DEALING WITH THE SOUL-LIFE
Now I want to point out another side of the growth in life. Although we have been born of the Spirit, we still have the flesh with us. We have the flesh without and the Spirit within. To grow in life means to have the Spirit within you increasing all the time and the flesh without decreasing all the time. Colossians 3 says that in the new man, the Body of Christ, the church, there is no natural person (vv. 10-11). In other words, there is no American, Chinese, Canadian, Japanese, Mexican or any other race in the new man, but Christ is all and in all.
All of us in our flesh are like ugly worms, but within us there is something beautiful, which is the spiritual, heavenly, divine "butterfly." The Lord came that we might have life for the purpose of producing the Body, and in the Body there is nothing old. However, we are old in our natural man, so we need to be transformed. This is why we need to drink the Lord, eat the Lord, abide in the Lord, and breathe in the Lord all the time. But in order to be transformed, our soul-life must also be dealt with. Our mind, emotion, and will—our entire soul— must be dealt with by the Lord.
In John 6:44-45 the Lord said, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up in the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught of God.’ Every one who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me." The Father draws us to His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, by enlightening our mind. The real meaning of repentance is to have a change in your mind. Even today we still need some change in our mind. Our mind can frustrate us from coming to Christ. Day by day, morning and evening, we need a change of mind. We need the enlightenment of the Father so that we may realize our oldness. We need the renewing of our mind. Our mind needs to be taught by the Father afresh every morning.
We need the Father’s teaching not man’s teaching. The Father’s teaching enlightens our mind that we may see the things in our concept and understanding that replace Christ. We might have something good in our mind which replaces Christ, so we need to repent. We need to have a change of mind, a change of our concept. Never be satisfied with what you understand. Never remain in your old concept. In John 5 the Lord told the Jewish people that they had the knowledge from the Old Testament, but they would not come to the Lord Jesus for life (vv. 39-40). We need to be enlightened and have our mind renewed again and again.
In John 6 there is the renewing of the mind. Then in John 7 there is the dealing with the will. The Lord Jesus said, "If anyone resolves to do His will, he will know..." (v. 17). This means that if we are going to know Christ and know the Father’s intention, we must be submissive to take the Father’s will. Then we will see that the Father’s will is for us to enjoy His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
We may be exercising to drink the Lord, eat the Lord, abide in the Lord, and breathe in the Lord, but in many things we do not want to have a change of mind, and we do not want to have our will subdued to the Father’s will. Thus, we may have the feeding, the eating, but not the proper digestion. You may exercise to enjoy the Lord, yet you are not willing to be enlightened in your mind and subdued in your will. As a result, it is difficult for you to partake of the Lord in a full way. Also, it is difficult for you to realize how much the Son of God means to you. The proper drinking and eating of the Lord must be realized in the change of the mind and in a submissive and subdued will.
(The Experience of Christ as Life for the Building Up of the Church, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)