An excerpt from What Shall This Man Do? by Watchman Nee:
Pages 117-118: “It is weight that counts. Wood, hay, stubble are cheap, light, temporary; gold, silver, precious stones are costly, weighty, eternal. Here is the key to value. The heavy metals, the gold of the divine character and glory, the silver of his redemptive work: these are the materials he prizes. Not merely what we preach, but what we are, weighs with God; not doctrine, but the character of Christ wrought out in us by God’s orderings, by God’s testings, by the Spirit’s patient workings. Work that is of God is work that has been to the Cross. When our work has been that way, we can rest assured that it will in the end survive the fire. Not ‘Where is the need most evident? What ideas and resources have I got? How much can I do? How soon can I put that doctrine into practice?’ but, ‘Where is God moving? What is there of him there? How far is it his will for me to go? What is the mind of the Spirit on this?’—these are the questions of the truly crucified servant. He recognizes God’s ‘Go’ and his ‘Speak,’ but also his ‘Wait,’ and his ‘Go, but say only so much.’ Aware of his own weakness and emptiness, his greatest lesson is to commit his way to God and learn to see him move.
“The problem lies in our failure to understand that, in God’s work, man in himself is of no use. Wood, hay, stubble, these suggest what is essentially of man and of the flesh. They imply what is common, ordinary, easily and cheaply acquired—and of course perishable. Grass today may clothe the earth with beauty, but where is it tomorrow? Human intellect may give us a grasp of Scripture; natural eloquence may have the power to attract; emotion may carry us along; feelings may seem to supply a guiding sense—but to what? God looks for more solid values than these. Many of us can preach well enough, but we are wrong. We talk of the flesh but don’t know its perils; we talk of the Spirit but would we recognize him were he really to move us? Too much of our work for God depends not on his will and purpose but on our feelings—or even, God forgive us! on the weather. Like chaff and stubble, it is carried away by the wind. Given the right mood we may accomplish a lot, but just as easily, in adverse conditions, we may down tools entirely. No, as the fire will one day prove, work that is dependent on feelings or on the wind of revival is of little use to God. When God commands, feelings or not feelings, we must learn to do.”