| An excerpt from “The Spiritual Man”, by Watchman Nee. Pages 218-219 |
If anyone wishes to maintain a true spiritual course he must cooperate with God in putting to death his own desire. All interests, inclinations, and preferences must be denied. We should gladly accept man’s contradicting, despising, discounting, misunderstanding, and harsh criticizing and permit these matters which are so antagonist to natural desire to deal with our soul life. We should learn how to receive suffering, pain, or a lowly place as apportioned us by God. However much of our self life feels pained or our natural feeling is hurt, we must bear them patiently. If we bear the cross in practical matters we shall shortly see our self life crucified on the cross we bear. For to carry the cross is to be crucified thereon. Every time we silently accept what goes against our natural disposition we receive another nail which pins our soul life more firmly to the cross. All vainglory has to die.
All vainglory has to die.
Our longing to be seen, respected, worshiped, exalted and proclaimed needs to be crucified. Every pretension to spiritually in order to be praised must be cut down; so must all self-importance and self-exaltation. Our desire, whatever it’s expression, must be denied. Anything which is initiated by ourselves is defiled in the sight of God.
…The redemption of God requires a thorough setting aside of the old creation….Since this is God’s purpose He therefore arranges to have His children experience many fiery trials so that all these offscourings of desire may be consumed in the fire of suffering. A Christian may aspire to a high position, but the Lord brings him low: he may cherish many hopes, yet the Lord allows him no success in anything: he may entertain many delights, but the Lord gradually takes away each of them till none remains: he yearns for glory, yet the Lord inflicts upon him humiliation. Nothing in the ordering of the Lord seems to coincide with the Christian’s thought; everything strikes him down as would a beating rod. Though he struggles with all his might he soon deduces that he is heading straight for death. He does not discern at first that it is the Lord Who leads him to this demise. Everything seems to speak of helplessness, seems to remove any hope of life, seems to demand that he should die.
Everything seems to speak of helplessness, seems to remove any hope of life, seems to demand that he should die.
During this period when he cannot escape death, he begins to realize he owes this end to God, and so he yields and accepts it with composure. This death, however, bespeaks the cessation of his soul life that he may live utterly in God. To achieve this death in the Christian’s life God has worked long and hard.
To achieve this death in the Christian’s life God has worked long and hard.
How foolish then for him to resist such an expiration for so long. For is it not true that after he has passed through this death all turns out well and God’s aim in him is also fulfilled? Thereafter he can advance rapidly in spiritual growth.