EFFECT ON THE SPIRIT AND THE HEART
Thus, to abide in Christ we must first purify our conscience by making a thorough confession. Once your conscience is purged, you can be poor in spirit. You will no longer feel you know so much. You will be humble and hungry for the real experience of the Lord. If you are proud, your spirit is not open to the Lord and He has no way to abide in you. Purging your conscience will issue in an open spirit.
A further effect of making confession is the purifying of your heart. Your heart will be pure because your conscience is cleansed. I have traveled this way myself; these are not doctrines I have learned merely through studying the Bible. Rather, they are a map I have drawn for you, based on my travels through all these experiences.
EFFECT ON THE MIND, EMOTION, AND WILL
If your conscience is not purified and your spirit not open to the Lord, if you are not poor in your spirit and pure in your heart, what kind of mind will you have? It will be sloppy and dull. You may come to the meetings and listen to the messages, but after a time you will conclude all the messages are about the same. To you, a “b” is about the same as a “d,” an “m” is about the same as a “w.” You have no discernment.
But once your conscience is purged, your mind will be keen and your discernment clear. No one and nothing can deceive you. This is what the Scripture calls a sound, or sober, mind (2 Tim. 1:7). Whenever you hear a message, your mind will be sharp to grasp and confirm what is being said.
A purified conscience will also affect your emotion. Before you make a thorough confession of your failures and weak points, your emotion is just lukewarm. (If your emotion were cold, you would be going to places of entertainment rather than coming to meetings.) But once you have confessed, your lukewarm emotion will catch on fire. You will declare, “Lord Jesus, I love You! I am on fire for You!”
Your will also will be changed from being stubborn to being submissive. You will enjoy obeying (cf. Phil. 2:12). Whatever it is, big or small, you will be willing to obey.
THE KEY TO ABIDING
With such a purified conscience, open spirit, pure heart, sober mind, loving emotion, and submissive will, there will be a flow of the Lord within your whole being. You will surely be abiding in Him and He in you. This is the way to have the Lord added to your being all day long. The key is the thorough confession. Without it this message is just doctrine.
LIVING OUT CHRIST
Let us look to the Lord that we may see the unique vision concerning God’s economy. His only desire is that we take Him as our life and person and live by Him. Branches bring forth fruit by abiding in the vine. In the same way our fruit-bearing is the outflow of life. It is not a work, but our living. The same is true of our meetings and our gospel preaching. Our gospel is the Christ we live. This will also take care of the spreading; it is not something we need to plan. In Christianity nearly everything is a matter of doing. In the Lord’s recovery everything must be a matter of living, living by Christ and living out Christ.
(Life Messages, Vol. 1 (#1-41), Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)