Week 6 – Day 3

2 Cor. 3:5-6 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves…; but our sufficiency is from God, who has also made us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant, ministers not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

1:9 Indeed we ourselves had the response of death in ourselves, that we should not base our confidence on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.

What kind of person is useful to the Lord?… First, he must love and desire the Lord. Do not even talk about being used by the Lord if you do not love and desire Him…. Second, he must have a vision of the Lord and an encounter with Him. He needs to have a revelation that God’s eternal purpose is to work Christ into us and to express Christ through us…. Third, his self, his person, must have been dealt with by the cross. He must realize that whatever he has and whatever comes out of him cannot be brought into the Lord’s service…. Only when you have seen that you are fleshly and nothing but a thornbush, a leper, and a natural man will you treasure the experience of the cross. This can be called the revelation of the natural man or the revelation of the cross. After you have a heart to love the Lord, you must have at least two revelations, one concerning Christ and the other concerning the self, which also concerns the cross.

However, these three aspects are not sufficient. With these you can do something valuable but nothing extensive. You will surely dispense Christ and minister Christ, though perhaps only once a year, or to one person in six months. (CWWL, 1953, vol. 3, “Character,” p. 577)

Today’s Reading

The fourth aspect [is] the aspect of character… We do not minister our character to others, but we bear Christ to them by our character. For example, a certain brother may be absent-minded and forgetful. Can his forgetful character replace the Christ whom he knows inwardly? Not at all. But his character greatly affects his service. He must make up this lack if he wants to be suitable for the Lord’s use. He must learn to remember things. He should carry a pocket notebook to record things that need to be done. This is just a small example.

Since we have consecrated ourselves to the Lord and have given up our future and everything to serve Him, we should be very useful. Unfortunately, we are extremely limited by our disposition and, as a result, too little of our function is manifested. If we do not overthrow our old disposition, I am afraid that our usefulness in the hand of the Lord will cease.

The disposition of some brothers reflects a strong self-confidence. They believe that they can do anything and are thus blinded by their self-confidence. After working in one place for a year or two, they may have accomplished nothing…. However, they always feel that this is because of others’ shortage and never their own…. You will be useful only if such confidence is overthrown…. If we can break through the constraints of our disposition, the effectiveness of our work will more than triple. Some people do not know how to utilize their environment … [but] expect their environment to suit them. They refuse to work as long as the circumstances are not perfect or the conditions are not adequate. You must realize that in our work it is almost impossible to have a perfect environment…. It all depends on how flexible we are to adapt to our circumstances and adjust to all environments…. Reject the disposition that requires a particular environment before you can work. (CWWL, 1953, vol. 3, “Character,” pp. 578-579, 588-589)

The ministers of the new covenant…worked together with God by a life (not by any gift) that was all-sufficient and all-mature, able to fit all situations, that is, able to endure any kind of treatment, to accept any kind of environment, to work in any kind of condition, and to take any kind of opportunity, for the carrying out of their ministry. (2 Cor. 6:1, footnote 1)

Further Reading: CWWL, 1953, vol. 3, “Character,” chs. 3, 5-7; CWWL, 1968, vol. 2, pp. 225-241, 449-454