Watchman Nee, in the two quotations below, says that we can sometimes so cling to the gifts of God that we focus on them rather than on God Himself. Listen….
“Sometimes God reaches out his hand to take ours in fellowship. Then we need an empty hand to put into his. But when we have received his gifts and are nursing them to ourselves, our hands are full, and when God puts out his hand we have no empty hand for him. We can dwell on his gifts at the neglect of him. Often we forget that our experience is not for our lifelong use. Our source of life is God, not our experience. We hold onto the experience and forget God is Father. Let go the gift and the experience, and hold onto God.” (Watchman Nee. Changed Into His Likeness. Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, 1967, 1978, p. 88)
“Everything that is really of value to us, even the work God gives us, and even our knowledge of God’s will, must go through death to resurrection. In resurrection we know it to be something so miraculously of God that we can never again take it possessively into our hands. Resurrection puts it out of our reach.” (p. 91)
A Process for Reflection:
- What good gifts has God given you? List them. Give thanks for them.
- What would happen if one of these gifts were taken away? How would you feel? How would you respond to God?
- If you think about recent losses you have experienced, how might they be an empty place God has been wanting to fill with Himself?
Where have you felt more of a sense of death than of life? Can you envision or imagine the possibility that this is only a precursor to a different kind of life—a resurrection kind of life?