When the Lord wholly occupies us, we are one with all believers. This oneness is the meaning of being built together. “Being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in Whom all the building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in Whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit” (Eph. 2:20-22). Being close to certain saints is not what is meant by being built together. It is when we are fully one with the Lord and saturated with Him that we are also one with all other believers.
The building comes as the element of Christ increases in us. Suppose you go to Japan and meet a Japanese brother there. You will sense a kinship with him, because you both have the life-giving Spirit, even if only in an initial way, connecting you. But if you spend some length of time together, you will begin to feel uneasy. He does not express his feelings, and you cannot tell if he is happy or annoyed. You speak so openly, but he is inscrutable. The American disposition differs from the Japanese.
But the same problem of disposition arises in a brothers’ house where all are Americans. They have the initial relationship through the life-giving Spirit, but friction arises even in the matter of washing dishes because each brother has his own disposition. Even though they are growing as they attend the meetings week by week, their disposition does not change.
Your disposition will faithfully cling to you year after year! God’s economy is not to change your disposition but to fill you with Christ. As He increases in you, you will gradually change. Little by little you will be saturated with Him and your own dis position will be swallowed up.
THE INCREASE OF CHRIST
This organic, inward change, which is called sanctification and transformation, makes us one with other saints wherever we go. When this is the case, we are built up. Please be clear that building among the saints is not intimacy, friendship, or affection. It is purely the increase of Christ in all of us.
You must grow. For Christ to increase you must remain in, or return to, your spirit, where He is. Do not try to improve yourself. Practice staying in your spirit. If you walk out, come back quickly. Especially work on this at home. It is easy to be in spirit in the meetings or when you are with more spiritual ones. The test comes when you are alone with your spouse. This is the easiest time to indulge your self.
May the Father strengthen us all into the inner man, that Christ may make His home in our hearts, and that we may be built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit. This is His good pleasure.
(Life Messages, Vol. 1 (#1-41), Chapter 37, by Witness Lee)