Watchman Nee – SIT, WALK and Stand – With Emphasis on WALK : True story of a Brother with a rice farm

Watchman Nee - SIT, Walk and Stand: The True Story of an Engineer whose wife committed the sin of Adultery and our relationship with God and Christ Finished work - Part 1 Sit

#walk #sit #stand

Friday, June 14th, 2024

Blog link: https://www.otakada.org/watchman-nee-sit-walk-and-stand-with-emphasis-on-walk-true-story-of-a-brother-with-a-rice-farm/

Watchman Nee – SIT, WALK and Stand – With Emphasis on WALK : True story of a Brother with a rice farm

Watchman Nee - SIT, Walk and Stand: The True Story of an Engineer whose wife committed the sin of Adultery and our relationship with God and Christ Finished work - Part 1 Sit

Hello Friends we continue with the teaching of Watchman Nee today with an awesome brother. This is True story of a Brother with a rice farm. By the time you are done with this story, you will suddenly realize that you have similar or same farm situation that this brother. share with us. How would you or could you or have you handled it?

You want to access the message on the need to sit? follow this link below:

https://www.otakada.org/watchman-nee-sit-walk-and-stand-the-true-story-of-an-engineer-whose-wife-committed-the-sin-of-adultery-and-our-relationship-with-god-and-christ-finished-work-part-1-sit/

Watchman Nee – SIT Walk and Stand : The True Story of an Engineer whose wife committed the sin of Adultery and our relationship with God and Christ Finished work Part 1 SIT

A brother in South China had a rice field in the middle of the hill. In time of drought he used a water-wheel, worked by a tread-mill, to lift water from the irrigation stream into his field. His neighbour had two fields below his, and, one night, made a breach in the dividing bank and drained off all his water. When the bother repaired the breach and pumped in more water his neighbour did the same thing again, and this was repeated three or four times. So he consulted his brethren. ‘I have tried to be patient and not to retaliate,’ he said, ‘but is it right?’ After they had prayed together about it, one of them replied, ‘If we only try to do the right thing, surely we are very poor Christians. We have to do something more than what is right.’ The brother was much impressed. Next morning he pumped water for the two fields below, and in the afternoon he pumped water for his own field. After that the water stayed in his field. His neighbour was so amazed at his action that he began to inquire the reason, and in course of time he too became a Christian.

Lets get the full gist on the need to Walk, and the need for perfection as our father is perfect and redeeming the time!

Let us hear from you in ways you can apply this teaching in the christian walk. The way that leads to life is narrow but the one that leads to death is broad and many you will find heading in the broad path.

We have sought to make it clear that Christian experience does not begin with walking but with sitting. Every time we reverse the divine order the result is disaster. The Lord Jesus has done everything for us, and our need now is to rest confidently in Him. He is seated in the throne, so we are carried through in His strength. It cannot be too strongly emphaised that all true spiritual experience begins from rest.

But it does not end there. Though the Christian life begins wit sitting, sitting is always
followed by walking. When once we have been well and truly seated and have found our strength in sitting down, then we do in fact begin to walk.

Sitting describes our position with Christ in the heavenlies. Walking is the practical out-working of that heavenly position here on earth. As a heavenly people we are required to bear the stamp of that heavenliness upon us in our earthly conduct, and this raises new problems. What then, we must now ask, has Ephesians to say to us about walking? We shall find that the Epistle urges upon us two things.

We will look now at the first of them. I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beseech you to
walk worthily of the calling wherewith ye were called, with all lowliness and meekness…’ (4.1,2).
“This I say… that ye no longer walk as the Gentiles also walk, in the vanity of their mind… But…that ye be renewed in the spirit of your mind'(4. 17, 23).

‘Walk in love, even as Christ also loved you, and gave himself up for you’ (5.2, mg.).
“Walk as children of light,… proving what is well- pleasing unto the Lord’ (5.8, 10).
Eight times in Ephesians the word ‘walk’ is used. It means literally ‘to walk around’, and is
used here figuratively by Paul to mean ‘to deport oneself’, ‘to order one’s behaviour’. It brings
immediately before us the subject of Christian conduct, and the second section of the letter is
largely taken up with this. But we saw earlier that the Body of Christ, the fellowship of Christian believers, is another great theme of Ephesians.

Now, here in chapter 4, it is in view of such fellowship that we find this matter of a holy walk
arises. Paul proceeds, in the light of our heavenly calling, to challenge us upon the whole field of our relationships, both domestic and public, addressing himself to neighbours, to husbands and wives, to parents and children, employers and employed, all in a most realistic way.

Let us be clear that the Body of Christ is not something remote and unreal, to be expressed only in heavenly terms. It is very present and practical, finding the real test of our conduct in our relations with others. For while it is true we are a heavenly people, it is no use just to talk of a distant heaven.

Unless we bring heavenliness into our dwelling and offices, our shops and kitchens, and practice it there, it will be without meaning. May I suggest this, dear friends, that those who are parents and those who are children look through the New Testament to see what parents should be and children should be? We may be surprised, for I fear of us who say we are seated in the heavenlies many in Christ display a very questionable walk in our homes. And husbands too, and wives; there are quite a number of passages for them. Read
Ephesians 5, and then turn to 1 Corinthians 7. It would do every husband and every wife good to read the latter chapter carefully to discover what a real married life- a spiritual one before God and not just in theory- demands. You dare not theorise about a thing that is so practical.

Look now, in the field of Christian relationships, how forthright are the commands of
God in the section here before us. ‘Walk … with longsuffering, forbearing one another.’ ;Putting away falsehood, speak ye truth each one with his neighbour.’ ‘Be ye angry, and sin not.’ ‘Steal no more.’ ‘Let all bitterness … be put away from you.’ forgiving each other.’ ‘Subjecting ‘Be ye kind yourselves to one another.’ ‘Provoke not.’ Be obedient.’ ‘Forbear threatening. Nothing could be more realistic than this list of imperatives.

Let me remind you that the Lord Jesus Himself begins His teaching on this very note.
Notice carefully the wording of this passage from His Sermon on the Mount: ‘Ye have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: but I say unto you, Resist not him that is evil: but whosoever smiteth thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man would go to law with thee, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go one mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and form him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Ye have heard that it was
said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy: but I say unto you, Love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you; that ye may be sons of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust. For if ye love them that love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same? And if ye saluteyour brethren only, what do ye more than others?
do not even the Gentiles the same? Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.’
(Matt. 5. 38-48.)
‘But, you say, ‘I cannot do it. These are impossible demands.’ Maybe, like my engineer
friend, you feel you have been wronged-perhaps terribly wronged- and you cannot bring yourself to forgive. You were in the right, and your enemy’s action has been wholly unjust. To love him may be ideal, but it is impossible.

THE PERFECTION OF THE FATHER

Since the day that Adam took the fruit of the tree of knowledge, man has been engaged in
deciding what is good and what is evil. The natural man has worked out his own standards of right and wrong, justice and injustice, and striven to live by them. Of course as Christians we are different. Yes, but in what way are we different? Since we were converted a new sense of righteousness has been developed in us, with the result that we too are, quite rightly, occupied with the question of good and evil. But have we realised that for us the starting point is a different one? Christ is for us the Tree of Life. We do not begin from the matter of ethical right and wrong. We do not start from that other tree. We begin from Him; and the whole question for us is one of Life.

Nothing has done greater damage to our Christian testimony than our trying to be right and
demanding right of others. We become preoccupied with what is and what is not right. We
ask ourselves, Have we been justly or unjustly treated? and we think thus to vindicate our actions.

But that is not our standard. The whole question for us is one of cross-bearing. You ask me, ;Is it right for someone to strike my cheek?’ I reply, ‘Of course not!
But the question is, do you only want to be right?’ As Christians our standard of living can never be ‘right or wrong’, but the Cross. The principle of the Cross is our principle of conduct. Praise God that He makes His sun to shine on the evil and the good.
With Him it is a question of His grace and not of right or wrong. But that is to be our standard also:

‘Forgiving each other, even as God also in Christ forgave you’ (4. 32). ‘Right or wrong’ is the
principle of the Gentiles and tax gatherers. My life is to be governed by the principle of the Cross and of the perfection of the Father: ‘Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

True story of a brother with the rice farm again for emphasis!

A brother in South China had a rice field in the middle of the hill. In time of drought he used a water-wheel, worked by a tread-mill, to lift water from the irrigation stream into his field. His neighbour had two fields below his, and, one night, made a breach in the dividing bank and drained off all his water. When the bother repaired the breach and pumped in more water his neighbour did the same thing again, and this was repeated three or four times. So he consulted his brethren. ‘I have tried to be patient and not to retaliate,’ he said, ‘but is it
right?’ After they had prayed together about it, one of them replied, ‘If we only try to do the right thing, surely we are very poor Christians. We have to do something more than what is right.’ The brother was much impressed. Next morning he pumped water for the two fields below, and in the afternoon he pumped water for his own field. After that the water stayed in his field. His neighbour was so amazed at his action that he began to inquire the reason, and in course of time he too became a Christian.

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So, my brethren, don’t stand on your right. Don’t feel that because you have gone the second
mile you have done what is just. The second mile is only typical of the third and the fourth. The principle is that of conformity to Christ. We have nothing to stand for, nothing to ask or demand. We have only to give. When the Lord Jesus died on the Cross, He did not do so to defend our ‘rights’; it was grace that took Him there. Now, as His children, we try always to give others what is their due and more. We have to remind ourselves that we are often not right. We fail, and it is always good to learn form our failures- to be ready to confess and
willing to go beyond what is necessary in doing so.

The Lord wants this. Why? “That ye may be sons of your Father which is in heaven’ (Matt. 5. 45). The question is one of practical sonship. True, God has ‘foreordained us unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ’ (1. 5), but we make the mistake of thinking that we have already ‘come of age’—that we are already mature sons. The Sermon on the Mount teaches us that the children attain to the responsibility of sons in the measure in which they manifest kinship of spirit and of attitude with their Father. We are called to be ‘perfect’ in love, showing
forth His grace. So Paul also writes: ‘Be ye therefore imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, even as Christ also loved you, and gave himself up for you’ (5.1,2, mg.).
We are faced with a challenge. Matthew 5 sets a standard that we may well feel is impossibly high, and Paul in this section of Ephesians endorses it.

The trouble is that we just do not find in ourselves by nature the means to attain to that standard-to walk ‘as becometh saints’ (5. 3). Where, then, lies demands?
the answer. to our problem of God’s exacting The secret is, in the words of Paul, ‘the
power that worketh in us’ (3. 20). In a parallel passage (Col. 1. 29) he says: ‘I labour also, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

We are back again in the first section of Ephesians. What is the secret strength of the
Christian life? Whence has it its power? Let me give you the answer in a sentence: The Christian’s secret is his rest in Christ. His power derives from his God-
given position. All who sit can walk, for in the thought of God the one follows the other
spontaneously. We sit for ever with Christ that we may walk continuously before men.

Forsake for a moment our place of rest in Him, and immediately we are tripped and our testimony in the world is marred. But abide in Christ, and our position there ensures the power to walk worthy of Him here. If you desire an illustration of this kind of progress,
think, first of all, not of a runner in a race but of a man in a car, or better still, of a cripple in a power-driven invalid carriage. What does he do? He goes- but he also sits. And he keeps going because he remains sitting. His progress follows from the position in which he has been placed. This, of course, is a far-from-perfect picture of the Christian life, but it may serve to remind us that our conduct and behaviour depend fundamentally upon our
inward rest in Christ.

This explains Paul’s language here. He has first learned to sit. He has come to a place of rest in God. As a result his walking is not based on his efforts but on God’s mighty inward working. There lies the secret of his strength. Paul has seen himself seated in Christ; therefore his walk before men takes its character from Christ dwelling in him.
Small wonder that he prays for the Ephesians:

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith’ (3.17).
How does my wrist-watch go? By moving first, or by being moved? Of course it goes because first it is moved by a power outside itself. Then only will it do the work for which it was designed.

And there are works for which we too are designed. ‘We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them’ (2. 10). ‘Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,’ writes Paul to the Philippians, ‘for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure.’ God is working it in; work it out! That is the secret.

But until we are willing for God to work it in, it is useless for us to try to work it out. Often we try to be meek and gentle without knowing what it means to let God work in us the meekness and gentleness of Christ. We try to show love, and, finding we have none, we ask the Lord for love. Then we are surprised that He does not seem to give it to us. Let me take up again an earlier illustration.

Perhaps there is a certain brother whom you find very trying and with whom you are constantly getting into difficulties. Whenever you meet him he says or does something calculated to arouse in you resentment. This troubles you. You say: ‘I am a Christian and ought to love him. I want to love him; indeed I am determined to love him!’ And so you pray very earnestly: ‘Lord, increase my love for him. God, give me love!’ Then, taking a firm grip on yourself and summoning all your will-power, you set out with a genuine desire to display to him that love for which you have prayed. But alas, when you get into his presence something happens to bring all your good intentions to nought. His response to you is not in the least encouraging but rather the reverse, and immediately your old
resentment flares up, and once again the utmost you can do is to be polite to him. Why is this? You were surely not wrong in seeking that love from God? No, but you were wrong in seeking that love as something in itself, a kind of package- commodity, when what God desires is to express through you the love of His Son.

SAY God has given us Christ. There is nothing now for us to receive outside of Him. The Holy Spirit has been sent to produce what is of Christ in us; not to produce anything that is apart from or outside of Him. We are ‘strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man:… to know the love of Christ’ (3.16, 19). What we show forth outwardly is
what God has first put within.

Recall once again the great words of 1 Corinthians 1.30. Not only did God set us ‘in
Christ. By Him also ‘Christ Jesus… Was made unto us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.’ This is one of the grandest statements in Scripture. He ‘was made unto us …’. If we believe this, we can put in there anything we need, and can know that God has made it good; for, through the Holy Spirit within us, the Lord Jesus is Himself made unto us whatever we lack. We have been accustomed to look upon holiness as a virtue, upon humility as a grace, upon love as a gift to be sought from God.

But the Christ of God is Himself everything that we shall ever need.
Many a time in my need I used to think of Christ as a Person apart, and failed to identify I im
in this practical way with the things’ I felt so strongly the lack of. For two whole years I was
groping in that kind of darkness, seeking to amass the virtues that I felt sure should make up the Christian life, and getting nowhere in the effort.

And then one day- it was in the year 1933-light broke from heaven for me, and I saw Christ ordained of God to be made over to me in His fulness. What a difference! Oh the emptiness of ‘things’! Held by us out of relation to Christ they are dead. Once we see this it will be the beginning of a new life for us. Our holiness will be spelled thereafter with a capital H, our love with a Capital L. He Himself is revealed as the answer in us to all God’s demands.

Go back now to that difficult brother, but this time, before you go, address God thus: ‘Lord, it is clear to me at last that in myself I cannot love him at all; but I know now that there is a life within me, the life of Thy Son, and that the law of that life is to love. It cannot but love him. There is no need to exert yourself. Repose in Him. Count upon His life.

Dare thus to go and see that brother and to speak to him- and here is the amazing thing! Quite
unconsciously (and I would emphasise the word unconsciously’, for the consciousness only comes afterwards) you find yourself speaking most pleasantly to him; quite unconsciously you love him; quite unconsciously you know him as your brother. You converse with him freely and in true fellowship, and on your return you find yourself saying with amazement: ‘Why, I did not exercise the least bit of anxious care just now, and yet I did not become in the least bit irritable! In some unaccountable way the Lord was with me and His love triumphed.’
The operation of His life in us is in a true sense spontaneous, that is to say, it is without effort of ours. The all-important rule is not to ‘try’ but to ‘trust’, not to depend upon our own strength but upon His. For it is the flow of life which reveals what we truly are ‘in Christ’. It is from the Fountain of life that the sweet water issues.

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Too many of us are caught acting as Christians. The life of many Christians today is largely a
pretense. They live a ‘spiritual’ life, talk a ‘spiritual’ language, adopt ‘spiritual’ attitudes, but they are doing the whole thing themselves. It is the effort involved that should reveal to them that something is wrong. They force themselves to refrain from doing this, from saying that, from eating the other, and how hard they find it all! It is just the same as
when we Chinese try to talk a language that is not our own. No matter how hard we try, it does not spontaneously; we have to force ourselves to talk that way. But when it comes to speaking our own language, nothing could be easier. Even when we forget all about what we are doing, we still speak it. It flows. It comes to us perfectly naturally, and its
very spontaneity reveals to everyone what we are.

Our life is the life of Christ, mediated in us by the indwelling Holy Spirit Himself, and the law of that life is spontaneous. The moment we see that fact we shall end our struggling and cast away our pretense. Nothing is so hurtful to the life of a Christian as acting: nothing so blessed as when our outward efforts cease and our attitudes become natural- when our words, our prayers, our very life, all become a spontaneous and unforced expression of the life within. Have we discovered how good the Lord is? Then in us He is as good as
that! Is His power great? Then in us it is no less great! Praise God, His life is as mighty as ever, and in the lives of those who dare to believe the Word of God the divine life will be manifest in a power not one whit less mighty than was manifest of old.

What does our Lord mean when He says:

‘Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven’? (Matt. 5. 20).

We have seen above how He goes on to set the contrast between the requirements of the
Law of Moses and His own tremendous demands, by His repeated use of the words: ‘Ye have heard But I say unto you..”. But since that it was said already, over many centuries, men had sought to attain to the first standard and had failed, how could the Lord dare to raise the standard higher still? He could do so only because He believed in His own life. He is not afraid of making the most exacting demands upon Himself. Indeed we maywell find comfort in reading the laws of the Kingdom as set forth in Matthew chapters 5 to 7, for
they show what utter confidence the Lord has in His own life made available to His children.
These three chapters set forth the divine taxation of the divine life. The greatness of His demands upon us only shows how confident He is that the resources He has put within us are fully enough to meet them. God does not command what he will not perform; but we must throw ourselves back on Him for the performance.

Does some difficult situation confront us? Is it a problem of right or wrong, good or evil? We do not need to look for wisdom. We need no longer apply to the tree of knowledge. We have Christ, and He is made unto us wisdom from God. The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus continually communicates to us His standards of right and wrong, and, with them, the attitude of spirit with which the difficult situation should be met.

More and more things will turn up to hurt our Christian sense of righteousness and to test what our reactions are going to be. We need to learn the principle of the Cross- that our standard is not now the old but the new man which after God hath been created in righteousness and holiness of truth’ (4.22-24). ‘Lord, I’ve got no rights to defend.

Everything I have is through Thy grace, and everything is in Thee!’ I knew of an old Japanese
Christian woman who was disturbed by a thief who had broken into her house. In her simple but practical faith in the Lord, she cooked the man a meal- then offered him her keys. He was shamed by her action and God spoke to him. Through her testimony that man is a brother in Christ today.

Too many Christian have all the doctrine but live lives that are a contradiction of it. They know all about chapter 1 to 3 of Ephesians but they do not put chapters 4 to 6 into practice. It were better to have no doctrine than to be a contradiction. Has God commanded something? Then throw yourself back on God for the means to do what He has commanded. May the Lord teach us that the whole principle of the Christian life is that we go beyond what is right to do that which is well-pleasing to Him.

REDEEMING THE TIME

But there remains something further o be added to the above on the subject of our Christian
walk. The word ‘walk’ has, as must already be obvious, a further meaning. It suggests first
conduct or behaviour, but it also contains in it the idea of progress. To ‘walk’ is to ‘proceed’, to ‘follow on’, and we want to consider briefly now this further matter of our progress towards a goal.’Look therefore carefully how ye walk, not as unwise, but as wise; redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is’ (5.15-17).

You will notice that in the above verses there is an association between the idea of Time and the difference between wisdom and foolishness. ‘Walk …as wise; redeeming the time Be ye not foolish.

This is important. I want now to remind you of two other passages in which these things are similarly brought together:
….
‘Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins…. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise, for the foolish, when they took their lamps, took no oil with them…. But at midnight there is a cry, Behold, the bridegroom! Come ye forth to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said, Our lamps are going out…. And while they went away to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage feast: and the door was shut. Afterward come also the other virgins…’ (See Matt. 25. 1-13).’And I saw, and behold the Lamb standing on the mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty and four thousand, having his name and the name of his Father, written on their forehand…. These are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb withersoever he goeth. These were purchased from among men, to be the first-fruits unto God and unto the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no lie: they are without blemish’ (see Rev. 14. 1-5).

There are many passages of Scripture that assure us that what God has begun he will finish.
Our Saviour is a Saviour to the uttermost. No Christian believer will be ‘half-saved’ at the end, even if now that might be said of us in any sense.

God will perfect every man who has faith in Him. That is what we believe, and we must keep it in mind as a background for what we are going to say next. With Paul, we are ‘confident of this very thing, that he which began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ’ (Phil. 1.6).

There are no limits to God’s power. He ‘is able…to set you before the presence of his glory without blemish’ (Jude 24; and see: 2 Tim. 1:12; Eph. 3. 20).

It is, however, when we turn to the subjective aspect of this- to its practical outworking in our
lives here and now on the earth-that we encounter the question of Time. In Revelation 14 there are firstfruits (verse 4) and there is a harvest (verse 15).

What is the difference between harvest and firstfruits? It is certainly not one of quality, for the whole crop is one. Their difference lies only in the time of their ripeness. Some fruits reach maturity before others and thus they become ‘firstfruits’. My home town in Fukien province is famous for its oranges. I would say (and no doubt I am
prejudiced!) that there are none like them anywhere in the world. As you look out on the hills
at the beginning of the orange season, all the groves are green. But if you look more carefully you will see, sprinkled here and there on the trees, golden oranges already showing up. It is a beautiful sight to see the flecks of gold dotted among the dark green trees. Later the whole crop will ripen and the groves will turn to gold, but now it is these firstfruits that are gathered.

They are carefully hand-picked, and it is they that fetch the top market-prices- often three times the price of the harvest.

All will reach ripeness, somehow. But the Lamb is seeking firstfruits. The ‘wise’ in the parable are not those who have done better, but those who done well at an earlier hour. The others, be it noted, were also virgins- ‘foolish’, no doubt, but not false. Along with the wise, they had gone out to meet the Bridegroom. They too had oil in their lamps, and their lamps were burning. But they had not reckoned on His tarrying, and now that their lamps burned low they had no reserve of oil in their vessels, nor had the others enough to spare them.
Some are troubled at this point by the Lord’s word to the foolish ones: ‘I know you not.’ How,they feel, could He say this of them if they represent His true children, ‘espoused …as a pure virgin to Christ’? (2Cor. 11.2). But we must recognise the whole point of the teaching of this parable, which is surely that there is some privilege of serving Him in the future which His children may miss by being unprepared. It says that the five came to the door and said: ‘Lord, Lord, open to us.’ What door? Certainly not the door of salvation. If you are lost,
you can not come to the door of heaven and knock.

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When therefore the Lord says: I know you not,’ He surely uses these words in some such limited sense as in the following illustration.
In shanghai the son of a police-court magistrate was taken up for careless driving. He was brought to court and found his father sitting on the magistrate’s bench. Court procedure is more or less the same the world over, and so the boy was asked: What is your name?’ What is your address?
What is your occupation? and so on. Astonished, he turned to his father: ‘Father, do you mean to say you don’t know me?’ Rapping on his desk the father answered sternly: Young man, I do not know you. What is your name? What is your address?’ He did not of course mean by this that he did not know him at all. In the family and in the home he knew him, but in that place and at that time he did not know him. Though still his father’s son, the boy must go right through the court procedure and pay his fine.

Yes, all ten virgins had oil in their lamps. What distinguished the foolish was that they had no
reserve in their vessels. As true Christians, they have life in Christ, and they have a testimony
before men. But theirs is a fitful testimony for they live a hand-to-mouth existence. They have the Spirit, but they are not, we may say, ‘filled with the Spirt’. When the crisis comes they must go out tobuy more oil. In the end, of course, all the ten had enough. But the difference lay in the fact that the wise had sufficient oil in time, while the foolish, when at length they did have sufficient, had missed the purpose for which it was intended. It is all a question of time, and this is the point which the Lord seeks to drive home when, at the end of the parable, he urges his disciples not just to be disciples but to be watchful disciples.

‘Be not drunken with wine, wherein is riot, but be filled with the Spirit’ (5.18). In Matthew 25 it is not a question of the initial reception of Jesus Christ, nor yet of the coming of the Holy Spirit upon His servants for spiritual gifts. It is a question of the extra oil in the vessel- of the light being sustained, through however long a time of waiting- by means of the continual miraculous supply of the Spirit within (for whereas in the parable there is both a lamp and a vessel, in reality we are the lamp and we are the vessel). What Christian could possibly live in eternity in heaven without knowing this inner fulness? Surely not one virgin can escape this? And so the Lord is taking all possible steps to bring us to the knowledge of that fulness now. ‘Watch therefore, for ye know not the day not the hour’ Be being filled” (plerousthe) is the unusual expression used here in relation to the Holy Spirit.

‘Allow yourselves to be continually made full.’ It is not crisis, as at Pentecost, but a state we are to be in all the time. And it is not something external, but internal; not question of spiritual gifts and manifestations outwardly but of the personal presence and activity of the Holy Spirit within our spirits, guaranteeing that the light in the vessel will burn undimmed, long after midnight if need be.

And moreover, it is not wholly a personal thing. As the next verse (5. 19) surely indicates, it is something which we share with other Christians in mutual dependence. For to be filled with the Spirit’ means, in the language of that verse, not merely singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord’ but speaking one to another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. Some of us may well find it easy to sing solos, but much harder to sing in time and harmony as a quartet or even as a duet. Yet this message of oneness in the Spirit lies at the heart of our second section of Ephesians (see 4. 3, 15, 16).

The fulness of the Spirit is given to us that we should sing together a new song before the throne (Rev. 14.3).
But, to keep to our main emphasis, let me repeat that folly or wisdom hinges on this one point
alone, that if you are wise you will seek this fulness sooner, but if you are foolish you will put it off till later. Some of us are parents and have children.

How greatly those children can differ in temperament! One will obey at once; another will
think that by procrastination he can avoid the need to do so. If that is indeed the case, and you are weak enough to allow him a loophole for escape, then the one who procrastinates is in fact the wise one, for he succeeds in doing nothing. But if your word holds, if your command cannot be evaded and ultimately must be obeyed, then he is certainly the wiser who faces the issue squarely at once.

Get clear about the will of God. If God’s words can be discounted, then you might not be foolish to try to escape their implications; but if God is an unchanging God with an unchanging will, then be wise; redeem the time. Seek above all things to have
that extra supply of oil in the vessel, ‘that ye may be filled unto all the fulness of God’ (3.19).
The parable does not answer all our questions. How do the foolish buy? We are not told. We are nowhere told what further steps God may have to take to bring all His children eventually to maturity. That is not our concern. We are concerned here with firstfruits. We are being urged to press on; not to speculate on what may happen if we don’t.

You cannot, by dodging the issue, avoid reaching maturity- or paying the price of it. But
wisdom is connected with time. Those who are wise redeem the time. Just as my fountain pen is now filled and ready to my hand for immediate use, so, by co-operating with the Lord, the Wise provide God with what He wants: handy tools, instantly available to Him.
Look at the apostle Paul. He is consumed with a burning passion. He has seen that God’s purpose for us is bound up with the ‘fulness of the times’ (1.10). He is one of those who have ‘before hoped in Christ’ by resting in a salvation that is yet to be fully revealed ‘in the ages to come’ (1. 12; 2. 7). And in view of all this, what does he do? He walks. And he not only walks; he runs. ‘I therefore so run, as not uncertainly’ (1 Cor. 9. 26). ‘I press on toward the
goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus’ (Phil. 3. 14).

Often when souls come into an understanding on with the Lord, The feeling in my heart is: ‘Oh, if only they had come to see this five years earlier!’ The time is so short, even if we are going on. There is such need for urgency. For remember, it is not a question of what we get out of it. It is a question of what the Lord must have now. The Lord’s need today is for ready
instruments. Why? ‘Because the days are evil.’ ‘The situation is desperate among the Christian public. Oh that we might see it! The Lord may have to deal drastically with us.

Paul had to say ‘I am an abortive child’. He hadpassed through tremendous crises to bring him to the point where he then was- and still he pressed on. It is always a question of time. God may have to do something in us swiftly, compressing it into a short space; but He has to do that much. May the eyes of our heart be enlightened to know what is ‘the hope of his calling’, and then may we walk- nay, run-as those who ‘understand what the will of the Lord is’ (1. 18; 5. 17). The Lord always loved desperate souls.

 

Standby for part 3, and whilst waiting go over the earlier 2, meditate and apply them to your daily work and walk with the Lord and others.

Question for you!

The information shared today, does it make sense to you? if so, give further insights.
Going forward, what would you do differently? Make commitment to start immediately!

If you have follow-up questions, feel free to write back, call or chat us as we trust that the Spirit of God will give answers beyond your wildest imagination. We are here to equip you to be all that God called you to be and to do in Jesus name

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