LIGHT AND LIFE
It is through prayer that you can be turned to your spirit. When you pray, you pray yourself into the spirit. Your quarreling leaves you in darkness, but after some time you calm down and begin to pray a little. Then comes the shining. You see how wrong your arguing was. You realize that your thought was wrong, that you had a poor attitude, and that what you said should not have been said. The more you pray, the more you are in your spirit, where the light shines.
Both the spirit of man and the Spirit of God are lamps, shining and enlightening our inward parts. As our spirit shines, the Spirit of God intensifies the shining sevenfold, till we find we have no place to hide.
Where this light shines, there the life supply goes. Little by little, chamber by chamber, we are transformed into the Lord’s image. The gold in us takes shape. Christ is formed in us. For us to live is Christ. In all of us this shining, supplying, and transforming is going on, making us the golden lampstand. Then we are truly the church, the practical expression of God, and His testimony. The Father is in us, the Son has taken form, and the Spirit expresses this reality.
BY MEANS OF ALL PRAYER
We can liken this golden lampstand to a complicated piece of machinery. Without a certain small screw, the machinery will not operate. The screw for this golden lampstand is that we must be in our spirit! Prayer is the key to our being able to stay in spirit. “By means of all prayer and petition, praying at every time in spirit, and watching unto this in all perseverance and petition” (Eph. 6:18). “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thes. 5:17), because as soon as we stop praying, we leave our spirit. All around are things to distract us. We must keep our eyes shut and be in prayer!
Sometimes we have to go shopping. If we really have a need to buy something, when we go into the department store, we must pay no attention to all the alluring things on display. It takes an effort, but we must stay in prayer so that we buy only what we came for. God keeps calling us back to our spirit.
I remember in 1933 when I lived in Shanghai, I had to go from one end of town to the other for a meeting. In those days it was an hour’s ride by electric car. The streets were bustling with activity, and gaudy signs tried to catch the eye. Before I left, I spent time praying for the meeting that night. However, by the time I reached the meeting hall after that car ride, the spirit was gone. It was shaken off because of all the distracting things to be seen. I learned a lesson from that experience. Afterwards, whenever I took the electric car, I would sit there with my eyes closed, praying, refusing to be enticed by the scenes outside. Then when my ride was over, I would still be conscious of the spirit with me. When I went into the meetings, the spirit would come forth.
With so much to turn you away, it is not easy to remain in spirit. That is why you must heed this exhortation to pray at every time in spirit. Pray with all prayer and petition! Watch unto this in all perseverance! “Quench not the Spirit” (1 Thes. 5:19)! Walk according to spirit! Set your mind on the spirit (Rom. 8:6)!
Then you will be kept in life. The two lamps inside you will be shining brightly. All your inner chambers will be transformed into the image of the Lord. Not only will you have the pure gold; it will take shape, and there will be the expression. The crucial point is that you must remain in, or turn back to your spirit. Then there will be a golden lampstand, the church, the practical expression of the Triune God.
(Life Messages, Vol. 2 (#42-75), Chapter 27, by Witness Lee)