Our Human Spirit, by Witness Lee


Proverbs 16:2 says, “All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes, / But Jehovah weighs the spirits.” God puts our spirit on the balance, on the scale, to weigh it. God cares for what we are in our spirit. We consider our ways; He weighs our spirit.


Isaiah 26:9 says, “My soul desires You in the night; / Indeed my spirit within me seeks You at the dawn.” To desire the Lord is something of the soul, but to seek the Lord is something of the spirit. With our soul we desire the Lord. With our spirit within us we seek Him. We have to seek the Lord with our spirit.


Isaiah 57:15-16 speaks of a contrite and lowly spirit. Verse 16 says that the Lord would not be so hard with us. If He would be too hard with us, then our spirit would faint. Sometimes the Lord allows certain things to happen to us, but still there is a certain kind of limitation because the Lord is careful about our spirit. He knows our spirit cannot suffer that much in a certain hard situation, so He would not allow too much suffering in order that our spirit would not faint. This tells us that God is concerned for our spirit.


Psalm 106:33 tells us that the children of Israel provoked Moses’ spirit (Darby). This shows us that the spirit is the deepest part of a person and the most important part. I may provoke your mind. That does not mean much. But if I provoke your spirit, that is really something serious.


Proverbs 16:32 says, “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty; / And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.” This shows the importance of our spirit. If you could rule your spirit, that means you are so strong. To rule your spirit is better than capturing a city.

Proverbs 25:28 says, “Like a city that is broken down, without walls, / Is a man whose spirit is without restraint.” If you cannot manage your spirit, that means you have been defeated like a city that has been broken down with all the walls torn down. Your protection is with your spirit and in your spirit.


Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, / And a haughty spirit before a fall.” To be haughty in spirit, to be proud in spirit, is awful. “It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor” (v. 19).


We need a fervent spirit for the Lord, but sometimes for the understanding, we need to be cool in spirit (17:27). It is easy for the sisters to be hot, to be fervent, but it is rather hard for them to be cool. For God’s interest we need to be fervent, on fire, but for understanding we need to be cool in the spirit. We need a cool spirit to understand the spiritual things.


Proverbs 18:14a says, “The spirit of a man can sustain his sickness.” Sickness here means “illness.” The spirit of a man can sustain his illness. When we are sick physically, if our spirit is weak, that is terrible. That is really serious. If we are strong in spirit, regardless of how ill we are in the body, our spirit can sustain the physical illness. “But a broken spirit who can bear?” (v. 14b). When your spirit is broken, that is really serious.


Isaiah 29:24 says, “Those who have erred in spirit will come to understand.” To err in another part of our being is not so serious, but if we err in the spirit, that is really serious.


Ecclesiastes 7:8-9 says, “Better is the end of a thing than its beginning; / Better is patience of spirit than haughtiness of spirit. / Do not be quick in your spirit to become angry.” If you could be patient and not quick, you would be all right. Many times we are patient, but just patient in our emotions, not in the spirit. The people who are patient in their emotions eventually will be very impatient in their spirit. The real patience, the everlasting patience, is in the spirit. We need to be patient in our spirit, not quick in our spirit.


Daniel 5:12 and 6:3 tell us that Daniel was a man with an excellent spirit. “This Daniel distinguished himself among the chief ministers and satraps because in him there was an excellent spirit” (6:3).


Finally, Malachi 2:15-16 tells us to take heed to our spirit. Brothers and sisters, take heed to your spirit. Do not argue. Do not excuse yourself. You have to take heed to your spirit. Your spirit is the source of your behavior. God cares for your spirit, and you have to take heed to it.

(Our Human Spirit, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)