Although I received the Lord as my Lord and Savior at the age of 13, it was not until 1987, when I was 40, that the Lord began drawing me to Himself. For a countless number of years, I searched for a way to understand the Bible and what receiving the Lord into my life really was supposed to mean. It seemed shallow to me to think that I would just get my “ticket” to heaven and go about my life living in a meaningless way, occasionally attending a place of worship when it was convenient in relation to other things I was doing. I also never could understand how the Body of Christ could be so divided, when the Bible says that the Body is just one.
In 1993 my spiritual life changed when I began attending a Bible school in Dallas, not because of the school itself, but because of a book I read while attending the school, called The Spiritual Man, by Watchman Nee. I found myself slowing down and actually even re-reading chapter after chapter, because what I was reading was higher and deeper than any other books I had read before. Then, while in the Philippines visiting a missionary, I read a book that I found in his library called, Sit, Walk, Stand, also by Watchman Nee. I must have read it five times while I was there, and I was very impressed with what Watchman Nee shared. By this time, I had graduated from the Bible school and was planning to be a missionary, but something was bothering me inside….I prayed to the Lord that somehow He would show me what I was missing in my pursuit of Him and in my spiritual growth.
About a month later, He answered my prayer when I got a phone call from another believer who was excited about a “home meeting” she had been to the previous night. She described the ones there as “living the Word,” all studying the Word, and speaking the Word. I got excited just listening to her, and asked her who these people were; and she said they met as the church in Irving. During the week they would get together in their homes for prayer, singing, and fellowship. I soon began meeting with them, and in just one day I became clear about the Holy Spirit for the first time in my life, became unveiled to the matter of my human spirit, and realized God’s eternal plan, His economy. I had the joy of releasing my spirit, and telling the Lord, “Lord Jesus, I love You, and I need You.” How wonderful and marvelous to know that the Lord is so available to dispense His life and nature into my human spirit which was made to contain the very life of God! What a well-kept secret this was to me! But now, it was no longer a secret, but a reality. I began calling on His name saying, “Oh Lord Jesus,” something that many of the men of God did throughout the Old and New Testaments.
A Christian brother meeting with the church in Irving asked me if I had ever heard of Watchman Nee, and I said yes, and that I was very impressed with his writings. He told me that Witness Lee had been his closest coworker and best man in his wedding, and had brought the ministry of Watchman Nee to America in the 1960’s. During the next few weeks, I watched many videos of Witness Lee speaking on the book of Romans, the New Jerusalem, Song of Songs, and so many other books of the Bible. I listened to him share that God’s purpose in creating the universe was to produce the church, and that the greatest prophecy was spoken by the Lord in Matthew 16:18, “I will build My church.” I purchased a Recovery Version of the New Testament with over 9,000 extensive and revealing footnotes, and many verses that I had struggled to understand were being unveiled to me in a fresh and new way. I soon saw that the primary thing is that the church is God’s heart’s desire. I also saw that as a member of the Body, I needed to be built up together with other believers.
I thank the Lord that Watchman Nee and Witness Lee gave themselves to the Lord to be truthful to His Word and to share the revelations they received with all of God’s children. I now know what the promise of the blessing given to Abraham was: that we would have Christ as the life-giving Spirit available to us in our human spirit. I owe it to the Lord to seek after Him in a genuine way, and to love Him above all else. I pray that He will make all His seekers overcomers to end this age. Praise the Lord, He is worthy of all our praise!