The Spirit and the Body, by Witness Lee

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Suppose the leading ones, after much prayer, are truly burdened about a certain matter. What they should do then is through fellowship pass on their burden to the saints and ask the saints to pray. Eventually, the saints will receive a personal leading from the Lord, and they may move accordingly. In this way no one will be individualistic or rebellious. This is why we have the Body. We have both the Spirit on the one hand and the Body on the other hand. The Spirit and the Body keep us in balance. You need to check whether or not the leading you have from the Lord corresponds to the feeling of the Body. We need to be balanced.

When some hear about being balanced by the Body, they may think that this matter of balance will produce the same result as if the leading ones made the decision and told them where to go. It is possible that the outward result may be the same, but the inward nature is absolutely different. Suppose I am a leading one and make decisions for others. After making the decision, I then tell the others to what place they should move. This is an insult to the Lord. If I were to do this, there would be no need for the others to pray. Instead, they would simply act on my word. To do this is to usurp the position of the Lord and to make myself the Lord. This is the greatest insult to the Lord. Instead of doing this, I should say, "Brothers, I feel burdened of the Lord to share with you that some of you may need to move to a certain city. I ask you to please pray thoroughly about this matter." Eventually, some may be burdened by the Lord and led of Him to go to that place. Others, however, may be burdened to go to a different place. After you have received a burden from the Lord, you need to take care of the Body. Thus, we take care of both sides, the side of the Spirit and the side of the Body.


You may wonder where the Body is in a practical way. The Body is in the fellowship, and this fellowship is in unity. It is not a partial fellowship or fellowship relating to a division or an opinion. No, it is the fellowship of the Body. Fellowship follows prayer. After you have had prayer and fellowship, then you will be clear regarding the Lord’s leading.

Some may say, "The result is exactly the same as if there were no prayer or fellowship. It is the same as if someone gave me an order to go somewhere. If that is the case, then why should we pray and have fellowship?" We must pray and fellowship in order to honor the Lord. If we do not pray and have the proper fellowship with others, we insult the Lord and usurp His position. Furthermore, if you move to a place without prayer and fellowship, you will be shaken when the tests, afflictions, and persecutions come. You may say, "Brother So-and-so sent us here. Perhaps he made a mistake. We should not follow a man." However, if you pray and fellowship, you honor the Lord, and you will also have the assurance that it is the Lord who is leading you. Then after you move to a certain place, you will have the assurance that the Lord sent you there, and you will never regret your move no matter what the outward situation may be. You will be so assured that your being there is the Lord’s will and leading that you will be ready to die there. You will not only have the assurance; you will also be strengthened and endued with authority. You will be able to say, "Affliction and persecution, stay away. We have been sent here by the Lord of heaven and earth." Because you have been sent by the Lord, not by any man, you will have the authority to pray. I hope you can all see the difference between being sent by the Lord and being sent by man.

(The Spirit and the Body, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)