Life-Study of Philippiansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
There is a great difference between God’s economy and the natural human concept. Our concept is that after we are saved we should make up our minds to improve our behavior. Probably every genuine Christian has made such a decision. According to our concept, we need to improve ourselves. Conscious of our weakness, we beg God to help us. However, God does not answer this kind of prayer. The more we pray that He will help us to improve, the less He will do. On the contrary, our behavior may even worsen. The reason for this is that the concept of receiving help from God to improve our behavior is contrary to God’s economy. God’s economy is to dispense Himself into us and to work Himself into us that we may take Him as our life and life supply in order to live Him. This is not to have an improved human character; it is to live God. According to His economy, God’s intention is to impart His element, His substance, and the ingredients of His nature into our being that we may live Him.
Christians have fallen into the trap of trying to improve their character. We thank the Lord that in His recovery we are being rescued from this trap. Many years ago it was my habit to pray that the Lord would help me to improve my behavior. I wanted to be a very refined human being. Especially, I wanted to have more love for my wife. Realizing my inability, I asked the Lord to help me. Now instead of praying in this way, I enjoy God’s economy. I see that His intention is to dispense, or transfuse, Himself into me that I may live Him.
We may use other terms to describe God’s desire to dispense Himself into us. God wants to water us, feed us, refresh us, and nourish us. These terms indicate that God wants to be our life, life supply, food, drink, and air. He is our food to nourish us; our drink to quench our thirst; our air to refresh us; and our life supply to enrich us. As the divine Being, He infuses us with His elements, causing us to be the same as He in life and nature.
In His economy God does not improve us outwardly. Instead, He transmits all that He is into us. The difference between outward correction and inward transfusion can be illustrated by the difference between applying makeup and having a healthy complexion because of eating properly. Man’s way is to apply makeup. God’s way is to transform us metabolically; it is to nourish, refresh, water, enrich, and strengthen us. This is God’s economy. God is rich in His nourishing, watering, feeding, refreshing, and shining. Oh, His shining brings in His riches! The air, water, and food also supply His riches to us. In the Bible God likens Himself to food, water, air, and sunshine. Psalm 84:11 says that the Lord is our sun. God does not merely teach us; He nourishes us, waters us, and infuses all His riches into our inner being. This is God’s way.
God’s purpose in transmitting His riches into us is that we may live Him. Dietitians tell us that we are what we eat. If we eat a great deal of a certain kind of food, we shall be constituted of that food. When I was young, I noticed that everyone who lived in the home of my grandparents smelled like fish. My mother explained to me that the people in that area eat fish three times a day. Because they ate so much fish, they became constituted of fish. This illustrates the fact that we are what we eat. If we eat Christ, we shall be constituted of Him.
God’s economy is that we eat Christ and become constituted of Him. In John 6 the Lord Jesus says that He is the bread of life, the bread which came down from heaven, and that those who eat Him will live because of Him (vv. 35, 41, 57). Then in John 7 He sounds the call: “If anyone thirst, let him come to Me and drink” (v. 37). This the Lord Jesus said concerning the Spirit. In Revelation 22:17 the call is sounded once again to come and drink. The Lord calls us to drink of the Spirit, of the processed Triune God. Having passed through the steps of a divine process, the Triune God is now a universal, all-inclusive drink, prepared and available.
Every meeting of the church should be a feast. The Lord calls us to partake of Him as our food and drink. Whether or not a particular meeting is of the Lord can be determined by whether or not there is a “dining table” in that meeting. If you go to a Catholic cathedral, you will find superstition instead of feasting. The church meetings, by contrast, are a feast. In every meeting there is a dining table set for us, and we have the opportunity to eat and drink of the Triune God.
By now it should be clear that what we need is not outward improvement or correction. Our need is to take in the Triune God by eating and drinking of Him. According to God’s ordination, the way to partake of Him is to eat Him and drink Him.
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