Thursday Treasures – Watchman Nee

Expecting The Lord’s Blessing

by Watchman Nee

Part 2 of 2

Five

Oh, that blessing might flow from us as it flowed from Abraham.  I believe that there will soon be a great turn in the gospel work.  May the Lord bless us and have mercy on us.  May we regard blessing as if we were accustomed to receiving it constantly.  We do not want to frustrate God from blessing us greatly.  The salvation of one thousand people may hinder the salvation of tens of thousands.  Perhaps the salvation of a few score people in one place is a hindrance to the salvation of several thousand others.  Each time we receive one blessing, we should expect to receive a second blessing.  We must continuously step into greater blessings from God. Each of our co-workers must look to God to do a work among us such as He has never done before.  Immediately before us lies a work that is ten times greater, even one hundred times greater, than that which is behind us.  Is it possible that the few people who have been saved and the meeting hall we have built have become the limits of our blessing?  In the past the work constantly grew, but now we have tied it up.  Our past blessings have become our present frustrations.  This is very pitiful.

Each time we come before God, we must be like we were the first time we came out to work.  Some have been working for twenty years, yet they seem like those who are new to the work.  Some have been working for thirty years, yet they seem like they are new in the work.  We must set the things of the past aside.  In difficult situations God will do more if our hopes, expectations, and hearts are large.  We must never measure God by our capacity.  A few loaves of bread can feed four or five thousand people.  If the blessing is large, nothing can hinder it.  If we who serve the Lord truly look for God’s blessing when we gather together, the future results will be more than we can ask or think.

Six

God’s blessing is like a bird that will only fly from the outside into a room by itself.  When it is at the window, we cannot call it to come in.  If it comes in, however, it is very easy to chase away.  God will bless what He wants to bless; we cannot force Him to do anything. Like the bird, it is difficult to lure in and easy to chase away.  With just a little carelessness, we can chase the blessing away.

Over the past two or three years, I have observed our co-workers doing many things.   One co-worker said something to another co-worker and they had an argument.  He was absolutely right in what he said and did, but in my heart, I wanted to say, “Brother, you are right, but should we behave according to right and wrong?  Or should we behave according to what will bring in God’s blessing?”    We often may do something right, but what can we do if God does not bless us when we do things right?  We should not ask whether our every action is right or wrong.  Instead, we should ask whether we have God’s blessing.  We are not here to argue about right and wrong; we are here to ask God to bless us.  Seeking God’s blessing on our work will limit us much in our speaking and in our daily living.  We may be right, but will God bless us?  It is very easy for us to cut off our blessing.  It is also very easy to cut off the blessing of others as well.  Our standard is not right or wrong.  We look for God’s blessing.  Both may be right, but can God bless such a work?  Our lives must be governed by God’s blessing.

In God’s work He will not bless what is wrong, but He will not bless what is right either.  When we stand together in one accord, the blessing comes.  Therefore, I want us to know that is a very serious matter when the brothers argue with each other.  We may be absolutely right in the matter, but the blessing will stop!  Brothers, let me solemnly warn about speaking loosely or thinking that it is good enough just to be right.  May the Lord have mercy on us.  The brothers have to be careful about speaking among themselves and criticizing one another. It does not matter if we are not right.  If we are right and God does not bless us, what is the use of being right?  The work is not built upon our abilities, nor is it built upon our gifts, faithfulness, or labor.  If we miss God’s blessing, everything is finished.

Seven

What is blessing?  Blessing is God working without any cause.  Logically speaking, one penny should buy one penny’s worth of goods.  But sometimes, without spending a cent, God gives us ten thousand pennies’ worth of goods.  This means that what we have received is beyond reckoning.  God’s blessing is any work He performs without cause.  This work surpasses what we should receive.  Five loaves fed five thousand people, and there were still twelve full baskets left over!  This is blessing.  Some people should not get a certain kind of result.  They should only have a little, but surprisingly they have much.  Our entire work is built upon God’s blessing.  The blessing is the result of receiving what we do not deserve, that is, the result of receiving beyond what our gift warrants us to receive.  The results that we get which is beyond what our strength earns is the blessing.  Putting it more strongly, we do not deserve any results because of our weaknesses and failures, but astoundingly we obtain something, and what we obtain is the blessing.  If we look for God’s blessing, He will give us unexpected results. In our service, do we hope for God to give us great results?  Many brothers and sisters only look for results that can be expected from themselves alone.  Blessing means that the results is not in proportion to the cause.

If we only look for results based on what we are, if we only look for a little fruit, and if we do not hope for great results, we run the risk of losing God’s blessing.  Since we only pay attention to the fact that we are laboring night and day, God cannot do anything beyond our expectation.  We must put ourselves in a position in which God can bless us.  We must say to the Lord, “Based on what we are, we should not obtain any results, but, Lord, for the sake of Your name, Your church, and Your way, we hope You will give something to us.”  Having faith in the work is believing and expecting God’s blessing.  In God’s work, having faith means having the conviction that the results will not be in proportion to us. When we practice this, I believe God will bless our way.  I hope that as the brothers discuss the matter of the migrations, the Lord’s blessing will exceed our expectation.

At times it seems that God not only grants no blessing, but even deliberately withholds it.  For God to withhold His blessing is more serious than for Him to not grant blessing.  With our strength and gifts, we should have better results, but we do not obtain them.  We labor through the night and should obtain certain results, but if God withholds His blessing, we will obtain less than we should.  We labor for a long time but obtain no fruit.  We are diligent, yet there are no results.  This is what happens when God withholds His blessing.

I wonder if we feel the seriousness of this.  We absolutely must not argue about the right way to do things.  Being right is of no use.  We must pay attention to whether or not God blesses us.  Often we are very right, yet god does not bless us.  It is right to fish all night, yet God does not bless us.  We do not live on earth by doing what is right; we live to experience God’s blessing.  David and Abraham both made mistakes, Isaac was not very useful, and Jacob was crafty, but God blessed them all.  It is not a matter of being right or wrong, but of being blessed by God.  Perhaps we who are here today are much better than Jacob, but if God does not bless us, nothing will avail.  We must be those who can be blessed by God.  We can argue and be right, but it is useless if God does not bless us.

The entire future of the work depends on God’s blessing, not on being right.  If God blesses, then many sinners will be saved.  If God blesses, we will be able to send people out to the remote regions.  If there is no blessing, people will not get saved.  If there is no blessing, workers will not be produced.  If there is no blessing, no one will offer anything.  If there is no blessing, no one will migrate.  When the blessing is here, even things that seem wrong are right.  When God blesses, we cannot go wrong even if we try.  One time there was a meeting in which it seemed that we sang the wrong hymn, but we had a good result because we had God’s blessing.  Sometimes when we preach, it seems that we are speaking the wrong word to the wrong audience, but God still blesses some in the audience.  When we speak again, we still may speak the wrong word, but God blesses another group of people.  I am not saying that we can be loose intentionally.  I am saying that we cannot go wrong when we have God’s blessing.  It seems that our mistakes should be a frustration, but He cannot be hindered.  God said, “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated” (Rom. 9:13).  God blesses whom He likes.  This is a very serious matter.  We should not think that the blessing is a small thing.  The blessing is souls and consecrated people.  Behind the word blessing perhaps there are fifty souls or one hundred consecrations.  The words, attitudes, and opinions of certain people can stop the Lord’s blessing.  We must ask the Lord to prick us inwardly until we obtain His blessing.  If we do not do this, our sin of losing the Lord’s blessing will be greater than any other sin.  The blessing could be hundreds or thousands of souls.  We must look to God for the blessing and not let it escape.  We must beg God to give us grace.

Eight

O brothers!  We must learn to live in God’s blessing.  It is good to work and do things, but we must have our capacity increased.  We must ask God to keep us in blessing in our work and actions.  If we do not resolve this problem, our work will be severely damaged.  Brother Witness was in Shanghai in 1945.  One day he said that the brothers’ meeting experienced great blessing from God.  I believe that Brother Witness has made some progress in this matter.  We must come before God to see that we do not expect the results of our labor, but expect God’s blessing.  Sometimes there are some results from our work, but they are dry and poor.  If we expect God’s blessing, many things will happen that are beyond our expectation.  If we wait upon God’s blessing, things will happen beyond our capacity.  We must continually look for miracles and unexpected occurrences in the work.  We should not keep expecting that we will be able to bear any fruit.  Our expectation of that small amount of fruit limits God.  If we do not expect God’s blessing, there is not much hope for our future.  We will have financial difficulties, and it will be difficult for us to go on.  Therefore, we should not look for results commensurate with our individual labor, but we should look for God’s blessing.  If we only look for commensurate results, I do not how know many years it will take for many people to believe in the Lord.  We must always look for God to do things beyond our expectations.  We must ask God to give us the vision to see the meaning of blessing.

Some are checking to see whether or not the young people are doing things right.  Instead, we should be checking to see if a person is being blessed by God. If a person can be blessed by God, we do not know how much more fruit he will bear beyond just his gift and ability. If he does not have the blessing, his carefulness and labor will be in vain.

Some people are blessed by God, and other people are not blessed by God.  We may have a better temper and a larger gift than a certain brother, but he bears fruit in his work, while we cannot bear fruit in ours.  We look down on many people because we are better, yet god blesses them.  We cannot say that God is wrong.  We must realize that before God, we are those whom He cannot bless.

We should not become angry or jealous about this matter. Instead, we should judge ourselves soberly.  We have many excuses, and so do our brothers.  We are right, and so are they.  But what can we do if God does not bless?  We are right, but we cannot win souls. They are right, but the church is not built up.  We are right, but it is in vain.  Therefore, we must eliminate all the things that stop and frustrate the blessing.  From now on we should not be those who stubbornly argue over right and wrong; we must be those who receive great blessings from God.