The third key we see in Matt. 16 is the losing of the soul life. What does it mean to “lose the soul-life”? The soul life is the life of the soul with its enjoyment and pleasure – everyone wants to be happy, to enjoy his life, to have enjoyment for his soul. To save the soul-life is to please the self by alowing the soul to have its enjoyment. To lose the soul-life is to lose the enjoyment of the soul (Matt. 16:25-26). If we lose our soul-life in this age, we will find it at the Lord’s return!
God is man’s enjoyment
When God created man, His intention for man is that man would take God into himself and enjoy God, be filled with God, and express God. Taking God in and expressing God should be man’s joy and amusement (see Neh. 8:10, Rom 14:17). Man was not made to enjoy anything of this age or anything outward – man’s enjoyment and entertainment must be God Himself! God Himself as life and everything to man in a subjective way is man’s enjoyment, man’s joy, man’s happiness, and man’s entertainment!
losing our soul-life in this age
Because of the fall, our soul desires to find joy and happiness in so many things in this world, but if we allow ourselves to have the enjoyment of the soul – though very real and delightful to all of us – we will lose the soul at the Lord’s coming. Today we need to learn to lose the soul life, the enjoyment of the soul, in this age, so that we may gain it at the Lord’s coming! And the Lord’s coming is NOT ONLY when He returns to rapture His overcomers but He is appearing to us again and again in the church life and even in our daily life!
Just as the disciples had a foretaste of the Lord’s resurrection by seeing His transfiguration on the mountain (see Matt. 16:28 and Matt. 17), so today the Lord comes to us when we lose our soul life to give us the real enjoyment! If we lose our soul life for the Lord’s sake in this age, we will receive the reward of the real enjoyment of the Lord in our soul when He comes to us again and again! If we don’t lose our soul life in this age but seek to have it, we are double losers – the enjoyment we have in this age in our soul is NOT REAL, and at the Lord’s return we will really lose our soul life. But if we lose our soul life in this age, we are double winners – we have the REAL enjoyment of Christ in our soul in this age and when He returns, we will gain our soul!
being willing to lose our soul-life
It all comes down to BEING WILLING to lose our soul-life in this age so that we may be rewarded with the real enjoyment of the Lord. Sometimes we just want to enjoy our life, enjoy the things we like, the activities and sports we want to play, the entertainment, etc. And if someone offends us, we may not want to forgive him just for the pleasure of NOT forgiving someone (because if we forgive him, we lose our soul-life). This is why it is so hard to be built up together – everyone loves his soul-life and loves the enjoyment in their soul today…
The basic factor in our being built up together is being willing to lose our soul-life for the sake of the church, the saints, and the building up of the Body. If we are willing – if we cooperate with the Lord by allowing Him in us to be willing – to lose our soulish enjoyment in this age, the church life will have a revival! Our willingness to lose the soul for the Lord’s sake will cause the church to be transfigured, and all the saints will be revived! If all the saints are willing to lose their soul-life, the church will be built up and Lord can return!
[sharing inspired from, The exercise of the kingdom for the building up of the church (ch. 5-6), by brother Witness Lee, as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Four Great Pillars in the Lord’s Recovery. You can purchase the morning revival book online, follow the articles on The Four Great Pillars on this blog and become a fan on Facebook for more updates. ]
O, Lord, make us willing! Work out in us both the willing and the working according to Your good pleasure. Lord, we want to be willing to lose our soul-life in this age so that we may gain our soul at Your return. Thank You Lord for showing us what the real enjoyment is – God is man’s pleasure and satisfaction! Keep us enjoying You, Lord, as the One who really satisfies us and makes us happy!