THE GATE OF THE CONSCIENCE
The real growth in life is to have Christ added to us. He is the Spirit, mysterious yet real. What is the gate through which He can enter? He is added into our being through the narrow gate of our conscience. The gate of our heart is wider, but He cannot enter there without passing through the conscience. First Timothy 1:19 describes what happens to those who fail to deal with their conscience. “Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away, concerning faith have made shipwreck.”
Besides legally getting into the Word and legally spending time in prayer, we also need to legally take care of our conscience. If you do not want to be bothered by your conscience, stay away from the Bible! Many times when you are reading the Word, you will be enlightened and your conscience will condemn you. You may be reading Romans 12, for example, and come to verse 5 where it says that we are “members one of another.” Your conscience may then accuse you that you have not been a proper member to your brothers. You will have to confess and get forgiveness. Had you not been in the Word, you would not have experienced such an accusation.
When you confess, you open the gate for Christ to come in. The more you confess, the more Christ you will gain. This is the way to enrich your abiding in Christ.
If you think you are enjoying the Lord but are not dealing with your conscience, you are deceiving yourself. The enjoyment of the Lord comes from abiding; abiding in the Lord is based on dealing with your conscience.
A SUITABLE ENVIRONMENT
For seeds to grow they must be planted. They will not sprout if they are kept on the table. Against their will we must force them into the earth. This is what I am trying to do with you—force you into the earth so you will grow! For your growth you need the environment of the church meetings and of the Word. To stay away from them is of Satan.
When I was vacationing recently on a mountain, I noticed that above a certain level grew tall pine trees. I asked why there were no trees below that level. For the tall pines to grow, I was told, they need cold weather. Below the tree line the weather was too mild. What is true of the pine trees is also true of us. Do we want to be tropical Christians? Children need a winter time from their parents to help them grow tall! The saints also need to experience a winter in the church to help them grow.
If you will get into the Word regularly as I have exhorted you, even if you consider such legality like a cold blast of winter, in two months you will see what a difference it makes in your life and in the church life.
THE VALUE OF LEGALITY
I have encouraged you to get into the Word and to pray every day in a legal way. Do not be afraid of following legalities. I have far more legalities than the four I passed on to you. I am legal about putting my shoes in the same place every night; keeping all the books on my library shelf in a certain sequence; and taking a shower regularly. Such legalities keep me healthy and help me find things when I need them.
Most aspects of our life are governed by legalities. Does a mother cook breakfast for her family only when she feels like it? In writing, do you form your letters however you please? In speaking, do you make up your own grammar rules? Little would be accomplished without our being legal.
(Life Messages, Vol. 1 (#1-41), Chapter 11, by Witness Lee)