In order for us to minister life to others so that Christ may increase in them, we need to spend adequate time with the Lord to listen to His word and be dealt with by Him under His light. The church is a matter of life; the church is the increase of Christ, and the way Christ increases in us is by the ministry of life.
If we see a brother sinning, we need to realize that he needs more life; what he needs is not correction, adjustment, self-control, or anything outward – he simply needs to have more Christ as life, so that Christ may live and flow through him.
As believers in Christ we have Christ as life in us – the divine life has come into us at the time of our regeneration, and now this life flows in us, grows in us, and wants to flow out to others for the ministry of life so that Christ may increase in us and in others.
We are not the source of life, that is, the divine life is not originated with us; however, we have and enjoy the divine life, and we can flow out this life to others. We have the privilege of giving life through our life-imparting petition to the Lord so that life may swallow up any death in the saints.
We simply need to live in the fellowship of the divine life and abide in the Lord, doing everything not in our natural life but in and by the divine life in our spirit, and life will grow and flow out of us.
We cannot minister to others what we do not experience, and we cannot give others what we ourselves do not have; if we don’t enjoy, experience, and live in the fellowship of the divine life, we cannot minister life to others.
But when we touch the Lord, spend adequate time with Him in His word, let Him shine on us and in us, and allow His light to expose and remove anything old and natural, the Lord has a way to flow out through us into others for the ministry of life. Amen!
What does it mean to life in the fellowship of the divine life? What are the qualifications for us to minister life? There are at least four things that we need to do in order for us to minister life, and today we will take a closer look at the first two.
Spending Adequate Time with the Lord to Listen to Him and Receive His Timely Word
The first thing we need to do in order to minister life to others is to have an adequate contact with the Lord. We need to go to the Lord again and again to spend time with Him; our goal should not be just to ask for things or pray for people, but simply to contact Him.
We need to learn to listen to the Lord; for this, we should stop our being, our thinking, and our opinions, and just call on His name and wait in His presence. Through our listening to the Lord in His presence, we obtain a timely word, and this word can sustain us and sustain the weary ones.
We need to be like the purchased slave in Exo. 21 who, because he loves his master, his wife, and his children, does not want to go out free but wants to remain a slave forever.
We love the Lord (our Master), the church (the wife), and the saints (the children), and we want to remain slaves in His house forever; therefore, we need to let Him “bore our ear with an awl”, that is, enable us to listen to Him so that we may hear His word and speak His word. We should tell the Lord,
Lord, we wish to stay in Your house. We can go out freely, but we will not. We love You. We love the church and we love the saints. We do not want to miss You, Lord, and neither do we want to miss Your church and all the saints. We want to remain here to be Your bondslave. Bore our ear: open our ear that we may listen to You. We want to listen and learn from You, receive Your word, and be infused with Your speaking.
The Lord Jesus was such a One; His ears were open to the Father, He spoke as an instructed One, a learner, and daily He listened to the Father to speak His word and do what He does (Isa. 50:4-5; Psa. 40:6).
The Lord didn’t speak anything that He didn’t hear the Father speaking, and He didn’t do anything that He didn’t see the Father doing. His ear was always open to God the Father, and whatever He spoke became the ministry of the divine life to everyone He contacted.
We need to spend adequate time with the Lord to listen to Him and receive a timely word from Him; our attitude should be of a learner (and not of a teacher) and a listener.
If we listen to the Lord in our contact with Him, He will give us a timely word that will sustain us, and this word will also sustain those who are weary; when we speak such a timely word to others, they receive life and are sustained.
Lord Jesus, give us the tongue of the instructed so that we may know how to sustain the weary with a word. Awaken us morning by morning, Lord, and awaken our ear to listen to You, hear You, and receive from You as a learner. Lord, open our ear; we don’t want to be rebellious or turn back: we simply want to listen to You and receive Your timely word. We are here as listeners and learners, loving You and opening to You to receive Your word.
We must Learn in the Presence of the Lord to be Dealt with by Him under His Light
As we spend adequate time with the Lord, He will shine on us, and in His light we are being exposed of our sins, shortcomings, and natural disposition; we ned to agree with the Lord in His light and let His light expose anything that needs to be exposed.
In the Lord’s light we have many dealings with the Lord, and these dealings are a means for us to be pruned so that we may bear much fruit. If we are under the Lord’s light and let His light expose us, we will become new, fresh, and tender branches of the vine who bear fruit abundantly (John 15:2).
This refreshes us, renews us, and vitalizes us, causing us to be flexible in caring for people so that we may minister life to them at the right time. We shouldn’t be afraid of the light; God’s light is wonderful: it exposes us, prunes us, cleanses us, and heals us.
We need to tell the Lord,
Lord Jesus, shine on me! I open my entire being to Your shining! I don’t want any dark part in my being! I am so natural, wild, and raw; I am even sinful, worldly, and fleshly. Lord, in order for You to use me as Your bondslave, You must deal with me. I need Your dealing. Lord, I open to You, but I don’t depend on my opening: I depend on Your exposing! Bring me into Your light! Shine over me, shine within me, and shine through me thoroughly so that I may be full exposed, cleansed, healed, and filled with light!
It is good to spend much personal time with the Lord in which we allow Him to shine on us, expose us, and deal with us; nothing can replace our personal time with the Lord under His light to receive His dealings. We should spend even a whole hour in the Lord’s presence, allowing Him to shine on us and checking with Him concerning what else needs to be dealt with.
The Lord’s light will touch all hindrances in our being, especially our natural disposition; our natural disposition is a big obstacle in ministering life, but when we allow the Lord to shine in us and over us, we will become flexible in caring for people, and the Lord’s life will flow through us.
Caring for people is never convenient, nor does it match our time, preference, taste, or desire; it’s never at the time you want to do it but it is at their convenience. However, most of us are not flexible: we care for others according to our feeling, availability, disposition, and mood; if we are stirred up temporarily, we may go to visit others, but when our mood changes, we may not go anymore.
Our disposition needs to be touched by the Lord in His light as we spend much time with Him, and we will become fresh, new, and living, tender branches in the vine to bear fruit. As we deal with the hindrances in our being under the Lord’s light, we will have a living of bearing fruit, and we will care for people by ministering life to them.
Lord Jesus, we want to come into Your presence and be dealt with by You under Your light. Save us from being stale, old, and unfruitful branches in the vine. Lord, we open to You to be dealt with by You. Shine on us and expose any hindrance to the growth and flow of Your divine life. Lord, You know our natural disposition, and only You can deal with it; we open to Your shining, we trust in You, and we want to do our best to cooperate with You so that we may be dealt with and be channels of Your life!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, enjoyment in the ministry, the message by brother Mark R. for this week, and portions from The Normal Way of Fruit-bearing and Shepherding for the Building Up of the Church, ch. 2 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Increase of Christ for the Building up of the Church (2016 Memorial day Weekend Conference), week 3 / msg. 3, The Increase of Christ Being for the Increase of the Church by Ministering Life to Others according to the Law of Increase.
- All Bible verses are taken from, Holy Bible Recovery Version.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Take time to behold Him, / Speak oft with Thy Lord, / Abide in Him always, / And feed on His Word. / Wait thou in His presence, / Submissive and meek, / Forgetting in nothing / His blessing to seek. (Hymns #643)
# In tenderness He deals with me, / While I stay with joy in His presence; / And He saturates and supplies my soul / With all His precious essence. / And He speaks to me and reveals to me / All His riches for me today; / And in every way I partake of Him, / My problems all passed away. (Song on Spending time with God)
# Bless me with Thy shining light / And deal with every part. / That I would unreserved be / A channel of Thine heart. (Hymns #554)
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