Special Grace and Reserve Grace

Special Grace and Reserve Graceby Watchman Nee

ISBN: 1-57593-864-2
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

Currently in: Chapter 1 of 1 Section 1 of 7

SPECIAL GRACE AND
RESERVE GRACE

Question:What is the cause of poverty in the life of a Christian? How can a Christian have a reserve before God?

Answer:In Revelation 3 the Lord said, "You are...poor" (v. 17). These words were addressed by Him to the church in Laodicea. This poverty implies that nothing had been laid up in store. It implies not merely a momentary lack but a continuous lack.

A FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEM

Many brothers and sisters have a fundamental problem: They are maintained by the experience of special grace. This is a serious problem. They are dependent on temporary supplies of grace; they do not have the revelation which they saw "thirteen years ago." We have said before that God's work in our lives is wholly a work of grace. If He removed His grace from us, our lives would be an utter void. This is a fact which we need to recognize. Nevertheless, it is also a fact that God does not want to see His children to be devoid of any deposit of grace. He does not want them to be dependent on interventions of special grace in order to be kept in His will. It is not well-pleasing to Him if His children live from hand to mouth on special grace. He desires us to have a rich deposit of grace.

Many people have no such deposit. Consequently, the Lord told us to fast and pray. In Matthew 17:21 the Lord said that some demons could only be cast out by prayer and fasting. He told the disciples that they needed to have special prayer and fasting, without which they would not have the needed power. Christians whose loins are not girded, who are unrestrained, and whose spirits are wild have no choice but to live by special dispensations of grace. If we have just come to the Lord, it is understandable if we live by special grace; but if we are still dependent on such grace after we have believed in the Lord for a year or two, this indicates a state of poverty and sickness. This poverty is the result of living by special grace without having any extra or reserve grace.

What is wealth? Wealth is the reverse of poverty. Being spiritually wealthy means to have a reserve of grace before God and not to rely on special grace. Poverty is banished by the surplus of grace within.


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