Our Urgent Need - Spirit and Life, by Witness Lee


My burden is to point out our shortage. We are short of the Spirit. Today the saints in the churches may have too much knowledge, too much terminology, and too much discernment exercised toward others rather than toward themselves. This kills the churches and the saints and annuls the things of the divine life. Whether we are right or wrong, good or bad, does not matter. We are short of the Spirit.

We may hear many messages concerning Christ from the Word. But when we hear them, we may merely be infused with more terminology. After returning home from the meeting, one brother may say that the teaching was very good, but another brother may say it was not so good. One brother may uplift the speaker, while another brother may say that he cannot uplift him. This kind of talk is not healthy and enlivening. It is deadening. Today we all need the Spirit. We are short of the Spirit. This is why we may be in a pitiful situation of being critical and of condemning others. Some may say, “I am for this,” and others may say, “I am for that.” This is similar to what was being spoken by the saints in the church in Corinth, where each one said, “I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ” (1 Cor. 1:12). This kind of talk is deadening and is a strong proof that we are short of the Spirit.

How much of the Spirit do we have today? We should not say that we experienced the Spirit many years ago. You may have drunk very much yesterday, but if you do not drink today and for the next three days, you may die. We may have been short of the living water of the Spirit for three months or more. Do not consider others. We must consider ourselves in this light. I like to keep myself filled with living water all the time. I like to be filled with the Lord Jesus as the life-giving Spirit. I do not like to be full of knowledge. I hope that we all would say, “Lord Jesus, fill me. I hate the terminology. I hate gossiping. I hate murmurings, reasonings, and talk about others or even about myself. I hate all of this kind of talk. I want to be filled with You as the Spirit.”

Whether you uplift a minister of the Word or condemn him, whether you are for him or against him, you are still in the tree of knowledge. One may say, “I am for this person,” while another may say, “I will never be for him,” but both are altogether in the second tree, not in the tree of life. In 1 Corinthians 1:12 Paul condemned the one who said that he was of Christ as well as the one who said that he was of Paul. Paul might have said, “Do not say you are of Paul. Rather, I, Paul, am for you.” We must stop all deadening talk. This will be our rescue. Our deadening talk will be used by the subtle one, the old serpent, to spread his deadening poison. What we need is the Spirit.

Do not consider that you know anything. Paul said he planted and Apollos watered, but God made to grow (1 Cor. 3:6). The life-giver is the unique One. Instead of being the means through which God can give life to others, we can give death to others. We should stop our deadening talk, turn to the Lord, and call “O Lord Jesus.” We should forget about everything else and simply call upon the name of the Lord.


We must first call upon the name of the Lord day after day. Then we must know nothing that we could talk about in a deadening way. Third, we must love one another. Do not love anyone with an impure motive. That is politics, and you will not be loving as a Christian but as a politician. Fourth, we should live Christ, walking in our spirit. We must not consider what is wrong or what is right. We should only know how to walk in our spirit. In our spirit is the Spirit. When we walk in the Spirit, He is walking with us, and we enjoy Christ and live Christ. Fifth, we should speak Christ to others, in season and out of season (2 Tim. 4:2). This is to present Christ to others. Today the entire human society is thirsty. Everyone is a needy one and is thirsty. To speak Christ to people and to live Christ will attract people. Finally, we should always come together with the saints to worship, to fellowship, and to speak Christ and minister Christ to others. If we do this, the churches will be flourishing.

In the Lord’s recovery there are no heresies. There is no fundamental problem among us, and we do not have an organization. Forget about any rumors you may hear. Live a very simple life, loving the Lord, calling on Him, loving one another, walking in the Spirit, and preaching and speaking Christ to everyone you meet, in season and out of season. Then we should do our best to come to the meetings, either in the homes, in small groups, or in a big meeting. Then we will enjoy Him. What we are will be expressed, and this will quench the thirst of today’s society and meet the need of people today. Spontaneously, we will be the lampstand, and we will be able to attract others. People will be saved through us. Let us take this way positively.

All of the saints are lovable, and no one is worthy of being criticized, so we do not need to spend time on the negative things. Some are afraid we may go astray, but do not be anxious for tomorrow. None of us can live a life in tomorrow. In this sense, we do not have tomorrow. What we have is today. Be at peace and enjoy your life today.

From now on I hope there will be no more negative talk. Whenever you hear something negative, remind one another not to talk in this way. Say something positive, wonderful, and beautiful. Then we will see the churches flourish. In Romans 14:4, Paul said, “Who are you that judges another’s household servant? To his own lord he will stand or fall. But he will be made to stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” We need to have this kind of spirit. Do not worry about others. Simply live today, always considering others more highly than yourself. Love everyone. Christians are a loving people; the Christian life is a life of love. Only love builds up (1 Cor. 8:1). Therefore, we should remind one another to avoid negative talk and keep ourselves filled with the Spirit all the time. Our urgent need is the Spirit of the Triune God.

(Our Urgent Need - Spirit and Life, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)