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The Restful Life: Part III

The Restful Life: Part III

| An excerpt from “The Spiritual Man”, by Watchman Nee, pages 221-223. |

The Lord Jesus speaks to His disciples saying: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Mathew 11:29).

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Mathew 11:29)

The Lord knows that His Own people must pass through many trials, that the heavenly Father is going to arrange for them to be lonely and misunderstood. As no one understands Him except the Father, so no one will understand His disciples (v.27). Jesus knows that the heavenly Father must permit many unpleasant occurrences to befall the believers in order that they may be weaned from the world. He also appreciates what the feelings in their souls will be like as they are put through the fire. For this reason He tells them in advance to learn from Him so that they may find rest for their emotion.

Jesus is gentle: He is able to receive any treatment from men: He joyfully accepts the opposition of sinners. Jesus is likewise lowly: He heartily humbles Himself: He has no ambition of His own.

The ambitious are hurt, angry, and restless when they cannot obtain their wishes.

The ambitious are hurt, angry, and restless when they cannot obtain their wishes.

But Christ at all times lives gently and humbly on earth; there is consequently no occasion for His emotion to boil and erupt. He teaches that we should learn from Him, that we should be gentle and lowly as He is. He says for us to bear His restraint upon ourselves. He bears a yoke too, even the yoke of God. His is satisfied with His Father’s will alone; as long as the Father knows and understands Him, why should he be concerned about the opposition of others? He is willing to accept the restrictions given Him by God. He explains that we must bear His yoke, accept His restraint, do His will, and seek no freedom for the flesh. If this is done, then nothing can disturb or provoke our emotion. This is the cross. If anyone is willing to receive the cross of Christ and submit completely to the Lord, he shall find rest for his emotion.

This is none other than a satisfied life. The Christian cherishes nothing but God; henceforth he is satisfied with His will. God Himself has filled his desire. He regards everything God has arranged or given, asked or charged him with, as good. If he can but follow the will of God his heart is satisfied. He seeks his own pleasure no longer, and not because of force but because God’s will has satisfied him.

He seeks his own pleasure no longer, and not because of force but because God’s will has satisfied him.

Since he is now filled, he has no more requests to make. A life such as this can be summed up in one word: satisfied.

The characteristic of spiritual life is satisfaction–not in the sense of self-centeredness, self-sufficiency, or self-filling but in that of the person having found all his needs fully met in God. To him God’s will is the very best; he is satisfied. What else need he ask for?

Only emotional Christians find fault with God’s arrangement and aspire to have more by conceiving numberless expectations in their hearts. But one who has allowed the Holy Spirit to operate deeply in him by the cross no longer yearns for anything according to himself. His desire is fulfilled already in God.

At this point the believers desire is totally renewed (this does not mean that thereafter there can be no failure); it is united with God’s desire.

At this point the believers desire is totally renewed…

Not only is he, negatively, resisting the Lord no longer; but positively, he is delighting in His delight. He is not suppressing his desires; he is simply delighted with what God requires of him. If God desires him to suffer, he asks God to make him suffer. He finds sweetness in such suffering. If God desires him to be afflicted, he willingly seeks such affliction. He loves affliction more than healing. If God desires to bring him low, he gladly cooperates with Him in bringing himself down. He delights now only in what God delights in. He covets nothing outside Him. He expects no uplifting if God does not so desire. He does not resist God but rather welcomes whatever He bestows, whether sweet or bitter.

The cross produces fruits. Each crucifixion brings us to the fruit of God’s life. All who are willing to accept the practical cross which God gives shall find themselves living a pure spiritual life. Daily there is for us the practical cross God desires us to bear. Every cross has its peculiar mission to accomplish a particular work in our life. May no cross ever be wasted upon us!

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