The Spirit and the Body, by Witness Lee

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In these days we have a definite goal. This goal is to carry out the Lord’s recovery. One of the main things to be recovered is the functioning spirit. We all, including the new ones, the young ones, the weak ones, and the old ones, need to be restored to the functioning spirit. Now is the time for us to come together to function. We all are players on the team; none of us is a spectator. If we gather together with the burden to function and with the attitude that we are players on the team, the meetings will be greatly uplifted, and the enemy will be driven away. Everyone who attends such a meeting will be subdued and convinced. The visitors will say, "How different this is from Christianity! This meeting is different from any kind of gathering I have attended before." All the church meetings must be like this. It is not a matter of a good speaker; it is a matter of the functioning of all the members.

We all need to be recovered back to the functioning spirit, back to the genuine practice of being spiritual. To be spiritual is to exercise the functioning spirit. We need to be stirred up to hate our habit of not functioning. If you function even a little in the meetings, your spirit will be stirred up, and you will be nourished, strengthened, and refreshed. When you go home, you will realize what a difference it makes to function in the meetings. But if because you are so cautious you do not function, you will sense when you return home that you are lacking in inward strength. Furthermore, you will not have the sense of inner satisfaction. Functioning in the meetings has a great effect on our daily living. Whenever you function in a meeting, no matter whether the meeting is high or low, rich or poor, that meeting is rich to you. However, if you do not function in the meeting, that meeting will be poor to you. Whether a meeting is rich or poor as far as you are concerned depends on whether or not you function in that meeting. If you function, you will be strengthened, refreshed, and stirred up. But if you do not function, the meeting will not be meaningful to you. This can be proved in our experience. If we all function in the meetings, we shall all experience a rich meeting.

How good it would be if in our meetings there were no particular speaker, but every one was a speaker! People often ask who the speaker will be in the meeting. From now on, when you are asked about the speaker, you need to answer, "I am the speaker." If the person does not believe you, tell him, "Come and see. I will stand up to speak and I will speak especially to you." We all must be prepared to say that we are the speaker in the meeting. How wonderful this would be! We need to drive away the old influence of Christianity from our meetings. We should have no clergy or laity, but the functioning of all the members of the Body.

The functioning of all the members depends on two things. First, the inferior ones should not despise themselves or be humble; rather they must learn to be aggressive. Second, the superior ones must learn to be limited. They should not think that they can do everything, but realize that they need others. If we learn these lessons, the Body will be tempered together, and there will be a proper balance. This is what we need for the genuine Body life.

Once I was invited to a certain group that supposedly had the Body ministry. But what this group meant by Body ministry was to have several speakers instead of one. I told them that this certainly was not the Body. To have several speakers does not mean that you have the Body, for the Body is not made up of several members, but of all the members. Consider how many members there are in your body. Eventually, that group began to realize that they did not truly have the Body ministry.

(The Spirit and the Body, Chapter 15, by Witness Lee)