The Hearing of Faith
Living in the Lord’s presence will make us conscious of the fact that we are sinful, even that we are sin itself. If we do not have this feeling when in the Lord’s presence, there must be something wrong. Of course, there cannot be anything wrong with the Lord. Whatever is wrong must be on our side. But if the situation is proper, probably the first thing we shall do is to say something like this: “O Lord, I am still in the old creation, still in myself, my old nature, and in the flesh. Lord, I confess that I am sinful. Thank You, Lord, that You died for me on the cross as my sin offering. Lord, now in Your presence, I lay my hand on You and apply You as my present sin offering.” This is to take Christ as the sin offering in a spontaneous manner, not in the way of legality.
A spontaneous prayer in which we apply Christ as our sin offering is a true praise to the Lord. When we pray like this, we render Him the best appreciation. This kind of prayer is different from common prayer according to religious tradition or habit. The following is an example of a rather common prayer, a prayer that may be offered according to habit: “Lord, I am sinful. I thank You for Your precious blood that I can now apply to me.” This kind of prayer certainly is good, but the expression indicates that, at least to some extent, the one who prays in this way is still under the influence of tradition. However, if we apply Christ as the sin offering in the way illustrated above, that will be a sign that we are not under tradition but that we are under the Lord’s enlightenment.
A spontaneous prayer in which we apply Christ as our sin offering is a true praise to the Lord.
When we and the Lord, as living persons, are together in fellowship, something will operate within us and cause us to realize that the Lord is new and that we are old. Then we may say, “O Lord, You are so holy and new, but I am old. I live in the old creation, and I am still in my flesh and in my old nature. I am sinful—I am even sin. Even though I have been saved and regenerated, I am still sin.” This is a realization that comes spontaneously when we have genuine, intimate contact with the Lord. It is not a common, traditional prayer offered in a legal way. On the contrary, it is an intimate way of speaking to the Lord. Then, we may go on to say, “Lord, I thank You that You were made sin for me. When You died on the cross, You condemned sin. Lord, I thank You for condemning my flesh.” This kind of prayer is not according to tradition; it is a loving, intimate word spoken to the Lord under His enlightenment. This kind of expression is according to the sentiment deep within us...
Have you noticed that in the Gospels the disciples did not pray to the Lord Jesus in a way that was religious, formal, or traditional? Rather, the disciples prayed by talking to the Lord intimately and lovingly. We should learn from this example to cease from our old way of praying and live a life according to what is pictured in Exodus 29.
Life-study of Exodus, pp. 1582-1583, by Witness Le.
From Issue No. 86, March 2006