IV. OBEDIENCE TO THE TEACHING OF THE ANOINTING
Concerning the teaching of the anointing, the Holy Spirit attends to the anointing, and we take care of the obedience. If there is no obedience, it is difficult to have the experience of this lesson; therefore, we will also look into this matter of obedience.
A. Obeying the Teaching of the Anointing and Walking according to the Spirit
We often speak about the spiritual life as walking according to the spirit, living in fellowship, or living in the presence of God. These are various ways of expressing the obedience to the teaching of the anointing. Let us discuss each expression in its relationship to the teaching of the anointing.
We have already seen that the teaching of the anointing is the feeling generated by the moving of the Holy Spirit within us. Therefore, if we obey this feeling, we are walking according to the spirit. If we desire to walk according to the spirit, we need to obey and live in the teaching of the anointing. If we are able to obey the teaching of the anointing, then we are also able to walk according to the spirit. Thus, these are two different ways of expressing the same thing.
If we desire to have the experience of walking according to the spirit, we need to know what is the teaching of the anointing and what is the feeling derived from the inward moving of the Holy Spirit. We need to know and live in the apprehension of this feeling. It is only in this feeling that we are able to walk according to the spirit. Twenty years ago, I heard people speaking about following the Lord. But how do we follow the Lord, and what does it mean to follow the Lord? At that time I neither understood nor touched the reality of it, but, praise the Lord, now I know. To follow the Lord means to follow the Spirit, which, specifically speaking, means to obey the teaching of the anointing. We are not following an objective, external Lord, but One who is subjective and lives in us. The shining of His face and the manifestation of Himself is the anointing; whereas the will He reveals in the light of His face is the teaching of the anointing. If we obey this teaching, we are obeying the Lord. If we follow this teaching, we are following the Lord.
B. Obeying the Teaching of the Anointing and Living in Fellowship
When we mentioned the relationship between the anointing and the fellowship of life, we saw that these are two aspects of one matter and are inseparable. As life is in the Holy Spirit, so the fellowship of life is through the moving or anointing of the Holy Spirit. Each anointing of the ointment anoints the Lord into us and also anoints us into the Lord; thus, it creates a flow of life between the Lord and us. Therefore, when we experience the anointing, there also is the fellowship of life.
If our fellowship with the Lord is limited only to our time of private prayer or morning watch, it is still very shallow. We need to live in fellowship every moment and be in close contact with the Lord, even while we are the busiest; then our fellowship will be deep. In order to live in fellowship, we must live in the anointing and always sense the anointing. This living in the anointing is obeying the teaching of the anointing. If we obey the teaching of the anointing constantly, we can constantly experience the anointing and live in fellowship. Otherwise, we cannot experience the anointing and abide in fellowship.
It is not difficult to experience the anointing and obey its teaching, because its characteristic is constant and natural. By natural we mean that we automatically have the anointing without requesting it, and constant means that it is always available. If we obey the teaching of the anointing, the result is constant fellowship with the Lord in a very natural way; this is living in fellowship.
(The Experience of Life, Chapter 7, by Witness Lee)