It is wonderful to realize that we as believers in Christ have God’s life in us, but we need to realize that our very person is an obstacle for the living out of God’s life; our mind, emotion, and will are subjective obstacles to God’s life in us. Our Christian life is a matter of Christ living in us, but we as believers most of the time do not live out Christ by allowing Him to live in us.
First, we have a lot of human concepts of what a Christian should be and do, and we don’t take care of the living Christ in us. Being a Christian means that we take only Christ as our aim, and we take care of the living Christ within.
Being a Christian is not about doing many things outwardly but taking care of the living Christ within to be one with Him and let Him live in us.
The second main problem is hypocrisy: many times we care for our outward appearance more than we care for our personal, intimate, and private life with the Lord. We may have a certain good attitude and pleasant demeanor toward others – but these all come from our natural goodness and not from the Christ living in us.
The third problem that God’s life encounters in us is rebellion: we may know what the Lord wants us to do and what His requirements for us are, but we don’t accept His leading or pay the price to obey Him. Our unwillingness to obey the Lord is our living in the principle of rebellion.
To God obedience is more precious than many sacrifices. We all are guilty of committing the sin of disobeying the sense of Christ in us.
Finally, the fourth problem is our natural capability; we may consider the other problems as big things, but our natural capability may be something we treasure.
The only solution to all these obstacles in us is passing through the cross by the power of resurrection in our spirit; when we exercise our spirit and remain in the mingled spirit, the cross of Christ operates in us to put to death any human concepts, hypocrisy, rebellion, and natural capability, so that Christ may be the One lived out in us.
Today we want to see more subjective obstacles which God’s life encounters in us, and how we can deal with these, so that God’s life may grow in us, spread in every part of our being, be expressed through us, and freely flow out from us.
Seeing the Subjective Obstacles to God’s Life in us: our Mind, Emotion, and Will
A proper Christian, a man who is filled with God’s life and is for the fulfillment of God’s purpose, is one whose mind, emotion, and will cooperate with his spirit, being under the control and direction of his spirit.
However, most believers today are quite abnormal, for their mind, emotion, and will don’t cooperate with their spirit but rather contradict their spirit; therefore, they live under a veil.
Therefore, God’s life in us encounters the subjective obstacles of our mind, emotion, and will; because these are not properly dealt with so they would cooperate with our spirit, we have problems, and God’s life cannot be expressed in us.
The Problem of our Mind – we need to Cooperate with Christ by Setting our Mind on the Spirit
The first subjective problem is the problem of our mind. Everything we do and say is directed by our mind; therefore, if what we do in our Christian life and church life – even good things such as preaching the gospel and visiting the new believers – originate from our thoughts and not from the Lord within us, we merely perform some religious activities.
Even if our preaching the gospel, visiting the new believers, and visiting the sick saints in the hospital is successful, these activities do not help others to touch Christ but are rather a performance of some religious activities.
We need to realize that all our actions and words have to originate from Christ’s life within us, so that His life may be lived out of us – this is our Christian life.
We need to be renewed in the spirit of our mind, that is, we need to exercise our spirit and allow our spirit to spread and saturate our mind, dominate our mind, until we have the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5; 1 Cor. 2:16; Eph. 4:23).
Our mind needs to be renewed in the word of God so that our thoughts would be aligned with His thoughts, our opinions would be His opinions, and our concepts would be what He thinks (Rom. 12:2).
Although we have the life of Christ within, we do not cooperate with Christ’s life in our thoughts and actions, and so this life can’t be lived out from us. But whenever we set our mind on the spirit, our outward actions are in agreement with our inner man!
We need to set our mind on the spirit, and there will be no more discrepancy between us and God; He and we are at peace – not at enmity – and we are peaceful and restful within (Rom. 8:6).
Again and again we need to set our wandering mind on our mingled spirit and pray over God’s word, so that our mind may be renewed and aligned with God’s thoughts.
Lord Jesus, shine on us and expose us of how much we live not according to Your life within but according to our thoughts and concepts. Save us from hindering Your life in us by living according to our unrenewed mind. We want to learn to set our mind on our spirit again and again, praying over God’s word to be renewed in our mind, so that Your mind may become our mind. Amen, Lord, may the mind of Christ be in us, and may we be renewed in the spirit of the mind!
The Problem of our Will – we need to have a Strong and Pliable Will in Resurrection
The second subjective problem is the problem of our will; we may understand the intention of the Lord in our spirit, but our will may be stubborn and not cooperate with the Lord.
Many times we Christians know what God wants from us, and our mind knows the will of God; however, we are unwilling to submit and obey. We may understand, know, apprehend, and deeply sense that the Lord wants us to do a certain thing, but our will refuses to submit and surrender; the result is that we lose the Lord’s presence.
Nothing is worth losing the Lord’s presence, for His presence and smile is everything to us!
The Lord may want us to go and apologize to our wife or our work-mate for a word we told them, but we may be unwilling to do this, for we want to do something else and go somewhere else. Because we refuse to go along with the Lord’s speaking and feeling within us, we can lose the Lord’s presence.
Our will is a big problem. Sometimes our will is strong – but not in the things the Lord; at other times our will is weak and soft – but not toward the Lord but toward the world.
Our will needs to be dealt with by the Lord so that it would be both strong and pliable; our will needs to be strong and bold when it comes to the Lord and His will, and it has to be pliable and not insistent when the Lord wants us to.
When our will is brought through death into resurrection, it will be one with the Lord, in one accord with the Lord’s will; if we have such a will, God’s life will flow through us and will be expressed in us.
We need to let God operate in us both the willing and the working for His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13). Having a will that can cooperate with God is a great matter.
Lord Jesus, operate in us both the willing and the working for Your good pleasure. Save us from living in rebellion toward You, that is, refusing to obey Your inward leading and speaking. We give You our stubborn will. Break through in us. Operate in us as we spend time with Your personally and with the saints corporately. Lord, we want to have a will that is strong and pliable, a will that is one with You and expresses Your will!
The Problem of our Emotion – our Emotion and Christ’s Emotion should become One Emotion
The third subjective problem that God’s life encounters in us is the problem of our emotion. Many times we love other things and people – but we don’t love the Lord. We may love doing many things in the world, spend time in the things of the world, but our heart is away from God.
Many times we love what He hates, and we hate what He loves. Our undealt with emotion is a great problem and hindrance to God’s life. Our emotion needs to have God’s emotion, and we need to fully enter into God’s emotion.
We need to let God direct our heart into the love of God and into the endurance of Christ (2 Thes. 3:5). We need to be one with the Lord to the point that we have His inward feelings and emotions for the church, loving the saints and longing for them in the inward parts of Christ, even as Paul did (Phil. 1:8).
We need to have God’s emotion and enter into God’s emotion. Our feelings of love, anger, sorrow, and joy should be God’s feelings of love, anger, sorrow, and joy. We need to like what God likes and hate what He hates.
Because His life and nature are in us, His emotion should be our emotion (Eph. 5:25; 2 Cor. 12:15; 1 Cor. 16:24; Rev. 2:6). Christ loves the church to the point that He gave Himself up for her.
Paul loved the saints to the point that, even though they didn’t love him, he was one with the church-loving-Christ to love them even more. We need to love what the Lord loves and hate what He hates.
He hates the system and works of the Nicolaitans (Rev. 2:6), that is, the clergy-laity system that annuls the function of the brothers and the sisters – we need to also hate what He hates.
Lord, direct our heart into the love of God and into the endurance of Christ. Work Yourself into us more until our emotion expresses Your emotion, and we love what You love and hate what You hate. Lord, everything that You have is ours in our organic union with You; may our emotion be one with Your emotion, and may our feelings of love, anger, sorrow, and joy be Your feelings of love, anger, sorrow, and joy.
Our need to be Broken in the Outer Man and Strengthened in the Inner Man to no Longer Hinder God’s Life in us
When the Lord shines on us and exposes our real situation and condition, we will realize that everything about us and in us is full of hindrances to the Lord; even our mind, emotion, and will are subjective obstacles to His life.
In order for God’s life to have a way in us, we need to have a renewed mind, a strong and pliable will, and an emotion one with the Lord.
We need to cooperate with the Lord to drop our concepts, views, and opinions, and get into the word of God with much prayer to be renewed in the spirit of our mind so that we may have the mind of Christ.
We need to surrender our will to the Lord so that our will would be strong and pliable, a will in resurrection that can cooperate with the Lord. We need to have Christ saturating our emotions so that our tastes, likes, dislikes, loves, and hates would match the Lord’s.
This shows us that our entire being is a problem to God’s life, and our person is truly an obstacle for the living out of God’s life.
All our problems are due to our person, which has never been broken by God; so that God’s life would come out of us and be lived out in us, our person needs to be broken and shattered, and our inner man needs to be strengthened and renewed.
On the one hand we need to experience the breaking of the outer man, and on the other, we need to be daily strengthened into the inner man so that Christ can make His home in our heart, the main parts of which are the mind, will, and emotion (Eph. 3:16-17).
We can tell the Lord,
Lord Jesus, we acknowledge that our entire being – even our very person – is an obstacle and a hindrance to the living out and flowing of Your life in us and through us. Our need is to be broken in the outer man. Therefore, Lord, strengthen us into the inner man so that Christ can make His home in our heart. Amen, Lord, make Your home in us and saturate our mind, emotion, and will with Your very person, so that You may be expressed and lived out in us!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by Ed Marks for this week, and portions from, Knowing Life and the Church, ch. 4 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Knowing Life and the Church, msg. 2 (week 2), The Knowledge of Life.
- Hymns on this topic:
# All self-love has to go / That His life may flow… Hallelujah! / Dig away, dig away, dig away, / All my troublesome emotions dig away! (Hymns #1214)
# I open now, / With all my heart. / Lord, more and more possess each part. / Oh Lord, I pray / Subdue my soul. / Until You have the full control. / Oh Lord, make home / In all my heart. / Lord, saturate and fill each part. / Oh Lord, make home / In all our heart. / Lord, constitute Your counterpart. (Song on breaking through)
# By the cross discern the spirit, / With the mind by light renewed, / All emotion consecrated, / And the will in love subdued. (Hymns #748)
Latest posts by aGodMan (see all)
- Seeing the Degradation of the Church from God’s Original Intention for the Church - November 22, 2017
- The Original Condition of the Church and the need for the Recovery of the Church - November 21, 2017
- The Recovery of the Church in Relation to God’s Intention and Satan’s Destruction - November 20, 2017