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
Someone may say, “I praise the Lord that I am saved. Now I do not do anything sinful. It is good that some brothers pray early in the morning, but I don’t like to do that. Rather, on Sundays I come to the church meeting.” This is a rough, careless, outward Christian, one not walking by the inner sense and not regulated by the inner law. If we are persons who truly cooperate with God, there is no other way but to love Him, and if we mean business to love Him, we will realize the flow within. We must love Him without any other intention, aim, or goal; we love Him simply because of who He is. We should say, “Lord, I love You. I have no motive; I just love You.” If we do this, the flow within us will be vigorous and powerful. This flow is the fellowship of life, and this fellowship will operate. How much the fellowship operates depends on how much we love Him. The more we love Him, the more it works. This flow, this inner fellowship, brings us a sense and consciousness. The more we have the fellowship of life, the more we will have the sense of life, and the sense will be deeper. This inner sense then helps the regulating of the inner law. This means that God is inscribing His law upon our mind, will, and emotion to renew, saturate, permeate, and take possession of all our inward parts, that is, to transform us into His image.
The more God inscribes on us, the more He transforms us into His image and the more we will be like Him and have His likeness. What God inscribes on us is the image of Himself. Originally, we had only an outward picture of God, but now we have an inward image inscribed by God within us. This is the work of transformation.
The Old Testament is called “the Law and the Prophets” (Matt. 22:40). The law and the prophets are the two elements of the Old Testament. As we have seen, the law is fixed principles that never change. To honor our parents is a law, a fixed principle, and no one can change this. To love our neighbor is also a fixed principle. There is no need to seek guidance as to whether or not we should love our neighbor and honor our parents, because a principle has been set up in the law. The law also says that we should not make an image of God and worship it, so there is also no need to seek guidance about the worship of images. No one can change the principle; everyone has to take it and be regulated by it.
It is different, however, with the prophets. With the prophets there is guidance. We cannot find in the regulation of the law whether or not to visit a certain place. There is no regulation of the law as to whether one should stay in Nazareth or go to Bethlehem. For these matters we need the guidance. Since there was no prophet to help Joseph, the husband of Mary, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Flee into Egypt” (2:13). In principle, that was the ministry of the prophets. This is guidance, not regulation. Again, we may illustrate this with shopping. Whether to go to one department store or another is a matter of guidance. However, once I go to the store, there is the need for regulation in the things I buy. Some things I as a Christian should not and cannot buy, because that would be against the inner law, the inner regulating. I cannot, for example, go to a bookstore and buy a book all about movies; this would be against the nature of God and the inner regulation. This is a matter of regulation, not of guidance. As a Christian walking in the presence of God and living by Christ, can we say something dirty and evil with our mouth? No, because that is against God’s nature and the inner regulating. When we contact people and speak for the Lord, however, what we say is not a matter of regulating but a matter of guidance.
In the Old Testament there are the law and the prophets, but in the New Testament the law of life replaces the law of letters, and the inner anointing replaces the ministry of the prophets. The inner anointing is not the law but the guidance. Today we do not need the law of Moses because we have the law of life within, and we do not need the ministry of the prophets because we have the inner anointing. When we have the law of life and the anointing, we have the regulating and the guidance.
The regulating is a narrow realm, and the guidance is a very broad realm. We may compare the regulating to Washington, D.C., and the guidance to the whole of the United States. If Washington, D.C., is in order, the whole of the U.S.A. will be in order, but if Washington, D.C., is upside down, the condition of the fifty states will be terrible. In the same way, if we are not clear about the inner regulation, we can never be clear about the inner guidance. Many Christians do not know the guidance of the Lord, simply because they do not take care of the regulating. The law comes first and then the prophets. Even in the Old Testament the first part is the law and the latter part is the prophets. Therefore, we must learn to take care of the inner regulating; then we have to learn to take care of the anointing.
First John 2:27 tells us that since the anointing abides in us and teaches us concerning all things, we have no need that anyone teach us. Similarly, Hebrews 8:11 tells us that since the law of life regulates within us, there is no need to teach our brother to know the Lord. Verse 10 also tells us that God is God to us by this inner regulating, and we are a people to God also according to the inner regulating. The relationship between us and God can be maintained only by this inner regulating. Whenever we neglect the inner regulating, the relationship between God and us as His children is a mess. Therefore, we all must learn how to take care of this inner regulating. Then by this inner regulating we will be helped to realize the inner anointing. When we are under the regulating, we will have the guidance in all things.
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