THE KINGDOM OF GOD
Satan takes the human body as his dwelling place, but the Lord Jesus takes the human spirit as His dwelling. God in His sovereignty has preserved the human spirit for Himself. Although the human spirit has been influenced by the evil body and the corrupt mentality to the point that it has been deadened, we can find no hint in the Bible that Satan has ever entered into the human spirit. When we repent and believe in the Lord Jesus, He immediately comes into our spirit. The enemy tries his best to hide this matter of the human spirit from Christians. The Bible tells us clearly that the Lord Jesus Christ is with our spirit (2 Tim. 4:22). From our spirit He is growing and spreading within us, taking possession of more ground in our being. By occupying more ground within us, He actually reigns within us. This is the inward reigning of the Lord Jesus.
Consider the case of a young man who has recently been saved. Before he was saved he was altogether in the principle of a demon. In every part of his being he was in rebellion against God. But, one day the Lord Jesus came into him. The more he says, "Hallelujah," and the more he pray-reads the Word, the more the Lord Jesus spreads within him. The more he calls, "O Lord Jesus!" the more ground the Lord occupies within him. When he calls on the Lord and praises the Lord, the Lord spreads within him. However, many times the Lord Jesus cannot get through. The Lord cannot penetrate his mentality, his thoughts. His concepts are a stronghold, and the Lord Jesus cannot get through. Part of his being is under the reigning of the Lord Jesus, but in other parts of his being there are strongholds resisting His rule. That is rebellion and is in the principle of a demon. If the Lord Jesus cannot penetrate this stronghold after a few attempts, this young man will lose his appetite for praying, for reading the Word, and for calling on the name of the Lord. If He tries and cannot get through, He will wait. Perhaps after two weeks or two months or even two years, He will try once again. Perhaps this young brother will eventually receive some help from another brother and become freshly stirred up for the Lord. Because the Lord Jesus would not pass over any problem, once again He would touch the old stronghold, but this time the brother has learned the lesson and immediately gives in to the Lord saying, "Amen Lord." The Lord Jesus gets through and He spreads more. This means that He grows more in this young brother and occupies more ground within him. This growth is the gradual coming of the kingdom of God within him. Eventually, all of his inward parts—his mind, emotion, and will—will be fully saturated by the Lord Jesus. In other words, He has fully grown up in this brother. In a sense, He has reached the harvest stage within him. He is ripe, ready, and mature. He is like one of the five wise virgins (Matt. 25). If many Christians who are seeking the Lord would be like this, the full manifestation of the kingdom would come.
Now we can understand how the kingdom comes. The Lord Jesus sows Himself as a seed into us, making us His growing field. Step by step and little by little, He grows within us. He is very patient, and gradually He will possess our whole being. Eventually, the Lord Jesus will take us over in a full way. He will occupy our mind, our emotions, our will, and every inward part of our being. In this way He will reign within us and the kingdom will come fully and completely. The kingdom does not come as a sudden change; it is a matter of Christ as life growing within us. However, this is not strictly an individual matter. We must grow with other Christians.
Many Christians have been ensnared by various religious things. You need to set all these things aside and return to your spirit, realizing that Christ is within your spirit. Your real need is the expansion of Christ within you. Although formalism may help people, eventually it becomes a frustration. The fundamental teachings also help people, but eventually they hold people back from fulfilling God’s eternal purpose. The same thing is true about the charismatic experiences. Although many Christians were helped by them, eventually they were frustrated by the very things which helped them. Our basic need today is to realize that our dear Lord Jesus is in our spirit, growing and spreading within us. We need to pray: "Lord have mercy on me. Grant me the grace always to say `amen’ to you. O Lord, grow in me, expand in me, and take me over. Lord, occupy every part of my being." This is our need today. We all have been transferred out of the kingdom of Satan into the kingdom of Christ. We need Christ to spread Himself within us and to gain all the ground. This will bring the full manifestation of the kingdom.
(The Kingdom, Chapter 8, by Witness Lee)