“For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”
What Does It Mean for Us to Live According to the Desires of the Holy Spirit?
In today’s Scripture passage, the Apostle Paul said, “Walk in the Spirit.” What, then, does it mean for us the born-again to truly follow the desires of the Spirit before God? It is to live the kind of life that pleases God—that is, to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to other souls so that they may also receive the remission of their sins. What arouses the desires of the Spirit in us and makes us live according to these desires is the very faith placed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
To attain this faith, everyone must listen to the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit into our hearts, we will be awakened to the desires of the Holy Spirit. Once the Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts, He arouses His desires in us so that we can follow the will of God.
However, it seems as though even the born-again are more prone to detect the desires of the flesh than the desires of the Spirit. Far too often, we are not sensitive enough to detect these desires of the Holy Spirit, and we let them slide by us. So you and I need to be more aware of the desires of the Holy Spirit aroused in our hearts, and once we sense them, we shouldn’t let them pass by but follow them by faith.
In fact, living a life of faith is to live according to the desires of the Holy Spirit. Everyday, we ponder how we could spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit to every soul. It’s a joy to see each individual neighbor that is saved as a result of our gospel preaching, but once we get a taste of this joy, we ponder how we could preach the gospel not only to the souls around us, but to every nation in the world, and we think about what is needed to preach the gospel to all the souls throughout the whole world. So we carefully consider whether we need pamphlets or books, and how we could raise coworkers in each nation. So, we often hold revival meetings to save the souls of the specific region. All these thoughts stem from the desires of the Spirit.
As such, those who follow the Holy Spirit’s desires are willing to do anything for the spreading of the gospel. The righteous should live diligently according to the desires of the Spirit, preaching the Word through the literature ministries or revival meetings. If we follow the desires of the flesh instead of the desires of the Spirit, we will turn into the people of the flesh, but if we hold onto the Spirit’s desires and follow them, we will become the servants of the gospel which leads other souls to salvation.
Are the desires of the Holy Spirit aroused in your hearts? Do you hold onto these desires of the Spirit when they arise? You and I must obey the will of the Holy Spirit. “To whom should I preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit today and lead him to salvation?” Such desires of the Holy Spirit are indispensable to us, and all of us must actually live according to these desires of the Spirit. The reason why we are running this Mission School is also to follow the Holy Spirit’s desire to save souls. Our Mission School is not the place to learn oratory skills for preaching or teaching skills to merely convey knowledge. It is to follow and serve the desires of the Holy Spirit, to walk by them, and to obey the Spirit’s wish to preach the gospel and save souls, that we are now running the Mission School.
The Apostle Paul said that the righteous who have received the remission of their sins should not take the God-given liberty as an opportunity to fulfill the desires of the flesh, but to serve one another through faith. That is why he said, “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Galatians 5:14). Obeying this Word that commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves, we the born-again should indeed live our lives to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to all the souls that have still not heard this genuine gospel. None other than this is to follow the desires of the Holy Spirit.
If we envy one another according to our carnal desires, then we will just end up competing against each other in vain only to perish away. So Paul warned us, “If you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!” (Galatians 5:15) And he went on to say, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). If we serve God’s gospel of the water and the Spirit as our first priority, then the lust of the flesh will never be fulfilled. However, if we follow the desires of the flesh rather than the desires of the Spirit, then we will end up fulfilling the lust of the flesh. This is why you and I must live our lives according to the desires of the Spirit, placing our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
If we prioritize spiritual works, then the desires of the flesh are bound to disappear naturally. On the other hand, if we fail to walk by the desires of the Spirit, then we will infallibly come to walk by the desires of the flesh. The Apostle Paul made it clear in this Book of Galatians that to walk by the desires of the Spirit is none other than to walk by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Holy Spirit’s desires for us are to follow the gospel of the water and the Spirit and to unite with God’s Church. If we the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit follow the desires of the flesh, then we will ultimately end up forsaking everything spiritual. There is no other reason why some people do not unite with God’s Church even after being born again: It’s because they are following their carnal desires, rather than the desires of the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, even if one has been born again, unless he follows the desires of the Holy Spirit, he cannot lead his life of faith properly, and his faith will be bankrupt in the end. We always have two types of desires, one of the Spirit and the other of the flesh; they are mutually contradictory, so if we follow the desires of the Spirit first, we can naturally avoid fulfilling the desires of the flesh. In other words, if we walk by the desires of the Spirit, we will preach the gospel to other souls even more, and the more we preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the fewer opportunities there will be to follow the desires of the flesh. We will therefore come to lead an even more spiritual life. That is precisely why God is telling us to walk by the Holy Spirit.
What does it mean for us to walk by the Spirit? Let’s think about what we are doing now. We are now serving the gospel of the water and the Spirit, working tirelessly to spread this gospel and praying for its proclamation. Although we are exhausted from devoting all our lives to the spreading of the gospel, our minds still remain alert and we live according to the desires of the Holy Spirit. Even at this very hour of listening to the sermon, however, it’s possible for us to follow the desires of the flesh. We may fall asleep during this worship hour. But if this happens, we wouldn’t be able to listen to the Word, and so we keep our minds awake to hear the Word. That’s because you and I have the desires of the Holy Spirit. And it’s because we want to obey God’s Word commanding us to live according to the desires of the Spirit, and we want to find true satisfaction by fulfilling these desires of the Spirit.
My fellow believers, there are times when your hearts desire to serve the Lord and preach the gospel. But aren’t there other times also when such desires disappear completely from your hearts, leaving you with nothing more than the desires of the flesh yearning to do carnal works? In times like this, hold onto the desires of the Spirit. Then your carnal desires will be unable to get near you.
Our hearts as the born-again are like a piece of sponge, bound to be soaked with whatever they are exposed to. If we follow the desires of the flesh, we will be soaked with carnal desires. But if we follow the desires of the Spirit, our hearts will be saturated with the Spirit’s desires. When we preach the gospel according to the wishes of the Holy Spirit, serve the gospel, support its spreading, and go out and preach it ourselves, our hearts will be immersed in these righteous works, leaving no room for the desires of the flesh to creep in on us. If, on the other hand, we do the works of the flesh, then our hearts will be soaked in the desires of the flesh, just as a piece of sponge soaks up water. We need to realize that depending upon where our interests lie and what desires we follow, our hearts are completely immersed in them, and therefore we must follow the desires of the Spirit.
Jesus said to us, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 19:19). Accordingly, we must devote all our hearts to saving souls and relentlessly walk by the desires of the Holy Spirit, so that every soul may hear the gospel of the water and the Spirit. When we go out to bear witness of this genuine gospel, we see that there are indeed so many necessities. There is so much that we need to prepare to serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit. From our voices to our possessions, our time, and our devotion and prayers, so much is needed to save just one soul.
That is why I am admonishing our new students at the Mission School to first follow the desires of the Spirit in their lives. And to all our born-again brothers and sisters scattered throughout the whole world, I also admonish them with the same words.
We have to follow the desires of the Holy Spirit until the end, but can we really achieve this? If we relentlessly walk by the desires of the Spirit, then we will be able to live by faith until the end. We must live according to the Holy Spirit’s desires that are aroused in our hearts. We must live according to the holy desires God has given us. I would like to make it clear to all of you, from our students at the Mission School to our workers and our brothers and sisters, that it is absolutely indispensable to live according to the desires of the Spirit first. Only then can you lead a proper life of faith.
How Can You Discern the Desires of the Spirit Correctly?
We need to realize what the desires of the Spirit are. Only with this realization can we cast aside all other desires and follow only the desires of the Spirit alone. Desire per se is not the problem here; stripped of all desires, our lives would be dreary and desolate. So we need to have at least one type of desire, and this desire should be of the Spirit. If someone has the desires of the Holy Spirit, he is a perfect person.
With the gospel of the water and the Spirit, God has washed every soul clean from all his sins. The problem, however, is that many people have not heard this good news, and are thus heading to hell.
The other day, I caught a beautiful sight with a fountain spurting out water columns and splashing white water drops. The sight of the fountain reflected in the sunlight was truly beautiful. Water drops rained down all around the fountain. When the water shot up from the fountain and fell down, there wasn’t just a single column. Different speeds ensured that when the first water column came down, it would collide with the following column, splashing against each other and dancing around, all orchestrated at the same time. It was so beautiful that I thought to myself, “Oh, how do I wish that the gospel of the baptism of Jesus and His Cross would cover the whole world beautifully like this!” And I pondered, “What should I do to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to everyone all over the world and cover the whole world with this gospel?”
Mankind has two types of desires: The desires of the Holy Spirit and the desires of the flesh. Depending on which desire one follows, he can either become a servant of God or a servant of the world. As the Apostle Paul realized this, he said, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh,” and all of us the born-again should understand the meaning of this passage and believe in it. This passage is a crucial passage that each and every one of us, from our students at the Mission School to all our brothers and sisters, our servants of God, and myself, should realize and cherish in our hearts.
We must have the desires of the Spirit. Unless we have the Holy Spirit’s desires, we will end up leading our lives of faith in vain. If one has no desire of the Spirit even after being born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then he is a man of the flesh. Indeed, the righteous are nobody unless they harbor the desires of the Spirit. We must have the desires of the Spirit. Anyone who is devoid of the desires of the Spirit is a servant of the Devil.
What Then Are the Desires of the Spirit?
The Holy Spirit’s desires are none other than to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to the souls that have not yet been born again and to save them. And this is what fulfills our Lord’s commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” It is a worthy desire for us to aspire to lead every soul in the whole wide world to receive the remission of sin. It’s because of the desires of the Holy Spirit that we ponder, “What would benefit the spreading of the gospel?” And it is for this reason that we are anxious to preach the gospel, working and laboring to spread the gospel.
But what about those who have no desire of the Holy Spirit? They brag about how large their congregation is and how much is collected from the weekly offerings. They are satisfied by these things. That’s because their purpose in life is not the salvation of the soul, but they live according to the pride of the flesh and its desires. All those who do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and have not been born again live only according to their greed of the flesh, whether they are pastors or laymen. Such people feed on the lust of the flesh, not the desires of the Spirit.
They cannot follow the wishes of the Spirit even if they try to do so. That’s because they have not received the remission of their sins, and therefore the Holy Spirit does not even dwell in their hearts. When their hearts are not dwelt by the Holy Spirit, how could the Holy Spirit arouse His desires in their hearts?
However, those who have the desires of the Spirit preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit. By doing so, they are saving souls, leading them under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and teaching the born-again souls how to lead a real life of faith. They live according to the desires of the Spirit, they bear such fruits of the Spirit as love, gentleness, peace, and self-control, and they dedicate all their lives to the salvation of other souls, enduring and persevering in patience.
Everyone who has been born again through the gospel of the water and the Spirit must have the desires of the Spirit. The Bible says, “When desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (James 1:15). While the desires of the flesh give birth to sin when conceived, and sin brings forth death when it is full-grown, when the desires of the Spirit are conceived, souls are saved to receive everlasting life. The Holy Spirit’s desires are absolutely indispensable to the born-again.
I used to think for a while that every desire was bad. There is an old Korean proverb that says, “Treat gold as a stone.” Since my childhood, I had especially adhered to this proverb with my heart. Time after time, I engraved my heart with this proverb to regard gold as no more than an ordinary stone, always determined to never be drawn to the allures of materialism. I tried not to have any greed whatsoever, as I thought that my heart would be defiled and I would become an evil man if I were to fall into materialism.
However, once I received the remission of my sins and read the Bible, I found out that there was one type of desire that I should have. This was the desire of the Holy Spirit. In other words, God gave me the desire of the Spirit and told me to live according to this desire.
Most newly born-again saints tend to follow the Church rather well, as they know very little about the life of faith at first. Even as they might have no desire of the Spirit, they still follow the Church as it leads them. However, if they want to really live as God’s workers, then they need to take one step further, recognizing the desire of the Spirit and following them out of their own volition. Only then do they espouse the desires of the Spirit and follow them, thinking, “I want other souls to be saved as well. I should save them. I should prepare whatever is needed to save other souls.” I am truly thankful that we now have such desires of the Spirit in our hearts.
When such spiritual desire is aroused in our hearts, we should not put this out by ignoring it. We should not quench the desire of the Spirit. If we remove the Holy Spirit’s desire as soon as this is aroused, we will have nothing left. That is why we the righteous should never stifle nor lose the desire of the Spirit. Anytime the desire of the Spirit is aroused in us, we should realize that far and away from hurting us, this is immensely beneficial to our souls; and whenever the spiritually beneficial desire of the Spirit is aroused, we should follow this immediately. When we are awakened to our desire to preach the gospel, we should simply preach the gospel, and when we are aroused to serve the gospel with all our strength, we should just serve the gospel with all our efforts.
We serve the gospel in many different forms, and there are times when we offer our money to the Church for the spreading of the gospel. Sometimes, the desire of the Spirit arising in us compels us to want to give more. In times like this, to suppress this desire, or to say no and throw it away, is to quench the Holy Spirit’s desire.
We should follow the desire of the Holy Spirit in simple terms. If we are aroused in the desire to serve the Lord in whatever way we can, we should just serve the Lord as innocent child. Only then can we can bear many fruits of the Spirit. When our hearts desire to spread the gospel, we should go out and preach the gospel; when we desire to fully dedicate our lives to the gospel as its workers, we should become workers and offer all our lives to God; and when we want to serve the Lord completely from wherever we might be, we should serve the Lord fully like this. That is to follow the desire of the Spirit.
There are so many times when we ignore the desire of the Spirit. We are too insensitive to feel and grasp the desire of the Holy Spirit and follow this. Even though God arouses certain spiritual desires, we are too reluctant to follow them. When it comes to following the desire of the Spirit, are you not by any chance trailing at the very end, dragging your feet to barely keep up the pace? Even when the Holy Spirit arouses just one desire, do you not hesitate too long before following it?
When the Holy Spirit arouses one desire in us, we can fulfill it in no time if we only follow it closely, and when we repeat this to fulfill another desire of the Spirit followed by yet more desires, we will be able to move forward without any impediments. Yet despite this, if we drag our feet and do not follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit when He tries to inspire us and achieve something, just how frustrating would this be to our Lord? The Lord said that He would spit out anyone who is neither hot nor cold, but only lukewarm. He abhors those who are lukewarm.
We can realize the desires of the Spirit only if our hearts are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who arouses His desires in us. In other words, the Holy Spirit descends only on those who are born again through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and God arouses the desire of the Spirit only in those who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, only those who have been born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit desire to serve God, to preach His gospel, and to obediently follow the wishes of the Holy Spirit.
When someone who follows the desire of the Spirit tries to work with someone who doesn’t, he is bound to get very frustrated, angry, and mad. Since those who should live according to the will of God do not even follow the Holy Spirit, how would it be possible to take even one step forward with such people? Yet at the same time, the Church leaders can’t just abandon them to their own fate, and so this is bound to be immensely frustrating. Moses, who led the people of Israel, couldn’t just follow the desire of the Spirit by himself and leave the rest behind, telling them, “Whether you follow or not, do whatever you want to do.” As their leader, Moses still had to lead them.
When Moses said, “Jehovah has given us the land of Canaan. Let’s go!” there were some Israelites who kept complaining behind his back, and these people usually trailed way behind. Meanwhile, they kept complaining and nagging, “Why did you bring us to starve to death in the wilderness? Were there no burial sites in Egypt that you brought us to the Red Sea to be buried in water?” Those who followed Moses closely got to taste miracles, followed him without hesitation, and praised God. But those who trailed from far behind followed Moses only because they had no other choice, all the while blaspheming God, blaming Him and raising their fingers at Him. What about you then? What kind of people are you? Like those who followed God’s servant Moses closely and enjoyed everything good, you must unite with the Lord’s Church and follow your leader closely in the direction that he leads.
If it were up to me, I would have done everything by myself. In fact, there are many dictatorial aspects to doing God’s work. God is, after all, a dictator. God said that He alone is to be glorified, for He is the only God, the only object of our worship, our only Savior, and the only omnipotent One. Just as He has saved us because He wanted to save us, and just as He created us because He wanted to create us, God does everything according to His will, and He shows this unreservedly through His servants. As such, when someone says, “This church claims to be God’s Church, but it is run like a dictatorship,” I say to him, “What took you so long to realize this? The Church is by nature dictatorial. Someone who is under a dictator is another dictator, a dictator who follows the desire of the Spirit. A true leader is someone who does not tolerate anything else but the desire of the Spirit.”
Now, my fellow believers, let us all follow the desire of the Spirit. God arouses certain spiritual desires in your hearts, and when He does this, you should allow yourself to follow them. Far from quenching these desires of the Spirit, you must follow them. God warned us not to bite and devour one another, but instead to follow the desire of the Spirit, lest we be consumed by one another.
Rather than being zealous to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and interested in the works that save souls, if we are busy only to exalt ourselves, argue over who is better, obstruct the gospel from being spread, or tarnish one another’s reputation with groundless rumors, then we would be doing nothing else but standing against the Holy Spirit. None other than this is asking for our own destruction and following the desires of the flesh. The many religions of the world and the secular values that provoke the desires of the flesh do not leave us alone, who believe in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. As we do not follow the desires of the flesh, we are weak in carnal terms. So we should realize how persistently the world tries to attack us at these weak points. I admonish you all to no longer tolerate anything that misleads you.
The Bible calls the religionists of the world mighty hunters (Genesis 10:9). A hunter shoots a game animal, but a mighty hunter hunts people’s souls. These mighty hunters are none other than the Devil’s servants. Their main ministry is to stand against those preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit and prevent them from spreading this gospel. They are the followers of the desires of the flesh, who consider it a successful ministry to just build a large church building and gather around many church members.
If anyone preaches God’s gospel of the water and the Spirit, we should respect him. There is no other work in this world that is as beautiful and worthy as spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Although there are many people in this world who invoke the Word of God in their preaching, few actually preach the Truth of the remission of sin with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. No matter how a preacher might excel in delivering his sermons, if he does not preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit in his sermons, then he cannot be described as a true preacher.
Regardless of how excellent a preacher he might be, he is not as precious as the preachers of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. So many people are propagating fallacies simply because they don’t realize what is really precious, and what is the precise will of the Lord. To walk by the Holy Spirit and follow His desire is the will of God, but these people do not realize this, and so everyday they quarrel against one another over trivial issues, stand against God day after day, and try to harm those who spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This is not what they should be doing, nor should you be like these people. Rather than hurting those who preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you should give them the respect that they deserve.
For us not to follow the desires of the flesh and not to fulfill them, we must follow the desire of the Spirit. If we follow the desire of the Holy Spirit, then naturally, it becomes impossible to fulfill the desires of the flesh, since no one can follow two completely opposite desires simultaneously. When you go out to bear witness during the lunchtime, can you take a nap at the same time? No, you can’t do them both. If you follow the desire of the Spirit, it is only a matter of course that you won’t be able to follow the desires of the flesh. In other words, if one follows the desire of the Spirit, the desires of the flesh will disappear naturally, just as no one can preach the Word and commit sin at the same time.
We overcome the desires of the flesh not by resolving ourselves and struggling on our own, saying, “I’ll fight and win over the desires of the flesh.” Rather, it is when we follow the desire of the Spirit that we come to no longer walk by our carnal desires. When we follow the desire of the Spirit, the desires of the flesh cannot even act, and so the Holy Spirit’s desire wins by forfeit. If you enter a boxing match, and your opponent doesn’t show up at the match, then you win by forfeit and the champion’s belt is yours. Likewise, if we carry out God’s work diligently, follow the desire of the Spirit diligently, and serve the gospel diligently, then there will be no time left to fulfill our carnal desires, and therefore the desire of the Spirit will rule us by default.
When we go out to bear witness, how could we sit at a café in a shopping mall? When we are working hard to find the financial resources to serve the gospel, how could we ever find time to go to a theater to watch a movie every weekend? Since there is no time for this, we naturally come to give up the desires of the flesh. This is how we can defeat the desires of the flesh easily. That is why we should follow the desire of the Spirit and encourage it, saying, “Even though this is all I can do to serve the Lord for now, I want to serve Him more.” We need to nurture such a desire.
I have so many promptings from the desire of the Spirit. The day when the Lord returns to this earth is coming closer and closer. So it’s very frustrating not to be able to fulfill all the promptings received through the desire of the Spirit. To publish as many gospel books as possible is also a prompting received from the desire of the Spirit. With what financial resources can we then publish many different kinds of gospel literature and our books of spiritual growth series? If we encourage and nurture the promptings given to us by the desire of the Holy Spirit, there is no reason why we can’t find these financial resources, nor any reason why we can’t publish our books all over the world in every language.
So far, we have published about 200 titles in dozens of languages. A lot of money has gone into this ministry. This is all a product of the prompting given to us by the desire of the Spirit. Planting churches is also a result of the promptings given to us by the desire of the Spirit. We wondered how we could establish churches throughout Korea, but because our hearts had the desire of the Spirit, we achieved this according to a prompting imparted to us. Resolved to accomplish this work, we established new churches by faith, for we desired to save the souls there. It is also from the prompting of the desire of the Spirit that we sent missionaries to China to minister there in order to save the souls of the Chinese people from sin.
That we are trying to preach the gospel all over the world is also the result of a prompting imparted to us through the desire of the Holy Spirit. As our Lord said, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8), our God wants everyone to be saved from sin. To appreciate and obey the will of God is to follow the desire of the Spirit. As such, we should have no desire in carnal affairs, but we should have a strong desire from many imparted promptings when it comes to spiritual affairs.
Our Mission started its world ministry very late. Yet despite this, it has grown to be larger than any other mission organization. I’m not bragging that the size of our gathering is larger than any other Christian community, but I’m just saying that it is because we have followed the desire of the Spirit that it has been possible for us to indeed preach the genuine gospel all over the world. In the gathering of worldly Christians, there is no gospel of the water and the Spirit, and therefore no spiritual progress is made there even after a long time.
If we work hard just for three more years, we will cover the whole world with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This will be fulfilled without fail, for it is the Holy Spirit’s desire. Unlike the worldly churches that are neither led by the Holy Spirit nor have any spiritual leaders, we have the clear desire of the Holy Spirit, for we believe in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. Therefore, we will fulfill the will of God according to this desire of the Spirit.
Indeed, we desire to preach this Truth, the gospel of the water and the Spirit, to all over the world, and we are actually doing so. And we also want to vigorously preach this gospel in Korea, so that everyone may hear this gospel of the water and the Spirit without exception. Just as the rain falls from the sky to moisten the whole earth everywhere, and all life forms are refreshed from the rain, we will preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit all over the world, so that everyone may hear this genuine gospel at least once. We really want everyone who yearns to be born again to obtain the remission of sin. Our hearts desire is that all the people of the entire world to be saved from sin. We don’t want to lose any soul, not even one. We want them all to hear the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Such is the desire that the Holy Spirit arouses in our hearts.
All of us must live according to the desire of the Spirit. It’s because people don’t live according to this desire of the Spirit but according to their own desires of the flesh that they are perishing away.
If we follow the desire of the Spirit, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). When we were building our retreat center, our financial situation was so precarious that we had to stop construction for the lack of a few thousand dollars. At that time, I prayed to God to give us $30 million to preach the gospel throughout the whole world. My coworkers told me that when they heard my prayer, they wondered, “Where would we find so much money?” However, to this very day God has provided us with tremendous financial resources in amazing ways, and He has enabled us to carry out that much more work. Now, when I think about it, I am actually sorry that I didn’t ask God for more money.
We must indeed have a spiritual desire. We must live with the desire of the Spirit. Rather than envying one another or quarreling amongst ourselves over our merits and demerits of the flesh, we should live indeed according to the desire of the Spirit, by our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We really have to walk by the desire of the Spirit. For us to live according to the Holy Spirit’s wishes is what is beautiful and precious. We have found such grace from God. That is why the Apostle Paul admonished us to live according to the God-given desire of the Holy Spirit.
Right now, we are studying at the Mission School, and the reason why we are running the Mission School is so that you would live according to the desire of the Spirit. And we are now living according to the desire of the Spirit. If we had not relied on our tent-making mission for our ministry, and instead relied only on the congregation’s offerings, could we have established God’s Church everywhere or published and distributed so many gospel books? No, we couldn’t have carried out such ministries. Nowadays, our saints find it tough enough to get by as it is, and so they can’t bring that much offering to the Church. Unless they have devoted their entire lives to serve the Lord, they have to take care of their families first and then take whatever remains from this as their offerings, and so there is bound to be a certain limit to them. Since they can’t bring offerings without taking care of their families, church offerings are bound to be limited. So if we place our expectations only on the offerings of the saints, we can’t do anything, and that is why we the workers raise financial resources ourselves through our own labor.
As our workers devote their entire lives to serve the gospel, work together in unison to raise financial resources, and offer them to support our ministry, there is always a steady flow of funds. But our Mission’s finances seem to be constantly running low. The reason for this is simple: It’s because we are so full of the desire of the Spirit that we spend all our resources to save souls. When the desire of the Spirit abounds in our hearts, financial resources actually do increase. Because we are not working for the purpose of gathering as many people as possible to build a mega church, but our only purpose is to just preach the gospel of Truth to other souls to lead them to salvation and guide the saved to live for righteousness, God is pleased by us and He provides us with abundant financial resources. Given the fact that we have to spread the gospel in Korea by planting churches, and preach the gospel to people overseas through our literature and save their souls as well, our lives as the righteous are all about planting churches and publishing and sending out gospel literature and books for everyone’s spiritual growth.
There is an Eastern proverb that says, “If a man of wisdom doesn’t read a book even just for a day, there is a sore in his mouth.” Likewise, if we don’t work for God even just for a day, there is no joy for us to live in this world. Whatever we do, we must carry out God’s work, and only then is there joy in our lives. Whether we publish our books together or work to raise financial resources, we have to do everything for the spreading of the gospel of God. Only then can we find joy in our lives; if we otherwise live only for our flesh, we won’t even have any appetite. That’s because the Holy Spirit inside us is not pleased if the righteous live only for the flesh.
All those who have been born again of water and the Spirit must infallibly live according to the desire of the Spirit.