The Work of the Holy Spirit, by Witness Lee


Apparently, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is hard to experience, but in actuality it is very easy. It depends on several things. First, it depends on our need. Do we truly sense the need for the outpouring of the Spirit, or are we just talking about it? Many Christians today do not sense the need of the Holy Spirit upon them as power. We should ask the Lord to cause us to sense the need. We have the Spirit already, but we need to apply the Spirit and experience Him. If we do not have the need, there is no need to talk about this.

Second, we need a special, specific consecration. If we sense the need, we must consecrate ourselves again to experience the Holy Spirit as power upon us.

Third, we must be obedient. Acts 5:32 says that God gives the Holy Spirit to those who obey Him. If we never deal with the Lord, we will not know how disobedient we are. In the previous century, a certain sister sought the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Seeking this experience, she prayed and consecrated herself to the Lord. Women at that time had long hair, which they wore high on their head. When this sister prayed, she sensed that the Lord was demanding that she “tear down the tower” on her head by cutting her hair. However, she would not obey. One night when meeting with some Christians, she prayed, “Lord give me the experience,” but the Lord said, “Give me your hair.” Eventually she made the decision to obey the Lord and cut her hair, and at that very moment she experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

I met another sister who lived outside of Beijing, the ancient capital of China. She came from country people who lived on farms. Before she was saved, a large chicken belonging to her neighbor wandered on to her farm, and she caught it and killed it. When the neighbor came to find the chicken, she lied and said that she did not know where it was. After a few years she was saved, and in the church there was much prayer for the experience of the power of the Holy Spirit. She also was one seeking this experience. For many days whenever she knelt down to pray to the Lord for the power of the Holy Spirit, her prayer had no answer. Rather, the thought of a large chicken came to her mind. One day she remembered how she had taken her neighbor’s chicken. She bought a chicken larger than the first one, took it to the neighbor, and confessed. Immediately after that she received the experience of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

There are many stories such as these. Some persons could not experience the power of the Holy Spirit simply due to one sin. This shows us how we must be obedient. If we sense the need for the Spirit and we consecrate ourselves to the Lord, we must be obedient.

Fourth, if there is no struggle between us and the Lord, we may simply receive the experience of the Spirit by claiming it. We should not care about our feelings; we should just receive by claiming.

I have had many personal experiences of this kind. I know that to serve the Lord I need power, so I sense the desperate need of the Spirit. Second, I consecrate myself to the Lord. Third, I fear only one thing, that is, a struggle between me and the Lord. Struggling with the Lord is awful. To have a struggle with the Lord is serious. There have been many false rumors about me, but by the grace of the Lord I am not afraid of them. The only thing I am afraid of is a struggle between me and the Lord. As long as there is no struggle between me and the Lord, I am afraid of nothing. If there is a struggling between you and the Lord, I beg you to deal with it right away. Then you can receive the experience of the Spirit by claiming it.

(The Work of the Holy Spirit, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)