The Hearing of Faith
We need to realize that there is a difference between the heart and the spirit. Our heart is an organ of love. Once I gave a message in which I pointed out that it is not enough just to have a loving heart toward the Lord. A particular sister was troubled by this and wanted to know what I meant by saying that we need something more than a loving heart. To illustrate, I asked her if she loved a certain Bible which belonged to her husband and if she would like to have it. Then I said, “The Bible is yours; please take it.” When she stretched out her hand to take the Bible, I said, “Do not use your hand. Just use your loving heart. Take the Bible with your heart.” Through this illustration she came to understand that having a loving heart is not sufficient. She also needed to stretch forth her hand to take the Bible. In like manner, we need both a heart to love the Lord and a spirit to receive Him.
Once we have acquired such a loving appetite for the Lord, we need to use our spirit as the organ to contact Him, receive Him, eat Him, drink Him, and breathe Him.
We love the Lord with our heart. The heart is the loving organ, but it is not the receiving organ. In order to take or receive anything we must use the proper organ. If we would contact the Lord, receive the Lord, enjoy the Lord, eat the Lord, and drink the Lord, we need a spirit. Whereas we love the Lord with our heart, we contact the Lord and receive the Lord with our spirit.
First, we need to love the Lord. This means that we have an appetite for the Lord. If we have no love for the Lord and no appetite for Him, we will not come to Him or receive Him. Before we were saved, we did not love the Lord and we did not have any appetite for the Lord. Instead, our taste was for the world and for the things of the world, especially worldly amusement. When others spoke to us about the Lord Jesus, we did not care to listen.We had no interest because we had no appetite. We loved other things, and our heart was set on those things. However, one day the Lord granted us His gracious visitation, and immediately our appetite was changed. We began to love the Lord and the Bible, and we lost our appetite for the worldly things. This was the Lord’s gracious doing, and it caused our heart to turn from the world to the Lord.
We need to love the Lord Jesus and have an appetite for Him that will turn us from the appetite for other things. We should be able to tell the Lord Jesus that we love Him and that we are hungry and thirsty for Him. Once we have acquired such a loving appetite for the Lord, we need to use our spirit as the organ to contact Him, receive Him, eat Him, drink Him, and breathe Him. Now we can see that we need two organs: a loving heart and a receiving spirit.
The receiving spirit has been greatly neglected by many Christians. In some places messages stir up people’s loving heart but give them no help to exercise their spirit. We thank the Lord that He has given us not only a new heart to love Him but also a new spirit to contact Him, receive Him, and contain Him.
Life-study of Ezekiel, pp. 191-193, by Witness Lee.
From Issue No. 88, September 2006