Even though man was created by God in His image and according to His likeness (Gen. 1:26), man cannot express God unless he receives the life of God – and this is the reason God put man in front of the tree of life (Gen. 2:9).
Unless man receives God’s life and enjoys this life to allow this life to live in him, he cannot fulfill God’s purpose in creating man. We were created by God in His image so that we may receive His life, be filled with Him, and live Him out by living according to His life in our daily living.
But believers and non-believers alike still think that God wants us to do good and stay away from evil, choose the right things and reject the wrong, live in an upright and righteous way, be moral, ethical, give money to the poor, and do good.
What God desires is a kingdom – the kingdom of God, a realm in which we enter by believing into Him and thus receiving His life; in this realm we live not by our natural life which we try to improve but by the divine life in our spirit.
As believers in Christ we need to realize that we are God-men, men born of God and belonging to God’s species; this is the beginning of the God-man living. We cannot have a God-man living unless we first realize we are God-men, men with God’s life in them.
In the Old Testament we see a man, Job, who tried his best to please God, live in an upright way, reject evil, do good, and live righteously; this one was so upright and righteous that God even had a council in the heavens to talk about his situation.
God’s desire is NOT to have an upright and righteous man on earth but to have a God-man, a man filled with God who expresses God by living out God’s life; for this, He had to strip and tear down Job’s own righteousness and uprightness so that He may reconstruct and rebuild him with Himself. God’s intention with Job was that a good man would become a God-man!
God Doesn’t want a Good and Upright Man but a God-man filled with His Life
Job was not a bad person; rather, he was a very good person. Twice in the first chapter we see that Job was perfect, upright, and he feared God and turned away from evil (Job 1:1, 8). This all sounds very good – it is the pinnacle of the Christian perfection to be good, perfect, upright, fear God, and turn away from evil.
Chapters 3-37 of Job are a record of the words spoken by Job, his three friends, and Elihu; all these were God-fearing and God-seeking persons, but the words spoken by them are very much according to THEIR concepts concerning God, God’s will for man, the meaning of the human life, and the perfection of human virtues.
All these thoughts and long speeches they gave are in a clear contradiction to God’s purpose in man; God’s purpose with man is not that man would be good and upright with much integrity but that man would be filled with God’s life and express God in his living.
God doesn’t want a man that is perfect in himself, one who has achieved perfection and integrity by obeying God’s law and fulfilling all His requirements; He wants a man who comes to Him, is open to Him, receives Him as life, and lives by the divine life to have a God-man living.
Because Job thought he is so righteous and upright, he argued again and again that God would never punish him in such a way; he held to his integrity even unto death (Job 27:5), and even asked that God would weigh him in a balance and know his integrity (Job 31:6) – as if God didn’t know!
Job was righteous in his own eyes (Job 32:1), and put on his righteousness like a robe and a turban (Job 29:14). Because Job was so upright and righteous in his own eyes, God had a great deal of work to do with him; He didn’t do a work of improving him but of stripping him and tearing him down so that he would finally get to a point where he said, I have heard of You with the hearing of my ear, but now my eyes have seen You; therefore, I abhor myself and I repent in dust and ashes (Job 42:1-6)!
God’s intention with Job was not that he would be a good man but that he would be a God-man filled with His life to express Him. But Job was a good man, expressing himself in his perfection, uprightness, and integrity.
In contrast, the apostle Paul in the New Testament didn’t hold on to his own righteousness which is according to law (even though he kept all the law), but counted his righteousness as nothing so that he may be found in Christ and not in his own righteousness which is out of the law.
Even though Job and his friends spoke their own words (which contradict God’s purpose in man), God allowed their words to be in the Bible for the purpose of clearly showing us how wrong they were and how God’s good pleasure in man is that man should express Him only – and not his own righteousness, uprightness, and integrity.
May we be turned from seeking to be a good and upright man to being a God-man, one who receives, enjoys, and lives out the life of God for God’s expression.
Lord Jesus, save us from seeking to be a good, upright, and righteous man in our own eyes and by our own efforts. Lord, it is Your intention to gain a God-man, and we are Your believers who have Your divine life – make us the God-men who are filled with Your life to express only You! Save us from our own righteousness, uprightness, and integrity; we want to keep opening to You, count our righteousness as nothing, and be found in You, filled with You, one with You, and expressing You!
Not merely Fearing God and Turning away from Evil but Expressing God
Job was a person who feared God and turned away from evil; positively, he feared God and lived in such a way not to displease Him, and negatively, he turned away from evil and didn’t do any bad things (Job 1:1). Even when his children had a party, he would pray for them and offer a burnt offering, just in case they cursed God in their heart (Job 1:4-5); he was a godly father.
Ethically speaking, there was nothing wrong with Job – he was very good, and God even boasted of him to Satan when He had a council with His angels and servants in the heaven. But God’s purpose for man is NOT that man would merely fear God and turn away from evil but that man would express God by being filled with God’s life.
Man was created in God’s image and according to His likeness so that man would receive God as life and become a God-man to express God in all his living. Fearing God and turning away from evil are not adequate; they may sound positive but they are not. Expressing God is the most positive thing, and it is the purpose of God.
God saw Job and all his living, and Job had been laboring under God’s blessing for many years, accumulating many things (he had 7000 sheep, 3000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, many servants, and seven sons and daughters).
Moreover, Job was very successful in being perfect and upright and in holding to his integrity. His possessions, success, and attainment made him a contented and satisfied person. Although Job was full of possessions and full of his attainment, he did not have God within him. As God looked upon Job, He might have said, “ Job, what shall I do with you? You are full of your possessions and your attainment, but you are not full of Me. You have Me in name, but you do not have Me within you.” Thus, for God’s dealing with Job, Satan was needed. Satan was the unique one in the universe who could and who would fulfill God’s intention of stripping Job of his possessions and his ethical attainment. (Witness Lee, Life-study of Job, pp. 9-12)
God didn’t create man merely to fear Him and not to do anything wrong; rather, God created man in His own image and according to His likeness so that man may receive God as life, live by this life, and express God (Gen. 1:26). To express God is much higher than fearing God and turning away from evil, just as eating the tree of life is much higher than having the knowledge of good and evil.
Job did not have God within him, and so no matter how upright, righteous, and moral he was, he was not a God-man through whom God can be expressed. God wants us to gain Him, enjoy Him, and be filled with Him so that we may express Him for the fulfillment of His purpose.
Job spent all this time arguing and debating, and only at the end God spoke to him from a whirlwind; in our case, we should not merely have a glimpse of God here and there but enter into the divine and mystical realm and remain there, live there, and abide there.
Lord Jesus, may we seek to be filled with God to express God rather than merely fear God and turning away from evil. Lord, we want to gain You so that we may express You for the fulfillment of Your purpose. Save us from any counterfeit righteousness, goodness, morality, and uprightness. We want to have the real thing: the real God-man living for the expression of God in man. Oh Lord, nothing good dwells in us; we come to You to enjoy You, gain You, and be filled with You so that we may express You in our living!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my Christian experience, brother Andrew Yu’s sharing in the message for this week, and portions from, Life-study of Job, msgs. 2-4 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Need for a New Revival, week 4 / msg 4, Living the Life of a God-man (2) Living in the Kingdom of God as the Realm of the Divine Species.
- All Bible verses are taken from, Holy Bible Recovery Version.
- Hymns on this topic to strengthen this burden:
# God has chosen you and me out of the world / For His plan, for man to live expressing Him. / Use us! Infuse us! Shine as the light from within. / Saturate us; be manifested through our entire being. (Song on Expressing Christ)
# I always knew deep down in me / There was a longing to be free, / A kind of hunger deep inside— / To fill it up, I tried and tried. / There were a lot of things I had; / Some things were good, / Some things were bad. / But all those things of mine before / Don’t satisfy me anymore. / Now life affords a real reward / Whenever I just call “O Lord!” / The Triune God the Spirit is, / And He can fill mine up with His. (Song on Being Filled with Christ)
# Oh to be but emptier, lowlier, / Mean, unnoticed—and unknown, / And to God a vessel holier, / Filled with Christ and Christ alone! / Naught of earth to cloud the glory, / Naught of self the light to dim, / Telling forth His wondrous story, / Emptied to be filled with Him. (Hymns #589)