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


Evil spirits also work to make believers lose their ability to think. Because of the exceptional length of time that their minds have been subject to the attack by evil spirits and because of the extent of ground the evil spirits occupy, many believers become unable to think. When this happens, their minds have almost completely sunk into the evil spirits’ hands, and they cannot make decisions anymore. At this point, believers can no longer think. Although they want to think, they do not have the power to initiate any thoughts in their own minds. There is a tide of thoughts rolling in their minds already. They have no strength to stop these thoughts and then put their own thoughts in afterwards. It seems that the tide is too strong, and they do not have a chance to put in their own thoughts. Although at times they may find a space in their minds for what they want to think, they feel that it is very difficult to sustain such thoughts. It seems that too many voices are inside already; the agenda is already full, and their thoughts are involuntarily pushed out. We know that if a man wants to think, he has to exercise his memory, his imagination, and his reasoning. When a believer has lost his sovereignty over these things, he has no way to think about anything anymore. He cannot be creative. He cannot deduce. He cannot recall. He cannot compare. He cannot decide or understand. In short, he cannot think.

After the believer’s mind has received the attack from evil spirits in this area, he will feel that his mind is imprisoned, as if he can think of nothing. It seems as if something is missing, and a kind of dizzy feeling looms over him, making it impossible for him to produce anything from within. Once the believer’s mental ability is bound, he will spontaneously have an exaggerated view of everything. In the eyes of such a one, a pile of dirt will seem like a huge mountain. Everything seems difficult to accomplish, more so than ascending to heaven. He especially dreads those things that require him to use his mind. Nor does he like to converse with others, because this is very difficult. For him to go steadily and diligently forward with his work day by day is like asking him to sacrifice his life. It seems that within him, there is an unseen chain which no one understands. He feels very uncomfortable within to be enslaved this way, and many times there is the thought of resistance. However, he is unable to escape because his mind has been bound by evil spirits so that he is no longer able to think.

Thus, the believer has no alternative but to appear to be dreaming all day long. Time is wasted; he passes his days in the absence of any thought, imagination, reasoning, understanding, or even the mind itself. After the mind has suffered such an attack, the will is spontaneously affected because the mind is the light of the will. In this way, the believer passively allows his environment to toss him about, and he cannot choose anything himself. Alternately, he may be filled with all kinds of dissatisfaction, having no peace and being unable to fight against this bondage to gain the victory. It seems as if there is an invisible barrier to everything. There are many things which he should do, but as soon as he tries, a kind of impulsive feeling swells up in his mind and prevents him from going on. Nothing that he does seems possible; it seems as if his life is filled with difficulty and nothing can satisfy him.

This inactivity in the believer is different from ordinary inactivity. If a believer’s mind is merely "inactive," it can still become active when it wants to. However, if it cannot become "active," it means that it cannot act even when it wants to. He cannot think! It is as if something is over his head and pressing him down. This is a symptom of the severe working of evil spirits.

Many believers who are often worried and anxious have this illness. If we check into their environment and position, we can see that their environment and position are quite good, and they should be joyful and happy. Yet they are full of worries and unhappy thoughts. If you ask for a reason, they cannot give you one good reason. Yet if you ask them to get rid of these thoughts, they cannot do it. Even they themselves cannot explain why they are this way. It seems as if they have fallen into a mud pit and are unable to pull themselves out. It seems that they are already accustomed to worrying and have no more strength to pull themselves out of their situation. This is the work of evil spirits. If it is a natural kind of worry, there must be a cause and a sufficient reason for it. Every worry which does not have a cause or a sufficient reason is from evil spirits. The believer has sunk into this state because he received at one time the thoughts from evil spirits, and he is no longer able to free himself from them. His mind has fallen into a very deep passivity and can no longer act. He always feels that he is chained and full of heavy burdens. It seems that he even cannot see the sun and does not know the truth; it even seems that he cannot exercise his own reasoning. The evil spirits lock up their captive and put him in a stupefied state all day long. They like to see people suffer. Everyone that falls into their hands is treated this way.

(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 14: The Spiritual Man (3), Chapter 2, by Watchman Nee)