Spiritual Man, The (3 volume set), by Watchman Nee

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If a believer falls into all kinds of miserable conditions because of being passive and believing in the lies of evil spirits, he needs to know his own "normal condition." Aside from the ground of the unrenewed mind, these two kinds of ground that are given to evil spirits will cause the believer to steadily deteriorate in every aspect. His reasoning, memory, physical strength, and everything else will degenerate. Once the believer realizes his own danger, he can rise up to pursue deliverance. But what does it mean to be delivered? It means that he should be "restored to the original condition." However, if the believer wants to be recovered back to the original condition, he should know what the "original" condition is. The believer should know that there is a normalcy, an original condition from where he fell when he was deceived by evil spirits. He should know what his normal condition is. He has fallen from his normal condition into today’s position. If he has not fallen, he does not need to seek recovery. A believer should pay attention to whether his condition today is different than before, and whether his condition is much worse than before. He should not want to continue with his present condition; rather, he should want to be recovered to his former condition. He must ask, "How much worse is my present condition compared with my past? How was I before? What should I now do in order to return to my former condition?"

This former condition is his normal condition. The place from which he has fallen is his normal condition. If he does not understand his "point of origin," or his normal condition, he should ask himself these few questions: "Have my thoughts always been this confused from the time I was born? Has there been a time when I was not this way? Has my memory been this bad from the time I was born? Has there been a time when I could remember very well? Have I always been unable to sleep? Has there been a time when I could sleep? Have I always had many pictures going through my eyes like movies? Has there been a time when I was clearer? Have I always been this weak? Has there been a time when I was stronger? Have I always been unable to control myself? Has there been a time when I was better?" After asking these and similar questions, the believer will know if he has lost his normal condition and if he has been passive or attacked. He will also know what his normal condition is.

To understand his own normal condition, the believer must first acknowledge and believe that he has a normal condition. Although he has fallen today, he surely had a standard that he experienced before he fell. This is his "point of origin." Now he should pursue toward this point and seek for a recovery. The meaning of a normal condition is nothing other than a person’s proper condition. If the believer finds it hard to establish what his proper condition is, he should recall the period of time in his life when his spirit, or soul, or body was "at its best." He should recall the time when his spirit was the strongest, the period of time when his memory and thoughts were the strongest and clearest, and the year when his body was the healthiest. After he finds out the best period of his life, he should take the conditions of that period as his normal condition. This is the bottom line. He should at least reach this standard. If he is living a life below this standard, he should not be contented. He should realize that if there has been a time that he reached that state, there is no reason that he cannot reach the same condition at this time, not to mention the fact that the condition at his peak time in the past may still not be the highest level that he can attain. Therefore, he must insist on his normal condition and not be willing to go down.

When a believer compares his present condition to his former condition, he will know whether he is already "far off." A person whose mind has been attacked needs to see how his memory and thoughts are "far off." The person whose body has been attacked needs to see how his own strength is "far off." Once the believer knows that he has fallen from his normal condition, he should exercise his will to reject and resist until he returns to his normal condition. But the evil spirits will surely not sit back to watch this kind of "overthrowing." They will say to the believer, "You are already old, and you cannot expect your mind to be as strong as when you were young. Human faculties generally deteriorate and become weaker as time goes by." If you are young, they will say, "You were born weak. This is why you cannot enjoy the blessing of a strong mind continuously like others do." They may tell the believer, "You have been overworked. This is why you have fallen into this state." They may even be a little more bold and say, "This is what you actually are. Others may be better than you are, but this is because there is a difference of gifts." In this way, evil spirits try to make the believer think that the reasons for his weakness are natural, obvious, and necessary and that there is nothing to be surprised about. If the believer is not deceived and not passive, but is absolutely free, there may be some ground for belief in these words (but not for certain); they still need to be tested. If the believer is deceived or passive, then excuses that blame everything on natural causes are absolutely untrustworthy. Since the believer is saved and once obtained a better condition—spiritually, mentally, and physically—he should not allow the authority of darkness to bind him in a much lower position. These are all the lies of evil spirits, and the believer should completely reject them.

We must pay attention to one thing: there is an absolute difference between our mind being weakened by natural illness and being weakened by giving ground to evil spirits. If the weakness is because of natural illness, it surely will cause some damage to man’s nervous system. But if it is caused by the work of evil spirits, it does not change the nature of an organ; rather, it merely causes the organ to function abnormally. The human mind is not damaged; rather, it becomes passive and temporarily cannot function. When evil spirits are cast out, the mind will be recovered to its former condition. The mentality of many lunatics is first inflicted with natural illness; later evil spirits utilize these illnesses to cause further disturbances. If there are no evil spirits working behind them, mental illnesses alone are not that difficult to treat.

(Spiritual Man, The (3 volume set), Chapter 33, by Watchman Nee)