16 That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man,
17 That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 May be full of strength to apprehend with all the saints what the breadth and length and height and depth are
19 And to know the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God.
2 Timothy 1:
6 For which cause I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
7 For God has not given us a spirit of cowardice, but of power and of love and of sobermindedness.
Being Strengthened into the Inner Man
It is very difficult to remain in the spirit. We all are accustomed to going out from the spirit, not to going into the spirit and staying there. According to my experience, I can testify that I am not inclined to stay in the spirit. Because it is so easy for me to get out of the spirit, I am still learning to remain in the spirit. Whenever we stay in the spirit, we are strengthened; but whenever we go out from the spirit, we are weakened. Have you ever noticed how easy it is for your mind to wander when you are praying? When you are not praying, you may not think of certain things. But when you begin to pray, you may suddenly find your thoughts dwelling on one thing and then another. You may even make a fast trip to another part of the world. This is the reason we need to be strengthened into our inner man. The more we are strengthened, the more the parts of our inner being are brought back into the spirit, into our inner man.
We need to be strengthened in order to stay in our spirit and not to be distracted by thoughts regarding so many things. In order to pray without being distracted, we need to be strengthened into our inner man. Oh, how we need to be strengthened so that our whole being may come back to the inner man and stay there!
Building up a Habit of Exercising the Spirit
We must build up a habit of exercising our spirit. When I rise up in the morning, the first thing I spontaneously say is “O Lord.” To call on the Lord by saying, “O Lord” is a habit of exercising our spirit. To say “O Lord” as soon as you rise up in the morning makes a big difference. If you rise up in the morning without saying anything, you may pray in a routine way without really touching the Lord. This is because there is no exercise of your spirit. We have to build up a habit of saying, “O Lord.” When we say, “O Lord,” we touch the Lord. This is the habit of exercising our spirit.
At times we may be in a hard situation. We may be sick or we may have lost our job. At that time, we should exercise our spirit. We should force ourselves to say, “O Lord Jesus!” The word exercise implies forcing. To exercise is always a forced matter. When the Olympic athletes are exercising to practice or compete, they must have a strong will. They force themselves to exercise. If we Christians want to be strong and want to grow in the Lord, we must force ourselves to use our spirit.
Let us suppose that a problem comes into your family life. It may be a problem between you and your spouse, between you and your children, or between you and your parents. If you do not exercise your spirit at that time, your entire soul with your mind, will, and emotion will become prevailing. Then the soul will overcome and subdue you, conquering your spirit. This can even cause you to lose your temper in a bad way. Therefore, whenever you are in a hard situation, you have to force yourself to exercise your spirit. To force yourself to exercise, or to use, your spirit makes you a different person.
A small fire that is fanned into flame can turn into a great fire. If you want to fan your spirit into flame, you need to open up your mouth, open up your heart, and open up your spirit. You need to open these three layers of your being. You have to use your mouth to say, “O Lord Jesus.” But then you have to go deeper by using your mouth with your heart to say, “O Lord Jesus.” Then you need to go even deeper by using your mouth with your heart and with your spirit to say, “O Lord Jesus.” This is to open up your spirit from deep within. Then the fire burns. If you are down, you should call, “O Lord Jesus” again and again from deep within with the exercise of your spirit. Then you will be up.
Life Study of Ephesians, pg. 279-280, W. Lee
The Spirit With Our Spirit, pg. 79-82, W. Lee