RECEIVING THE SPIRIT
How is this life supplied to us? To help our understanding, the Bible uses physical things to symbolize what is spiritual. Eating and drinking symbolize our receiving the Spirit. The Lord said, “If anyone thirst, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37-38). The next verse explains that He was speaking about the Spirit, “Whom those who believed in Him were about to receive.” To receive the Spirit is like drinking water.
To enjoy the Spirit is like eating food. When we eat properly, our body is nourished and we have the energy to carry on. Even without understanding how it happens, we know that the food we eat somehow is digested and assimilated and supplies us with strength. The spiritual nourishment that we take in does the same thing for our spirit (John 6:57, 63).
THE RICHES IN THE SPIRIT
How rich is this Spirit we have received! There is both the element of God and the element of man. When Jesus lived on this earth, His humanity was of the highest quality. His character was without flaw. This humanity, in passing through death and resurrection, became yet more uplifted. Now in the Spirit there is this uplifted human nature as well as the divine nature. There is also the power of endurance. All His earthly life the Lord suffered persecution, yet He endured. Now this endurance is in the Spirit. Here also is the power of crucifixion. The death of Jesus Christ terminated sin and Satan. It bruised the Devil’s head. It overcame the gates of Hades. It meant the end of the world and the end of Satan’s kingdom. Everything of the old creation was terminated in that death, which is now in the Spirit. Resurrection is also included in the Spirit, along with the power of resurrection, its life, its fragrance, and its riches. Here also are ascension, glorification, enthronement, dominion, lordship, and headship.
What we think of as life is poor. Consider how rich is this life spoken of in the Bible. The Spirit of life gives us life (2 Cor. 3:6b), a life which includes all we have mentioned and more. As we fellowship with the Lord, the Spirit operates in us spontaneously and causes us to experience all these elements. We can sense the element of God within us. When we are at prayer and in fellowship with the Lord, we feel that there is something within us that exceeds man’s measure. We sense that somehow we surpass others, including the angels!
An Uplifted Humanity
Every saved one has experienced this sense at one time or other. If you think back, you will remember some occasion when you prayed and prayed until you reached holy ground. You felt you were greater than the president, higher than any earthly king. You were experiencing the divine nature, God in you. Such prayer affects your thinking. It clarifies your mind. Beforehand, you were foolish and confused, unable to differentiate between up and down. You could not figure out where you were headed. But that time when you prayed through, your thinking became clear. Your will and your emotions also came into line. Your stubborn insistence gave way, yet you did not become a jellyfish with no backbone. Your will was firm, but the willfulness was gone. Your emotions, usually so varying and unreliable, became steady. There was no more the irrational love toward what should not be loved, nor the groundless dislike of what should be appealing. Your whole character was uplifted with your mind clear, your will firm, and your emotions proper. Can you not recall having had such an experience?
Teenage girls spend much of their time daydreaming. They often have a hard time concentrating. Sometimes they are stubborn, but other times they are easily swayed. They can cry with little or no provocation. When they spend time to pray adequately, however, they are filled with the Spirit. Then the humanity they exhibit is of the highest caliber. They are able to give their attention to what needs to be done, their will becomes resolute, and their emotions are stable. If they have not had such an experience, their praying has not been thorough enough. When they succeed in praying through, they will find that in them there is not only God but also the proper humanity.
Consider the kind of person you were before you were saved. You lived in your imaginations, letting your thoughts wander at will. When something favorable happened to you, you were so happy you could not sleep. When a hardship came your way, you were so miserable you wanted to die. When you got mad, your rage knew no bounds. You were like someone playing the piano, but playing only the high notes!
Now that you are saved, you are not the same. When you pray earnestly and thoroughly until you touch God, you find an uplifted humanity within you. Your thoughts no longer zoom from the heights of the heavens to the depths of the seas. When you are happy, there is moderation in your joy. Even when you weep, there is a limit which you do not exceed. You may still lose your temper, but there is a restraint which keeps you from going too far. As you remain in fellowship with the Lord, your piano playing produces lovely music. When the notes should be high, they are high. When they should be low and soft, you play accordingly. The wildness and the imbalance are no longer heard.
The humanity of Jesus has stabilized you. Jesus of Nazareth had the highest humanity. After He passed through death and resurrection, the element of His humanity entered into the Spirit. This is the very Spirit that came into you when you received the Lord. His character is now your character. In the indwelling Spirit there is humanity as well as divinity. By Him you become a proper man.
One who is filled with the Spirit can be firm and strong, even to the point of martyrdom. The threat of death does not terrify him. His will can be more steadfast than the mountains. However much stress he encounters, his inner supply is not exhausted. This is the humanity of Jesus Christ, experienced and expressed when one is filled with the Spirit.
(Life Messages, Vol. 2 (#42-75), Chapter 26, by Witness Lee)