THE LIGHT OF LIFE
AND THE SENSE OF LIFE
According to 1 John 1:5-7 the fellowship of life brings us into the presence of God. I have many experiences of this. On some occasions, when I am talking with my wife about various things, I have a sense that I should go to my study, contact the Lord, and have fellowship with Him. When I follow this sense, I am brought into the presence of the Lord. On other occasions, I may be with my relatives. Since I have a large family, my wife and I are often engaged in polite talks with our relatives who have come to visit us. After about ten minutes of this kind of conversation, I ask my relatives to continue their talk with my wife, but I excuse myself and go away into my study. Upon entering my study, I first sit down, remain quiet for a period of time, and then begin to pray in order to be brought into the presence of the Lord. This is fellowship.
The fellowship immediately brings me into the light, because the One whom I contact is light (1 John 1:5). Because He is light, His presence is also light. If I were to remain with my relatives apart from Him, I would not be enlightened. For this reason, I go away to meet the Lord by having a little time with Him. When I do this, right away I am enlightened. In one recent experience I saw in the light that the words I had spoken to my wife the night before were not in the Spirit. My attitude and the tone of my voice were not in the Spirit; therefore, I was wrong.
This kind of experience spontaneously produced a feeling within me that I had to apologize to the Lord. I prayed, "Lord, forgive me. I have often prayed that I want to walk, live, and do everything in the Spirit and according to the Spirit. But last night I said something to my wife which I now feel deeply was not in the Spirit. Lord, forgive me." I then had a further feeling that I should apologize to my wife and ask for her forgiveness. Sometimes, I have argued with this feeling and have tried to excuse my behavior, but the feeling persists until I apologize.
Chapter one of 1 John points out the following three crucial things: the divine life (v. 2), fellowship (v. 3), and light (vv. 5-7). Verse 7 says, "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another." Actually, the light is very close to the inner feeling. We walk in the light by the inner feeling of life.
Ephesians 4:18-19 says, "Being darkened in their understanding, estranged from the life of God because of the ignorance which is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; who having ceased from feeling have given themselves over to lewdness to work all uncleanness in unbridled greedy lust." Two very important phrases in these verses are "estranged from the life of God" (v. 18) and "having ceased from feeling" (v. 19). The feeling mentioned in verse 19 is the feeling of the conscience, which is the feeling in our spirit. This feeling in our spirit is strengthened by the presence of the divine life. To be estranged from the life of God is to stop paying attention to the inner feeling. Our following of the inner feeling becomes our walk. The feeling itself is basic, and the walk is secondary. But our obedience to the feeling becomes our walk. When I felt that I was not in the Spirit when I spoke with my wife, my confession to the Lord and my apology to my wife was my walk. My walk came out of the feeling of life, the sense of life.
(The Triune God to Be Life to the Tripartite Man, Chapter 16, by Witness Lee)