By The Book #30: Christ is the Way
The word of Jesus is, “I am the way”. This way may also mean the method. What He here tries to convey to us is that He is the way by which we continue to God as well as the method by which to reach God. Having Him, we have the way; and possessing Him, we possess the method. Every true believer must learn this lesson at least once—that is, that the Lord Jesus is the way, the Lord Jesus is the method. If you have been saved, you have at least this experience of trusting in the Lord Jesus as your way to God. Foe He is the way, without whom no one can come to God. Thanks God, countless believers have learned at least this lesson, which is a coming to God by Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God. We have traveled in this way at least once. This way is none other than Christ Himself. We need to see that the Lord Jesus and not any other method, is the only way by which we come to God.
Some Christians are seeking for some spiritual methods. Once after a message concerning victory thru Christ one brother took the hand of the brother who delivered the message and said, for many years I have been defeated, but today everything is well. The brother asked how this was and the other brother replied that he had discovered the method. Victory is thru the Lord, not by me. The brother preaching frankly told him if all you find is a way to victory, then you will be defeated again. Why did he say this? Because Jesus said I am the way. In other words, He alone is the way, the method. The way is not outside Him, for He Himself is the way. If all we get is a method, we will soon discover its ineffectiveness. God has not given us a method; He gives Is own Son to us.
Frequently we listen to the experiences of others and feel its preciousness (over the top), but we see only a method instead of seeing the Lord whom the other person has touched. As a result, we suffer defeat after defeat. The primary reason is that we have not learned the Lord as the way.
Let us understand that to believe in the Lord Himself, and to believe in a formula, are actually two different notions. By the grace of God, one Christian has his eyes opened to see what kind of person he is; he therefore lays himself down and believes in the Lord, trusting in the latter to do within him what he himself cannot do. As its consequence, he obtains release and is fully satisfied before God. Later on, though, another believer comes along. Upon hearing the testimony of the first person, he too asks God to enlighten him that he may know how useless a man he is. He too learns to believe in God and to humbly abandon himself. Yet it strangely turns out that he does not receive the same deliverance which the first one experiences.
What is the explanation for this?
It is because the first brother has living faith which enables him to touch the Lord as well as believe in God, while the second brother has only a copied faith formula; and thus he does not reach God. Briefly stated, what the second brother gets is a method, not the Lord. A method has no power or effectiveness; for not being Christ, is simply a dead thing.
Every spiritual thing outside of Christ is dead. Let us underscore this well. Some brothers and sisters are inwardly wandering: How strange that another person believes God and his prayer is answered, while I too believe and am not heard. Why is God gracious to him and not me? They seem to charge God with partiality, not realizing that what they believe is but a thing, and therefore dead. Neither formula nor method works; only Christ is living. Even if one has learned a whole set of methods, he is not therefore educated to be a Christian, because God’s children must be born not taught.
Many times even the motive behind our hearing a message is erroneous. Instead of asking the Lord for a revelation that we may see Him, we try wit hour brain to memorize a method to take back with us. And even if we follow that method, we will get nowhere. Sometimes we seem to catch a glimpse, perhaps without having any assurance to dare say we have seen the Lord. Never the less, we do see Him and such insight brings in real change. Thank the Lord, this is the way. Not that we have learned a method, but we have come to know the Lord.
For this reason, then we should upon hearing a message or testimony, examine ourselves as to whether we encountered the Lord or merely understood a method. There is no deliverance in knowing a method as there is in knowing the Lord. The Lord is the Lord of life. Whoever touches Him touches life. Touching the Lord alone gives life.
Christ the Sum of all Spiritual Things Watchman Nee Christian Fellowship Publishers, Inc. New York Copyright 1973 ISBN 0-935008-14-4