THE SPIRIT OF LIFE
The Lord said, “I have come that they may have life and may have it abundantly” (John 10:10). How does the Lord give us this life? It is by His being in us as the Spirit of life. Basically, the work of the Lord as the Spirit in us is to be the Spirit of life. Receiving this life is not a once-for-all matter. Just as an infant after his birth still needs a daily supply for his life to be sustained and to grow, so we who have received the Lord as our life also need to receive His supply daily. The Lord is supplying us within daily by being the Spirit of life in us.
The most important thing that the Lord as the Spirit of life is doing in us is to release us from the law of sin and of death. When you are in your spirit and not in your knowledge or thoughts, when you are in your spirit and not in your emotions or preferences, when you are in your spirit and not in your opinions, when you live in your spirit and turn to your spirit to contact the Spirit of life, the result is that you are released.
Previously we gave many messages on dealing with sins. Today I would like to tell you that there is a simple secret here. Do you want to overcome your weaknesses? Do you want to overcome your entangling temper? The simple secret is to turn yourself back to your spirit. Forget your weaknesses, failures, and shortcomings. Do not pay attention to them. Instead, turn yourself back to your spirit. Whenever you turn to the spirit and touch the spirit, you have the supply of the Spirit of life. As a result, spontaneously you are set free. We often say that we need to deal with the self. It is not wrong to say this. However, if we pay too much attention to the self, and if we are not careful, we may instead be entangled by the self. Sometimes the more we deal with the self, the more we are in the self. Therefore, instead of paying too much attention to your self, you need to turn to your spirit. The Lord, who is the life-giving Spirit, becomes your supply when you turn to your spirit to contact Him. The result is that you are set free from your self.
Most of us have made this mistake in principle: We like to deal with the problems and neglect the contact with our spirit and the moving in our spirit. In the book of Romans, Paul did not deal with those matters. Instead, he told us to walk according to the spirit. When we walk according to the spirit by turning to the spirit, all the problems will be solved neatly and all the difficulties will be dealt with spontaneously.
Romans 8:6 says, “The mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace.” This means that if you set your mind on the flesh, the result will be death, but if you set your mind on the spirit, the result will be life and peace. In other words, if your mind pays attention to the flesh, that will be death, and if your mind pays attention to the spirit, that will be life and peace.
You may consider this picture: We human beings are of three parts—the spirit being the innermost part, the soul being in the middle, and the body being the outermost part. Due to the addition of sin, the body has become the flesh. Although the mind is a part of the soul, it represents man’s personality. When a person is saved, his spirit is regenerated by the entrance of the Spirit of life. The mind represents man himself. When the mind stands with the flesh, this means that the mind is set on the flesh and the result is death. When the mind stands with the spirit, this means that the mind is set on the spirit and the result is life and peace. Regardless of whether the flesh is good or bad, if you pay attention to it, the result will be death. If your mind gives heed to the spirit, the result will be life.
According to this basic principle, many teachings in Christianity are good, but they lead people to pay attention to things outside of the spirit. Hence, the result is failure. The way of victory, the way of life, is to reject anything outside of the Lord. Do you have a temper? Do not pay attention to your temper; rather, turn your mind back to focus on the spirit and to be set on the spirit. There you have the life-giving Spirit. In the past we did not know this secret adequately. This is why many spiritual teachings were still turning people’s attention to the things outside of the spirit. At this time we must see that we need to turn our mind back to focus on the spirit and to be set on the spirit. Here you will touch the source of life, which is the life-giving Spirit. Consequently, you have life and peace. When you turn from your spirit to other places and are therefore cut off from the source of the Spirit of life within you, then regardless of how much you have done, everything is death.
Therefore, you must turn to the spirit within and not pay attention to yourself, your failures, your temper, or your flesh. Romans 8 shows us that the Spirit of life in us is Christ. We need to call our mind back to our spirit and constantly pay attention to our spirit. In this way we are living in the spirit and walking according to the spirit. Then the Spirit of life will begin to operate in us to supply, release, and rescue us. Thus, we will be able to overcome.
(The Spirit in the Epistles, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)