Transitions 23April2020


Watchman Nee (Ni Tuosheng) was a Christian teacher in China during the 20th century. Many of you have read his books such as ‘The Normal Christin Life, Not I But Christ, The Living Sacrifice.’ He was eventually arrested and imprisoned by the Communists for his Christian faith. After 20 years of confinement he died in jail and his body was cremated before any of his family was notified. Beneath his pillow was a piece of paper on which he wrote several lines of big words written with a shaking hand. He wanted to testify to the truth that had changed and impacted his life: “Christ is the Son of God who died for the redemption of sinners and resurrected from the dead after three days. This is the greatest truth in the universe. I die because of my faith in Jesus Christ.”

Prior to the Communist Revolution Nee planted churches and organized them into small, home ‘sheep folds.’ His views were revolutionary at that time and he was considered quite controversial by the leaders of the more orthodox churches. However, history is a strange teacher because what happened next was the Communist Revolution. Church doors were closed and the Body of Christ experienced disruptions and entered a season of transition. However, the ‘sheep folds’ organized by Nee simply went underground and continued to function and prosper. In fact, church historians’ observe that after the restrictions of the revolution were relaxed; the Church in China was stronger than ever before! She burst forth from beneath the ground like an artesian steam longing to be free.

Times of prosperity have never been a friend of the Church! Although we personally enjoy such periods, the Church becomes fat, lazy and the added unnecessary baggage impedes mission and purpose. In fact, the Church has always been purified and prepared for her calling and mission during periods of difficulty and transition. Obviously, we do not know what is coming next in history, because the future is private chambers for God alone however, we can learn from the past and apply the lessons during periods of transition in the present.

Indeed, Divine Sovereignty is a strange thing! Someone observed that “God made the world round so we couldn’t see around the corner.” Currently the church is in a season of transition. We cannot see around the corner, but we feel confident that what we are experiencing is temporary. Transition means that one day a caterpillar will become a stunning butterfly. Prior to transition it is hard to talk butterfly language to people who have only seen a caterpillar their entire life. But soon, very soon, the Church in transition will emerge and cause the eyes of many to open. They will see a Bride who walks out of the chambers of preparation and stands beautifully adorned for her waiting Groom. Until that day, invite everyone you know to the wedding. Introduce them to the Groom because as we sing, "What A Day That Will Be!

A thousand Hallelujahs to everyone and remember, TRUST Jesus and wash your hands!
Ldw 29April2020