COMING TO THE MEETINGS WITH A LIVING SPIRIT
Because most of us came from the background of traditional Christianity, and we still have that environment surrounding us, it is very hard to change our concept concerning the meetings. In the past we have preached the gospel in a living way to people who were one hundred percent Gentiles. They never had any connection or relationship with a so-called Christian church. When they were saved, we simply gave them a little word, and they all knew how to function. For many old Christians, though, it is very hard to function, because they have too much influence from their background. We must try our best to drop our backgrounds and learn to live and walk in the spirit by enjoying and experiencing Christ in a practical way. Day by day we enjoy Christ, and day by day we experience Him in the spirit. Then whenever we come together, we come with a living, satisfied, refreshed, strengthened, uplifted, positive, and active spirit and with a certain amount of the experience of Christ.
When we come to a meeting, we should not consider what kind of meeting it is. Rather, we must consider it as a chance to worship, to share our burden, and to do our duty. We should forget our considerations and simply come to meet with one another as Christians. This is a matter of whether or not we are in the spirit, whether or not we are praying in the spirit with something of Christ. If we share something of Christ from the spirit, any portion is good. That will never disturb the meeting. As long as we exercise our spirit to express and minister something of Christ, that is right. That will release others’ spirit, bring in the flow, and spontaneously begin the meeting.
Perhaps we will not sing a hymn at the beginning of the meeting. The brothers and sisters may simply pray. It may be, though, that we sing hymn after hymn. We should have no regulation, only the flow. However, this flow absolutely depends on a living spirit. Our spirit must be living. When our spirit is dead and we are poor with Christ, having nothing of Christ, whatever we do will be wrong. Even if everyone opens his mouth, that still will be wrong. In fact, the more we open our mouth, the more we will have a stinking odor, not the odor of a sweet fragrance. Whatever we do must be something living that comes from within.
Someone may ask, “What if I am fallen and have a failure the day of the meeting?” We have not only the burnt offering, the meal offering, and the peace offering. We also have the trespass offering. If we have a failure, we should come to the meeting with a contrite spirit to repent and confess before the Lord. We can exercise our contrite spirit to offer a prayer to the Lord for confession, repenting and applying the cleansing of the blood of Jesus. Even this kind of prayer will bring a flow into the meeting, because it is something living, something of Christ, and a real experience of Christ as the trespass offering. Perhaps then the flow will bring in many prayers of appreciation to Christ as the trespass offering. Many may follow to pray, “Lord, we do thank You that we have the experience of You being our trespass offering.” That will be something living in the flow.
We must prepare ourselves to come to the meeting. I have a deep sense that we need to change our concept and change our way of life. This will help us to be diligent and fervent in the spirit in our daily walk. Then we can come to the meeting in a new way. Someone may say that not meeting in the traditional way will cause confusion. Whether or not releasing our spirit will cause confusion is yet to be seen. Let us try it. If it causes confusion, we can try something else. Let us go on and see what we find and what will come out of it. Please be at peace; I can assure you that we will not suffer a loss by exercising our spirit in the meetings.
I am not suggesting that we change a form or regulation. That never works. Rather, we have to change our concept and realization. We have to change the way of our Christian living. We have to learn how to live and walk in and by Christ by exercising our spirit. Our realization and concept must change, and our way of living must be different. Then when we come together, spontaneously we will have something of Christ.
(The Ground of the Church and the Meetings of the Church, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)