Let me illustrate with another story. I once arrived in America in the
home of a saved couple who requested me to pray for them. I inquired
the case of their trouble. Oh, Mr. Nee, we have been in a bad way
lately’, they confessed. We are so easily irritated by the children,
and during the past few weeks we have both lost our tempers several
times a day. We are really dishonoring the Lord. Will you ask Him to
give us patience?’ That is the one thing I cannot do’, I said. What do
you mean?’ they asked. I mean that one thing is certain’, I answered,
and that is that God is not going to answer your prayer.’ At that they
said in amazement, Do you mean to tell us we have gone so far that God
is not willing to hear us when we ask Him to make us patient?’ No, I do
not mean quite that, but I would like to ask you if you have ever
prayed in this respect. You have. But did God answer? No! Do you know
why? Because you have no need of patience.’ Then the eyes of the wife
blazed up. She said, What do you mean? We do not need patience, and yet
we get irritated the whole day long! What do you mean?’ It is not
patience you have need of’, I answered, it is Christ.’

God will not give me humility or patience or holiness or love as
separate gifts of His grace. He is not a retailer dispensing grace to
us in doses, measuring out some patience to the impatient, some love to
the unloving, some meekness to the proud, in quantities that we take
and work on as kind of capital. He has given only one gift to meet all
our need–His Son Christ Jesus, and as I look to Him to live out His
life in me, He will be humble and patient and loving and everything
else I need–in my stead. Remember the word in the first Epistle of
John: “God gave unto us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He
that hath the Son hath the life; and he that hath not the Son of God
hath not the life” (1 John 5:11, 12). The life of God is not given us
as a separate item; the life of God is given us in the Son. It is
“eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23). Our relationship
to the Son is our relationship to the life.

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