One of the greatest lessons that Stephen Kaung taught me by his life was the critical importance of remaining humble in the face of the greatest unveiling of Christ. He once brought a message in 1995 that deeply impacted me. He told the story of God’s work in China under Watchman Nee. The stories he told about the work were no less than remarkable.
Organic churches were planted all over China in this work. Droves of young people came to the Lord. They touched the glory of God and experienced the Body of Christ in a marvelous way.
Most of the traditional churches in China didn’t like these new churches. They felt threatened by them. Watchman Nee was tagged a “sheep-stealer” because people who were dying on the vine in the traditional church were joining his work in mass numbers.
As Stephen told the story, he stopped and began to weep. He said, “But something happened. Pride came over us. Because we had received a deep revelation of the Lord, we felt that we were special. We felt that we were better than other Christians. No longer did we talk about being part of the church, we started saying that we were the church in the city.”
Stephen went on to say that God let this go on for a while, but eventually, He took His hand off the work. And in Stephen’s opinion, He allowed it to be scattered.
I remember having a conversation with him sometime afterwards. He very simply quoted the Scriptures to me: “God resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble” . . . “Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and He will lift you up.” En. 1 Peter 5:5-6.
Those words possessed thunder and lighting for me. I asked him, “Brother Stephen, how does a group of Christians find the Lord in the depths and avoid thinking to themselves that they are special?” His reply was simple: “Only God can do that . . . our part is to humble ourselves under His mighty hand and He will lift us up.”