THE OUTER MAN AND THE INNER MAN
Since I mentioned Watchman Nee yesterday, I thought you would enjoy a very important distinction he makes between the “outer man” and the “inner man”. Paul says that “though our outer self (man) is wasting away, our inner self (man) is being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16). I doubt anyone would disagree that our physical bodies deteriorate with age and we often “groan” (Romans 8:23) because our condition weakens over time. But how is the “inner self (man) being renewed day by day”? Paul answers that question in several ways. Paul prayed “before the Father that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,” (Ephesians 3:16). The “Spirit helps us in our weakness…Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” Romans 8:26.
Nee says, “God has placed Himself, His Spirit, His life, and His power in us, that is, in our inner man. In order for a man to work for God, his inner man must be released.” We must realize how much of our inner man is being trapped and controlled by the outer man. Let us allow the Holy Spirit to “strengthen us with power through his Spirit in your inner being” so that we can be released to do God’s work and see His results, not ours.
Nee, Watchman, The Breaking of the Outer Man and the Release of the Spirit, Living Stream Ministry, 1997, page 8.
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