Seeing how a Lover of the Lord Becomes Full of the Stature of Christ in Song of Songs

Seeing how a Lover of the Lord Becomes Full of the Stature of Christ in Song of Songs

photo credit: Instagram – a lover of the Lord becomes full of the stature of Christ.

The book of Song of Songs shows us how a believer is growing in life unto maturity to fully match Christ, even becoming the Shulammite, the feminine form of Solomon – the same as Christ in every possible way.

The loving seeker of Christ is progressively experiencing Christ until he reaches full maturity, becoming the reproduction and duplication of Christ to match Him for their marriage (see Song of Songs 6:13).

The Lord further likens the mature yet loving seeker to a palm tree, indicating that, in our mature state before the Lord, we have the fullness of the stature of Christ (see Song of Songs 7:8; Eph. 4:13).

As the Lord grows in us and we cooperate with Him by letting Him gain more ground in our being, we become full of the stature of Christ, beloved and lovely in His sight, and we match Him in full.

Our desire then is to work together with our Beloved in the Body of Christ – not focused merely on our local church or local area, but even sojourning from one place to another to work together with Christ for the building up of His Body (see Song of Songs 7:11; Eph. 4:12).

Eventually, the consummation of the process of transformation and growth in life is that we become mature in life, and we hope to be raptured by the Lord through the redemption of our body (see Song of Songs 8:1-5; Rev. 12:5, 7-11; 14:1, 4; 19:7).

Our prayer and desire is that the Lord would return soon and bring us into His glory, transfiguring the body of our humiliation into the body of His glory, for the fulfillment of God’s purpose! Wow, what a wonderful destiny we have, and how much we pray that this would happen sooner in our lifetime!

Becoming the Shulammite, the Reproduction and Duplication of Christ

In Song of Songs 6:13 we see that, as a result of the process of transformation and growth in life, we become “the Shulammite”, the feminine form of Christ as our Solomon.

Just as Eve came out of Adam and matched Adam, being the same as he is in every possible way for their marriage, so we are becoming the duplication and reproduction of Christ, the same in life, nature, expression, image, and function, so that we may match Him for eternity for our marriage life together (see Gen. 2:20-23; 2 Cor. 3:18; Rom. 8:29).

This is our destiny – to become the New Jerusalem, where the redeeming God and all His redeemed (that’s us, the Shulammite) become one for our marriage life for eternity.

As we let Christ grow in us and make His home deep down in every inward part, as we are being transformed into the same image as Him, we become a “female Christ”, the same as He is, and others see no longer us living but Christ living in us (Gal. 2:20; Phil. 1:19).

In the maturity of Christ’s life in us, we as lovers of Christ become the Shulammite – the reproduction and duplication of Christ to corporately match Him for our marriage (Song of Songs 6:13; Rev. 19:7-8). Hallelujah!

Likened to a Palm Tree – Having the Fullness of the Stature of Christ

Likened to a Palm Tree - Having the Fullness of the Stature of Christ

photo credit: Palm Tree – Likened to a Palm Tree – Having the Fullness of the Stature of Christ

In the beginning of our experience of Christ, we have no growth or maturity – we are likened to a lily and a dove – but as we grow in life unto maturity, we arrive at the fullness of the stature of Christ (Song of Songs 7:8; Eph. 4:13).

The Lord likens the mature seeker to a palm tree, standing upright and shooting into the sky, with full stature and maturity. The roots of the palm tree are in touch with the spring of living water, and even though the scorching sun shines on the leaves, the tree still grows without hindrance.

Through we may suffer great trials in the wilderness today, we are not affected – we remain in the intimate union and communion with Christ, and we grow into the fullness of Christ.

The palm tree represents the Lord Himself in the Bible, and in the Song of Songs we as mature loving seekers of Christ are likened to a palm tree. This means that we arrive at the stature of the fullness of Christ, abiding in our organic union with Him and growing unto full maturity for His corporate expression and manifestation.

Carrying out with our Beloved a Work that is for the Entire World

It is so easy to be focused only on the local church, the local area, or even the local district where the Lord has placed us, while forgetting or not emphasizing the entire Body of Christ.

But in the maturity of the life of Christ in us, we as the Shulammite want to carry out with our Beloved a work that is not only for our own locality or region but for the entire world (see Song of Songs 7:11; Eph. 4:12). We now work together with the Lord for His Body, being mature and full grown in life.

Yes, we are in a local church; yes, we seek to be built up with the saints in our locality; but at the same time, we want to carry out with our Beloved the world that is for the entire Body of Christ, being willing even to sojourn from one place to another to minister Christ.

We give the Lord our love in the vineyards, among the churches, where we see that the vine has budded (the saints are growing in life), the blossom is open (the riches of Christ are expressed in the saints), and the pomegranates are in bloom.

Our work as mature believers is diligently not for ourselves and not only for our local church, but in the local churches together with our Beloved. Our work is in the Body and for the Body, and we work one with the Lord.

Paul was a real Shulammite – he lived Christ (Phil. 1:21) and he did everything in the index of His eyes, caring for the churches according to Christ.

He established local churches and then worked to bring them into the full realization of the Body of Christ by visiting them, blending them, sending letters to them and encouraging them to read them in other churches also, bringing them in the fellowship of the Body through giving, and praying for them.

How we need to grow in life unto maturity until we arrive at the stage that we live Christ and we work together with Him for His Body in all the churches!

Becoming Mature in Life and Hoping to be Raptured

The consummation of our growth and transformation in life is that we as lovers of Christ become mature in life and we hope to be raptured through the redemption of our body (just as the loving seeker did in Song of Songs 8:1-5).

Through our growth and transformation, we become mature in life and the same as Christ in every aspect and from every view, except for the fact that we still have the flesh. We want to fully match Him and be with Him completely, and our yearning and desire is to be raptured through the redemption of our body.

Such mature ones hope to be saved from our groaning from their flesh (see Rom. 8:19-25), and they hope to be raptured through God’s redemption of their body (Rom. 8:23; Eph. 4:30).

Today we may still desire some things of this world, or we may make some compromises….but we will one day become mature through our growth and transformation, and then we will simply desire to be raptured to be with the Lord and be released from this body of death. In a real and proper sense, we will become spiritual, heavenly, in ascension, and kingly, reigning with Christ.

We all CAN become such a one, and we MUST become fully mature! Don’t believe Satan’s lie. Don’t believe in your failures today, and don’t look at your situation right now. Simply cooperate with God’s life which is in you!

Let us all go on unto maturity. Let us allow the Lord make His home in our heart. Let us cooperate with Him like never before, so that together with all the saints in all the churches we may grow in life unto maturity and match Christ corporately for our marriage life for eternity!

Lord Jesus, our dear Bridegroom, we love You! We open to You right now – we want to cooperate with You as never before. Make Your home in all our heart. Take us on unto maturity, until we become Your corporate duplication and reproduction. Lord, we want to grow up in the divine life and let Your life transform us until we match You in every possible way. We want to work together with You for the building up of Your Body, and we desire that You would return soon to take us to Yourself! Come, Lord Jesus!

References and Hymns on this Topic
  • Inspiration: the Word of God, my Christian experience, bro. Minoru Chan’s speaking in the message for this week, and portions from, Life-study of Song of Songs (msgs. 7-9), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Entering into the Fourth Stage of the Experience of Life to Arrive at a Full-Grown Man for the Fulfillment of God’s Purpose, week 6/ msg 6, The Fourth Stage of the Experience of Life (5) – Full of the Stature of Christ (you can buy this morning revival book here).
  • Further reading: recommending the books, Song of Songs (by Watchman Nee, see, Collected Works of Watchman Nee, vol. 23, pp. 107-108).
  • Hymns on this topic:
    # The Shulamite, His duplication, / His counterpart has now become. / She’s the same in life and nature, / His expression to the full; / Consummated as the New Jerusalem.
    # Now we’re one His purpose to fulfill, / As the one new man of His plan. / Unto Him be glory in the church, / And in Jesus Christ forevermore—Amen!
    # As we become the same as Christ / In life, nature, expression, and function, / We are qualified to work with Him / For His Body. / As we trust in the Lord helplessly, / Depend on Him as our love and strength, / And listen to His speaking, / Our hope is to be raptured / Through the redemption of our body. / And our prayer is— / “Come, Lord Jesus!”

working with the Lord by giving Him our first love and doing the first works

working with the Lord by giving Him our first love and doing the first worksThe work that the Lord considers precious and good is the work that comes out of our first love for the Lord.

The seeker in the Song of Songs has passed through many processes and was transformed until she arrived to the stage where she tells her Beloved, Let us rise up early for the vineyards; let us see if the vine has budded, if the blossom is open, if the pomegranates are in bloom; there I will give you my love (S. S. 7:12).

Our work with the Lord should come out of our love for Him, and in the churches (in the vineyards) we should render our love to the Lord by taking care of the saints. In the midst of the Lord’s work we give Him our love (Mark 12:30).

an absolute union with the Lord in life

When we love the Lord, we seek to be one with Him in what He is doing today. Just as the seeker / the maiden in Song of Songs, we are going through a long process to be transformed and be qualified to work with the Lord.

As we become one with the Lord in life, our interest becomes more what the Lord’s interest is, and we want to work with Him and give Him our love.

In Song of Songs 7:12 we see that the seeker is liberated from her own issues and problems, and she is interested in the affairs of the saints, in those who show signs of life. As long as there’s a sign of the divine life in the saints, no matter who they are, where they are, where they meet, etc, we care for them in an absolute union with the Lord.

How we need to grow in life, to be transformed in our natural life, and to give the Lord our best love in working with Him, so that His interest in the saints and in all the believers who contain the divine life would become our interest also!

giving the Lord our love in working with Him

“There I will give You my love” – in working with the Lord, we give Him our love. It used to be that because we serve the Lord so much, we didn’t have time to listen to Him at His feet, but we would be rather much distracted by the work.

When we are immature, the work may not improve or increase our love for the Lord, but would rather exhaust us and even put a barried between us and Him. But as we experience transformation, as we grow in life, as we reach the stage of maturity, we are becoming able to love the Lord in our work for Him.

We can express our love to the Lord even in the place of His work. We are getting there – we will eventually work with the Lord as an expression of our love for Him, and we will become one with Him in an absolute way, giving Him our love even while we work with Him.

the first works issuing out of the first love

There is a strong relationship between our first love for the Lord and our first works (Rev. 2:4-5) – the first love issues in the first works, and the first works come out of our first love for the Lord.

When we are filled with the first love toward the Lord, everything that we do issues from and expresses our love for Him. When we love the Lord with our best love, our first love, we will work together with the Lord, our Beloved, for the Body (Eph. 3:19; 4:16).

This is what the Lord considers as precious – not the outwardly great things or amazing works that we can do for Him, but the work that issues out of our first love for Him.

You can say that, outwardly speaking, the first works (which issue out of our first love for the Lord) are very similar to the good works that the Ephesians did and the Lord mentioned in Rev. 2:1-5. But the source, the power, and the goal of those works is different – the works may be similar, but the power that motivates the works is different.

The first works are motivated by the first love, while the other works may be motivated by our zeal, our natural being, or any other good cause / matter. If we work with the Lord for His Body out of our love for Him, with the intention of love, our work will be a work of love and it will build up the Body of Christ.

Today, in the degradation of the church, when the love of many toward the Lord has grown cold, we need to come to the Lord desperately and ask Him to rekindle our love for Him.

The Lord doesn’t want us to do many works for Him – He is the Lord, and the work He needs to be done will be done. What He desires is to have many loving seekers who love Him with the best love, the first love, and do the first works which are motivated by the first love.

We need to come to Him and receive the power of love from Him so that we can do the first works, so that we can work with the Lord for His Body by giving our love for Him in our work with Him.

Lord Jesus, we love You. Increase our love for You, Lord. We want to love You with our first love, with our best love. May everything we do and say come out of our first love for You. We desire to have the first works, Lord, the works that are motivated by our love for You. Save us from just working – we want to work with You by giving You our best love even at the place of our work with You! Lord, we love You!

References and Further Reading

the Body is the governing law of the life and work of the children of God today

the Body is the governing law of the life and work of the children of God today

Starting from our regeneration and until the Lord returns to rapture us or until we go to be with the Lord, the governing law of our life and work is the Body of Christ. Everything we are, everything we do, everything we say, should be for the Body, for the building up of the Body.

The Triune God is working in us and around us to produce and build up the Body of Christ (see Eph. 3:16-21). All the work we do with the Lord is for the Body.

What God desires to gain in this age, the age of grace, is the Body of Christ, the corporate expression of the Triune God through a group of people who have been reconstituted, re-modelled, and built up with Christ as their element and substance to live Christ!

growing in life for the Body

Our eating of the Lord, drinking of the Spirit, breathing in of God, and all our feeding on the Triune God in all His riches in His Word and in the ministry is for one purpose – for the buiding up of the Body of Christ.

We grow in life for the Body, we enjoy the Lord for the Body, and all our spiritual healthy practices of life are for the Body.

Why do we pray over the Word of God? For the Body. Why do we sing and enjoy many hymns, both personally and corporately? For the building up of the Body. The more we enjoy the Lord, the more we grow in life, and the more we are transformed, the more the Body of Christ is built up!

Everything we do affects the Body; for this  reason we need to be those who take the lead to enjoy the Lord by exercising their spirit. We must be persons who live in their mingled spirit, according to the Spirit of God who dwells in us for the accomplishment of God’s eternal economy!

God’s eternal economy is to produce and build up the Body of Christ which consummates in the New Jerusalem as God’s heart’s desire and God’s ultimate goal.

Everything God does today is for this, and everything we do and we are is for this only purpose – the building up of the Body of Christ. Our daily renewing, transformation, conformation, sanctification, etc – are all for this, for the Body!

the church, the ministry, and the work

In the New Testament we see these three distinct matters: the church, the ministry, and the work. They all derive their existence from, find their place in, and work for the good of the Body.

The church is the life of the Body of Christ in miniature in a certain place. The ministry is the functioning of the Body in service. The work is the reaching out of the Body of Christ in growth and increase.

All these are inter-related and they are for the Body. Without the Body as the principle of our life and work in our Christian life, everything is man-made and not God-created. The basic principle of the work, the ministry, and the church is the Body of Christ.

All the local churches are for the Body of Christ and not “for themselves”, for their region, for their country or for their continent. We are in the local church for the Body – to build up the universal organic Body of Christ.

Those who serve full time in the Lord’s work don’t do anything for their own glory or according to their interest – they serve and work with the Lord for the Body. The ones who have the portion of speaking messages or prophesying do this not to build up their own congregation but for the building up of the unique Body of Christ.

The church, the ministry, and the work have a basic principle and a goal – the building up of the Body of Christ!

only one work for the one unique Body

Actually, there is only one unique work we all are doing today, and that work is for the Body. We are all learning to work with the Lord for the Body.

All the co-workers also are doing the same work universally for the one unique Body! The starting point of the work is the oneness of the Body (Eph. 4:1; 1 Cor. 16:10).

Paul, Peter, John, and James in the New Testament did only one work, the same work, though they had different ministries – they were one in the divine fellowship for the Body of Christ. They didn’t consider themselves as being separate from the others – they were one for the building up of the Body in all that they did and spoke.

It should be the same with us today – we don’t need to do “a different work”, and we don’t need to be different in our local church from the other churches. We need to do only one work locally and universally – working with the Lord for the Body!

As the lovers of Christ, we want to carry out with our Beloved the work that is for the entire world (the fields) – our work must be for the Body (Eph. 4:12). Our work in the church life and our work in the Lord’s recovery is the work of the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 15:58).

We need to let the Lord have the freedom to adjust us so that we would do just this one work – the building up of the Body of Christ!

Lord Jesus, open our eyes to see what You are doing today. Cause us to see the one work, Lord, the one unique work You are doing over the whole earth. May we be adjusted in our working and our laboring for the church. We just want to be one with You in the work of the producing and the building up of the Body of Christ. Lord, we are here for this – for the Body! May the governing law of our life and work be the Body!

References and Further Reading

becoming the same as Christ to be qualified to work with Him for His Body

becoming the same as Christ to be qualified to work with Him for His BodyWho can work with the Lord for the Body? In Song of Songs we see that if we would work with the Lord for the Body we need to become the Shulammite, one who is qualified to work with the Beloved (see Song of Songs 6:13; 7:1-13).

In other words, for us to work with the Lord for His Body we need to become Christ – we need to become God in life and nature but not in the Godhead.

The Shulammite is the female version of Solomon, one who passed through a long process and now has been matured to become qualified to work with Solomon in his many vineyards. As we grow in life and go through the stages of the experience of life, we are being matured and we become qualified to work with Christ for His Body!

becoming Christ’s duplication

In the book of the Song of Songs we see Solomon falling in love with a country girl, and this girl passes through various stages of transformation to eventually become the Shulammite, Solomon’s duplication.

In chapter 6 we see that she fully matches Solomon, becoming the same as he is in life, nature, expression, and function – just as Eve was to Adam (Gen. 2:20-23).

As the Shulammite she goes out into the villages and fields to work in the vineyards together with her Beloved. This shows us that we as Christ’s lovers need to become the same as He is that we may work together with Him for His Body (in the vineyards).

We need to grow in life and pass through the various stages of transformation as Christ’s lovers, so that we may become the same as Christ is in life, nature, expression, and even in function – but not in the Godhead (see 2 Cor. 3:18; Rom. 8:29).

Eventually, we as the many lovers of Christ who are transformed and matured need to share in the work of the Lord together with Him as His co-workers (1 Cor. 15:58; 16:10; Eph. 4:12).

We don’t work “for the Lord” having Him as our Master and our Boss; we work with the Lord by being one with Him and by even becoming Him! Christ is the most qualified One to work for the Body – we need to become Christ to be qualified to work with Him for His Body!

working with the Lord, our Beloved, for the Body

Our relationship with the Lord is not only in life (He is our life and we are His living) but also in love – we love the Lord Jesus, and He is our Beloved! As we love the Lord and as we go on in the divine romance daily with our Beloved, we become His lovers and we are being transformed and matured to match Him.

In this process we are being equipped with all the attributes of the divine life, and we are being qualified to work with Him for His Body. To work with the Lord we need to be one with the Lord and our work must be for His Body.

Christ is Solomon and we are the Shulammite – we need to become one with the Lord, even to become Him, to work with Him.

Our Lord is our Beloved, and in our love relationship with Him we are being matured and perfected to work together with Him for His Body. We don’t work FOR THE LORD but WITH THE LORD (1 Cor. 3:9; 2 Cor. 6:1).

We work with the Lord by being one with Him, by being organically joined to Him and by becoming Him. Just as with Paul, for us to live is Christ (Phil. 1:21), and we are joined to the Lord as one spirit (1 Cor. 6:17).

Also, our field is not just the church in your city but the whole Body. The Beloved in Song of Songs wants to go to the fields and take care of the vineyards (Song of Songs 8:11) – we don’t focus ONLY on the local church but our work is for the Body.

loving the Lord and being matured in life

We need to give ourselves to love the Lord and grow in life daily. Every day we have to advance in the divine life and we need to love the Lord much more.

As we love the Lord and pursue Him, as we follow the Lord wherever He goes, and as we just forget everything else but focus only on Him, He has a way to transform us, renew us, perfect us, and equip us to work with Him for His Body.

In this process we are being matured in life, and we become qualified to work with the Lord by being one with Him for His Body. To enter into God’s New Testament economy requires that we all grow in life and mature in the life of God (1 Cor. 2:6; Col. 1:28).

Lord Jesus, grow in us. We just want to give ourselves to love You. Make us Your Shulammite, Your duplication, by transforming in us and by growing in us day by day. Keep us in this process of transformation, Lord, that we may be matured in life and we would be qualified to work with You for the Body. The field is Yours and the vineyards are Yours – let us go forth into the fields; let us lodge in the villages!

References and Further Reading

God pays more attention to what we are than to what we do or can do for Him

God pays more attention to what we are than to what we do or can do for HimIn Christianity and in the world alike people pay more attention to great works than to the person of the worker.

With the Lord Jesus, His work was His living – there was no difference between His life and His work. He didn’t work for a while and then “took a break to live His life” – all the time, His work was His living and His life was His work.

God cares more for what we are, the kind of person we are, than to what we do or can do. To us also it should matter more what kind of person we are than what great things we can do for the Lord. The work is the overflow of the life, and the ministry is the expression of the person.

no difference between life, work, and move

With the Lord Jesus, our Pattern in working with God for God’s economy, there was absolutely no difference between life, work, and move (Mark 1:14-45).

He worked everywhere and also all the time because His life, His work, and His move were all the same. Actually, His living was His working, and He lived His work, His ministry. With the Lord Jesus there was no distinction between life, work, and move.

Just as with the Lord Jesus so with us, in our life, there should be no difference or distinction between our life, our work, and our ministry. Our living should also be our working, and our life should be our ministry (Phil. 1:20-21). For us to live is Christ!

God pays more attention to what we are

In the world and even in Christianity many times people are more impressed with the great work someone can do than with his person. People pay more attention to the work and the ministry than to the worker and the minister.

But according to the Bible, God pays more attention to what we are than to what we do or can do. God cares much more for our person, for our being, than for any kind of work that we can do for Him.

He can get a donkey to talk so that He may get His work done (see the story of Balaam), but what He really desires is PERSONS who are of life, in life, and ones who are one with Him, depending on Him in everything.

We need to be deeply impressed with this fact – God cares much more for what WE ARE than for what we do.

We cannot do more than what we are, or else it is hypocritical and fake. Our work is measured and influenced by our person. Our being should match our work, and our work should be an overflow and an accurate expression of what we are.

In the New Testament ministry of God, in God’s new covenant, the Lord is looking not for “workers who can do a lot for the Lord” but for ministers, persons, who work together with God by another life, the divine life!

The ministers of the new covenant work together with God by a life that is all-sufficient and all-matured, able to fit all situations, able to endure any kind of treatment, to accept any kind of environment, to work under any kind of condition, and to take any kind of opportunity, for the carrying out of their ministry. (Life-study of 2 Corinthians, pp. 339-340)

share in the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings for the Body

If we would work with the Lord for the Body, we need to be willing to make up what is lacking of the afflictions of Christ for His Body, the church (Col. 1:24).

The Lord Jesus lived a life of suffering on the earth, but we cannot share in His sufferings for redemption. But we can and we should share in His suffering for the producing and the building up of the Body of Christ, the church.

Just like the Apostle Paul, we need to aspire to Know Him and the Fellowship of His Sufferings, to be conformed to His death – through the power of His resurrection (Phil. 3:10).

Col. 1:24 says, I now rejoice in my sufferings on your behalf and fill up on my part that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His Body, which is the church.

It is a such a rejoicing that we as believers in Christ, members of the Body, and co-workers with the Lord can share in Christ’s sufferings for the producing and the building up of His Body!

For the sake of the church, we need to give ourselves to the Lord to fill up what is lacking of the afflictions of Christ. We may encounter persecution and rejection, but we need to follow the Lord and share in His sufferings, being one with Jesus the Nazarene, for the building up of the Body!

Lord Jesus, open our eyes to see what really matters to You. May we really see and be deeply impressed with the fact that God cares more for what we are than for what we do. Lord, we give ourselves to You to be worked on by You and to be constituted with You day by day. May our living match our being, and may our work be an overflow and a genuine expression of our God-constituted being.

References and Further Reading

the kind of person we are determines the kind of fruit that we produce

the kind of person we are determines the kind of fruit that we produceIn the Lord’s work the principle is that before we can do anything for the Lord we need to allow Him to work Himself into us. The result is not that “we work for the Lord” but that “we work with the Lord” and even “we are the Lord’s work”.

We should not do things for the Lord before we allow Him to work Himself into us. We cannot cheat ourselves or God – what we labor to produce today will come to be fully shown in its maturity in a couple of years.

If our person is wrong, we cannot produce good fruit. The kind of persons that we are determines the kind of children / fruit that you produce. This is why we need to allow God to work Himself into us more, so that what comes out of us, our work, would be Christ Himself.

what kind of person are we?

Matt. 7:17 says, Even so every good tree produces good fruit, but the corrupt tree produces bad fruit. If we seek the Lord and love Him yet in our personal time, on our own, in secret, we also love some aspects of the world, what we produce will not be “good fruit”.

Someone who loves football and also loves the Lord, if he brings someone into the church life it will be someone who loves football even more than he does. A good tree produces good fruit, and a corrupt tree produces evil fruit.

What kind of person are we? It is our person that produces the fruit and not the quantity of our work and labor for the Lord.

Some people may have miraculous gifts and even much spiritual power, but their person is more of a damage to the church than their gift. What they do builds up the church a little, but what they are damages and tears down a lot.

We need to be the kind of persons that Paul describes in 1 Tim. 3, and not people who seek to have a great gift or a capability. We build up by what we are and not merely by what we do.

If what we are is not right, if we are not dealt with by the Lord and we don’t have God wrought into our being continually, what we do may build up a little but what we are in our person will tear down much more.

the sin of the sanctuary

We sin in many ways, and most of the sins we commit are common, for which the blood of the Lord is available to wash us and cleanse us if we confess our sins (1 John 1:9). But in the Lord’s work there is a special sin that we can commit – the sin of the sanctuary. This sin may not be related to pride, jealousy, etc, but it damages God’s work.

“When the flesh is manifested, when the self-will is exposed, and when one speaks rashly or makes suggestions rashly, one often commits the special sin that pertains to the work…. Sinning in the work means offending God in His holiness, glory, and sovereignty. In God’s work, everything that is incompatible with God’s will is a sin and is an iniquity of the sanctuary.” (Watchman Nee)

This all comes back to our person, our inward being. All Christians have the desire to do something for God, but before we can do something for Him we need Him to do something for us.

We need to let God work Himself into us, deal with us, transform us, renew us, and saturate us with His element, so that the work would be God in us doing something and not us doing something in ourselves.

3 essential features of God’s work

Watchman Nee discovered three essential features of God’s work, three very important considerations in God’s work – which we should never forget.

  1. The initiation of God’s work must be according to His will (see Matt. 15:13; 1 Cor. 8:6). The initiation of working for God is not our desire to serve God, nor our good will, nor even the need for some things to be done – God’s will is the initiation of the work. The work initiates from God and His will, not from us. STOP initiating things! Let God initiate!
  2. The advance of God’s work is according to His power (2 Cor. 3:5; Phil. 3:10). We don’t work for God in our own strength, doing our best in our own power, but by the grace of God and the power of God. Only according to His power can His work advance. It has nothing to do with us – it is God’s power in us and through us.
  3. The result of God’s work must be for His glory (John 7:17-18; Eph. 3:21). If God’s will initiates and through God’s power the work is advancing, the glory will be God’s. God does not share His glory with us in this respect, and we should never desire to obtain any glory or appreciation in God’s work. To God be the glory!

The work of the Lord is not of us, through us, or for / unto us, but it is of God’s will, through God’s power, and unto God’s glory. These have nothing to do with us, but it is all of God, through God, and unto God.

How about your work? Is your work initiated by God’s will or out of your “own personal burden for the Lord’s work”? Is your work for the Lord carried out through your own power, or is it God’s power operating in you and advancing the work? Who gets the glory, the acclamation, and the praise when the work is accomplished? Is it you or is it God who is glorified?

If we fail to see these three principles and we don’t respect them, we commit the sin of the sanctuary, the sin against God Himself. How much we need God to deal with our person and to make us the right kind of people who cooperate with Him and work with Him for His Body!

Lord, thank You for Your faithfulness in showing us how much we need You. Lord, we give ourselves to You – we give our our whole being, our entire person. Make us the right kind of person, Lord! We want to produce good fruit – Lord, work Yourself into us! Even in our work for You, Lord, we want to allow You to initiate, allow You to operate, and give all the glory to You! Make us those who work with You for the Body!

References and Further Reading

working with the Lord for the Body and not doing our own personal work

working with the Lord for the Body and not doing our own personal workIf we would work with the Lord for the Body of Christ, we need to realize that in the Lord’s recovery there is only one work — the work of the Body. God has only one work that He is doing today – the work of building up the Body of Christ.

What we are doing today should not be “our personal work for the Lord” but the work of the economy of God — the building up of the Body of Christ! In our experience in the church life and in our work for the Lord we need to learn to work together with the Lord for the Body and in the Body.

We need to be one with the Lord in the divine romance, and in our experience we need to have the Lord as the Worker and being His co-worker.

the Son of God worked WITH the Father

The Lord Jesus Himself did not do His own work when He was on the earth – the work which the Father gave Him to do, this is what He did entirely.

We need to take the lead to work with the Lord for the Body by taking the Lord Jesus as our pattern. He was sent by the living Father and He lived by the Father (John 6:57) – so we who eat Him, we also should live and work because of Him.

What the Father taught the Son, this is what the Son did. What He heard from the Father, this is what the Son spoke. The Father is working, and the Son is also working (John 5:17) – this One is our pattern in working WITH the Father and not in Himself or by Himself.

The Christ who is our life in our mingled spirit today is this kind of a Person – He knows there is only only unique work in this universe, which is to produce and build up the Body of Christ (the corporate expression of the Triune God) consummating in the New Jerusalem.

What Christ is doing today in His heavenly ministry and as the indwelling Spirit in our spirit is working to build up the Body of Christ – and He wants us to WORK WITH HIM. To work with the Lord depends on our becoming a reproduction of the Lord Himself.

The more we are one with the Lord Jesus in an intrinsic way, the more our living is “Jesus Living Again”, and the more we can work with Him by knowing His heart, His will, His feeling, His intentions, and His ways.

there is only one work – the work of the Body

You may say that today in the sphere of the Body of Christ and in the sphere of the Lord’s recovery there are “many works” – but in the eyes of God there is only one work, the work of the Body. The governing law of our life and work is the Body, and God recognizes only this work!

We shouldn’t have “our own personal work” within the sphere of the Body but we should work with the Lord for the Body.

God’s unique work today in us, with us, among us, and through us is to build up the Body of Christ as the preparation of the Bride of Christ, for whom the Lord Jesus as the Bridegroom will return!

How much we need that the Spirit of reality would cause us to know inwardly, to have a realization of, the fact that in the Lord’s recovery there is ONLY ONE WORK! When we see that God today does only one work, to build up the Body for the preparation of the Bride for Him to return, we will work with the Lord for the Body and give up any of personal burdens and works for the Lord.

History tells us that, again and again, capable brothers with a big burden for the Lord do their own work in the Body of Christ and in the sphere of the Lord’s recovery, and this work is NOT the work of the Body, not a work in fellowship, and it leads to division. Oh, Lord!

the work of the Body versus our personal work

I have to admit that I am in fear and trembling before the Lord even as I am writing on this blog. I am really considering,

Lord, am I in the Body and am I in the unique work of the Body as I am writing these words? Lord, am I doing a personal work within the Lord’s Recovery? Oh, Lord, does this blog help build up a personal work or does it build up the Body of Christ?

As I was listening to the message by brother Ron Kangas gave on, Taking the Lead to Work with the Lord for the Body, I was exposed and even stripped of my natural desire to do anything without the Lord and without the fellowship in the Body.

It’s not a matter of WORK and doing something for the Lord, but it’s a matter of the FELLOWSHIP of the Body and the Working With The Lord for His Body!

It’s not that capable brothers desire to be reckless or defiant of the Body and they do their own thing, but it is so easy to be simply oblivious of the fact that you are doing your own personal work! For us to keep every principle of the Body we need to be an overcomer.

Only the Head of the Body knows – and many members who are in the Body in reality suffer also with the Head in this – to what extent the principles of the Body are broken by some who have “their own personal burden” and do “their own personal work”!

Oh, Lord Jesus! Is this “my burden” which “I carry it out on my own”, for which “I don’t need to fellowship with the Body” because “it is my personal work for the Lord”??? Oh, Lord, may even this blog and this article be for the Body and in the Body!

God’s central work today

If we as believers would like to work with the Lord for His Body, we need to know what is the central work of God (see Eph. 3:17; Phil. 2:13).

“God’s central work, His unique work, is to work Himself in Christ into His chosen people, making Himself one with them for the Body of Christ (Gal. 4:19; Eph. 4:16).” (brother Lee).

I have to admit that of myself and by myself I don’t see this, but in the ministry of the age and in the fellowship in the church life with all the saints I am enlightened, exposed, unveiled, and caused to see that God today does only this central work – He is working Himself into us to make us one with Him for the Body of Christ.

If we see what the central work of God is, we will realize that God today desires to gain persons through which He can have a way to go on for the carrying out of His economy (see Acts. 9:15; 13:1-2). First of all, to be these people we need to allow God to work Himself into us and be the Lord’s work first, by letting Him work on us, in us, and work Himself within us (see Eph. 2:10).

We first need to be worked on by the Lord before we can be His co-workers. Then, as we allow the Lord to work Himself into us, we can work with Him for His Body, allowing Him to limit the extent of our work so that it would be profitable for the building up of the Body.

What is  Your Feeling Concerning This?

Dear readers, dear saints, and dear believers who are reading this article, I would just like to open up to you and ask you to write a comment on how do YOU feel about these matters. How do YOU feel concerning this blog and concerning the matter of working with the Lord for His Body?

I apologize for the length of this article – after listening to the message given by brother Ron on this matter I was stirred up, exposed, enlightened, and even stricken – is this blog a “personal work in the sphere of the Body”, yet another burdened one who writes his personal enjoyment? Or, is this for the building up of the Body of Christ?

Please leave a response on how do You Feel / Think about this…

Lord, have mercy on us and continue to shine on us. Save us from being oblivious in stepping over the boundaries of our work and when violating the principles of the Body. Lord, we want to allow You to work Yourself into us until we are fully replaced by You. Cause us to see the central work of God and make us those who learn to work with you for the Body. Lord, not a personal work but working With Christ For the Body!

References and Further Reading