TERMINOLOGY OR EXPERIENCE?
You may be tired of hearing me speak so much about the spirit. You may be of the opinion that this is my only topic. You may wonder how much I know of various doctrines. Why has this been my pet subject for thirty years? If you will excuse me for saying so, I could easily teach courses on prophecy and typology. I am all too familiar with them. I no longer have any interest in these subjects, however. It is only the matter of the spirit which burdens me. The more I speak on this, the heavier my burden becomes.
By now you are probably familiar with the terminology regarding the spirit, from having heard or read so many of my messages on the subject. How much time, however, do you actually spend in the spirit? Not including your eight hours of sleep, how many of the remaining hours of the day do you live in the spirit? I ask myself this question also. Within me I am sometimes rebuked by the Lord that with all my speaking about the spirit, much of the time I do not remain there myself.
THE EFFORT REQUIRED
To live in the other parts of your being, no effort is required. It is natural to be in your flesh and to be loose, doing as you will in a careless way. To stay in your mind with all its considerations and analyses is a comfortable place to be, especially for the brothers. To live in your emotions and react according to their dictates is common, especially for the sisters. It may be that when you pray, you are in the spirit. Most of the time you spend in prayer, however, you may still be in your emotions, weeping, or in your mind, figuring things out. You may exercise your spirit when you come to the meetings, but usually your calling on the Lord sounds hollow, because your daily life is not spent in the spirit.
Even though we are in the churches of the Lord’s recovery, we too neglect our spirit. Once again I would like to try to persuade you of its importance.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE SPIRIT
Man can be likened to a radio. The Spirit of God is like the heavenly radio waves. The spirit in man is like the radio receiver. Many radios do not function because their owners do not use their spirit! People are unable to contact God because the receiver within them is out of order.
I would remind you again how much importance God gives to the spirit. Zechariah 12:1 tells us that the Lord “stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.” Here are the important things in the universe—the heavens, the earth, and the spirit of man. The verse does not even say man, but rather the spirit of man. You bathe regularly to make sure your body is clean, but this verse focuses on the spirit, not the body. Do you care about your spirit being clean? God’s concern is for the spirit, but man’s attention is devoted to the body. The body is just clay; it is the spirit which is precious.
(Life Messages, Vol. 2 (#42-75), Chapter 30, by Witness Lee)