DENYING THE SELF
Along with crucifying the flesh and putting to death the practices of the body, we need to deny the self. This is a very subjective matter. According to Matthew l6:23 and 24, the self is the personification of Satan. The inward reality of the self is Satan. Peter made a good proposal to the Lord, but the Lord saw through the outward self and perceived that Satan was hiding there. Thus, the Lord exposed Satan by saying to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan!" Immediately after saying this, the Lord spoke about denying the self, the very self that is the embodiment of Satan. Because Satan himself is in our self, we must deny it.
In ourselves we are not able to deal with the flesh, the practices of the body, or the satanic self. For years, we have tried to be the pilot, but we have failed. No longer should we try to be the pilot. We have a wonderful Pilot, the life-giving Spirit, in us; we just need to cooperate with Him.
CONTACTING THE LORD
Now we come to the most crucial point in this message: It is absolutely necessary for us to contact the Lord. Day by day and hour by hour, we need to contact the Lord. We need to pray, watch, and maintain good fellowship with Him. This is what it means to cooperate. The initial step in cooperating with the Spirit is to contact the Lord continually. As we contact Him, we must be ready all the time to go along with the leading of the indwelling Spirit. Do not argue or reason with Him, but do whatever He leads you to do. You may not have the strength to do it, but if you contact the Lord and are willing to go along with the Spirit, He will strengthen you. This will make it easy for you to obey Him. In this way your obedience will become your cooperation with the Spirit.
Throughout the centuries, thousands of the lovers of Jesus have contacted Him and lived in His presence, although they did not have as much light or knowledge as we do. But because they loved the Lord so much, they were willing and happy to obey the Spirit within them. Thus, they experienced what we have been talking about in this message. They did not have the knowledge, but they did have the experience. Through their willingness to go along with the indwelling Spirit, they experienced the crucifixion of the flesh, the putting to death of the practices of the body, and the denial of the self. This is the way to be conformed to Christ’s death.
THE TOP RESURRECTION BEING OUR PORTION
Here, in the conformity to the death of Christ, the top resurrection is our portion. When we die, Christ’s resurrection power rises up to lift us into the top resurrection. This makes the outstanding resurrection our experience today. I have not learned this from books; I have learned it from my experience. Through experience I have discovered that by being conformed to the mold of the death of Christ, resurrection power rises up to bring us into the outstanding resurrection the extraordinary resurrection, as our daily portion. In this way, we live a crucified yet resurrected life. By this death and resurrection we experience Christ, and the riches of Christ become our portion. In this way we experience Christ through death and resurrection and enjoy Him as our portion in our daily life.
(The Experience of Christ, Chapter 22, by Witness Lee)