Companion Meeting – Week 3 #1

Week 3, First Companion Meeting

Read through the following portion and then discuss it with your companions:

The right way to receive the word is to take it as the breath of life from God (2 Tim. 3:16). This is the life food by which man lives, not by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out through the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4). This is food for the spirit, so we have to exercise our spirit to take it. To receive food for our physical body, we have to exercise our mouth, but to receive spiritual food for our spirit, we have to exercise our spirit. Whenever we come to the word, we need to realize that it is spiritual food. We must exercise our spirit to eat it, not merely to know it. We should forget about knowing and simply eat Christ. This word is the written word of the living Word. It is the expression, the revelation, of the living Word, who is Christ. He is our food, our bread of life, so whenever we come to the Bible, we come to food, not for the body but for the spirit, so we must use our spirit to take it. This is clear to us, but we have to practice to receive the word in this way, not merely to read the Bible for knowledge but to read it for feeding on it.

Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Most people who read this verse are tempted to know who was there in the beginning and whether the beginning was thousands, millions, or billions of years ago. This is the way to read the Bible to seek knowledge, to know by exercising the mentality. This is the wrong way. The right way to read the Bible is to exercise our spirit. If we do this, right away we will pray, “O Lord, You are the One who created all things. Everything was created by You, so everything has been initiated by You. Lord, I want You to come into my life to initiate everything.” To take the word in this way is not mere knowledge. Rather, it is nourishment.

Matthew 8:1 through 3 says, “When He came down from the mountain, great crowds followed Him. And behold, a leper, coming near, worshipped Him, saying, Lord, if You are willing, You can cleanse me. And stretching out His hand, He touched him, saying, I am willing; be cleansed! And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.” Someone may take this word as knowledge and even criticize, saying that this does not sound like a proper teaching in the Bible. Rather, we should take this word by praising and praying: “Lord, come down again today to the place where I am. I am in the place of failure, in the place of leprosy, and I cannot deliver myself. Lord, if You come to the place where I am, I will be delivered. O Lord, I have been cleansed by You, but I still need You more and more. Come down, Lord, to the place where I am.”


If we read the word in the morning in this way, these few verses will be a very adequate and rich breakfast. They will even be good enough for the whole week. Every day that week we can pray, “O Lord, You have come down from the mountain to the very place where I am. I have been cleansed by You. Lord, I believe, even today, that You are still coming to me. Meet me here.” While we are at work, we can pray, “Lord, there is leprosy here. Come down to the place where I am.” Throughout the entire day we will receive not the word only but the Lord Himself. The word will be transferred into the Spirit by our prayer. The word is black and white outside of us, but after we have prayed, it becomes the living Spirit within us, nourishing, refreshing, strengthening, and delivering us all the day.

We may further illustrate the way of life to read the word with 1 Timothy 1:1. This verse says, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope.” A brother may read this verse, praying with praises to the Lord for being our Savior and our hope. Later in the day something disappointing may happen to him, but the more he prays, “Lord, You are my hope,” the more the Spirit within him will strengthen him. In this way the word hope becomes the Spirit to him.

In order to pray to transfer the word into the Spirit, we must learn how to exercise, release, and uplift our spirit. Our prayer over the word also should have some understanding or inspiration in it. If we do not receive something when we start to read, then we should read further. We do not need to force ourselves to get something from every portion we read. The Bible is very rich. It is like a feast on the table. When we come to a feast, we need not force ourselves to enjoy a piece of bone that has no meat. If we were poor, we would have to break the bone to get to the marrow. However, we are not poor; the Bible is very rich. At first we may not get something from what we read, but later when we return to that same passage, we will receive something from it.

We all need to practice this way to receive the word, because we are accustomed to receiving something of knowledge. After a certain period of practice, however, we will be more accustomed to receiving something of life. Even if it is easy to get something merely of knowledge from a certain portion of the word, we would not do it. If we understand something from a portion of the word, we should not pay attention to the mere knowledge. Instead, we should receive something of life. Again I say, we need not force ourselves to get something from every portion we read. If we come to a “bone,” we can forget about it for now and go on to a tender, meaty portion to get something of life. To come to the word to feast on the Lord is like coming to the dining table. We must learn to find something that we can eat.

It is too easy to get something of knowledge, but it is not as easy to get something of life. We are familiar with the bones, but we do not know the meat as well. We all must learn this proper way to read the word. This will help us to enjoy the Lord, to experience Him, and to live by Him. The Lord Jesus told us, “He who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me” (John 6:57). The proper reading of the word helps us to realize the Lord, enjoy Him, experience Him, and live by Him, and it also helps us to exercise our spirit, because in this way we pray much. Then our spirit is strengthened, uplifted, exercised, and made alive. When we come to the meetings, it will be easy to pray, because our spirit has been exercised, strengthened, and uplifted. In addition, we will have some content to pray. We will have something stored within our spirit, and our spirit will be living, because day by day we have been feeding on Christ. This is the proper, normal way for us to enjoy the Lord.

(Enjoying Christ as the Word and the Spirit through Prayer, Chapter 3, pp. 32-35)