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Burdens of the Spirit   Leave a comment

The Spiritual Man

The Spiritual Man by Watchman Nee
Volume II
Part Six: Walking After the Spirit
Chapter 2: The Laws of the Spirit

(5) Burdens of the Spirit

“The burdens of the spirit differ from the weights on the spirit. The latter proceed from Satan with the intent of crushing the believer and making him suffer, but the former issue from God in His desire to manifest His will to the believer so that he may cooperate with Him. Any weight on the spirit has no other objective than to oppress; it therefore usually serves no purpose and produces no fruit. A burden of the spirit, on the other hand, is given by God to His child for the purpose of calling him to work, to pray, or to preach. It is a burden with purpose, with reason, and for spiritual profit. We must learn how to distinguish the burden of the spirit from the weight on the spirit.

“Satan never burdens Christians with anything; he only encircles their spirit and presses in with a heavy weight. Such a load binds one’s spirit and throttles his mind from functioning. A person with a burden or concern from God merely carries it; but the one who is oppressed by Satan finds his total being bound. With the arrival of the power of darkness, a believer instantaneously forfeits his freedom. A God-given burden is quite the reverse. However weighty it may be, God’s concern is never so heavy as to throttle him from praying. The freedom of prayer will never be lost under any burden from God: yet the enemy’s weight which forces itself upon one’s spirit invariably denies one his freedom to pray. The burden imparted by God is lifted once we have prayed, but the heaviness from the enemy cannot be raised unless we fight and resist in prayer. The weight on the spirit steals in unawares, whereas the concern of the spirit results from God’s Spirit working in our spirit. The load upon the spirit is most miserable and oppressive, while the burden of the spirit is very joyous (naturally the flesh does not deem it so), for it summons us to walk together with God (see Matt. 11.30). It turns bitter only when opposed and its demand is not met.

“All real works begin with burdens or concerns in the spirit. (Of course, when the spirit lacks any concern we need to exercise our minds.) When God desires us to labor or speak or pray, He first implants a burden in our spirit. Now if we are acquainted with the laws of the spirit we will not continue on carelessly with the work in hand and allow the burden to accrue. Nor will we neglectfully disregard the burden until it is no longer sensed. We should lay everything aside immediately to ferret out the meaning of this burden. Once we have discerned its import, we can act accordingly. And when the work called for is done, the burden then leaves us.

“In order to receive burdens from God our spirit has to be kept continuously free and untrampled. Only an untrammeled spirit can detect the movement of the Holy Spirit. Any spirit which is already full of concerns has lost the sharpness of its intuitive sense and hence cannot be a good vessel. Due to his failure to act according to the burden which he already has received from God, the believer often finds himself painfully burdened for many days. During this period God is unable to give him any new one. Consequently, it is highly necessary to search out the meaning of a burden through prayer, with the help of the Holy Spirit and the exercise of one’s mind.”

The Spiritual Man

The Messenger of the Cross by Watchman Nee   4 comments

Watchman Nee

Watchman Nee

[15 December 2009]

John 12: 32: “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”

I will be staying here with a friend in Belgrade, Montana for a couple of nights. This morning I noticed a book by Watchman Nee, The Messenger of the Cross. I read Chapter One before I came to the library. Here are some good quotes:

Page 7: “Paul’s message is the cross, and he himself is a crucified person. In the preaching of the cross, he adopts the way of the cross. A crucified person preaches the message of the cross in the spirit of the cross. How often what we preach is indeed the cross; but our attitude, our words and our feelings do not seem to bear witness to what we preach. Much preaching of the cross is not done in the spirit of the cross! Paul wrote to the Corinthian believers that he ‘came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom when proclaiming’ to them ‘the testimony of God.’ The testimony of God here refers to the word of the cross. Paul did not use lofty words of wisdom in proclaiming the cross but came in the spirit of the cross: ‘My speech and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in the demonstration of the Spirit and of power.’ Such is truly the spirit of the cross.

“The cross is the wisdom of God, though to unbelieving men it is foolishness. When we proclaim the ‘foolish’ message, we must assume the ‘foolish’ way, adopt the ‘foolish’ attitude, and use the ‘foolish’ words. The victory of Paul lies in the fact that he is indeed a crucified person. He can therefore proclaim the cross with the attitude as well as the spirit of the cross. He who has not experienced crucifixion will not be filled with the spirit of the cross; and consequently he is not fit to proclaim the message of the cross.”

Page 8: “The word of the cross which we so often proclaim is actually not ours but is borrowed–it is gleaned from books or from searching the Scriptures with our brain power. People with clever minds and those who are used to preaching are particularly prone to such danger. I am afraid that all their research, study, reading, and hearing talks on the mystery of the cross in its various aspects is for other people and not first for themselves. Consistently thinking of other people and neglecting our own lives will eventually result in spiritual famine!”

Page 11: “We cannot give what we do not have. If all we have is thought, we can only give thought. If in our life we do not have the experience of co-death with Christ to overcome sin and self nor the experience of taking up the cross to follow the Lord and suffer with Him, and if our knowledge of the word of the cross is obtained through people’s pens and mouths but we cannot impart life; all we can do is instill the idea of the life of the cross in people’s minds. Only when we ourselves are transformed by the cross and have received its spirit as well as its life are we able to impart the cross to other people.”

Page 12: “Man’s thought, word, eloquence and argument can only stir up the human soul, since these reach to the soulical part of man. They merely excite man’s emotion, mind and will. Life, however, may reach man’s spirit; and all the works of the Holy Spirit are done in our spirit–that is, in our inward man (see Rom. 8.16; Eph .3.16). As we in our spiritual experience let flow our life in the spirit, the Holy Spirit will send forth His life to the spirits of others and cause them to receive either regenerated life or the life more abundant.”

Page 13: “We become a living teaching and a living word; and what we preach is no longer simply an idea which we know but is our real life. This is the meaning of being ‘doers of the word’ according to the Biblical sense.”

Page 15: “For if we really are full of the Spirit due to the deeper work of the cross in us, we will spontaneously diffuse life in our conversation and our talk–whether private or public–so as to enrich those with whom we have contact. This does not require any self-effort or self-fabrication, but should be something most natural. And this thus fulfills what the Lord Jesus declares in John 7: 38: ‘He that believeth on me . . . from within him shall flow rivers of living water.'”

Shiloh

Posted December 15, 2012 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

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The Cross of Christ by Watchman Nee   2 comments

The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee
Chapter 2: “The Cross of Christ”:

Page 34: “So we see that objectively the Blood deals with our sins. The Lord Jesus has borne them on the Cross for us as our Substitute and has thereby obtained for us forgiveness, justification and reconciliation. But we must now go a step further in the plan of God to understand how he deals with the sin principle in us. The Blood can wash away my sins, but it cannot wash away my ‘old man.’ It needs the Cross to crucify me. The Blood deals with the sins, but the Cross must deal with the sinner.”

Pages 35-36: “How were we constituted sinners? By Adam’s disobedience. We do not become sinners by what we have done but because of what Adam has done and has become. I speak English, but I am not thereby constituted an Englishman. I am in fact a Chinese. So chapter 3 draws our attention to what we have done—‘all have sinned’—but it is nevertheless not because we have done it that we become sinners.

“I once asked a class of children, ‘Who is a sinner?’ and their immediate reply was, ‘One who sins.’ Yes, one who sins is a sinner, but the fact that he sins is merely the evidence that he is already a sinner; it is not the cause. One who sins is a sinner, but it is equally true that one who does not sin, if he is of Adam’s race, is a sinner too, and in need of redemption. Do you follow me? There are bad sinners and there are good sinners, there are moral sinners and there are corrupt sinners, but they are all alike sinners. We sometimes think that if only we had not done certain things all would be well; but the trouble lies far deeper than in what we do: it lies in what we are. A Chinese may be born in America and be unable to speak Chinese at all, but he is a Chinese for all that, because he was born a Chinese. It is birth that counts. So I am a sinner because I am born in Adam. It is a matter not of my behavior but of my heredity, my parentage. I am not a sinner because I sin, but I sin because I come from the wrong stock. I sin because I am a sinner.

“We are apt to think that what we have done is very bad, but that we ourselves are not so bad. God is taking pains to show us that we ourselves are wrong, fundamentally wrong. The root trouble is the sinner; he must be dealt with. Our sins are dealt with by the Blood, but we ourselves are dealt with by the Cross. The Blood procures our pardon for what we have done; the Cross procures our deliverance from what we are.”

The Spiritual Man