Once it was the blessing, Now it is the Lord;
Once it was the feeling, Now it is His Word.
Once His gifts I wanted, Now the Giver own;
Once I sought for healing, Now Himself alone.
Once ’twas painful trying, Now ’tis perfect trust;
Once a half salvation, Now the uttermost.
Once ’twas ceaseless holding, Now He holds me fast;
Once ’twas constant drifting, Now my anchor’s cast.
Once ’twas busy planning, Now ’tis trustful prayer;
Once ’twas anxious caring, Now He has the care.
Once ’twas what I wanted, Now what Jesus says;
Once ’twas constant asking, Now ’tis ceaseless praise.
Once it was my working, His it hence shall be;
Once I tried to use Him, Now He uses me.
Once the power I wanted, Now the Mighty One;
Once for self I labored, Now for Him alone.
Once I hoped in Jesus, Now I know He’s mine;
Once my lamps were dying, Now they brightly shine.
Once for death I waited, Now His coming hail;
And my hopes are anchored, Safe within the veil.
What is the meaning of being thirsty? When one is thirsty, it means that he is not satisfied. Those who drink of the water that the Lord gives will never thirst again. Thank and praise the Lord! A Christian is not only a contented person but a person who is forever satisfied! It is not enough for a Christian to merely be contented. Everything that God gives to us makes us eternally satisfied. But how many times have we crossed the main streets without feeling thirsty? When we pass by the great department stores, are we thirsty? If we crave for this or that, is this not being thirsty? Are we thirsty when we consider our classmates or colleagues and envy their possessions? Yet the Lord said, “Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall by no means thirst forever; but the water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water gushing up into eternal life.” What He gives to us is one kind of life, yet we experience something else.
The Lord says that He is all we need, but we say that He is not enough. We need this and that before we can be satisfied, but He said that He alone is enough. Is what we received from the Lord wrong or is our experience wrong? One of the two must be wrong. The Lord cannot possibly write us a bad check. Whatever He promises, He will surely give. Our experience in the past was, in the words of one hymn, “a half salvation” (Hymns, #513, stanza 2). Why does the Lord say that a believer will not be thirsty again? This is because he has become different inside. Within him, there are new demands and new satisfactions. Brothers and sisters, are we living before God and serving Him in holiness and righteousness all our days? Are we living before God every day in holiness and righteousness, as the priest Zachariah spoke of in Luke 1:75? Do we have something within that gushes forth all the time to quench others’ thirst? The Chinese have an expression, wu-wei, which means “to do nothing.” Christians have to be those who are asking for nothing. We can say that the Lord is enough for us. Are we satisfied with just the Lord? Are we really satisfied with the Lord Jesus alone? If we are not satisfied, it means that there is something wrong with our living. (Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 2) Vol. 24: The Overcoming Life, Chapter 3, Section 2)