When speaking of Christ growing in us we need to realize that, in order for Him to increase within us we need a renewed mind (we need to be renewed in the spirit of our mind) and a submissive will (our will needs to be subdued and be in harmony with God).
Having Christ growing in us is not merely in the matter of Bible knowledge or Scriptural doctrine; mere increase of knowledge or improvement of behavior based on our Scriptural knowledge is not an indicator of Christ growing in us.
We need to realize that, as believers in Christ, we have Christ as the Spirit mingled with our spirit, and now this “mingled spirit” wants to spread into our mind to renew it, into our will to subdue it, and into our emotion to temper and balance it, so that Christ would make His home in our heart through faith (Eph. 3:16-17).
If you really consider this matter you will realize that Satan NEVER asks for our permission to infuse his thoughts, lusts, desires, and will into us; he simply deceives us, tricks us, and cons us into obeying him, and as we taste the momentary seeming sweetness of sin, we are injected with death and sin rules in our being.
But God is so great and good, and He always asks for our permission; we need to be those who cooperate with the Lord to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who operates in us both the willing and the working for His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13). God never “tricks us” into doing what He wants; He calls us to Himself, reveals Himself to us, and as we are drawn to Him, we take the decision to spend time with Him, and in this time He infuses Himself into us to make us one with Him.
Again and again, we need to give the Lord more ground in our being and choose Him willingly, and then He can operate in us; if we don’t choose the Lord and we don’t open to Him, by default we will fall into Satan’s snare and do his will.
We need to be on the Lord’s side, being actively and willingly involved with Him to open to Him and enjoy Him, spend time with Him, and let Him operate in us, and we will be filled with Him for the increase of Christ in our being.
Our will must be Subdued to be in Harmony with God for Christ to Increase in us
We not only have a big problem with our mind before God (in that it needs to be renewed), but we have another problem: our will, which is apart from God, does not choose God, and thinks it is “free” to choose whatever it wants, when in fact it chooses Satan and his choices by default….The unique lesson of a Christian, as far as inner life goes, is to be renewed in the mind and to be subdued in the will.
In order for Christ to increase in us, our will needs to be subdued and be in harmony with God. The One whom we love and who lives in us is the strongest One; He will never be subdued, even though we may try to suppress Him or put Him aside.
Our will represents our very self: our willingness or unwillingness, our wanting or un-wanting, our deciding or not deciding – all are functions of our will. Just as a ship is being turned according to a small yet important rudder, so the will turns a man where it wills. When people say, I don’t want to do this….or, I decided to go there… – this is the will in action.
Our emotion is expressed in how we feel, our mind is our thinking and rationalizing, but our will is what we want and decide. Our will is deeper than our emotion and our mind, and if we want to pursue after the spiritual life, we need to have our will dealt with before the Lord.
In Phil. 2:12-13 Paul speaks of our will: in the matter of salvation we need to work it out with fear and trembling; when our will is touched, softened, and subdued, we become not just “humble persons” but men with the fear of God inwardly and with trembling without.
Inwardly we fear not problems or people but fear disobeying god, and outwardly we’re in trembling because our will is subdued by God. since our whole being moves according to our will, our will is the most powerful part of our being and represents our whole being (John 7:17).
A subdued will to God is a wonderful thing to Him; the Lord considers the submission of our will a most beautiful thing. This is seen in type in Song of Songs 4:4, where the neck of the seeker is likened the tower of David, filled with defensive weapons. When our will is submissive to God, God considers it something beautiful; furthermore, only a person whose will has been subdued by God, in whom Christ has increased in his will, can fight the spiritual warfare.
Our will needs to be touched by the Lord and subdued by Him so that we may no longer be stubborn, independent, and rebellious but depend on Him, are subdued before Him, and we fear the Lord, thus being qualified to fight the spiritual warfare by being one with Him.
For the Lord to subdue our will, we need to give Him the permission; He is faithful to operate in us through the environment and things and people, but He also needs our cooperation and consent in order for Him to touch and subdue our will.
Because we are born in sin, we are born rebellious against God; even after being regenerated, in many things and situations we are rebellious against Him and do not go along with His will. We need to tell the Lord,
Lord Jesus, make us willing for You to touch our will. We want to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, cooperating with the inner operating God. Oh Lord, may we no longer be rebellious, independent, and stubborn, but may our will be touched, subdued, and softened so that we may have the fear of God and live in trembling, fully one with God. Lord Jesus, increase in our will. Gain our cooperation and consent again and again, and have a way to touch us, subdue us, and make us fully one with You, even in harmony with You!
Being one with God’s Will by not only being Subdued but by being in Harmony with God’s Will
When people hear of being “subdued” they don’t like it; no one likes to be subdued, even they know this is what needs to happen. There is a difference between being subdued by God and being in harmony with God’s will.
For example, a slave is subdued and submissive, and he does what the master tells him to do; but once the opportunity arises, he is ready to run or rebel against the master. On the other hand, the son of the master loves his father and is one with him to carry out his will, and he does it in harmony with his father’s will.
The Lord doesn’t want to merely “subdue our will” as in “put us down and keep us down, while He does what He wants”; He wants that we would be one with Him and have a living that is in harmony with Him. In order for us to have a union of our will with God, He must subdue the activities of our will and the life of the will.
God operates through all things, persons, and matters to subdue the activities of our will; however, He wants to not just subdue us but gain us to be one with Him even in the aspect of life, nature, and tendency.
A will that is in complete harmony with God is one in which one’s whole heart is placed in the will of God. Only those who are in harmony with God can truly comprehend God’s heart. If a believer has not reached the point where his will and God’s will are in complete harmony, he has not yet experienced the highest point of the spiritual life. Submission to God is good, but when grace has completely overcome the natural disposition, the believer will be in complete harmony with God. Indeed, the union of the will is the highest point of the believer’s experience of life. Watchman Nee
A submissive will stops its own activities, but once another situation or activity arises, it may rebel against God again; a harmonious will is one with God and is of the same heart as God (John 4:34; Matt. 26:39).
The Lord Jesus was not just “subdued” before the Father; He was fully one with the Father, accepting the cup of suffering the Father allotted Him, and He didn’t rebel against God when He was about to lay down His life.
Can we stop when the Lord wants us to stop? He may assign us and commission us to do something for Him, but can we STOP when He wants us to stop, and then turn and do what He tells us to do – simply because we are in harmony with Him?
A will that is in complete harmony with God is a will in which our whole heart is placed in the will of God; only when our will is in harmony with Go can we know God’s heart (John 7:17; Eph. 1:9).
The apostle Paul was not just subdued by God on the way to Damascus; he allowed God to shine and penetrate and subdue him, and he became one with God to the point that he saw what was on God’s heart, the mystery hidden from the ages but revealed to us in spirit: the economy of God!
For Christ to increase in us means that we need to have our mind renewed and our will subdued and in harmony with God; when the Lord gains us as those who are fully one with His will, He can increase in us and have us formed as His army to fight for His interest on earth.
Lord Jesus, we want to reach the point where we are not only subdued in our will before God but are in harmony with God’s will! May grace completely overcome our natural disposition and Christ increase in us until we are in complete harmony with God! Lord Jesus, we love You, and we give You the ground in our being to renew us and subdue us so that we may be fully one with You! Lord, increase Yourself within us. Renew our mind, subdue our will, possess our emotions, and make home in all our heart!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by brother Minoru C. for this week, and portions from Collected Works of Watchman Nee, vol. 14, pp. 586-587, as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Increase of Christ for the Building up of the Church (2016 Memorial day Weekend Conference), week 5 / msg. 5, The Increase of Christ in the Believers Being Their Spiritual Progress and Growth in Life.
- Hymns on this topic:
# My stubborn will at last hath yielded; / I would be Thine, and Thine alone, / And this the prayer my lips are bringing, / “Lord, let in me Thy will be done.” / Sweet will of God, still fold me closer, / Till I am wholly lost in Thee; / Sweet will of God, still fold me closer, / Till I am wholly lost in Thee. (Hymns #383)
# Dear Lord Jesus, precious Jesus, / How can I still stubborn be? / At Thy feet cast all my hard’nings, / And return with songs and singings; / ’Tis my love to be Thy bondslave, / ’Tis my joy to Thee obey. (Hymns #1158)
# Capture me; / Be the conqueror of this / Wild, charging mare. / Win me Lord, / And subdue all pow’r of self / To yield to Thee. / Draw me, Lord; / Ev’ry heartbeat tends to drift / My course from Thee. / Draw me, Lord; / I would gladly let Thee win / And yield my sword. (Song on being subdued by the Lord)
# 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 being drawn by Christ)
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