The Word exhorts us to walk according to spirit (Rom. 8:4). The Bible firstly serves to develop our spirit. As we read its pages, especially as we pray-read it in spirit, our spirit is nourished and developed. Secondly, the Bible corrects and preserves us lest we veer from the spirit. Since the spirit is abstract, we may misinterpret our inner sense. Thus, we need the Bible as a standard. Suppose, for example, we have the feeling that we should beat our wife. Since such a feeling is contrary to what the Bible says, we can be sure that the feeling we have is wrong. Some brothers may be praying about wearing their hair long, to give another example. Their sense may be that it is all right. First Corinthians 11:14, however, says that man should not have long hair. This is the Bible preserving us from being led off from the spirit.
Our living and our activities must not be according to the dead letter of the Bible, however, but according to the living spirit.
To remain in spirit, you must pray. If you neglect to pray constantly, you will find yourself out of the spirit. By constant exercise you will become a person in spirit. In the last book of the Bible, John said he “was in spirit on the Lord’s day” (Rev. 1:10). You must also be one who is in spirit. Do not desire the praise of others for your good living. Most people who seem good to us are in their soul. Do not aspire to be a good person in your soul. You need to be in spirit when you speak, when you express your attitudes, when you love others, and even when you hate. All your daily living should be in spirit.
Then when you go to the meetings, you will be full of the spirit. You may pray, or testify, or read a verse. Whatever you do, the spirit will be released. Do not think that shouting releases your spirit. If you are not daily exercising the spirit in your living, there can be no content of the spirit in your shouting; you are only making noise. If you are saturated with the spirit, however, then when you open your mouth, your words will have the weight of the spirit. You may shout spontaneously, but you should not shout purposely. You may say, “Lord, I praise and worship You. You are the Lord.” If you are filled in spirit because your daily living has been in spirit, your words will release life. If not, your words will sound empty; they will lack the anointing and the riches of the Spirit. If your shouting has an empty ring to it, you need to practice the proper exercise of the spirit during the whole day, not living by your soul or your flesh.
If you practice what I have suggested, you will experience the Lord’s leading, presence, and anointing. He will permeate and saturate you. Then when you preach the gospel, the spirit will be there. When you fellowship with others, when you visit them in their homes, and when you are in the meetings, the spirit will come forth.
The result of the Lord’s changing us from men of flesh into men of gold is a lampstand in reality. The seven Spirits have a way paved for them to be released from the local churches. The one lampstand with seven lamps can send forth God. This is what the testimony of the lampstand should be in each locality. The church, the golden lampstand, expresses the Triune God.
The key is to live according to spirit. Set your mind on the spirit. Pray unceasingly (1 Thes. 5:17). Watch unto this in all perseverance (Eph. 6:18). Quench not the Spirit (1 Thes. 5:19). Then you will be one spirit with the Lord.
The fullness of God dwells in Thee;
Thou dost manifest God’s glory;
In flesh Thou hast redemption wrought;
As Spirit, oneness with me sought.
All things of the Father are Thine;
All Thou art in Spirit is mine;
The Spirit makes Thee real to me,
That Thou experienced might be.
The Spirit of life causes Thee
By Thy Word to transfer to me.
Thy Spirit touched, Thy word received,
Thy life in me is thus conceived.
In spirit while gazing on Thee,
As a glass reflecting Thy glory,
Like to Thyself transformed I’ll be,
That Thou might be expressed thru me.
Thy Spirit will me saturate,
Every part will God permeate,
Deliv’ring me from the old man,
With all saints building for His plan.
(Life Messages, Vol. 2 (#42-75), Chapter 32, by Witness Lee)