result of the Lord recovering us inwardly by His life is that we are being restored to the full enjoyment of the riches of Christ as the reality of the good land (Ezek. 36:8-15, 33-36).
When we backslide or become fallen, we lose the rich enjoyment of Christ; Christ is still very rich, but we lose the enjoyment of His riches. Praise the Lord that, as He is daily recovering inwardly by His life, we have the restoration of the enjoyment of the riches of Christ.
The Lord is restoring us by taking us from the nations and gathering us from all the countries to bring us into our own land, which is the full enjoyment of Christ as the all-inclusive good land (Ezek. 36:24).
We can all testify that, when the Lord brings us into His recovery, we enjoy Christ in a rich way with the saints in the church life; we are being brought to Christ as our land.
Furthermore, any desolate and waste places become like the garden of Eden. Eden in Hebrew means pleasure; the Lord’s recovery should come to the point where it is like the garden of Eden. I
n “the garden of Eden” we have Christ as the plant of renown (Ezek. 34:29), Christ as the tree of life with the rich food supply (Rev. 2:7; 22:14). We are so happy to be in the church life, which is a lovely place: here we can eat Christ as the tree of life, and we are satisfied and nourished with His word, enjoying Him with the saints.
Many times in the meetings of the church we have the sense that we are in the garden of Eden: here we have pleasure and satisfaction – here we have ended our search, for we have Christ as the all-inclusive One revealed to us, enjoyed by us, experienced by us, lived out in us, expressed in us, and flowing through us.
The result of the Lord’s inward recovery by life is that we are in a situation and environment where it is full of pleasure: here Christ is our rich supply of life.
We used to be in a desolate place with no food, in a waste land with nothing of life; but now in the church life we have so many wonderful aspects of Christ being enjoyed by us, and there’s the tree of life ready for us to eat and live by! What a recovery!
Aren’t you happy to be in this lovely place, in the garden growing in His grace? Here His pleasures and His riches flow so free – and we can drop our concepts, be simple, eat the Lord with the saints, and be filled with Him!
Praise the Lord, any desolate place becomes like the garden of Eden as a result of the Lord’s inward recovery by life!
Thank You Lord for bringing us into the church life, Your green garden, where we can eat Christ, drink Christ, be filled with Christ, and be satisfied with the enjoyment of the all-inclusive Christ! Hallelujah, we are so happy to be in this lovely place, in the church life garden growing in His grace! There is no finer pleasure than to eat the living tree and getting the living water into us! Thank You, Lord, in the church life any desolate and waste places become like the garden of Eden, and here we enjoy Christ as the tree of life with the rich food supply!
In His Recovery by Life, the Lord Desires to Increase us with Men like a Flock
A further result of the Lord’s recovery by life is that He desires to increase us with men like a flock; He wants to be inquired of by His people to increase them and fill their cities with flocks of men, and they will know that He is Jehovah (Ezek. 36:37-38).
The Lord’s desire is to increase His people with “flocks of men”, and He wants His people to inquire of Him to do so. Here we see that the Lord opens His heart to His people so that they would pray back His heart’s desire back to Him, and He will do it.
The result of the Lord’s recovery by life is that we ask Him, Lord, increase us with flocks of men! Fill all the desolate cities with many men, and increase us with men like a flock! – and the Lord will do it!
Although the Lord has promised us that He will do it, He still wants us to inquire of Him (see Luke 10:2). One of the great signs of the Lord’s blessing and the great result of His recovery by life is that His people will grow and increase, even in the way of flocks.
We therefore need to ask the Lord to do it – He desires to do it, but we also ask Him to do it, and He will do it. We shouldn’t say that numbers don’t mean anything, and that we don’t care for numbers; rather, we need to pray for the increase, claiming the Lord’s promise in Ezekiel 36!
Throughout the centuries in church history many have claimed this blessing and the Lord rewarded them with many men; we need to stand on the Lord’s word and ask Him to increase us with flocks of men!
The Lord doesn’t want only us and those in the church life with us to enjoy Him: He desires ALL men to be saved and to come to the full knowledge of the truth, and we need to pray this to Him!
We should never be content with our present number, but we should aspire to be doubled within a period of time. We should never say that numbers don’t mean anything, and we should not be content if there’s no increase in numbers for a long period of time.
We need to pray for the increase, claiming the Lord’s promise! Don’t say that you “care for quality and not quantity”, for quality comes out of quantity, and we need to have and gain more people for the Lord to have a way to gain what He is after.
The result of the Lord’s inward recovery by life is that we become one with Him to ask Him to do what He wants to do: we ask Him to increase us with men like a flock!
Especially as we see that the end of this age is coming and the Lord’s return is near, we need to pray specifically for Europe that the Lord would gain flocks of men in all the major cities in Europe, so that many would come into the full enjoyment of the all-inclusive Christ in the church life.
We need to stand on the Lord’s promise and ask Him,
Lord, bring in men like a flock! Fill all the major cities in Europe with men like a flock who would come into the church life to enjoy Christ with the saints! Save us from remaining complacent, not caring whether we have an increase or not. Oh Lord, we stand on Your promise and we inquire of You: increase us with men like a flock! Lord, You desire to save many men and bring them to the full knowledge of the truth. We stand one with You on earth as those who experience Your recovery by life, and we ask You, increase us with men like a flock!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by brother Minoru C. for this week, and portions from, Life-study of Ezekiel, msg. 17 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-Study of Ezekiel (1), msg. 12 (week 12), The Inward Recovery by Life for the Carrying Out of God’s Economy.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Splendid church life! His green garden! / He has brought us, praise the Lord, / To experience the Christ Who’s growing here! / He is full of rich enjoyment / To His saints in one accord; / He is new and fresh, available and dear. / I’m so happy in this lovely place, / In the garden growing in His grace! / There is no finer pleasure / Than to eat the living tree / And to get the living water into me. (Hymns #1237)
# Some, these days, would tell us that our Jesus is not food, / That we only need to know about Him and do good, / But we’re glad to tell you brothers, it’s just not that way— / Jesus is the bread of life; we eat Him every day. / We love the church life, eating, / drinking, breathing Jesus. / We love the church life, taking / in God’s Word. / We love to hear those “O Lord, / Amen, Hallelujahs!” / We love the church life, feasting / with the Lord. (Song on the church life)
# Lord we yearn for Your display / On the earth as Your abode, / Your authority and grace / In the churches, in Your home. / Every nation, every place, / May Your name, Lord, be extolled / That Your kingdom may increase, / That Your glory may be told. (Song on the Lord’s increase)