TWO DIFFERENT REALMS—THE SPIRIT AND THE SOUL
The spirit and the soul are two different realms, kingdoms, or worlds. In the realm of the spirit there is no need to strive for the victory over sin. In the New Jerusalem we will not worry about victory over sin. To be in spirit today is a foretaste of the New Jerusalem. Whatever the New Jerusalem will be in the future can be realized today as a foretaste in our spirit. In contrast, when we are living in the soul, we are in another kingdom or realm. In the realm of the soul, there is the need for victory over sin. If we read Romans 5—8 carefully, we will realize that the real release from sin is the release from the soul. The release from sin is the release from “me,” “myself,” and “I,” which are just the soul. As long as we are out of the self and in the spirit, everything is wonderful!
Suppose you are a mother, and you are about to say an angry word to your children. Before saying such a word, turn yourself to the spirit, the mingled spirit. If you will do this, immediately you may sense that there is no need to say such a word to your children. Your thought, sense, understanding, and idea will be completely changed. To illustrate again, suppose as a mother you have the intention to rebuke a difficult child. If you turn yourself to the spirit before you do this, immediately you will sense a change. Something within may show you that there is no need to rebuke the child in your former manner. You may say something different to the child. Again perhaps, as a wife at home during the daytime while your husband is away at work, you may have the thought that when your husband comes home, you will make a certain deal with him concerning a certain matter. Before doing this, turn to your spirit. Immediately there will be a change in your feeling and thought concerning the entire situation! Therefore, before doing anything, going anywhere, or seeing anything, we must turn to our spirit. Then we will see a change.
As fallen men we have Satan in our flesh (7:17, 20), and our soul is the self (Matt. 16:26; Luke 9:25). Since we have received Christ, He is dwelling in our spirit (2 Tim. 4:22). Thus, Satan is in our flesh, the self is our soul, and the dear Lord, the all-inclusive Christ, is in our spirit. Whenever we turn ourselves to the spirit, immediately we meet Christ. When we are in our soul, there is a certain kind of understanding, idea, realization, and concept. However, when we turn to our spirit, there will be another kind of understanding, which is the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16). This is because in the spirit, we meet with Christ. This is why it is so easy for Christians to have a change. As Christians we are changeable people. As genuine disciples of Christ, we are changeable all of the time. In the morning, we may be upset with a certain brother, but after a few minutes, we really love that brother. There was a change in our feeling, a change in our temperament. The reason for this change is that we turned to our spirit. In Romans 7 the words me, myself, and I are mentioned again and again, more than thirty times. But in Romans 8 the Spirit is mentioned again and again. In chapter 7 there is a person seeking to do good for God in the soul (vv. 21-23). In chapter 8 this person is transferred from the soul to the spirit to walk in the spirit (vv. 9, 4, 6, 10).
ENJOYING THE LORD BY TURNING TO THE SPIRIT
We should learn to practice to be in spirit all of the time. If we learn to do this one thing and practice it all the time, we will see a change, a difference, in our daily life. We will realize salvation from so many mistakes, errors, wrongdoings, and troubles. We will be kept from many negative things, and we will enjoy the Lord all of the time. The best prayer I have is not to ask the Lord to do things for me but to just stay in the spirit, contacting the Lord all the time. The best prayer is to stay in the spirit, contacting Him.
There is no other way but to turn yourself to the spirit all of the time and day by day. Turn yourself to the spirit regardless of where you are, what you are doing, or what kind of situation you are in. Forget about all the things surrounding you, and pay attention to one thing: turn to the spirit.
There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. This means that there is no condemnation to those who walk according to the spirit, who walk in the spirit. We are in Christ practically when we are walking in the spirit. If you turn to the spirit, you have peace, light, the inner anointing, and whatever you desire to enjoy of Christ. There is no need to learn many other things until you learn this one thing—to turn yourself to the spirit and remain there to contact the Lord.
THE PRACTICAL ENJOYMENT OF CHRIST
The practical way to enjoy Christ is to turn to the spirit all of the time. In the morning, in the evening, and throughout the day, learn to turn to your spirit. Learn to turn to your spirit not only in the time of prayer but also before saying anything, before going any place, and before doing anything. Then there will be a change in your understanding, you will enjoy Christ, and you will be in Christ in a practical way.
(Christ our Portion, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)