The Inner Life is for the Building Up of the Church

Recently I was reading about how the glory of the Lord returned because the building of the temple was completed (Ezekial 43).

Then I came across this interesting quote:

Throughout the centuries the enemy in his subtlety has kept Christians from knowing anything about the building. Christian teachers emphasize greatly the matter of salvation and to some extent the matter of spirituality, but they rarely emphasize the matter of building. God’s concern is not merely with salvation or with spirituality but with the building…The building is nothing other than the church.

Wow. So. True.

There was a resounding “amen” within me, so I read on:

Brother Watchman Nee was fully committed by the Lord with the burden for the church…He realized that for the building up of the church, there was the need of the inner life, and the Lord gave him many messages on the inner life. However…all of his messages on the inner life were for the building up of the church. But the subtle enemy, Satan, has utilized some so-called spiritual people to publish many of his messages on the inner life to be used for individual spirituality.

We pursue the Lord for the building of the church. If we know the indwelling Christ in a deep, personal, and intimate way, yet we care  more for that than for God’s own goal, His building, we are aimless Christians.

Those who put out the inner-life books by Brother Nee do not have much regard for his books on the church life. Many Christian bookstores sell The Normal Christian Life; Sit, Walk, Stand; What Shall This Man Do?; The Song of Songs; and so forth – all books on the individual spiritual life – but very few sell Brother Nee’s books on the church. They seldom sell TheNormal Christian Church Life, The Glorious Church, Further Talks on the Church Life, or other books by Brother Nee that have the word church in the title. Here we can see the enemy’s subtlety.

That is subtle and true. I appreciate Watchman Nee’s writings and look for his books often at Christian bookstores. However, I usually cannot find his books on the church. The Glorious Church is one of my favorite Nee books and the only ministry publisher I’ve found that sells it is Living Stream Ministry, although there could be others.

I went on to read about Watchman Nee’s relationship with Witness Lee.

Do you believe that the Lord cares only for spirituality? Let me assure you that the Lord does not care merely for spirituality; He cares for the building up of the church. Regarding this, we need to expose the subtlety of the enemy. Some have said that Witness Lee is different from Watchman Nee – that Watchman Nee is for the spiritual life but Witness Lee is too much for the church. That Brother Nee was not only for the spiritual life but also very much for the church is indicated by his books such as Further Talks on the Church Life, The Orthodoxy of the Church, and The Glorious Church.

So, what does this have to do with the glory of the Lord returning to the temple as seen in Ezekial?

Today the Lord is not concerned merely for individual spirituality. Even if many spiritual people such as Daniel had been raised up in Babylon, the glory of the Lord would not have gone there to fill them. The Lord’s glory did not return to Daniel; rather, it returned to the temple after it was rebuilt. 

Wow. Christians talk often about glorifying God; however that can only be done in the context of God’s building.

Lord Jesus, may my personal pursuit of You be for Your building!

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