4. The Heart and Spirit of a Leading One
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  • 05-06,
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Scripture Reading: Ezek.36:26-27; Matt.5:3,8; Eph.3:16-17,20-21; Rev.1:10; 4:2; 17:3; 21:10
I. God's promise to His chosen ones was that He would give them a new heart and a new spirit and that He would put His Spirit within them—Ezek.36:26-27:
A. We all need a new start to maintain the newness of our heart and our spirit—2 Cor.4:16; Rom.7:6; cf.Prov.4:23; 1 Pet.3:4.
B. Our heart is our loving organ,and our spirit is our receiving organ; while we are in a fallen or backslidden state,our heart toward the Lord is stony and hard,and our spirit is deadened—Eph.2:1; 4:18.
C. When the Lord saves us or revives us,He renews our heart,making our stony heart a heart of flesh,a heart that is soft and loving toward Him; furthermore,He enlivens and renews our spirit with His divine life—cf.2 Cor.3:3; Col.2:13.
D. As a result,we love the Lord and desire Him with our renewed heart,and we can contact Him,receive Him,and contain Him by exercising our renewed spirit.
 

II. The New Testament begins by speaking of our heart and our spirit—Matt.3:2; John 3:6:
A. John the Baptist first preached the gospel in the New Testament by declaring,"Repent,for the kingdom of the heavens has drawn near"—Matt.3:2:
1. According to the Greek,to repent is to have a change in our mind or a turn in our thinking; because the mind is the main part of the heart,to repent is a matter of the heart.
2. A thoroughly repentant heart will become a new heart; because our God is a God of life and is all-powerful,He gives us a new heart by transforming our heart—2 Cor.3:16,18.
B. A softened heart is a transformed heart,a new heart; we believers need to repent again and again; every time we repent,our heart will be more transformed and renewed; in Revelation 2 and 3 the Lord repeatedly calls the churches to repent—2:5,16,21-22; 3:3,19.
III. As a leading one,a person must have an enlarged heart:
A. A leading one must be large in heart—Psa.119:32:
1. We must be genuine ministers of the new covenant,having an enlarged heart with the intimate concern of the ministering life,which is a fruitful life—2 Cor.7:2-3:
a. With an enlarged heart the apostles were able to embrace all believers regardless of their condition,and with an opened mouth they were able to speak to all believers frankly concerning the real situation into which they had been misled—6:11.
b. This kind of openness and enlargement is needed to reconcile,to bring back,the misled or distracted believers to God.
2. Solomon was competent to oversee God's people because he had wisdom and a large heart,which are two aspects of one thing:
a. Though he only asked for the wisdom and knowledge to go out and come in among God's people (1 Kings 3:5-9; 2 Chron.1:10),God gave him "largeness of heart,even as the sand that is on the seashore" (1 Kings 4:29).
b. The seashore encloses the sea,God having "set the sand as a boundary for the sea" (Jer.5:22); this shows that Solomon's heart was larger than the sea.
B. There are difficulties in many local churches today because the elders do not have a large heart; pride,an expression of foolishness,comes from having a narrow heart:
1. Pride is an attribute of our fallen nature by birth.
2. Even with Paul,the Lord was wary of his exceeding exaltation of himself,so He let him have a thorn in his flesh from Satan—2 Cor.12:7-9.
3. Hence,the apostle Paul taught that a new convert should not be an overseer of the church,lest being blinded with pride he fall into the judgment prepared for the devil—1 Tim.3:6.
4. Always remember that humility saves you from all kinds of destruction and invites God's grace—James 4:6.
5. Pride makes you a top fool.
6. Rivalry in the Lord's work is not only a sign of ambition but also a sign of pride.
7. Caring for your prestige and neglecting others' dignity are a sign of subtle pride.
8. Referring to your capacity,success,perfection,and virtue is a careless form of pride.
9. Thinking more highly of yourself than you ought to think is another form of pride and annuls the proper and organic order in the Body life—Rom.12:3.
10. Christ in His humanity humbling Himself to wash His disciples' feet gives us a good model of how to humble ourselves to escape from pride—John 13:3-5.
11. Arguing about who is greater is an ugly form of pride—Mark 9:34.
12. Wanting to be great and not to be a servant and wanting to be the first and not to be a slave are also signs of pride—Matt.20:26-27.
13. Lording it over the members of your church under your shepherding is a strong sign of your pride—1 Pet.5:3.
14. The apostle Paul presented us with a good model—1 Tim.1:16:
a. He preached Christ as the Lord and himself as the believers' slave for the Lord's sake—2 Cor.4:5.
b. He testified that whoever was weak,he also was weak,and that to the weak he became weak that he might gain the weak—11:29; 1 Cor.9:22.
15. To restore a brother,overtaken in some offense,with meekness (a gentle expression of humility) protects us from being tempted also—Gal.6:1.
16. Self-boasting,self-exaltation,self-glorification,and lusting after vainglory are all ugly and base expressions of pride—5:26.
C. In order to enlarge their heart,the leading ones in different localities should go to visit other places; if circumstances allow,it would be even better to travel overseas; the more we participate in the Lord's move,the more we see—Ezek.1:15-21.
D. The ability to forgive others when they have offended you is a matter of largeness of heart; if we have an argument with a brother,it is mostly because of the narrowness of our heart—Matt.6:14-15.
IV. The Lord Jesus followed John the Baptist by teaching that we need to be born of the Spirit in our spirit—John 3:6:
A. Our spirit is born again when God as the Spirit enters into it to regenerate us with the divine life; to be regenerated is to have the divine,eternal life (in addition to the human,natural life) as the new source and new element of a new person.
B. We need to repent in order to have a new heart,and we need to believe into the Lord Jesus so that our spirit will be reborn to become a new spirit.
C. We need a loving heart and a powerful spirit—Mark 12:30; 2 Tim.1:7.
D. A leading one must be a spiritual man with an exercised spirit; he must be dominated,governed,directed,led,and controlled by his spirit; a strong spirit is the main requirement for the leadership among God's people—1 Tim.4:7; 1 Cor.2:15; 14:32; John 4:24; 2 Cor.2:13; Rom.1:9; 8:16; 1 Cor.6:17.
E. We can maintain the newness of our spirit by serving in newness of spirit (Rom.7:6; 1:9) and by exercising our spirit of faith (2 Cor.4:13); faith is in our spirit,which is mingled with the Holy Spirit (Rom.8:16; 1 Cor.6:17),not in our mind; doubts are in our mind.
V. We need to be pure in heart (Matt.5:8) and poor in spirit (v.3):
A. We need a pure heart in order to see God,and we need a spirit that is emptied in order to receive the kingdom of the heavens.
B. To be pure in heart is to be single in our goal and aim; our goal should be God alone; even in our service and function in the church life,we should not have an intention to gain anything but God Himself.
C. If we come to a meeting with a sense that we are inwardly rich and have no need,this will close the door to God (Rev.3:16-17,20); we need to pray,"O Lord,thank You for always being with me,yet I am still short of You; I want to be emptied in my spirit so that You can have more room in me; O Lord,I open to You and ask You to gain more ground within my spirit."
VI. We need to be strengthened into our regenerated spirit so that Christ may make His home in our hearts—Eph.3:16-17:
A. When a saved one is strengthened into his spirit and possessed by Christ in his heart,deep within he has a longing for the church life and an inner consciousness concerning what the proper church life is.
B. To know the church is not outward but absolutely inward; that the highways to Zion are in our heart means that we need to take the way of the church internally,not merely externally—Psa.84:5.
C. When we are strengthened through the Spirit into our spirit and when Christ makes His home in our heart,God is able to do superabundantly above all that we ask or think concerning the church life; if all the saints pray daily for this,the glorious church life will spread and be prevailing throughout the United States and the whole world—Eph.3:20-21.
VII. We need to be in our spirit in order to see the visions in the book of Revelation:
A. This book is composed of four major visions: the churches (chs.1—3),the destiny of the world (chs.4—16),Babylon the Great (chs.17—20),and the New Jerusalem (chs.21—22); John was in his spirit when he saw these four visions (1:10; 4:2; 17:3; 21:10); we too need to be in our spirit to see the visions in this book.
B. If we pray for thirty days that the Lord would strengthen us into our spirit and take over our heart,we will have a clear view and will be assured concerning the whole situation of the universe,including the church,the world,Babylon the Great,and the New Jerusalem.
VIII. The Lord's recovery depends upon our renewed,purified heart and our renewed,strengthened spirit; when our heart is fully possessed by Christ and our spirit is thoroughly saturated with the Spirit,God will have a way,and the recovery will be prevailing.
 
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    Kuann Hung
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