A SPIRITUAL EMOTION
It is the same thing with the emotion. Do not think that the Lord demands that you give up the organ, the faculty, of your emotion. The Lord demands that you give up the life of the emotion, but you have to exercise the emotion more and more. If you do love the Lord and are really filled with the Lord’s Spirit, you will be very emotional. A man who is not emotional can never be spiritual. A spiritual person is a very emotional person. If you never know how to love, if you never know how to weep, if you never know how to be happy, and if you never know how to be sorry, I am afraid that you are not a proper Christian.
The most spiritual person is the most emotional, yet his emotion is under the control of the spirit. The apostle Paul was very emotional. He tells us that at times he wept with tears (Phil. 3:18; Acts 20:19, 31). He was quite tender in feeling, in love, in mercy, and in compassion. He was tender, but he was not naturally emotional. His emotion was a spiritual emotion under the control of the spirit.
A STRONG, RENEWED WILL
A spiritual person is, on the one hand, so keen in the mind and emotion and, on the other hand, so strong in the will. Not one spiritual person is like a jellyfish, without any backbone. Naturally emotional people are like jellyfish. All the spiritually emotional persons are so tender in their emotions and strong in the will. The more you are in the spirit, the stronger you will be in the will.
FACULTIES TO EXPRESS THE LORD
A spiritual person is one who is so keen in the understanding of the mind, so emotional in his love and affection, and so strong in his will. The faculties of the soul are organs used by the Spirit to express the Lord. The Lord is so wise and full of thought (Psa. 139:17-18a). A spiritual person is not a thoughtless person. The more spiritual you are, the more thoughtful you are in the spirit. I can testify that the more I am in the spirit, the richer I am in thought. But whenever I am so much in my self, I am poor in thought.
We must realize, therefore, that it is not the mind, emotion, and will that have to be destroyed. It is the life of the soul that we must give up. This natural life, the soul-life, has been put to death on the cross already (Gal. 2:20; Rom. 6:6). Now you have to take Christ, your Husband (2 Cor. 11:2), as your life. You must take the divine life as your life, but the faculties of the soul still remain as organs to be used by your spirit to express the Lord Himself.
THE SPIRIT BEING CRUCIAL TO BE THE SOURCE
Two brothers may be very thoughtful. One, however, is thoughtful naturally, but the other is thoughtful spiritually. With the first brother, you do not sense anything of the Lord. But with the other brother, whenever he speaks, you sense something out of the spirit, something of the Lord. Suppose these two brothers are ministering. With one brother you do not sense anything of the Lord, but the other brother is so rich in his thought, yet so strong, so fresh, in his spirit. While he is uttering something through his thought, you realize the richness and freshness of the Lord. The one brother is a person so much merely in the mind, but the other is in the spirit through the mind. With the first one, the source is the mind. With the second one, the source is not the mind but the Lord in the spirit. Something comes out of the Lord in the spirit through the mind.
THE MIND OF THE SPIRIT
Romans 8:6 says, “The mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace.” Your mind is a part of the soul. It could be with the flesh and become a mind of the flesh, or with the spirit and become the mind of the spirit. This means that your mind will be used by the spirit, be under the control of the spirit, and be directed by the spirit. This is the mind of the spirit. The mind is not the life of the soul but one of the faculties of the soul to be used, controlled, and directed by the spirit.
UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE SPIRIT
We must learn the lesson to deny the natural mind, emotion, and will and to put them under the control of the spirit. We deny the life of the soul and take the Lord as our life in the spirit to control and direct all the parts of the soul in order that they might be used to express the Lord Himself.
KNOWING, REJOICING, AND PURPOSING IN SPIRIT
First Corinthians 2:11 says, “Who among men knows the things of man, except the spirit of man which is in him?” The spirit of man knows through the mind. The mind is an organ to be used by the spirit to know something. Then 2 Corinthians 7:13 says, “We rejoiced more abundantly over the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by all of you.” The spirit of Titus was refreshed with joy. This shows that the spirit joys or rejoices through the emotions. The spirit knows something through the mind and rejoices through the emotion. Then Acts 19:21 says, “When these things were fulfilled, Paul purposed in his spirit to...go to Jerusalem.” This means Paul exercised his will in the spirit. He made a decision in the spirit to take a trip. This does not mean that he was a man of the will but a spiritual man exercising his will. Paul was a man so much in the spirit with the uplifted faculties of the soul. His thoughts, emotions, and decisions were all in the spirit.
TAKING THE LORD AS LIFE
As Christians, we have to reject our mind, emotion, and will. We must reject ourselves and take the Lord Jesus as our life. This is done by returning to our spirit and sensing what is there in our spirit. Suppose a brother comes to talk with you. While you are listening, you must reject yourself. You must reject your natural thinking, your emotion, and your will. You have to take the Lord Jesus as your life in this particular matter by returning to your spirit, your innermost part, to sense what is there. This is the right way for us to act as a Christian, but most of us do not act in this way. Whenever a brother comes to talk with us, we exercise our mind independent of the spirit. We sometimes forget about the Lord Jesus and forget that we have a spirit. The way for a normal Christian to act, however, is to always deny the natural mind, will, and emotion and to take the Lord Jesus as his life. In everything we should return to the innermost part of our being to sense what is there.
THE INNER ANOINTING
If you do this, your spirit, in which the Holy Spirit dwells, will rise up to impress you with something. Then you will have a clear understanding. You will understand this brother thoroughly. Your spirit will rise up and spring up, and some living water will flow out to others. We must continually learn to take care of the inner anointing, the inner registration, the inner sense, the inner feeling, the inner consciousness. If we go along with this anointing, we will be a person walking in the spirit. Then all the faculties of our soul will be renewed, transformed, revived, strengthened, and improved. The life of the soul will be crucified and renounced, but the faculties of the soul will be ennobled.
SERVING BY THE EXERCISE OF THE SPIRIT
When you come to a church meeting, do not exercise your mind, but exercise your spirit to sense the inner life. When you are going to choose a hymn or pray, do not consider but sense with the spirit. When you stand up to speak, do not consider what you are going to say or what you have to say, but sense what the Lord’s mind is that you have to say. There are two ways to meet: one way is in the soul, and the other way is in the spirit.
When you come to the meeting, sometimes you are really happy, but maybe tomorrow you will come with sorrow. You have to leave all these emotional feelings outside the door. When you come to the meeting, you must exercise your spirit to sense something within your spirit. Then you should utter something from your spirit despite your feeling. We must learn the lesson to serve the Lord not by exercising the mind, emotion, or will but by exercising the spirit to sense something of the Lord. This is the right and normal way for us to walk and to serve in the Lord and for the Lord.
(Our Human Spirit, Chapter 8, by Witness Lee)