The Body And Life
…Now we must consider the way to overcome Satan. In her writings, Mrs. Jesse Penn-Lewis had a great deal to say about overcoming Satan. However, although I put her suggestions into practice, what she suggested did not work for me. What Mrs. Penn-Lewis wrote regarding this matter was correct, but I had no way to apply it.
Since the time Mrs. Penn-Lewis wrote her best books, more than fifty years have gone by. By the Lord’s mercy and grace, the saints have gone on during these years to see two important matters related to spiritual warfare: the Body and life.
A Matter Of Life And The Body
In the early 1940s Brother Nee gave a number of messages in Shanghai on the subject of the Body. He told us that spiritual warfare is not an individual matter, but a Body matter. Satan is the enemy of the Body. Hence, in order to overcome him, we must stand with the Body.
The Spiritual Man, completed in 1928, presented spiritual warfare as an individual matter, not as a Body matter. For this reason, after he had come to see the Body, Brother Nee told some of us that he did not want to have it reprinted.
Overcoming Satan By Abiding In Christ
Do not try in yourself to overcome Satan. The writings of Mrs. Penn-Lewis regarding the warfare with Satan were not wrong, but they placed too much emphasis on the negative aspect. Mrs. Penn-Lewis said that the way to overcome Satan is by seeing that we have been crucified with Christ on the cross.
According to the New Testament, it is a fact that through the cross Christ has destroyed the Devil (Heb. 2:14). Nevertheless, the more we try to cross out our flesh, the more active and living our flesh becomes.
What Mrs. Penn-Lewis saw was mainly on the negative side—the matter of reckoning ourselves dead. She saw very little, if any, on the positive side.
Overcoming Satan is not a matter of making up our mind to put our flesh on the cross; it is a matter of seeing that the very Christ who is life to us is now in our spirit and then of seeing that we must abide in Him.
Since Christ is in our spirit, we must remain in the spirit if we would abide in Him. If we stay in our spirit, we have the reality of being crucified with Christ, and we have Christ as our reigning life. In ourselves we cannot reign over Satan, but in Christ as the reigning life we can reign over him.
Instead Of Trying To Defeat Satan We Should Stay In The High Tower Of Our Regenerated Spirit
Do not try to defeat Satan. He is too strong, too powerful, for you. The more you try to defeat him, the more you will be defeated by him. None of us is an exception. The only way to overcome Satan is to stay in the high tower of our regenerated spirit. When we are in this tower, we can laugh at Satan and say, “Satan, don’t you know that I am here in the high tower of my spirit? What can you do to me? Very shortly, you will be crushed under our feet.”
As Long As We Remain In Our Spirit, Satan Cannot Touch Us
Because we have the Son, we have life (1 John 5:11-12). Do you know where the Son of God is within you? He is in your spirit. Thus, your spirit is a place of protection, a high tower. The very life in which and with which we overcome Satan is now in our regenerated spirit. As long as we remain in our regenerated spirit, Satan, the evil one, cannot touch us. This is the way to overcome Satan.
Healthy Fear Of Staying Out Of Spirit
We are either in the spirit or in the flesh. There is no third place for us to be. Whenever we are out of the spirit, we are spontaneously in our flesh, where Satan dwells as sin.
If I remain in my mind and my wife remains in her mind, it will be impossible for us to be one. I have learned to have a healthy fear of staying in my mind. Oh, I want to be in my spirit! Whenever I am in the spirit, there is no problem with oneness.
Both in the church life and in our family life we must be afraid of our minds that are so easily set on the flesh, afraid of the division caused by our dissenting thoughts and opinions (see Romans 8:6). When we find ourselves thinking critically of others, we need to turn immediately to the Lord in our spirit and pray. We all must learn the lesson of turning to the spirit and staying there.
Escape Into The High Tower Of Your Spirit
Never neglect your regenerated spirit, the high tower within you where you may hide from Satan. Whenever you are tempted to argue with your wife or husband, you should run into this tower.
Arguments in married life come from the mind assisted by the flesh. Whenever a brother has negative thoughts about his wife, the flesh will try to provoke him to argue with her. This indicates that the flesh is always ready to help the mind in a negative way.
What should we do about this? We should escape into the high tower of our reborn spirit, the place where Satan cannot touch us, the place where we enjoy Christ as our life and experience the reality of the Body. When we are in such a place, Satan can do nothing to us.