When we were saved, we were put into the position of a king in order to reign in life. We may have been saved for a number of years, and yet we may never have experienced reigning over anything. In a family, if the parents are away from home, an older sister who is thirteen years of age may exercise to reign over the younger brothers and sisters who are only five and six years of age. Sometimes the husbands like to reign over their wives. A brother may say to his wife, “Don’t you know that I am the head!” This means that the brother is exercising to reign over his wife. These are examples of reigning in a natural way, but are we experiencing reigning in life? We need a revelation of what it means to reign in life.
Reigning in the divine life of Christ saves us from all kinds of insubordination (Rom. 5:17). It saves us from many kinds of negative things. We reign over sin, the world, Satan, the natural man, self, and individualism for the accomplishing of the building up of the organic Body of Christ in fulfilling the New Testament economy of God.
To reign in life is to reign over such things as sin, the world, Satan, the natural man, the self, and individualism. These things are all part of today’s rebellion. Everything is in rebellion. Sin is rebellion within us, and the world is rebellion outside of us. Satan is in rebellion, being the top rebel. Our natural man and the self are also very rebellious. Even within the church, the natural man rebels. Individualism is the rebellion of our natural man. Our natural man is altogether rebellious. As long as we live in our natural man, we would not agree with our wife, our husband, our parents, or the other members of our family. In our natural man, we would not be one with the brothers and sisters in the church life. Our natural man always rebels. When we behave ourselves in Christ, in the status and position of a saint, we are nice and agreeable with everybody in nearly everything. But when we are outside of Christ, especially when we lose our temper, we forget our position and status as saints. In such a condition, we are unhappy with everyone and nothing is agreeable to us. If we are living with other brothers and sisters, we may think that the arrangement of the dining table with its chairs is wrong, that the kitchen is wrong, and that all the saints with whom we are living are also wrong. This kind of experience indicates that our natural life is one of rebellion. In order to reign in life over our temper, we must exercise our spirit to say, “Satan, stop your activity. You must be under me. I am the one ruling and reigning here.” When we say this, we are actually speaking to ourselves.
We must learn to exercise our kingship. We all have been crowned to be kings in life to reign in life. We must learn not to say any word that expresses anything of rebellion. This means that we are learning to reign. Many times something of sin or of the world rises up within us. When this happens, often the best way to reign over these things is to say to sin or the world, “Stop! Don’t go any further.” Some may say that this does not work. But according to my experience, this really works. Simply to pray concerning the negative things in order to rule over them is not very effective. When your temper is rising up, you may pray, “Lord, I don’t like to lose my temper. Lord, help me not to lose my temper.” I prayed this kind of prayer in the early days of my Christian life. But I discovered that this kind of prayer does not work very well. Today, when I feel my temper rising, I say, “Stop! Temper, you are not the king. I am the king. Don’t try to overcome or overrun me. I am ruling over you. Don’t go any further.” To speak a word of command to your temper really works. When you give such a command, sin stops not only within you but also within your wife and your children. Sin stops because you rule over it.
We have received the abundance of grace and the abundance of the gift of righteousness in order to reign in life. We have been crowned by God as kings in life. But it is not easy to know this experience. In Acts 3 Peter said to the lame man, “Silver and gold I do not possess, but what I have, this I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!” (v. 6). We should learn of Peter. He did not have silver and gold, but he had the name of Jesus. Peter did not spend silver and gold; he spent the name of the Lord Jesus. In the matter of reigning in life, we should not exercise any kind of authority over our wife or husband. Rather, we should spend the divine life as Peter did. We have the divine life, and we are kings in the divine life to reign in life. When there is a time of turmoil or rebellion in the church life, we should just tell the turmoil or rebellion that we do not agree with it. This is to reign in life.
(To Be Saved in the Life of Christ as Revealed in Romans, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)