Practical Lessons on the Experience of Lifeby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
The law of the Old Testament was the law of letters outside of the people of God. On the one hand, the law testified and described God, but on the other hand, it also demanded the people to correspond to God’s attributes. As to God, it testified, but as to the people, it demanded and eventually condemned. If one was able to correspond to God’s law, the law was only a demand, but if one could not correspond with the demand, the law was a condemnation. This is the old law, the law in letter.
The new law is still the law; in this sense it is the same. The law in letter was the testimony of God, and the law in life is still the testimony of God. However, this same law is now not in letter but in life. The law within us today is the very living God. This living God who is holy, righteous, of love, and in light, who in the ancient times was described by the written law, has come into us as the new law. Today God Himself is the law. We may prefer the old way of the law, because the new way is too bothersome. The old way is simply to write down all the commandments, and if we act according to them, we are all right. The new way, however, is a living person. There is no written commandment. Whatever we do, we must go to Him. We always need to contact Him and see His face. If there is a law that says that breakfast in a brothers’ house is at 7:30 A.M., everyone knows when breakfast is. But if we have to come to a certain brother to ask him when breakfast is, he may change the time each day. This is the way of the living law. This is why the New Testament does not have commandments in the old way. There is not even one such commandment. Rather, there is one God within us. This very God, who was described by the written law, has come into us as the living law. Therefore, the law is God Himself within us, regulating us by Himself. He is within us as the regulating element. Whatever we do, speak, or accomplish must correspond to this very God within us.
This very God in us becomes our taste. We do not like to eat bitter things because they taste bad. We were not taught this; rather, we have a taste of life within us. The holy, righteous God of love and in light is our taste, and this taste is the regulating factor and power. If we do something in the nature of hatred, we can taste it within. But if we do something in the nature of love, light, holiness, and righteousness, we have the taste from God that consents and agrees with us. The Lord told us that we have to love our enemy. When I was young, even after I was saved, I shook my head when I read that. I said, “Lord, I cannot keep this word. I cannot love my enemy.” Later, however, I experienced that if I even had the thought of hating, the taste within me would not go along. This taste is the law, and the law is God Himself. He is the very God of love; He is not a God of hate. With Him there is no hate. Hatred is one hundred percent against His nature. His nature is a nature of love, and His nature is love. This nature becomes our taste. Regardless of whether we are willing to love or willing to hate, the taste within us is a taste of love. When we love, the taste corresponds with us. Otherwise, the taste within us protests.
We have a taste within us. If we simply go along with the taste, it is easy. Because of our taste, it is easier to eat something sweet than to eat something bitter. As humans, we also like to sleep because it “tastes” good. Praise the Lord, we have the taste within us! Now it is so easy for me to love, and it is very hard to hate even my enemy. If I am about to hate my enemy, something within tastes bitter. The taste works within me. If, on the other hand, I love my enemy, the taste within encourages, confirms, and strengthens me to love. This is the living law.
To be a Christian is a matter of taste and not outward regulation or religion. We like to serve others because it tastes good. We like to sacrifice, even to sacrifice our life, for others. To them it seems that we suffer a lot, but to us it is a taste. When I sacrifice, I taste. This taste is the very law. Taste regulates. If we put something bitter into the mouth of even a small baby, he will spit it out, but if you put chocolate in his mouth, he will find it delicious. There is no need to teach him this, because he has a taste. The taste is the regulating, and the regulating is the law. Today God within us is the very law giving us a taste and regulating us by this taste. Whatever corresponds with Him gives us a good taste, but if there is anything against His nature, the taste protests. To take care of the taste is to take care of the inner law. This inner law is the divine life, and the divine life is God Himself.
Since God put Himself into us as the law, giving us a taste and regulating us in all things, there is no need for anyone to teach us. Teaching is mere outward knowledge, but we have an inward taste. By this inward taste we have the inward knowledge. In Hebrews 8:11 there are two Greek words for know. Verse 11 begins, “They shall by no means each teach his fellow citizen and each his brother, saying, Know the Lord.” This know is one word. The verse continues, “For all will know Me from the little one to the great one among them.” This second know is another Greek word. Darby’s New Translation translates this as “know...in themselves.” A note for that verse tells us that this know denotes the inner realization of certain things, the consciousness in oneself, the internal, inner knowledge. Teachings are outward knowledge, but the taste is the inner knowledge. By this inner knowledge we taste, we sense, what corresponds to God and what does not.
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