MORALITY VS. THE MINGLED SPIRIT
In 1933 I began to make a clearance of my past. I made restitution to people that I had wronged. Once that was over, I made up my mind never to do wrong again. This I tried to keep up for about two and a half years. It was hard not to be wrong! I remember sharing a room with a brother during a retreat. Hard as I tried, I found myself doing one thing after another that offended him. I spilled some water on his bed and apologized. Then I said something not accurate, and I had to confess that to him. Then I felt my apology was insincere. I seemed to be continually under condemnation.
Now, however, it is no longer my aim not to make mistakes. Every day, early in the morning, my first prayer is, “Lord, grant me the mercy that I may live Your life. I want to be one with You in spirit. May I have my whole being in the mingled spirit.” The result has been that a number of times I have had to confess to the Lord, “I have not done this according to the spirit….What I said to the elders was not according to the spirit.” There may have been nothing outwardly wrong, but nonetheless it was not according to the spirit.
We are used to living according to our natural life. We are under the influence of morality. If we lie, we feel condemned. But if we do or say something without Christ, we have no sense of condemnation. We may not do wrong, but in God’s eyes we lack Christ in our doing or in our speaking.
THE ULTIMATE COMMANDMENT
Actually, to lack Christ is sin. The consummate commandment in the whole Bible is that we walk according to spirit. Is it not a sin to break this commandment? We may have done many moral, virtuous things, but without Christ. It is this failure that weakens the church life. A normal, rich church life is evident only when Christ is lived out by us.
Let us practice living by Christ and taking Him as our life and person. Whether we are at home with our family or at work or at school, in all our contacts and in all our living, let us have every part of our being according to the spirit. To allow Christ to thus live Himself out from within us is the Christian life. Then it will be our experience that we have been crucified with Christ, and that it is no longer I, but Christ who lives in me (Gal. 2:20). We shall be able to say truthfully, “To me to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21).
Walking according to spirit is the building factor of the church life. It will make the churches rich and glorious. Live by Him!
(Life Messages, Vol. 2 (#42-75), Chapter 9, by Witness Lee)