The title of this chapter gives the reader a clue as to what this chapter is about. "My Laws In Their Hearts" is a fairly close quote from Jeremiah 31, in which God promised a "new covenant" for His people (see v. 33 for the origins of this chapter's title). But Watchman Nee does not cite that passage from Jeremiah. Instead he discusses how the Christian can be in and touch the world without being taken by it. Here are some of Nee's points from this chapter:
1. Nee begins by defining the world as "a spiritual system at the head of which is God's enemy." Satan has increased his efforts now to take over human hearts. That distresses God's people, who might try to physically separate themselves from the world.
2. But such separation is not of the Lord's will; Christians are to be in the world, protected by God from the evil one. But if we touch the world, how do we limit ourselves to remain safe?
3. Nee uses the analogy of opiate therapy in medicine. For the pain of illness, morphine works perfectly in limited and controlled amounts, and has great value. But if it is overused, then an unhealthy, dangerous addiction takes over, and the user may be lost. Such is the way of the Christian in the world; some use of its things is legitimate and safe, staying in the Lord's authority. But excessive use puts one directly into the hands of Satan.
4. How do we know when the safe limits have been reached? There are no proclaimed or formal guidelines. Nee states that the answer is to abide in the Lord Himself; if we stay in fellowship with Him, then the Holy Spirit in our hearts tells us when our limits in safely touching the world have been reached. Anointing from the Holy Spirit teaches the Christian all things if we abide in Him. The Holy Spirit knows God's safe limits for us in the world, and we must trust Him to inform us, as Jesus promised.
5. In 1 Corinthians 7:29-32, Paul wrote of the principle for Christians dealing with the world: ". . . those who have . . . should be as though they had none." (v. 29). So Christians are different in their approach to things of the world; their hearts are delivered from the worldly grip of its things. They may live as not having in the face of having in the world. They may use the world without being claimed by its leader. The Holy Spirit will show God's limits.
6. Jesus taught, "The prince of the world has nothing in Me," (John 14:30), meaning, per Nee, that He had kept His heart completely separated from the world, as an example for us. And the Holy Spirit has been provided for us to make the life from above real in us, under God's protection. In Christ, we Christians are not of the world or of the flesh but of God.
7. In the world, Satan exercises his power in all realms, but if Christians walk in the Spirit, then that power of the enemy vanishes. Nee observes that Satan cannot be anywhere where God is. The author finishes this chapter with two powerful questions for believers. 1) "Are we thus utterly for God?" and 2) Can Satan say of each of us, "I cannot entrap that person!"?
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Watchman Nee became a Christian in mainland China in 1920 at the age of seventeen and began writing in the same year. Throughout the nearly thirty years of his ministry, Watchman Nee was clearly manifested as a unique gift from the Lord to His Body for His move in this age. In 1952 he was imprisoned for his faith; he remained in prison until his death in 1972. His words remain an abundant source of spiritual revelation and supply to Christians throughout the world.
Love Not The World
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