How to Know God's Willby Watchman Nee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
God's children can and should know God's will. The knowledge of God's will has to do with the person; it has nothing to do with techniques. When the Lord draws men to Himself, He draws some through their mind, others through their emotion, and still others through their will. Generally speaking, the least likely means for the Lord to draw men is the will. Many people love the truth of the Bible. They want to know more about these truths, and they hope that others will be edified by these truths. They study the Bible a great deal and know many things about Bible exposition. When they cannot interpret a passage, they feel frustrated. When they think they can interpret a passage, they feel happy. People like these are touching the Bible with their mind. They are not necessarily living a proper Christian life. Of course, it is difficult to live a proper Christian life without a mind. But those who only have a mental understanding of doctrines are not necessarily those who live a proper Christian life.
There is another group of Christians who are not very smart. They do not know much, but they are very zealous. They laugh and cry easily. They are rich in emotion. When they touch the Bible, they are easily moved to tears or laughter. They work only when they feel a burning within. In their zeal, they preach to whomever they see and do not stop even when their voices become hoarse. Wherever they go they carry an air of excitement, but when their zeal fades away, even ten persons could not move them an inch. These people have a strong soul. They can be stirred up quickly, and they can stir up many people when their hearts are burning. They can cry with others or laugh with others, but when the tide of excitement subsides, they cannot bring anyone to the Lord. They touch others with their emotion. When they are stirred up, they think highly of themselves. But when they become cold, they will not move at all. Such Christians cannot be of much use to the Lord.
Suppose a man has a clear mind before the Lord, a proper emotion, good knowledge of the Bible, and zealousness in serving others. All of these things are wonderful, but if he has never been touched by the Lord, he cannot serve God in a proper way. He needs to be touched in his will. If a man's spirit is dead before God, he is totally useless in the eyes of God. The spirit must be regenerated. Thank the Lord that our spirit today is a new spirit, a regenerated spirit. This regenerated spirit is our inner man. Every Christian has received the same life from God in his spirit; there is no difference between him and others. The same Spirit who dwells in a weak brother also dwelt in Paul. As long as we are the Lord's, the new creation in our spirit is the same as in others. God is not a respecter of persons. However, when the inner man lives out the life of the Lord, there can be a big difference in the degree of expression. This difference has much to do with man's natural constitution. The mind, emotion, and will are the original and natural faculties of man. The Holy Spirit is within him, and his regenerated spirit has become the new man, the inner man. Yet he still has an outward man, the old man, the original man outside of him. This outward man belongs to sin. The old man has been dealt with on the cross, but the life of the old creation still remains. Since the inner new man can only be expressed through the outer man, the expressions and manifestations are different in different persons. The inner life is frustrated by the outer man. Therefore, the outer man must be dealt with. Otherwise, there will always be obstacles that obstruct a man from serving the Lord.
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