From “The Normal Christian Life”
by Watchman Nee, 1903-1972
Do you know, my friends, that the Spirit within you is very God? Oh that our eyes were opened to see the greatness of God’s gift! Oh that we might realise the vastness of the resources secreted in our own hearts!
I could shout with joy as I think. “The Spirit who dwells within me is no mere influence, but a living person; he is very God. The inﬁnite God is within my heart!”
I am at a loss to convey to you the blessedness of this discovery, that the Holy Spirit dwelling within my heart is a person.
I can only repeat, “He is a person!” and repeat it again, “He is a person!” and repeat it yet again, “He is a person!”
Oh, my friends, I would fain repeat it to you a hundred times. The Spirit of God within me is a Person! I am only an earthen vessel, but in that earthen vessel, I carry a treasure of unspeakable worth, even the Lord of glory.
All the worry and fret of God’s children would end if their eyes were opened to see the greatness of the treasure hid in their hearts. Do you know, there are resources enough in your own heart to meet the demand of every circumstance in which you will ever find yourself? Do you know there is power enough there to move the city in which you live? Do you know there is power enough to shake the universe? Let me tell you once more, l say it with the utmost reverence, you who have been born again of the Spirit of God you carry God in your heart!
All the flippancy of the children of God would cease too if they realised the greatness of the treasure deposited within them. If you have only ten shillings in your pocket you can march gaily along the street, talking lightly as you go and swinging your stick in the air. It matters little if you lose your money, for there is not much at stake. But if you carry a thousand pounds in your pocket, the position is vastly different and your whole demeanour will be different too. There will be great gladness in your heart but no careless jaunting along the road and once in a while you will slacken your pace and slipping your hand into your pocket, you will quietly finger your treasure again and then with joyful solemnity continue on your way.
In Old Testament times there were hundreds of tents in the camp of Israel, but there was one tent quite different from all the rest. In the common tents, you could do just as you pleased, eat or fast, work or rest, be joyful or sober, noisy or silent. But that other tent was a tent that commanded reverence and awe. You might move in and out of the common tents talking noisily and laughing gaily, but as soon as you neared that special tent you instinctively walked more quietly and when you stood right before it you bowed your head in solemn silence. No one could touch it with impunity. If man or beast dared to do so, death was the sure penalty. What was so very special about it? It was the temple of the living God. There was little unusual about the tent itself, for it was outwardly of very ordinary material, but the great God had chosen to make it his abode.
Do you realise what happened at your conversion? God came into your heart and made it his temple. In Solomon’s days, God dwelt in a temple made of stone, today he dwells in a temple composed of living believers. When we really see that God has made our hearts his dwelling-place, what a deep reverence will come over our lives! All lightness, all frivolity will end and all self-pleasing too, when we know that we are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells within us. Has it really come home to you that wherever you go you carry with you the Holy Spirit of God. You do not just carry your Bible with you or even much good teaching about God, but God himself.
The reason why many Christians do not experience the power of the Spirit, though he actually dwells in their hearts, is that they lack reverence. And they lack reverence because they have not had their eyes opened of the fact of his presence. The fact is there. but they have not seen it. Why is it that some of God’s children live victorious lives while others are in a state of constant defeat? The difference is not accounted for by the presence or absence of the Spirit (for he dwells in the heart of every child of God) but by this, that some recognise his indwelling and others do not. True revelation of the fact of the Spirit’s indwelling will revolutionise the life of any Christian.