Growing up, to always be Conscious of an Eternal Inward Joy
I grew up in the happiest place on earth. I was raised meeting with the believers as the local churches in the three cities in which we lived. Needless to say, I had an awareness of God at a very early age. The first time that I prayed to the Lord was when I was 12 years old. It was then that I told the Lord I wanted to give my whole life to Him. Throughout junior high and high school my closest friends were my Christian friends. We went on many retreats, camps, and conferences together. During these years, I got a taste for Christ as joy and reality that I never found any other place.
My Christian life in the local church has been very enjoyable. The believers my family met with loved the Lord a lot, and loved one another just as much. My parents always encouraged me to develop to the full my human potential, as a responsible person in the world, but yet as much as possible not to rely, depend on, or put my hope on anything the world can offer. I think this has made me a very stable person. My focus, my aim is Christ. He is the Eternal One, the only One who will exist in me to the end, and the only reliable one in the universe. Along with that, only people who contain Him can be as trustworthy, steadfast, and real as He is.
My experience with the local churches has been that Christ is so real and so present with me in my daily life. He is not an activity or something that is just “a part of my life.” He actually is my life. There is no greater joy or rest than Christ. This is the reason why I can say that I grew up in the happiest place on earth.
Ministries of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee
I owe my Christian life to the writings of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. Every time I read something from these brothers I am impressed again by their knowledge and the precision with which they cut straight the Word of God, and the depth of their experience in the practical outworking of what is revealed from the Word.
I have found that practically every sentence is solidly founded in the Word, can be confirmed by other orthodox writers before them, and is practical and applicable to my daily experience. The result of this is that God is accessible to me, and the roadmap into the Christian life is opened! One of my favorite books is The Spirit With Our Spirit by Witness Lee. I especially enjoy chapter 8 on the exercise of our spirit. In this book, I found out just how useful and actually crucial it is to open my mouth in my Christian life whether in prayer or praise.
Reading the ministry of these two brothers has caused me to depend on the Lord more and more. There is a verse in Matthew 9:12 which says, “Those who are strong have no need of a physician.” To me, the words, “Jesus Christ”, are all I need. He makes me whole. He is my need, and He is every human being’s need. He is the unique joy and the unique solution. He is the unique rest. I know Him enough to know that I need more of Him.
Not only do I need Him, but I love Him. He chose me. He chose me to love Him. He does not call the wise people or highborn people, but He calls the sick, the sinful, the demon-possessed, the fever-ridden ones, the crippled, the harlots, the tax collectors, the poor, the blind, and the leprous. And He also chose me. The more I see how sick I am, the more I love Him. Sometimes I get upset with Him that I am so incompetent, slow, and dull. But the more I realize that He called me, the more He is able to display His wisdom and glory in me, and the happier I become. It’s so wonderful to open up to Him and love Him.
What Nee and Lee’s ministries have shown me is a Savior who is so accessible, sweet, human, normal, and accepting. He is so forgiving that He can meet all men on many levels. This is the Savior that I am beginning to experience. Who could not help but love such a wonderful Savior?
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