Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 14: The Spiritual Man (3), by Watchman Nee


After the believer has regained the ground step by step in this way, a result will gradually be manifested. In the beginning, it seems that the more he regains, the more dangerous the situation becomes. However, after the believer insists on regaining all the ground, he will see evil spirits gradually losing their power, and that they are no longer able to do anything. When the ground is gradually regained, all the symptoms will gradually decrease. The believer will see that his own mind, memory, imagination and reasons gradually are able to act on their own and be used. Evil spirits can no longer attack as before. At this time, however, there is a danger that before all the ground is regained and before a full recovery is seen, he will become contented and satisfied and then stop fighting. This kind of tolerance will enable evil spirits to make a comeback in the future. The believer must continue to claim back his sovereignty until he is truly and completely freed. When he stands on the foundation of the cross and exercises his own mind, rejecting the evil spirits’ arrogance and old concepts, he will soon experience full deliverance. He will see that he has become once again the master of all his thoughts.

Now let us sum up the stages from being passive to being freed:

(1) The mind of the believer is originally normal.

(2) The believer falls into passivity by trying to let God use his mind.

(3) The believer believes that because of stage two, he now has a new mind.

(4) Actually the believer is attacked by evil spirits and falls below the normal condition.

(5) The believer’s mind becomes weak and powerless.

(6) The believer fights to regain the ground that he gave up in stage two.

(7) The believer’s mind seems to be worse and more confused than before.

(8) Actually the believer is gradually being freed.

(9) The believer insists on his own sovereignty and regains the position that was passive.

(10) The passivity is overthrown, and the believer is recovered to his original condition.

(11) The believer holds fast to his will and is maintained in a normal condition; in addition,

(12) His mind is being fully renewed, and he is able to do in his work what he could not do before.

We should know that the renewed mind is deeper than the liberated mind. To regain the ground lost to passivity and the ground given to the lies will merely restore the believer to his original condition. However, renewing not only restores one to his original condition, but brings him to a place that is higher than the "point of origin." The renewed mind is a state that the believer’s mind has never reached before in his lifetime; it is the highest point which God has designated for him and the highest point possible. God not only wants the believer’s mind to be completely severed from the authority of darkness, in order for the believer to be completely autonomous, He also wants to renew his mind. Then the mind and the Holy Spirit will be fully oneā€”full of light, wisdom, and intelligence. Then his imagination and reason will be cleansed and submissive, completely obedient to God’s will (Col. 1:9). We should not be satisfied with small gains.

(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 14: The Spiritual Man (3), Chapter 3, by Watchman Nee)