After attending a conference or a training, when we return to our locality, we may resolve to never be the same. However, after two months we may be worse than before. This kind of resolution does not work. In Romans 7 Paul wrote, “What I will, this I do not practice; but what I hate, this I do…To will is present with me, but to work out the good is not” (vv. 15, 18). We should never make up our mind to be different from what we are now. This kind of resolving is religious, and it does not work. We may wonder what does work. In Revelation 22:10, at the end of the whole Bible, the apostle John wrote, “Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this scroll, for the time is near.” After everything of the divine revelation had been completed, the Lord charged us not to close the book of Revelation but to keep it open. To close the book is simply to put it aside, whereas to keep it open is to read all the crucial verses day after day. We should not make up our mind to have any kind of change but should read the Lord’s Word each day. We do not need to explain or expound the Word; we only need to read it in a prayerful way. After reading a portion of the Word a number of times, we will never be the same. We become different from what we are, not by making up our mind but by keeping the revealed Word open all the time.
Dietitians say that we are what we eat. If we make up our mind to be a certain kind of person, yet we do not eat, eventually, we will not be that kind of person. There is no need for us to make up our mind to be a certain kind of person. Actually, we will be what we eat. We need to keep the revealed Word open to us by reading it again and again without making up our mind. If we read a certain verse and then pray, “Lord, You know that I cannot make it. O Lord, please help me to be strong,” the more we pray in this way, the more we will be weakened. To read the Bible, to make up our mind, and then to ask the Lord to help us is the way of religion. In John 6:63 the Lord Jesus said, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” The more we simply read the divine Word day after day, in the morning, at noon, and in the evening, the more we will receive the Spirit of life, and the more we will be like what is written in the Word.
Again I say, making up our mind does not work. Moreover, we do not need to be merely convinced by the spoken or written word, because after two weeks we may need another convincing. What we need is to see the divine revelation and the divine vision, and the way to continue our seeing is to read the holy Word. If we do this, we will become what we eat, or to say it another way, we will become what we read. Reading the Word again and again nourishes us, transforms us, and swallows up our old being.
My burden is to pass on to you this gate and this stairway. First, we need to drop our concepts, and second, we should not make up our mind but should read the divine Word. We should forget about whether we can or cannot make it. Whether you can or cannot means nothing. If I cannot make it, I am still myself, and if I can make it, I am still myself. We will be what we read. If we simply drop our concepts and read the Word, the light will come to us, and gradually we will become another person. We do not need to make up our mind to be another person; that will never work. That is the religious way. Through all the years, in our ministry we have never given a so-called altar call in which we invite people to come forward and vow to be different. Through all the years the ministry has unveiled to the saints a vision of the real things in the divine Word so that they can touch and see these things. I encourage you to keep touching and keep seeing by reading the holy Word. Eventually, you will become what you read.
Excerpt from The Collected Works of Witness Lee, 1977, volume 1, pp. 6-7.
Copyright Living Stream Ministry.