CONCERNED ABOUT HOW TO MEET
There is talk among us about how to meet. Are we for a good meeting? Are we for a piano or a guitar? Are we for a certain style meeting? No! We are for Christ. When you come to the meeting, you must come with Christ and in Christ. You must come into Christ. If you say our meeting is too legal, that there is too much ministry, that you prefer an informal, family-style meeting, you are far from the center lane.
I want to say a word here for the whole recovery. We have no particular way to meet. Nearly all our meetings are open to everyone. If you have Christ, you are free to share Christ with the saints. If you say our meetings are too formal, I say I do not know of anything on earth which does not have a form. Without a form nothing can exist. A family-style meeting is a form. In fact, it is more formal, because you insist on it. If we insist on any way to meet, that way is a form. This is not of the Lord. It causes division.
TWO ASPECTS OF CHRIST
Now let us come back to a further point regarding God’s economy. We have seen that it is not something religious or ethical, but Christ wrought into our being. Now we need to consider who Christ is. The Gospel of John reveals this One as the Word (1:1) and also as the Spirit (14:17). Hallelujah! God has given us two precious treasures, the Spirit within and the Word without.
In one aspect the Lord Jesus is the Word; in the other aspect, He is the Spirit. Why are there these two aspects? It is that God cares about our experience of Him.
THE LORD JESUS AS THE SPIRIT
Without the Spirit we cannot experience Him. How could we be in Him and He in us? All by the Spirit! Are you not in the air? Is not the air in you? The Lord Jesus today is the life-giving Spirit. The Greek word pneuma means both spirit and air. The Lord Jesus is the heavenly, spiritual air.
We are now in this Pneuma and this Pneuma is in us. Because He is the Spirit, I have the full assurance that I am in the Spirit and the Spirit is in me. This is why after His resurrection He came back to His disciples, breathed into them, and told them, “Receive the Holy Pneuma” (John 20:22). Today we are all in the Holy Pneuma, and the Holy Pneuma is in all of us.
THE LORD JESUS AS THE WORD
If God had given us only the Spirit without the Word, we could easily be misled, because the Spirit is not tangible. In contrast, the Word is so solid, so touchable. Whenever we have a particular experience of the Spirit, we must check the Word. This is our safeguard.
THE BALANCE BETWEEN THE WORD AND THE SPIRIT
If you care only for the Word and disregard the Spirit, you may be accurate in your beliefs, but you will be dead within. The Word is our safeguard, the Spirit our livingness.
These two extremes are apparent in Christianity. The fundamentalists stress the written Word; the Pentecostalists, a kind of “Spirit.” The Lord’s desire is to balance us between the Spirit and the Word, the Word and the Spirit.
If you regard only the Spirit and neglect the Word, your spiritual life will peter out. After not too long a time you will have the sense that your spirit is extinguished and that you have no way to kindle it again. You may try prayer, but you will find that no words come to your lips. Many of us have experienced this. When you run out in the spirit and have no words on your lips to pray, there is a prayer book you can turn to, the Bible.
Just open the Word. Disregard your feeling. Do not try to compose a prayer. Suppose you open to John 1:1. Just read it. Even without any feeling, sometimes as you read, something within is kindled and prayer spontaneously rises, not in your own words, but from the written Word. “Lord, I thank You. You were in the beginning. You are the Word. O Lord, You are just God. How I thank You that in You is life.”
The Word is spontaneously kindling your spirit. This is how the wonderful Lord who is both the Word and the Spirit will be your experience.
(Life Messages, Vol. 1 (#1-41), Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)