So He brought me there; and behold, there was a man whose appearance was like the appearance of bronze, with a line of flax and a measuring rod in his hand; and he was standing in the gateway.
— Ezekiel 40:3
When the man went out toward the east with a line in his hand, he measured a thousand cubits, and he led me through the water, water reaching the ankles.
— Ezekiel 47:3
For those whom the lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.
— Hebrews 12:6
When this river flows out, it is measured by a man of bronze who is holding a measuring reed and a line of flax. This indicates that our Lord is a Man of measuring and judgment. In the church life we not only enjoy being built up with others, nor merely experience the operation of the cross, but we also experience being judged by Christ. The Lord comes to us all the time to examine, to test, and to expose us so that He may possess us. His exposing is not for the sake of the exposing itself; rather, the purpose of His exposing is to gain us. When we are exposed, we are in the process of being possessed and gained by Christ.
In the church life, I am not afraid for those who are weaker or for those who make mistakes. The ones I am afraid for are those who insist on doing things according to their own way or concept. Such brothers are without restriction. They lack the experience of the altar bounded by a river to the south. They are in the church life, but they refuse the Lord’s measuring, and so they are still free to do whatever they wish. They are very free even in pursuing spiritual things, yet in doing so they can cause damage in the church life.
The Lord chastens everyone He loves (Heb. 12:6). We all need His measuring. We need Him to measure our desire, our motive, our mind, our heart, our person, our operation, and who we are. When the Lord measures us, we realize how poor and weak we are, and we see how much we need His mercy and grace. When a sister warned Watchman Nee that evil reports were being circulated about him, he responded, “Sister, I am worse than what they say.” Watchman Nee had been thoroughly measured by the Lord, so he was able to say such a thing. When we are under the Lord’s measuring hand, we do not struggle for our own things, but rather for the Lord’s glory.
Adapted from The Reality of the Divine Stream, page 44.
Tomorrow: “Healing the Waters of Death”