Every believer in Christ needs to experience the breaking of the outer man for the release of the life of God in his spirit (Heb. 4:12).
When we received the Lord Jesus into us, He as the Spirit came into our human spirit and now dwells in us; the Lord is with our spirit (2 Tim. 4:22). However, in a real sense, Christ is “imprisoned” in us – He is confined to our spirit, unable to spread into our soul unless we cooperate with the Lord by allowing Him to break our soul, our outer man, so that Christ would flow and move freely in us.
In order for Christ to be released from the imprisonment of our soul, our outer man must be broken; for this, we need to be strengthened by God with power through His Spirit into the inner man so that Christ may make His home in our heart (Eph. 3:16-17).
This is seen in both Jacob’s life and in Paul’s life; in Jacob’s life he had to go through a lot of dealings and breaking, and at the end of his life he flowed out with blessing to everyone. In Paul’s life we see that for the sake of the gospel he went through a persecution, imprisonment, stoning, shipwreck, beating, and sufferings, and he confessed, Death operates in us and life in you.
The more Christ’s death operates in us, the more the outer man is broken under the Lord’s hand through our environment, the more the divine life has a way to flow through all our being and out of us to water those around us.
What the Lord needs today is open vessels, people who are open to His dealing and breaking, those who allow God to break them so that the Lord as the Spirit would flow out of them for the building up of Bethel, the house of God.
In order for God’s life to flow out of us, our soul needs to be broken; every part of our soul needs to be broken by God so that His life would flow freely. The breaking of our soul doesn’t mean that we no longer use our mind, emotion, and will; it means that our soul is made submissive to our mingled spirit, and Christ can flow and be expressed freely through the soul.
Our Outer Man needs to be Broken for the Release of the Spirit
When we were born again we received God’s life in our spirit, and the Lord Jesus as a living Person entered into us. However, He is confined to our spirit by the soul, since the soul envelops the spirit and is the main part of our being we live in daily.
In order for the mingled spirit – our human spirit mingled with Christ as the Spirit – to flow freely for the building up of the Body of Christ, the outer man needs to be broken.
To cooperate with the Lord for the breaking of the outer man it is good to pray over the word of God so that it may become living and operative, sharper than any two-edged sword, dividing the soul from the spirit, and able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Heb. 4:12).
We need to turn to our spirit, cross the river from the soul into the spirit, and cooperate with Christ in our spirit, allowing Him to break through and make His home in our hearts. May the Lord save us from being wandering in our soul, hesitating and lingering in the mind, or shrinking back to ruin (as the Hebrew believers were).
May we come forward to Christ in our spirit, let our heart be turned to Him, get out of the mess and mixture of our soul, and turn to our spirit! There has to be a dividing between the soul and the spirit, and in order for Christ to be released from the imprisonment of the soul, our outer man MUST be broken.
The only way we can have the proper church life today is by having Christ break out of the prison of our soul and flow freely among the saints for the building up of the Body. But many times we have to admit that Christ is imprisoned by the soulish life in us.
How we need the Lord to strengthen us into our inner man with power so that Christ may break forth and break through and make His home in our heart through faith (Eph. 3:16-17)! We need the Father’s strengthening through the Spirit with the power that raised Christ from the dead, seated Him at the right hand in the heavenlies, subjected all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church!
When we are strengthened into our inner man with such a dynamo, such a fourfold power, our inner man will be strong and our outer man will be broken under the dealings by God, and Christ will make His home in our heart through faith! Our soul needs to be invaded, saturated, and permeated with Christ who is the Spirit with our spirit.
We need to just stay open to the Lord as He uses all kinds of outward things to break the outer man and make His home in our heart, and He wants our spirit to released for the building up of the church as the Body of Christ.
Every Part of our Soul needs to be Broken by God so that His Life may Flow Freely
In order for the spring of water to flow out there has to be a breaking of the ground, a hole dug in the earth. In order for God’s life to flow out freely in us and out of us we need to be broken. When we take up our cross, deny the self, and lose our soul life (John 12:24-26), our outer man is broken and God’s life is released to flow out.
We need the death of Christ so that we may have the flow of the life of Christ. His dealing with us and breaking us is not negative but positive – it is so that His life may flow! The key to have the pure flow of life released is that our outer man would be broken so that the spirit would flow freely.
Every time we experience the death of Christ and we are one with Him in our circumstantial living, there is a chance for the flow of life to be released. We come to the Lord, allow Him to break us, and His life will flow (John 7:37-39). As death operates in us, as our outer man is broken by the Lord, life is released to others for the building up of the Body of Christ (2 Cor. 4:12).
The more we are broken, the more God’s life will flow out of us. Only one who is broken in his outer man can supply life to others. May we not remain “whole vessels” but may we be the “broken vessels” who are qualified to be channels of living water.
Every part of our soul needs to be broken by God so that His life would flow freely. This doesn’t mean that we no longer use our mind to think, express our emotions, or exercise our will to choose and decide. When our outer man is broken and God breaks every part of our soul, the functions of our soul still remain, but they have been dealt with, subdued, and made submissive to our spirit.
We are no longer dominated by our mood, our temper, our hot or cold or emotions, our stubborn or weak will, or our opinionated mind, but the soul is under the control of the mingled spirit. Our mind is renewed and the mingled spirit spreads into our mind to become “the spirit of our mind” (Eph. 4:23).
Our emotions are kept in check and we love with God as love, hate what He hates, and appreciate what He appreciates. His tastes and attitude are our tastes and attitude, and His actions become ours.
How much we need to exercise our spirit to enjoy the Lord and open to Him, and when the breaking comes (we do not need to pray for more breaking – God brings it to us) – we need to cooperate with the Lord by being open to Him and willing to let Him deal with us.
Lord Jesus, we turn our heart to You. We want to fan into flame the gift of God which is within us, Christ in our spirit. Lord, keep us turning to You and opening to You. Even when You bring about the circumstances and people that You sovereignly arrange to contribute to our breaking – Keep us open to You! May there be the breaking of our outer man so that the mingled spirit would flow freely. Lord, release the flow of the divine life. Break through in us. Make Your home in our heart. Saturate us and permeate us. Flow freely in us and out of us for the building up of Your Body!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my Christian experience, bro. Dick Taylor’s sharing in the message for this week, and portions from, The Vision, Practice, and Building Up of the Church as the Body of Christ (pp. 76-78), as quoted in, the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-Study of Genesis (3), week 2 / msg 2, Chosen, Dealt with, and Broken (you can buy this morning revival book here).
- Recommended further reading: The Breaking of the Outer Man for the Release of the Spirit (by Watchman Nee).
- Hymns on this topic:
# Hallelujah! In the body we / Bear the death of Christ continually: / Thus His life comes forth for all to see as / The outer man is broken down, / The inner man is shining so that— / In these earthen vessels men can see / There’s the treasure of reality! (Hymns #1178)
# By the cross discern the spirit; / Passing thru the riven veil, / Flesh and soul are wholly broken, / And the spirit doth prevail. (Hymns #748)
# Lord, I treasure the sweet flow of life, / And my soul-life at last I lay down; / O Lord, deepen the pure flow of life; / At Your coming may life be my crown. (Hymns #1191)
# And Lord, I really want to know / This Person inside of me. / Lord, keep my heart open to You. / Keep flowing Your life, / Into me that I would grow, / And be saturated with You. (Song on Knowing Christ Within)
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