Abiding in the Lord to Enjoy His Lifeby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
What does it mean to abide in the Lord and enjoy His life? First, we must know where this Lord is whom we want to enjoy. Today the Lord is in our spirit. When I was young, I felt that this matter of abiding in the Lord was very abstract. Every time I prayed, I would kneel down in a definite and sincere way. While I prayed, I would think that the Lord must be sitting high above in heaven, and hopefully my prayers would be able to reach that high. I believed the Lord could bring my prayers from the earth to heaven far above. But sometimes I did not have the assurance that my prayer would reach heaven and be heard by God. That was my condition sixty years ago.
Praise the Lord, we who are in the church today are blessed! We all know that the Lord as the Spirit comes into our spirit when we believe into Him. The Lord, who is the God who created the universe, became flesh to be a man named Jesus Christ two thousand years ago. For our redemption He went to the cross to die and bear our sins, and as the last Adam He resurrected to become the life-giving Spirit. Now He is everywhere just like the air. Romans 10 says that while we are preaching the gospel, this Spirit is with us reaching the listeners to be in their mouth and even to get into their heart. If anyone would open his heart and call, “O Lord Jesus!” the Lord as the Spirit will enter into him.
Once the Lord comes into us, He will never leave us. Sometimes we feel that it is good to believe in the Lord, but sometimes it is troublesome, since many things become inconvenient because of the Lord. However, the salvation of the Lord is truly wonderful. He not only redeems us but also comes into our spirit. Regretfully, today many Christians do not know the mystery of the salvation they have received. How blessed we are that we can know this mystery! Our Lord, who is the Lord of the universe, was undefinable and hard to find. However, because of His mercy, He became flesh and was crucified for us. Then He resurrected to become the Spirit to dwell in the spirit of those who believe in Him, and He takes up His residence in them.
To know is one thing, but to enjoy is another. This phrase, enjoying Christ, was used first by us. The way to enjoy Christ is, “In the Holiest Place, live within the veil.” We have already pointed out that the outer court signifies our body, the Holy Place signifies our soul, and the Holiest Place signifies our spirit. To enjoy Christ, instead of living in our soul or our body we should enter into our spirit and live in our spirit.
For example, if you get angry and quarrel with others, your body, in particular your mouth, becomes a venting organ. If you shut your mouth, you become “deflated” and your anger dissipates. However, if you continue to open your mouth, the result is that the quarreling becomes more and more serious. The more you speak, the more you feel in your soul that you are right, and eventually you even act in your flesh. At this time, instead of living in the Holy Place, you are living in the outer court.
When you live in the outer court, you must be warned by this hymn, “I’ve believed the true report, / Hallelujah to the Lamb! / I have passed the outer court, / O glory be to God!” You should not quarrel any more, because your flesh has been crucified with Christ. Perhaps you feel that if you do not quarrel and give vent to your anger, your heart will not be at ease and your stomach will also hurt. However, we all need to be reminded that it is best not to use our body, which is the outer court, as the instrument for quarreling and getting angry. Sometimes we have passed the outer court—not using our body as an instrument of the flesh—yet our soul, including our mind, emotion, and will, which is the part that employs our body as an instrument, is still very active and is constantly instigating us to go out again to the outer court. As a result, although we exercise control of ourselves to not live in our flesh, we are altogether living in our soul. We try to restrain ourselves from living in the flesh, but the result is that we live completely in our soul, and we become so active that we are unable to calm down.
It may be that at times like this the Lord has mercy on us and comes to remind us, saying, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit?” (1 Cor. 6:19). We belong to the Lord, and the Lord lives in us. If we receive the reminder and turn from our soul to our spirit, we enter into the Holy of Holies. Once we enter into the Holy of Holies, we enter into a refuge and reach a safe region. In this way we are preserved.
We all have this kind of experience. Every time we turn to our spirit, we repent and confess to the Lord, admitting that we live so much in the flesh and in the soul. The more we ask for the Lord’s forgiveness and pray to fellowship with the Lord, the more we receive grace. Grace begins to flow to us like a river. This means that we have touched the throne of grace. If we do this, the living water saturates us and fills us until it overflows so that we are completely in grace.
At the same time, the glory of God shines through our whole being so that we have no place to hide. This leads us to see our filthiness, to see that we have wronged our spouse and our relatives and that we are wrong in many different things. Then we beat our chest, weep, and repent. In this way of confessing we receive grace immensely. This is to pass through the outer court and the Holy Place into the Holy of Holies to touch the throne of grace. The more we touch the throne of grace, the more we have the presence of God. The more we touch the throne of grace, the more we have the riches of God. Moreover, we are able to enjoy the hidden manna within the ark and have a deeper experience of Christ as the life supply. In this way we abide in the Lord and enjoy Him as our life.
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