A SPIRITUAL EMOTION
It is the same thing with the emotion. Do not think that the Lord demands that you give up the organ, the faculty, of your emotion. The Lord demands that you give up the life of the emotion, but you have to exercise the emotion more and more. If you do love the Lord and are really filled with the Lord’s Spirit, you will be very emotional. A man who is not emotional can never be spiritual. A spiritual person is a very emotional person. If you never know how to love, if you never know how to weep, if you never know how to be happy, and if you never know how to be sorry, I am afraid that you are not a proper Christian.
The most spiritual person is the most emotional, yet his emotion is under the control of the spirit. The apostle Paul was very emotional. He tells us that at times he wept with tears (Phil. 3:18; Acts 20:19, 31). He was quite tender in feeling, in love, in mercy, and in compassion. He was tender, but he was not naturally emotional. His emotion was a spiritual emotion under the control of the spirit.
A STRONG, RENEWED WILL
A spiritual person, on the one hand, is so keen in the mind and emotion, and on the other hand, so strong in the will. Not one spiritual person is like a jellyfish, without any backbone. Naturally emotional people are like jellyfish. All the spiritually emotional persons are so tender in their emotions and strong in the will. The more you are in the spirit, the stronger you will be in the will.
FACULTIES TO EXPRESS THE LORD
A spiritual person is one who is so keen in the understanding of the mind, so emotional in his love and affection, and so strong in his will. The faculties of the soul are organs used by the Spirit to express the Lord. The Lord is so wise and full of thought (Psa. 139:17-18a). A spiritual person is not a thoughtless person. The more spiritual you are, the more thoughtful you are in the spirit. I can testify that the more I am in the spirit, the richer I am in thought. But whenever I am so much in my self, I am poor in thought.
We must realize, therefore, that it is not the mind, emotion, and will that have to be destroyed. It is the life of the soul that we must give up. This natural life, the soul-life, has been put to death on the cross already (Gal. 2:20; Rom. 6:6). Now you have to take Christ, your Husband (2 Cor. 11:2), as your life. You must take the divine life as your life, but the faculties of the soul still remain as organs to be used by your spirit to express the Lord Himself.
THE SPIRIT BEING CRUCIAL TO BE THE SOURCE
Two brothers may be very thoughtful. One, however, is thoughtful naturally, but the other is thoughtful spiritually. With the first brother, you do not sense anything of the Lord. But with the other brother, whenever he speaks, you sense something out of the spirit, something of the Lord. Suppose these two brothers are ministering. With one brother you do not sense anything of the Lord, but the other brother is so rich in his thought, yet so strong, so fresh in his spirit. While he is uttering something through his thought, you realize the richness and freshness of the Lord. The one brother is a person so much merely in the mind, while the other is in the spirit through the mind. With the first one, the source is the mind. With the second one, the source is not the mind, but the Lord in the spirit. Something comes out of the Lord, in the spirit through the mind.
THE MIND OF THE SPIRIT
Romans 8:6 says, “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace.” Your mind is a part of the soul. It could be with the flesh and become a mind of the flesh, or with the spirit and become the mind of the spirit. This means that your mind will be used by the spirit, under the control of the spirit, and directed by the spirit. This is the mind of the spirit. The mind is not the life of the soul, but one of the faculties of the soul to be used, controlled, and directed by the spirit.
UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE SPIRIT
We must learn the lesson to deny the natural mind, emotion, and will, and to put them under the control of the spirit. We deny the life of the soul and take the Lord as our life in the spirit to control and direct all the parts of the soul in order that they might be used to express the Lord Himself.
(Basic Principles of the Experience of Life, Chapter 9, by Witness Lee)