THE MEASURE OF OUR EXPERIENCE OF CHRIST
What is this piece of land? Never forget, this land is the all-inclusive Christ. Not just Christ, but the all-inclusive Christ. If I were to ask you if you have Christ, you would answer, “Oh, praise the Lord, I have Him; I have Christ!” But I would ask you what kind of Christ you have. I am afraid that in your experience you have just a little Christ, a poor Christ, not an all-inclusive Christ.
Let me tell you a story, a real story. Not long after I was saved, I studied the Scriptures, and I was taught that the passover lamb was the type of Christ. Oh, when I learned this, how I praised the Lord! I exclaimed, “Lord, I praise You, You are the lamb; You are the lamb for me!” But I would ask you to compare the lamb with the land. What kind of comparison can you make between a little lamb and a great land? What is the lamb? You must say that it is Christ. But I would tell you that it is a little Christ. That was not the goal of God for His people. God never told them, “All right, as long as you have the lamb, that is sufficient.” No. God told them in effect that the reason He gave them the lamb was to bring them into the land. The passover was for the land.
Do you have Christ? Yes, you have Christ. But what kind of Christ do you have, a lamb or a land? All the people of Israel had the lamb on that Passover Day in Egypt, but very few, I’m sorry to say, got into the land. Very few took possession of that piece of land.
After I was saved for one or two years, I was taught that the manna which the children of Israel enjoyed in the wilderness was also a type of Christ. I was so joyful. I said, “Lord, You are my food; You are not only the lamb to me, but also my daily manna.” But, I would ask you, is the manna the purpose, the goal of God? Did God deliver His people from Egypt to enjoy the manna in the wilderness? No! The land is the purpose; the land is the goal. Do you enjoy Christ as the land? I doubt it, and I venture to say that even you doubt it. You can say that you enjoy the lamb as your passover and the Lord as your daily manna, but very few can really say that they enjoy the all-inclusive Christ as the land.
The Word tells us in Colossians 2 that we have been rooted in Christ. Now I would ask you to consider: If we have been rooted in Christ, then what is Christ to us? Yes, Christ is the earth; Christ is the soil. A plant or a tree is rooted in the soil, in the land. Even so, we have been rooted in Christ. I am afraid you have never realized that Christ is the very soil, the very land to you. You are a little plant rooted in this land which is Christ Himself. I must confess that five or six years ago, I never had such a thought. I read the Scriptures and spent much time in the book of Colossians. I read it over and over, but never obtained this light. I never knew that Christ is the soil, my very earth. It was not until the last few years that my eyes were opened.
I deeply feel that most of the Lord’s children are still remaining in Egypt. They have only experienced the passover; they have just taken the Lord as the lamb. They have been saved by the lamb, but they have not been delivered out of this world. Yes, some have come out of Egypt, some have been delivered from the world, but they are still wandering in the wilderness. They enjoy Christ a little more; they enjoy Him as their daily manna. They can boast that they enjoy Christ as their food and they are so satisfied. But, brothers and sisters, is this good enough? I think when we meet those who enjoy Christ as their daily manna, we are very happy. We say, “Oh, praise the Lord, here are some brothers and sisters who really enjoy the Lord as their manna day by day!” But we must realize that this falls far short of God’s purpose. God’s purpose is not just that we enjoy Christ a little, but that He should be the all-inclusive One to us. Look at this verse: “As therefore you have received the Christ, Jesus the Lord, walk in Him” (Col. 2:6). He is a sphere, a realm for us to walk in. He is not just some food or water, but a realm, a land within which we can walk. We must walk in Him. He is our land, He is our earth, He is our kingdom. Walk in Him.
I believe that the picture is very clear. In Egypt was the lamb, in the wilderness was the manna, and ahead of the people of Israel was the land of Canaan. That is the goal; that land is the goal of God. We have to enter in. It is our portion. It is the all-inclusive gift of God to us. We must take possession of it. It is ours, but we must enjoy it.
In these days we have been speaking much about the church and the expression of the Body of Christ. But you and I must realize that if we are not able to take possession of Christ as the all-inclusive One and experience Him, there can never be the reality of the church. You and I must realize that we have been rooted in Christ as a plant rooted in the soil. We must possess Christ as everything to us, not just in words or in doctrine but in practical reality. We must realize that just as the soil is everything to that plant, so Christ is everything to us. We must realize this to such an extent that we can experience Christ. You and I have already been rooted, but we do not realize the fact, we do not take possession of the fact. Colossians tells us that having been rooted, we are being built up in Him with others. If we have no experience of having been rooted in Christ, how can we be built up with others? That is why the building up of the church among the Lord’s people is almost nil. How could there be a temple and a city when the people of Israel were still wandering in the wilderness? Since they were not in possession of the land, it was impossible. How can there be the real building up of the church? How can there be the real expression of the Body of Christ? It can only be by realizing and experiencing Christ as everything to us. Brothers and sisters, may the Lord open our eyes.
SOME PRACTICAL EXAMPLES
Day by day we are speaking many words. But do you realize that all our words must be Christ? Do you speak Christ? Do you take Christ as your words? If you do not, you are speaking nonsense. Perhaps you will ask what I mean. I mean this: if you have received light to see that in God’s mind Christ is everything, the Holy Spirit will lead you to the place where you realize that even the words you speak day by day must be Christ. You will accept the work of the cross upon your mouth and upon your words. You will be renewed in your speaking. You will be renewed in your language. You will experience Christ to such an extent that you will say, “Lord, if what I am going to say is not of You, I will not say it. I apply the cross to my mouth. I apply the cross to my speaking so that I may be renewed by You in my words.”
Let me give you a few more examples of how we must realize Christ as everything to us. Whenever we are going to eat, we should immediately have the registration within us that Christ is our real food. We have to say, “Lord, this is not my true food; You are the food by which I live. Man does not really live by this food, but by Yourself. Lord, I would spend more time taking You than eating this food.” When we are going to rest, we must say, “Lord, You are my rest; You are my true rest!” Whatever we are going to do, whatever we are going to enjoy and experience, we must realize that Christ is that very thing.
Sisters, you are the ones who are always doing the shopping. Have you ever thought that Christ is that very thing for which you are going to shop? I believe very few of you have had such a thought. Perhaps you have heard a message about Christ being everything to us; you have sung Hallelujah in the meeting, but immediately afterward you have forgotten everything. If you have received true light from the Lord, the Holy Spirit will point out Christ to you in a practical way day by day, step by step. He will show you that whatever you are going to buy must be a figure of Christ. You will not want to pay the price for anything outside of Christ. You will say, “I wish to gain Christ; I want to have more of Christ.” You can apply Christ to everything.
Young people, when you are going to study, you can say, “Lord, You are my book. I would read You; I would study You much more than these books. I would apply You at this very moment while I am reading.”
Try to exercise in such a way day by day. Take Christ as the land; take Him as everything to you—not just as food, not just as the light, not just as your dwelling place, but as the all-inclusive land. You must realize that Christ is the all-inclusive One to you. You must practice to experience Christ and apply Him in everything. Then, I believe something will issue forth from you, and that something will be the building of the church in God’s kingdom, the temple in the city. This is the purpose of God. ( The All-inclusive Christ , pp. 13-17)