THE EFFECTS OF THE VISION
But after such an experience and such resolve, I still did not express much Christ. Mostly I was still expressing myself. Why? Because I was born into this way, I was raised and educated to express myself, and I had been practicing this all my life. In actuality, however, it was not so much that I had grasped the vision; rather, something from heaven had grasped me. It controlled and directed me, again and again reminding me when I was living by my self. I would be about to do something when the vision would come and I would see, “That is you again! That is your self!” I would stop in the middle of what I was doing.
If you see this vision, it will rescue you from your struggle. God does not want husbands by themselves to love their wives nor sisters to submit to their husbands. God wants you neither to love nor to hate, but to live by Him. It is not a matter of religion or ethics, but of Christ. Paul said (Gal. 2:20) that he had been crucified with Christ, that it was no longer he but Christ living in him. If I hate, I hate by Christ. If I love, I love by Christ.
To see this will save you from arguing. When I was a young Christian, I loved the Lord and the Bible. I would fight whatever I thought was wrong doctrine. I was sprinkled when I was young, and one day I realized that was wrong. From then on I fought for immersion. But one day I said, “Why am I fighting for immersion? Neither sprinkling nor immersion is Christ. He just wants Himself in me.”
In the churches these days there is discussion about whether to meet in homes or in the meeting hall. Some even say they like to go to the beach to enjoy the Lord. We must drop all the talk about ways to meet. No way is wrong; no way is right. As long as we have Christ, every way is right. Without Him, every way is wrong. Let us forget all the arguments and come back to the center lane, Christ Himself.
“Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me” (John 15:4). The real Christian life is described in this one verse. It is not to work for Christ, but to abide in Him. When the Lord says, “Abide in Me and I in you,” He means that He can only abide in us as we abide in Him. If we do not do our part by abiding in Him, He cannot do His part by abiding in us. If you are quarreling with someone and saying hateful words, can the Lord abide in you? No. For Him to abide in you, you first of all have to abide in Him.
The Lord does not say we have to get into Him. He says, “Abide in Me.” This means that we the branches are in Christ already. To abide means to remain; some versions render it this way. Just stay where you are. If my arm does not abide in my body, it is detached from all life supply. God has put us in Christ (1 Cor. 1:30). This happened the day we believed in the Lord Jesus.
THE HINDRANCE TO ABIDING
How can we abide in Christ constantly? Let us use the illustration of a radio. Inside a radio are some complicated mechanisms which must all work properly in order for it to receive the waves from the air. One simple thing can be wrong, and the radio will not work. So it is with us. Inside we are complicated by a conscience, a mind, a will, and emotions. If these are not all properly regulated, the heavenly electric wave cannot come in. If just one is out of order, this radio does not work. Should our conscience have an offense on it, for example, our abiding in Christ is frustrated.
As we know, man is composed of body, soul, and spirit. A large part of our spirit is the conscience. If we add to the conscience the three parts of the soul—the mind, emotion, and will—we have the heart. The other two parts of the spirit, intuition and fellowship, are not part of the heart. Only the conscience is part of both the spirit and the heart. See diagram which follows.
(Life Messages, Vol. 1 (#1-41), Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)