Saturday, September 5, 2009

I have found what I'm looking for

This post is referencing quote by Nee, posted previously.

I interacted on a Christian board about the quote I posted. I would like to share the interaction here:
(blue is note to me, black is my response)

I think I read Watchman Nee some 30 years ago, and really appreciated what he had to say back then. But I think it dangerous now to put such judgment on people. God works through the unsatisfied as well...and perhaps there is a true strength in those able to offer service and love from a place of emptiness. It is the emptiness, the loneliness, the yearning, which keeps us searching for God. It is in weakness that God's strength is perfected. I find Nee's work to be quite dualistic...focused on either/or kind of thinking. Making room for both/and is like seeing the world in living color versus in shadows. It gives a wider view.

We seem to be coming from different places about Watchman Nee’s quote.
I really appreciate your sharing because it gives me, and us - whoever would like to play on this discussion board - a chance to go deeper around these issues.

I have been mulling over these issues and praying about what to say – I am left with 2 concerns:

1) the issues we are dealing with are important and at the same time easy to misunderstand each other.

2) I am concerned that I will be heard as judgmental along with Nee.

I am willing to risk sharing anyway, because I believe there is a really important point here – I guess it boils down to this:

God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory – Phil 4.

I believe this is true and those spiritual riches are available to us, When and only When we are spiritually available to receive them.

I would like all to (biblically) know this opportunity.
I would like to encourage all of us to wrestle spiritually, to do Whatever it takes, and to not let go until we are spiritually blessed.

That is the essence of what I have to say, I guess.
The rest is just commentary...
So feel free to stop reading here. Below are more thoughts, if interested…

Hope you all enjoy a blessed weekend – I am going away into nature, and I am thrilled.


I think I read Watchman Nee some 30 years ago, and really appreciated what he had to say back then. But I think it dangerous now to put such judgment on people.

Thanks so much for sharing your response to the Nee quote.
When I contemplated the quote and sent it, it didn’t occur to me that it / I may seem judgmental – but of course it can…

I certainly didn’t mean to step on toes, so now I get a chance to explicate what I mean with the quote, and hopefully everyone will have happier toes!

As I said, I don’t agree with all of Nee’s theology, fer sure!

But perhaps it will help to say the kinds of things I hear in Nee’s quote.
I don’t hear judgment, I hear description, basically:

• Those who are not spiritually filled by God are spiritually weak. (Those who are not spiritually full are spiritually empty, those who are not spiritually strong are spiritually weak…)

• Those who are filled by God are spiritually strong

• Hey if you are in spiritual need – there is a spiritual banquet table, go eat and drink!

• If we want to be spiritually filled, God provides, and we are then complete within.

• We don’t have to go chasing about in the world looking to be filled from outside ourselves… When we do this we are led by flesh, not by Spirit.

• As we let God spiritually provide our needs, we can also let God fill us with spiritual Knowledge – everything we uniquely need to spiritually know, in God.

• Intellect doesn’t help us in spiritual things – it gets in the way, actually.

• God’s power and God’s will come to us from the inside, not the outside.

That’s some of what I hear – and I experience and mean it to be Good News!


God works through the unsatisfied as well...

Absolutely, I believe God works in all and through all – regardless of what we think or how we feel; whether we believe we are running toward God or we believe we are running away. Still God is God.

But WE miss the blessing of being consciously God’s will in the world, when we focus on our experience as flesh instead of our experience as spirit.

We can focus on the flesh – what we think, what others say, what we have, what we desire, how we feel, etc, ad nauseam – that is fine.

But if we allow God to build our spiritual muscles, here is one description Jesus gives us for what is possible:

John 14: Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.


and perhaps there is a true strength in those able to offer service and love from a place of emptiness. It is the emptiness, the loneliness, the yearning, which keeps us searching for God.

I agree with you, many are still spiritually empty and unsatisfied.
This is a Descriptor of our human experience
– I don’t believe it is the GOAL of our dance with the Divine.

Yes, it is the human condition, and unfortunately I expect it is as common among Christians as anyone else.

Unfortunately, I spent most of my life like that (empty, lonely, yearning…) – one of my very favorite songs of all time was U2’s ‘I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For’ (I added at the end, if interested)

I was not satisfied, I was searching and not finding – forever it seemed. The promises in the bible eluded me, for almost 20 yrs in my conscious walk with God.

I had given up on living the filling, living waters, peace, spiritual fruits promised in the bible, at least experiencing them with any kind of regularity. I knew almost no one who Really experienced being complete – certainly not day-to-day. I never expected that to change. I stopped believing it was even possible.

It took major pressure from God to turn me around – to repent.

Since then, I HAVE found what I am looking for, spiritually.

It has not been easy. I have given up lots of stuff on the physical that I thought I needed - lots of beliefs, lots of ways of being. Folks would look at my physical life, and not be too impressed. I have gone through hell. I am continually facing my pain and fear, etc, and allowing God to bring the darkness out of me. I am continually facing myself and God, and letting go, learning new ways of being.

There is a reason, I believe, that the bible describes each of our unique spiritual journeys as ‘taking up our cross and following...’ Because on the physical that is often what it feels like and what it may look like... the old Death & Resurrection trick. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

But, yes, for a long time now - I have found what I am looking for – not on the physical, but in the spiritual. The song no longer rings true – Hallelujah!

God fills me spiritually, and the relationship with God grows richer all the time. And the experience of being present for life and enjoying the riches of living in a body on this earth are so… poignant, sublime, sometimes almost overwhelming.

I believe this experience of God is available to all. I prefer it to a soul expereince of loneliness, brokenness, emptiness...  who wouldn't?


It is in weakness that God's strength is perfected.

I agree, and I would add some more descriptors - I would say, it is in the weakness of our flesh that God’s spiritual strength is perfected in us. I believe this is Nee’s primary point in the quote, as well.

2 Cor 12, Paul says: To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

We can stop looking to the flesh! and start looking to God to allow us to be filled with God and strong in God.

If I do not allow God to fill me, all I am left with is my own weak flesh, my many many needs, my own roiling emotions, and my own intellect (which wants me to think It is god). Like this, I am in no position to Pick Up My Cross and Follow (to follow the still small voice inside me that says ‘this is the way, walk ye in it’) because all I can do is be broken and hungry and desperately chasing my needs on the physical – because they aren’t being met on the spiritual, and I am only human after all…


I find Nee's work to be quite dualistic...focused on either/or kind of thinking. Making room for both/and is like seeing the world in living color versus in shadows. It gives a wider view.

And I’m with you on the full-spectrum view. On the physical, I want as wide a view as possible – lots of info and possibilities, lots of opening doors and being open to all.

But on the spiritual, I am learning more and more, that single, focused attention is most useful for me. Of course we hear a lot about focused attention in Buddhism, but not so much in Christianity, these days. Here are just a couple examples that come to mind from scripture that point in that direction:

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. – Mat 7

if thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. – Mat 6

Regardless of Nee's duality, I study and quote him for many reasons – here is one:
this is what I clearly hear from Nee, and not very often in every day life - this mirrors my experience:

• God is Real, and experienced spiritually,

• the promises of God are spiritually Real,

• the spiritual fulfillment of living in God is Real.

• Do Not Settle for Anything Less!

These mirror some of God’s promises to us, for example:

There Is a rest for the people of God – Heb 4

The waters that God gives do not leave us thirsty – John 4

We are given life, abundantly – John 10

I could go on and on – my point is – these are not just words – this is for Real.

• Not theoretical.

• Not only back in the 1st century.

• Not “we have the blessing, we just don’t experience it."

• Not just for a chosen few.

No – Real.
Real for everyone who chooses to spiritually open to the Rivers of Living Waters from God. (John 7)

I know many of us do not experience that – yet. But that doesn’t take away the truth of the spiritual riches God wants to bestow on us, when we are spiritually ready to receive them. This is my opinion and experience.

We all have different paths; some will never experience spiritual 'rest' in this lifetime. Meanwhile, the ‘pearl of great price’ IS available.

Mat 13: the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.


..…A note on the language of certainty…..

Let me play devil’s advocate about Nee’s language. When I bring my attention to the issues of potential duality and seeming judgment - it seems to me Nee is less confrontational and dualistic than Jesus, as portrayed in the gospels – or probably any of the biblical prophets… hmm as I think about it, most of the bible from Genesis to Revelation has a very strong POV.

Rev 3, for example: So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

The language of certainty is not usually appropriate in everyday life. Not in groups from different points of view.

But, I believe the strong language of spiritual certainty is necessary for preaching, for prophecy, for spiritual teaching, for exhortation, etc – and therefore has an important place in spiritual conversation. IMO, it is needed and necessary, in some contexts. I see it as ‘insider’ language, for those who choose to listen. I see it as a useful way to convey spiritual information, especially if it is owned as one person’s perspective.
I hope that this language remains acceptable among Christians.

Basically, I am asking allowance because Nee is literally preaching – so he is using the language of certainly. Perhaps in everyday conversation as a person, not a preacher, he would be more nuanced – IDK (probably not)

But, I request his quote be read, not as black and white – not as judgment, but as What Is Possible.

So Many have Given Up - we stop pursuing our first love – we don’t live in the fruit that God spiritually provides to us – every minute of every day. Paul lists some of the fruit of the Spirit as:

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, humility, temperance – Gal 5

What Nee is pointing to, in my experience – is not intellectual, not in any way about belief or doctrine. It is not emotional. It is not physical or of the flesh in any way. What he is pointing to is Spiritual Filling and Spiritual Knowing.

The Beloved cries out for us, and all our needs are met in that embrace.
This is real and spiritually available for every one of us.

Meanwhile, we all have different spiritual blocks in the way of our experience of the Divine – most of us have many, many things in the way – conscious and unconscious.

But from my perspective – God shines on us, like the sun – relentlessly. God is pursuing us relentlessly. It is Our job to spiritually let God in – to move off the clouds more and more, so we can melt in God’s embrace. The clouds are ours to increase or decrease – it is our (free will) spiritual choice to let God in or not... although it usually doesn’t look or feel that way on the physical.
This is my belief and my experience, for myself and watching many others.

So, I read Nee for encouragement, And I quote him for the same reason – for encouragement.

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. - Mat 11

God Does spiritually give us all we need – When We Let God.
I encourage all, to Leave No Stone Unturned until we experientially live in the Beloved’s embrace, and all our spiritual needs are met in God.
Like Jacob: "I will not let go until you bless me." And then he became Israel... He also then walked with a limp… You have been warned.  This is the Death & Ressurection God,  Say YES, and it is a Wild Ride!

I, like Nee, am preaching – speaking in a modified language of certainty – I hope this ‘lands’ acceptably.
I am passionate about what is possible for us in relationship with God. I hope we all are!!!

At the same time, of course, this is from my perspective. Please 'eat the fruit and spit out the pits', as you see fit.

Thank you for being in this conversation!


'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For'

I have climbed highest mountains
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you
Only to be with you
I have run
I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls
These city walls
Only to be with you

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for

I have kissed honey lips
Felt the healing fingertips
It burned like a fire
This burning desire

I have spoke with the tongue of angels
I have held the hand of a devil
It was warm in the night
I was cold as a stone

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for

I believe in the Kingdom Come
When all the colors will bleed into one
Bleed into one
Well, yes I'm still running

You broke the bonds
And you loosened the chains
Carried the cross
Of all my shame
all my shame
You know I believe it

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for


PS - And what I didn't say, how I didn't put the pieces together, is...

These spiritual blessings are available for those who allow them - I know, because I experience it, and because I have worked with many folks who expereince it, as well.

It is my ministry to work with folks who are ready and willing to Experience God and allow the many blessings of God and come into alignment with God... to follow in Jesus' footsteps, to be his disciple.

I offer one pathway to expereince these blessings. There are many paths. Please, find one that works for You, and WALK it.

As Jesus did, I exhort you to Not Let Anything:
any one, any doctrine, any leader, any habit, any agreement, any other desire, attachment or resistance
stop you from experiencing your unique, palpable, life-changing relationship with the Living God
and your experience of spiritual reality, what Jesus called the Kingdom (Reign} of God,

peace, wendy

No comments:

Post a Comment