Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States
By the cross discern the spirit.
Suppose we are fellowshipping with a brother. How can we discern whether our fellowship is of the spirit or of the soul? By putting the cross on our self, we will clearly know whether we are in the spirit or in the soul. We should not say, “I am not doing something evil. I am doing something good when I fellowship with a brother.” Fellowship is good, but our kind of fellowship may be entirely in the soul. When the cross is applied to our self, we will immediately be clear whether our fellowship is in the spirit or in the soul. We should never check the soul or the spirit by the discernment of good and evil. This kind of checking will only put us in darkness. There is no other way to check the soul and spirit but by the cross. The only way to determine whether we are in the soul or in the spirit is by checking whether we are now on the cross. Do we have any element of our own interest, or are we self-centered in our activities? Has the cross been put on our self-interest and self-centeredness? We need to check ourselves in this way. All decisions and all activities must be checked by the cross, not by the standard of good and evil. In every subject of conversation we need to ask ourselves whether the self has been crossed out. We should not analyze by considering, “Am I in the spirit or am I in the soul? Let me consider for a moment to see how deep my feeling is. If it is not very deep, I must be in the soul. But if it seems to be deep, I might be in the spirit.” If we analyze in this way, we will be troubled. Simply by one check, we can be made very clear: Have we been put on the cross? In other words, have we denied the self, taken up the cross, and followed the Lord in the spirit? When we deny the self by taking up the cross, the Lord Christ will have the full ground in us, and it will be easy for us go along with Him.- The Economy of God, Chapt. 13