KNOWING, REJOICING, AND PURPOSING IN SPIRIT
First Corinthians 2:11 says, “For who among men knows the things of man, except the spirit of man which is in him?” The spirit of man knows through the mind. The mind is an organ to be used by the spirit to know something. Then 2 Corinthians 7:13 says, “We rejoiced more abundantly over the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by all of you.” The spirit of Titus was refreshed with joy. This shows that the spirit joys or rejoices through the emotions. The spirit knows something through the mind and rejoices through the emotion. Then Acts 19:21 says, “When these things were fulfilled, Paul purposed in his spirit to…go to Jerusalem.” This means Paul exercised his will in the spirit. He made a decision in the spirit to take a trip. This does not mean that he was a man of the will, but a spiritual man exercising his will. Paul was a man so much in the spirit with the uplifted faculties of the soul. His thoughts, emotions, and decisions were all in the spirit.
TAKING THE LORD AS LIFE
As Christians we have to reject our mind, emotion, and will. We must reject ourselves and take the Lord Jesus as our life. This is done by returning to our spirit and sensing what is there in our spirit. Suppose a brother comes to talk with you. While you are listening, you must reject yourself. You must reject your natural thinking, your emotion, and your will. You have to take the Lord Jesus as your life in this particular matter by returning to your spirit, your innermost part, to sense what is there. This is the right way for us to act as a Christian, but most of us do not act in this way. Whenever a brother comes to talk with us, we exercise our mind independent of the spirit. We sometimes forget about the Lord Jesus and forget that we have a spirit. The way for a normal Christian to act, though, is to always deny the natural mind, will, and emotion, and take the Lord Jesus as his life. In everything we should return to the innermost part of our being to sense what is there.
THE INNER ANOINTING
If you do this, your spirit, in which the Holy Spirit dwells, will rise up to impress you with something. Then you will have a clear understanding. You will understand this brother thoroughly. Your spirit will rise up and spring up, and some living water will flow out to others. We must continually learn to take care of the inner anointing, the inner registration, the inner sense, the inner feeling, the inner consciousness. If we go along with this anointing, we will be a person walking in the spirit. Then all the faculties of our soul will be renewed, transformed, revived, strengthened, and improved. The life of the soul will be crucified and renounced, but the faculties of the soul will be ennobled.
SERVING BY THE EXERCISE OF THE SPIRIT
When you come to a church meeting, do not exercise your mind, but exercise your spirit to sense the inner life. When you are going to choose a hymn or pray, do not consider but sense with the spirit. When you stand up to speak, do not consider what you are going to say or what you have to say, but sense what the Lord’s mind is that you have to say. There are two ways to meet: one way is in the soul and the other way is in the spirit.
When you come to the meeting, sometimes you are really happy, but maybe tomorrow you will come with sorrow. You have to leave all these emotional feelings outside the door. When you come to the meeting, you must exercise your spirit to sense something within your spirit. Then you should utter something from your spirit despite your feeling. We must learn the lesson to serve the Lord not by exercising the mind, emotion, or will, but by exercising the spirit to sense something of the Lord. This is the right and normal way for us to walk and to serve in the Lord and for the Lord.
(Basic Principles of the Experience of Life, Chapter 9, by Witness Lee)