III. THE FUNCTION OF THE SENSE OF LIFE
Now we want to see the function of the sense of life.
A. Making Us Know Whether We Are Living
in the Natural Life or in the Divine Life
If we are living in the natural life, the sense is of death and is entirely on the negative side. Then we have the feeling of death with all of its negative points. If we are living in the divine life, the sense is of life and is entirely on the positive side. Then we have the feeling of life and peace with all of its positive points. The sense of life makes us know whether we are living in the natural life or in the divine life. The sense of life guides us, governs us, controls us, and directs us. This truth has been altogether lost in today’s Christianity. Most of the teachings of today’s Christianity are focused on morality and good behavior. They do not care for this inner sense of life functioning to make us know whether we are living in the natural life or in the divine life. Since we are seeking after Christ as our life, we must take care of this sense of life. If we do not have the positive sensations of strength, satisfaction, peace, rest, release, liveliness, watering, brightness, comfort, etc., we must realize that we are not living in the divine life; it must be that we are living in the natural life.
B. Making Us Know Whether We Are Living
in the Flesh or in the Spirit
The function of the sense of life is also to make us know whether we are living in the natural life or in the divine life. To live in the natural life is one thing, and to live in the flesh is another thing. You may consider these are one, but still there is a little difference. The flesh is always bad. There is no good flesh. But the natural life sometimes may be good. The natural life is versus the divine life, and the flesh is versus the spirit.
Therefore, there are two aspects concerning the function of the sense of life. The first aspect is to let you know whether you are living in the divine life, and the second aspect is to let you know whether you are living in your spirit. Negatively speaking, it makes you know whether you are living in the natural life, as a natural person, and also whether you are living in the flesh. In our experience we always can differentiate these two things. Many times we have the sense that we are living, walking, and acting in the flesh. Sometimes we are not that fleshly, but still we have the sense that we are walking in our natural life, in our natural man, not in the divine life.
Before we speak this lesson to the saints, we need much prayer to get into these points. This lesson should not be a mere doctrine of knowledge according to the letter. It must be something of life from our experience. We need much prayer to pray ourselves into the sense of life. Then we can give a word not merely in teaching but practically in fellowship. Our message will be a kind of fellowship, telling people how we have experienced these things, how the sense of life is so real and practical to us, and how we are under this kind of controlling, guiding, directing element within us day by day.
(Basic Lessons on Life, Chapter 11, by Witness Lee)