Abigail (29 Feb 2012)
"God's dealings with us - breaking the outer man"

The following is an excerpt from the book "Release of the Spirit" by Watchman Nee.  Many will know of this author - a precious soul who gave his all to Jesus, without reservation or restriction, thus allowing the Holy Spirit to flow through him with inspired holy wisdom.  Watchman Nee was a missionary in China who was persecuted and imprisoned for his faith.  He spent his last days in prison.  His books (particularly this one) have always been a real blessing to many (including myself) over many years.
Watchman Nee's books are for all who are serious about the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in their lives - those who love the very sound of the name "Jesus".  Every day we are on earth, awaiting the return of our Saviour, is another opportunity to mature in the Spirit.  So every day is precious.  The first edition of Release of the Spirit was in 1966, with the first British edition in 1968, with re-prints every few years.
Excerpt from "Release of the Spirit - The Breaking of the Outward Man" by Watchman Nee
From the chapter "The Importance of Brokenness"
Publisher New Wine Ministries, UK.  First British edition 1968.
Copyright.  Copied with permission.
Two Reasons for Not Being Destroyed
Why is it that after many years of dealing some remain the same?  Some individuals have a forceful will; some have strong emotions, others have a strong mind.  Since the Lord is able to destroy these, why is it that after many years some are still unchanged?  We believe there are two main reasons.
First, many who live in darkness, are not seeing the hand of God.  While God is working, while God is destroying, they do not recognize it as being from Him.  They are devoid of light, seeing only men opposing them.  They imagine their environment is just too difficult, that circumstances are to blame.  So they continue in darkness and despair.
May God give us a revelation to see what is from His Hand, that we may kneel down and say to Him, "It is Thou; since it is Thou, I will accept."  At least we must recognize WHOSE hand it is that deals with us.  It is not a human hand, nor our family's, nor the brothers' and sisters' in the Church, but God's.  We need to learn how to kneel down and kiss the hand, love the hand that deals with us, even as *Madame Guyon did.  We must have this light to see that whatever the Lord has done, we accept and believe; the Lord can do no wrong.
Second, another great hindrance to the work of destroying the outer man is self-love.  We must ask God to take away the heart of self-love.  As He deals with us in response to our prayer, we should worship and say, "Oh Lord, if this be Thy hand, let me accept it from my heart."  Let us remember that the one reason for all misunderstanding, all fretfulness, all discontent, is that we secretly love ourselves.  Thus we plan a way whereby we can deliver ourselves.  Many times problems arise due to our seeking a way of escape - an escape from the working of the cross.
He who has ascended the cross and refuses to drink the vinegar mingled with gall is the one who knows the Lord.  Many go up to the cross rather reluctantly, still thinking of drinking vinegar mingled with gall to alleviate their pains.  All who say, "The cup which the Father has given me, shall I not drink it?" will not drink the cup of vinegar mingled with gall.  They can only drink of one cup, not two.  Such as these are without any self-love.
"Madame Guyon wrote "Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ - One of the greatest Christian writings of all time".  Library of Spiritual Classics Volume 2.  A brief description given from this book:  "One of the most influential spiritual books ever penned, even secular historians acknowledge the great impact Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ  has had in Christian history.  Will Durant in his 11-volume Story of Civilization, recounts the impact of Jeanne Guyon's life and writings on French history. . ."
Watchman Nee saw that this book was translated into Chinese and made available to every new convert . . .  Fenelon, Count Zinzendorf, John Wesley, the early Quakers, Jessie Penn-Lewis and Hudson Taylor all highly recommended it to the believers of their day.
Abigail, NZ