THE WAY OF PRACTICE
We must first realize that we have been regenerated and that Christ has come into our spirit. Then we must learn to apply this indwelling Christ in our daily life. We need to take the instructions in this message and practice them. When you first learned to drive, you were instructed in all the procedure of driving. You had to practice starting the engine, shifting the gears, and driving the car. It would be foolish to push the car. The car runs; yet you must practice how to run it. Even if you pray, "Lord, I am so helpless, so weak; help me to push the car," it will not help. But isn’t this the way we pray? "Lord, help me in this matter; it is so easy for me to lose my temper. Help me, Lord; it is so hard to overcome this weakness. O Lord, Thou art almighty; Thou canst help me." I tell you, the Lord will never help you! The more we pray and ask Him to help us not to lose our temper, the more we will lose it. We have forgotten that the Lord is within us. We must apply Him. Supply the car with fuel and it will run. The divine power is within us, waiting to be released. I was saved by the Lord more than ten years before I knew this. One day He opened my eyes to see that someone very powerful is within me, and that this storage of power is nothing less than Himself.
Many Christians do not know how to apply Christ as their life. They know how to cry, "Lord, help me, help me," but the Lord will never help them. He is dwelling within them waiting to be applied. To do this, we must first realize that Christ is within us. Then we must learn to deny ourselves. We must deny our natural mind, our natural emotion, and our natural will. We must learn to put ourselves to death and give the Lord a chance. This is why the Lord tells us to deny ourselves and bear the cross, that is, to put ourselves under the death of the cross. If we do this, the Lord will resurrect us. After resurrection, our mind, our emotion, and our will—our whole soul—will be in the Spirit, full of Christ. Then we will be transformed into the image of the Lord. We must learn to say, "Lord, I deny myself in thinking, in loving, and in choosing. I commit my whole being into Thy hands. I take Thee as my mind, as my emotion, and as my will." If we continue putting ourselves to death and letting the Lord raise us up in resurrection power, our whole being will be transformed and saturated with Christ.
We already have all the riches of Christ. All we need now is a little instruction to apply what we have. We have Christ within us. We must forget about our old way of praying that the Lord might help us. The Lord never answers us when we pray in this way. Stop, use the gasoline, and the car will run. This is the deliverance of the Lord; it is not our working.
Brothers and sisters, you have Christ within you, but do you apply Christ in your daily life? Christ is the life, the life-supply, and the power, but is this a reality to you? Or is it like a beautiful building without an entrance? We must put these instructions into practice. When we are about to think, desire, or decide, we must stop and contact the Lord who is within. Then we will learn to apply Him. We must deny ourselves and contact Him in the spirit. Then we will be transformed by Him, who is the Spirit within us, to His image, from one stage of glory to another.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
THE LIFE AND THE FACULTIES OF THE SOUL
Since the soul is composed of the mind, emotion, and will, there are some who might think that if we deny the self, that is the soul with these parts, we will not be able to live. But we must realize that there is a difference between the life of the soul and the faculties of the soul. The life of the soul is one thing, and the faculties of the soul are another.
Allow me to illustrate with a married couple I knew in China. The brother was so spiritual, and the sister as a wife was so submissive. Whenever you went to their home or met with them, you sensed that the husband was the life to the wife. Even though she had her own life, she relinquished it and took her husband as her life. She never spoke anything of her own, but always according to her husband. If you asked, "Sister, do you like this piano?" she would never say whether she liked it or not. Instead, she would say, "My husband likes it." Perhaps you would ask, "Sister, do you like the new meeting hall?" She would answer, "My husband says it is wonderful." With her, it was always "my husband," "my husband"; yet she spoke. She gave up her life and took her husband as her life; yet she still used the faculties of her soul. We brothers always thought that sister was wonderful because she always took her husband as her life. She gave up her own life; yet she still used her faculties. That is, she still used her mind, her emotion, and her will.
The natural life of the soul has been crucified on the cross, and we must take the Lord as our life. We must give up our natural life, the life of the soul, and take the Lord in the Spirit as our life. But this does not mean that we give up the faculties of our soul. What we must give up is the life of the soul, not the faculties of the soul. All the faculties of our soul still remain as the organs to be used by the Lord in the spirit.
(The Parts of Man, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)