TO LIVE BY THE LORD BEING TO LIVE AND WALK BY THE SPIRIT
Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20a). To be crucified does not mean to suffer, as most people would say; that is wrong. To be crucified does not mean to suffer, but it means to die and be terminated. Crucifixion does not cause you merely to suffer; instead, it is to terminate you. However, many Christians today do not understand what this means, and they explain that to be crucified is to suffer. Therefore, they say that to suffer all the time is to “bear the cross daily.” Husbands, wives, and children consider one another as crosses which they have to bear, and even landlords and tenants consider one another in the same way. In the church life, you consider the elders, the brothers, and the sisters as your crosses; they all appear to be joined together to give you trouble. However, this is not the cross. A person who is truly crucified does not feel troubled, because he has no more feeling. Thus, crucifixion does not make you suffer; it terminates you.
The result of being crucified with Christ is that “it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me” (v. 20b). I have been terminated, and now it is Christ who lives in me. Thus, I can say, “To me, to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21). This experience equals to live and walk according to the Spirit. Where is the Spirit? The Spirit is within us. We do not need to be taught how to experience this; every saved person knows this. Every saved person knows that the Spirit is living within him. This Spirit is the Lord Himself (2 Cor. 3:17) living in the human spirit. Thus, to live by the Lord is to live and walk by the Spirit. Romans 8:4 says, “Do not walk according to the flesh but according to the spirit.” In Greek, the word walk here means “live and move.” It is not only to move and walk but also to live. This means that our living and moving should all be according to this Spirit within us. To walk according to the Spirit is to live by the Lord. When we live by the Lord, we abide in the Lord, and we enjoy the Lord Himself.
When we view it from this angle and understand it from this kind of experience, we can realize more the meaning of “abiding in the Lord.” If you reason even just a little with your spouse, then you know that you are not in the Lord because you have not lived by the Lord. This is just like the lightbulb with a switch that is not securely installed. When the switch is turned on, the lightbulb flickers and gets in and out of the electricity. In the same way, if your inward lightbulb does not shine but is flickering, it means that you are not in the Spirit, nor are you abiding in the Spirit; you are a “flickering” Christian who is not firmly in the Lord. If you want to be in the Lord firmly, then your inward switch must be firm, and it must be always switched on. As a result, you will remain in Christ as the “electricity” to enjoy His supply, and you will shine brightly. This is the proper living that we Christians should have.
Thus, to abide in the Lord is to live by the Lord in all things. Even little things, such as combing our hair and washing our face, we should do by the Lord. We who are saved have not received merely another life within; in reality this life is a Person, who is the embodiment of the Triune God and who is the eternal living Lord abiding in us. This is God’s salvation. After we receive God’s salvation, we should learn to let the Lord live in us, and we should allow Him to be magnified in us. When we live by the Lord who lives in us, we abide in the Lord. Hallelujah for God’s salvation!
(Abiding in the Lord to Enjoy His Life, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)