THE INNER SENSE BEING RELATED TO LIFE
Romans 8:6 says, “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace.” This verse speaks both of death and of life and peace. It does not use the words feeling, sense, or consciousness, but consciousness is here in fact. We would all agree that peace refers to a certain feeling within us, something within that can be sensed, of which we have a consciousness. Therefore, this verse speaks of having peace in our sense, in our inner feeling. If peace were not a matter of feeling or consciousness, how could we know we have it? We know we have peace because we sense it. When we go along with the spirit and set our mind on the spirit, we have peace within. How do we know we have peace? We sense it; we feel it and have the consciousness of it.
As we know, we have three parts—spirit, soul, and body. In our body we have five physical senses to sense the physical world. In the soul we have the psychological sense, the self-sense. Then in the spirit we have the spiritual sense to sense the things of God, the things of the spirit. When we speak of the sense of life, we mean this spiritual sense. The spiritual sense is the very sense of life. However, we speak of the sense of life rather than the spiritual sense because this sense is one hundred percent related to life. If a man is physically dead, if his life is gone, all the senses of his body disappear. This proves that senses are related to life. The sense is in the life. If we have life, we have the sense; if we do not have life, we do not have the sense. We have a sense in our spirit because in our spirit we have the divine life.
With any kind of life there is a certain kind of sense. There is no animal without a sense. Even a little fly has a sense because it has life. However, the principle is that the higher the life is, the higher the sense is. If we have the highest life, we have the highest sense. Sense goes along with life. In our body we have the physical life, in our soul we have the psychological, soulish life, and now in our spirit we have the divine life, which is the life of God. This is not merely the higher life but the highest life. In our spirit we have the highest life, the life of God, that is, God Himself. With this highest life we have the highest sense, the highest feeling, the highest consciousness. Many of us have been in Christianity for many years, but sorry to say, all these precious matters have been lost and buried there.
SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE BEING THE SENSE OF LIFE WITHIN
We often speak of spiritual knowledge, or we may say, “Spiritually I have seen something,” or “I have seen something in the spirit.” What is this seeing, this knowledge, in the spirit? The seeing or knowledge in the spirit is nothing other than a certain kind of feeling. Spiritual seeing, spiritual knowledge, and spiritual understanding are the spiritual sense, the spiritual feeling. When I was about sixteen years old, I was invited to a feast. On the table there were two bowls of white granules, one of salt and the other of sugar. It is hard to discern what is salt and what is sugar. The color, the shape, and the appearance are about the same. As we were eating something which needed a lot of sugar, I took the wrong bowl, the one full of salt. I put salt on my food, supposing that it was sugar, and I put it into my mouth. I needed no dictionary, teacher, tutor, professor, preacher, or minister to tell me I was wrong. Right away I sensed that I was wrong because it was too salty. This was a matter not of knowledge but of the sense of life.
Even a new baby will spit out something salty, but if you give him something sweet, he will swallow it. This is not knowledge; it is not something taught. It is the very sense of life. If someone is dead, however, he will have no reaction to whatever you put in his mouth. This is because when the life is gone, the sense is gone. This illustrates that there is such a thing as the sense of life. If we have the life of God, we have the divine sense. Because this life is the highest life, with this life there is the highest sense.
A young brother who had just been saved came to me once, saying, “I don’t know why last night I had much happiness, but this morning I lost it.” I answered him, “Brother, I am sure you do not know why in your mentality, but you know the reason deep within.” He said he could not understand this, so I replied, “I know you cannot understand, but please tell me: What do you sense within you?” He simply said that he had no happiness and that he had come to me to learn the reason. Still I said, “I would ask you to tell me the reason.” Eventually I found out that he had done something wrong; he had lied to some people. In his understanding he thought that was not wrong, but in his spirit his sense was damaged. To tell a lie damages the sense of life.
If instead of coming to the meeting you go dancing, what will happen? The faster an unbeliever walks to the place of dancing, the happier he is. He is truly happy to go dancing. But what about you as a reborn believer? Will you be happier the faster you go? We all know that it is just the opposite. The sense you have is not happiness but bitterness. This is the sense of life. The secret of the Christian walk after we are saved is to take care of this sense of life.
(Practical Lessons on the Experience of Life, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)