CARING ONLY FOR THE RELEASE OF THE SPIRIT AND NOT HAVING REGULATIONS IN THE MEETINGS
If we would all live in this vision, there would be no regulations in our meetings. It is possible that in a given meeting no one would ever choose a hymn, but instead everyone would pray. In addition, we do not need to pray according to a set pattern. It is all right to pray only two or three sentences. Set patterns originate from the mind. Whatever we want to pray, we should simply pray. We are too accustomed to being in religion, not realizing that a set pattern is like a rope with which we hang ourselves. Why do we need a set pattern? It is because our spirit does not rise up. We kill the meeting, yet we do not know why the meeting has been killed. I do not mean that it is wrong to pray after singing a hymn. However, it is not proper if it becomes a set pattern.
The Lord in us is living. Every one of us has the living Lord within us. When we come to the meeting, why do we not allow the living Lord to take action? If we wait for a certain brother to call a hymn and wait for another brother to lead the prayer, we are meeting according to a set pattern and not according to the spirit. We often condemn the denominations, but today our practice has become the same as the practice in the denominations. Each brother and sister is like a pew member. When we come to a meeting, we should be releasing our spirit and worshipping God. If we would all live in the spirit, then when we come to a meeting, we would be quiet in the Lord’s presence on the one hand and releasing our spirit on the other hand. Then there would be no fixed regulations. Instead, the riches would spontaneously flow out from every one of us. The aggregate of this flowing out would be our worship. This kind of meeting would be full of the expression of God, full of the presence of Christ, and full of the moving of the Holy Spirit. Moreover, all the saints would be fed. This is the church meeting. If our meetings were like this, then when people come into our midst, they would declare that God is among us (1 Cor. 14:25).
BEHOLDING THE LORD WITH UNVEILED FACE
We always tend to stick to our old rules, and these old rules always kill us. Second Corinthians 3:18 tells us that a normal condition is one of having an unveiled face. Yet so many people today are veiled. What is a veil? A veil is something that prevents you from seeing. Our old habits, old regulations, old concepts, and old experiences are all veils. We need to have an unveiled face. All the veils, from within our spirit to our outward being, must all be taken away. In 2 Corinthians 3 the veil refers to the law, to knowledge, and to the teachings of the Old Testament. It is the same today. Our veils are our biblical knowledge, our biblical doctrines, and our old experiences. We all need to receive mercy that God may remove the veils from our face layer by layer so that we may have an unveiled face. Our face should be like an open mirror. If you were a mirror, when you beheld me, you would reflect my image. However, if as a mirror you were veiled, then you would lose your function. We often say that we need to lift up our heads and behold the Lord. However, if our face has layers and layers of veils upon it, we will be unable to see the Lord. We need an unveiled face. Our whole being, from our spirit to our outward being, needs to be unveiled to be like an open mirror, beholding and reflecting our Lord. Then His image will be imprinted on us as the mirror, and we will reflect His image and will be transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit.
It is good that the churches in Taiwan are all very steady. However, although our feet need to be steady, our spirit needs to be changeable. We need to change in our prayer, in our way of living, and in our coming together for fellowship. Everyone must change. Without change we will have no way! If we remain in our oldness, there will be no difference between the practices among us and the rituals in the denominations. We will know everything except the spirit, and we will have everything except the spirit. O Lord, remove our veils!
(Living in the Spirit, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)