THE WAY TO ENJOY CHRIST
The vital point is that we need to enjoy this wonderful One as so many items. God the Father is in the Son (14:10-11), and God the Son is the Spirit (2 Cor. 3:17; 1 Cor. 15:45b). We must realize that not only is God Himself Spirit (John 4:24), but all of what God is, what He has attained, and what He has accomplished has been wrought into the Spirit. After the resurrection and ascension of Christ, many things were accomplished by God; thus, God has many attainments. He has accomplished creation, incarnation, human living, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. All of what He is and has, all of what He has attained and accomplished, has been put into this one Spirit.
Now He is this wonderful and profound Spirit, who is likened to breath (20:22). In John 20 everything concerning the promise of the Holy Spirit as the Comforter was accomplished, so the Lord Jesus came to the disciples, breathed into them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (v. 22). The all-inclusive, profound Holy Spirit is like the breath. All of what God is, all of what God has accomplished, and all of what God has attained is in this Spirit, this breath. The Spirit is like the air, so applicable, available, near, and dear. Because He is the air, Romans 10:13 says, “Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Therefore, the unbelievers who are going to receive Christ do not need to ascend into heaven to bring Christ down (v. 6) or descend into the abyss to bring Christ up (v. 7). The reason is that Christ, the living Word, is near them, in their mouth and even in their heart (v. 8). If they would exercise their mouth to call, “Lord Jesus,” Christ as the all-inclusive breath would come into them.
According to the Gospel of John, this wonderful divine Spirit came into our human spirit (3:6) at the time we received Him. Thus, 1 Corinthians 6:17 says, “He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit,” and Romans 8:16 says, “The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit.” Since God is Spirit (John 4:24) and He is now in our spirit (2 Tim. 4:22), we must worship Him in spirit and truthfulness.
Christ is in us as so many items! The first item is the Lamb, the One who redeems us. The last item is the building, the temple, which is enlarged to be a city. However, the key to our experience of Christ is that He is the Spirit in us. John 4 tells us that the fountain of water is in the one who drinks the water given by the Lord. John 7 tells us that rivers of living water will flow out of the innermost being of the person who believes in the Lord Jesus (vv. 38-39). Many rivers of living water will flow out from within our spirit, our innermost being. I once thought that the Lord would flow water into me, but the Lord springs up within us and flows out of us because He is in us already. There is little need for Him to come in, but there is much need for Him to come out, to flow out. However, why can He not flow out? You and I are the problem. Therefore, there is the need for us to open ourselves to the Lord.
The divine Spirit is within us energizing, empowering, strengthening, and even disturbing us. Through Christ’s redemption, by His blood, we have been cleansed and purged to fit His purpose of indwelling us. He is now dwelling within our spirit. All that the Triune God is and all that He has attained and accomplished is within our spirit. Now we must learn to open ourselves to Him, realizing that He is everything within us. We can never exhaust what He is within us. He is the great I Am (8:24, 28, 58). Whatever we need, He is.
There is no need for a husband to ask, “Lord, help me to deal with my dear wife. I do not know how to deal with her.” Just learn to open yourself to Him, saying, “Lord, I just open myself to You. Once again, here is a chance for me to open myself to You.” Sometimes it is difficult for the Lord to get you to open from the depths of your being. Therefore, the Lord gives you the right wife to help you to open yourself to the Lord. He is the great I Am. He is the answer. He will meet your need. If you open to Him, you will know how to deal with your wife, not in the way of mere mental knowledge but according to the life within. From within, you will know how to deal with your wife in a proper way, in a divine way, in a heavenly way, in a way that will bring growth in the Lord to you.
Because the Lord is within, you must learn to open yourself to Him. Whenever you open yourself to Him, He will flow out. We have frustrated and even imprisoned the Lord within us so much. We pay attention to things other than the Lord Himself. You may pray, “Lord, correct my dear wife, change her attitude, and tell her that she is wrong.” This is the wrong way to pray. In the Lord’s sovereignty, a man’s wife can help him to open himself to the Lord. When you open yourself to the Lord, the rivers of living water, such as the river of life, the river of love, the river of wisdom, the river of humility, the river of mercy, and the river of patience, will flow from within you to water you and others. This is the issue of the enjoyment of the tree of life.
In Genesis 2 there is the tree of life with the flow of a river (vv. 9-10). When we really enjoy the Lord as the tree of life, there will be an issue. Something will flow out of us to minister something of the Lord Himself to others. This flow will quench others’ thirst, feed others, enlighten others, or strengthen others. This is the proper way for us to live on this earth as the testimony of Jesus. This is what the Lord needs today. He does not need a religion with various kinds of teachings, practices, and gifts; rather, He needs this flow of life from within us. We need to realize what He is and where He is. He is such a wonderful, rich, all-inclusive Spirit, and He is in our spirit. He is waiting for us to open ourselves to Him. Do not trust in yourself, and do not endeavor to do anything by your own effort. There is only one lesson for us to learn: to open ourselves to the Lord. Then He will come out; He will spring up from within us. As a result, we will have rivers of living water flowing out of us all the time. This is the issue, the result, of the enjoyment of God as the all-inclusive tree of life.
(Excerpt from The Tree of Life, ch. 5)