BEING RENEWED IN SPIRIT
Ephesians 4:23 says, “And that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” What is the spirit of the mind? The mind is the mind, and the spirit is the spirit, but what is the spirit of the mind? This phrase indicates that our spirit has become the spirit of our mind. This means that our spirit is able to control our mind, occupy our mind, and take over our mind. It is good to turn to our spirit, but we need to progress until our spirit controls our mind, that is, until our mind and our spirit are one. It is good to turn to our spirit, but unless our mind is one with our spirit and is under the control of our spirit, our spirit is merely our spirit and not yet the spirit of our mind.
The old man in our conduct is our old manner of life. The new man is the church life. If we allow our spirit to control and direct our mind, our mind and our spirit will become one, and our mind will be subject to our spirit. Spontaneously, we will put off our old manner of life—the old man—and we will put on the new man—the church life. In this way the reality of the church will be expressed through us.
BEING FILLED IN SPIRIT
Ephesians 5:18 says, “Do not be drunk with wine.” Wine refers to earthly pleasures. Anything that influences us, drugs us, or affects us is wine. We should not be filled and drunk with earthly pleasures. Verse 18 also says, “But be filled in spirit,” that is, be filled unto all the fullness of God (3:19). Wine fills us up physically, causing us to be filled in our body. We should not, however, be filled with wine in our body. Rather, we should be filled unto all the fullness of God in our spirit. This means that we must let go of all the desires of our soul, including our mind, emotion, and will. We should only be filled in spirit unto the fullness of God. The result of this is shown in 5:19, which says, “Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and psalming with your heart to the Lord.” This is what it means to be filled in our whole being with God. This is what it means when we sing, “And everywhere be Thee and God” (Hymns, #489, stanza 8).
PRAYING IN SPIRIT
Ephesians 6:18 says, “Praying at every time in spirit.” We should not pray in the mind or in the emotion. Sometimes when others falsely accuse us, we go before God, praying with tears coming down our cheeks. This is not to pray in spirit. If we pray in spirit, we will not shed tears in this way. When we are not in spirit, we feel mistreated and hurt. However, when we turn to our spirit, the Lord does not need to wipe away our tears because our spirit will turn back our tears. We may complain to others about being mistreated, but we cannot go and complain in this way to God. Once we get into the presence of the Lord, that is, once we turn to our spirit, the grievances, insults, suffering, and pain are gone. Nothing matters anymore. Have you had this kind of experience? In the church the sisters often complain that the brothers treat them unfairly. At home the wife often complains that her husband treats her unfairly. However, the moment we turn to our spirit, we can no longer complain or argue. Once we turn to our spirit, we are able to accept others’ mistreatment. Then we are truly bearing the cross. When Paul wrote Ephesians, he did not become long-winded, writing sixty chapters. He wrote only six chapters, which was sufficient. The key is praying “in spirit.” Paul knew that if we would pray in spirit, that that would be sufficient.
By reading through the six chapters of Ephesians, we may realize that the reality of the church is entirely in spirit and that the church life should be entirely in spirit. Ephesians, which is a book on the church, mentions one item again and again in every chapter—in spirit. Only in spirit can the church be brought forth. The church cannot be produced through our learning to be broken unless we are in spirit. Perhaps some may say, “If our flesh is broken, then our spirit will be released.” However, the problem is that we always focus on the breaking of the outer man instead of focusing on the release of the spirit.
Ephesians does not focus on the negative side of being broken. Instead, it focuses only on the positive side of being in spirit. Our spirit needs to receive the revelation and the wisdom of the Spirit. Our inner man needs to be strengthened. We need to be strengthened and have a spirit of wisdom and revelation. It is in such a spirit that the church life is brought forth. In the previous message we paid attention to the seven Spirits. In this message we are focusing on our spirit. The seven Spirits are the essence and reality of the church, and our spirit is the best “paper” for the reprinting of the seven Spirits. To be the best reprint of the Spirit, we must have a strengthened spirit of wisdom and revelation. In such a spirit, the Spirit will be able to produce the church as His reprint.
(The Revelation of the Mystery, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)