I had previously told you that in our church gatherings, we are going through Watchmen Nee’s book, “Sit, Walk, Stand.” It is an excellent book and if you haven’t read it yet, try to obtain a copy.
When you picture “Sit, Walk, Stand,” you may scratch your head and wonder what in the world Nee was talking about? I mean, do we actually sit on our butts and stand on our feet? Huh?
No, that isn’t it at all. Scriptures tell us that after Jesus was raised from the dead, “God . . . made Him to sit in authority . . . and [here you go] made us to sit with him!” That’s right, Jesus was exalted to rule and reign forever! It further states that we are “seated” (or sitting) with Him. Now, do I look like I am sitting in Heaven with Jesus? (Oh, I forgot, you can’t see me). Okay, you will have to take my word for it. I am not. However, that does not mean that I am not seated with Him!
Even Paul understood this when he wrote that God has “blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the Heavenly places in Christ! *(Ephesians 1:3). See? There is no limit to the Grace our Father is willing to give us. He has given us everything, but, as Nee reminds us, we can’t receive any of it unless we rest in Him!
“Sitting” is an attitude of rest. Sitting describes our position with Christ” in His Resurrection Life! But he continues his analogy by explaining that, “Walking is the practical outworking of that Heavenly position here on Earth.” Also, several times, Nee emphasizes that until we are established on the realities of our Lord’s position and authority, and along with that, our position and authority through Christ, we cannot possibly “walk” out our faith successfully.
Once we are fully established and firmly understand all this, we can stand against our enemy. If you continue to see yourself as a weak-willed, pond scum, you will fall victim to every attack of our enemy.
However, again, as Nee points out, every Disciple of Jesus must learn to stand against our enemy! “Each one of us must be prepared for conflict.” Paul explained it this way:
Finally, receive your power from the Lord and from his mighty strength. Put on all the armor that God supplies. In this way you can take a stand against the devil’s strategies. This is not a wrestling match against a human opponent. We are wrestling with rulers, authorities, the powers who govern this world of darkness, and spiritual forces that control evil in the heavenly world. For this reason, take up all the armor that God supplies. Then you will be able to take a stand during these evil days. Once you have overcome all obstacles, you will be able to stand your ground.
So then, take your stand! Fasten truth around your waist like a belt. Put on God’s approval as your breastplate. Put on your shoes so that you are ready to spread the Good News that gives peace. In addition to all these, take the Christian faith as your shield. With it you can put out all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Also take salvation as your helmet and the word of God as the sword that the Spirit supplies.
Pray in the Spirit in every situation. Use every kind of prayer and request there is. For the same reason be alert. Use every kind of effort and make every kind of request for all of God’s people.
Yes, we need to know how to “sit” with our Lord in Heavenly places and yes, we must know how to “walk” worthy of Him as we live out our faith. However, we also have to know how to “stand” before our enemy!
This reminds me so much of my favorite tale. That’s right, John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress.
As many (probably most) of you know, Pilgrim’s Progress was written while Bunyan was in prison. It is an allegory of a pilgrim, named Christian, who fled from the City of Destruction and was directed by Evangelist to follow the narrow path, overcoming ‘vanity fair’ temptations, depressions, deceptions, and persecutions till he reached the Celestial City of Zion.
During Pilgrim’s journey, he had many adventures, but one time he saw “a very stately palace before him . . . He entered into a very narrow passage . . . he espied two lions in the way . . . The porter at the lodge . . . perceiving that Christian made a halt as if he would go back, cried unto him, saying . . . ‘Is thy strength so small? Fear not the lions, for they are chained, and are placed there for trial of faith where it is . . . Keep in the midst of the path, and no hurt shall come unto thee’ . . .”
Oh, how I wish we cold remember this! “Is thy strength so small?” Our enemy is “chained . . . and place there for trial of faith.”
Yes, Christian passed the lions, and yes, he shivered some, and yes, the lions roared but “did him no harm.” Far too many of us are frightened by the toothless lion who loves to roar, but that is the best he can do.
One thing we need to remember is that we must be firmly established in the reality of our Savior’s position and authority — and our position and authority with Him. None of us can even hope to face our enemy. When he is out there roaring like a lion [notice that it says he walks around like a roaring lion. It doesn’t say that he is a roaring lion. He is a toothless, weak fraud who loves to make noise, but that is the best he can do.
But then, in Bunyan’s tale, young Christian faces his greatest foe:
. . . a foul fiend coming over the field to meet him; his name is Apollyon. Then did Christian begin to be afraid, and to cast in his mind whether to go back or to stand his ground . . . therefore he resolved to venture and stand his ground . . . The monster was hideous to behold; he was clothed with scales . . . wings like a dragon, feet like a bear, and out of his belly came fire and smoke . . . Apollyon straddled quite over the whole breadth of the way, and said . . . prepare thyself to die; for I swear by my infernal den, that thou shalt go no further; here will I spill thy soul . . .
Apollyon as fast made at him, throwing darts as thick as hail; by the which, notwithstanding all that Christian could do to avoid it, Apollyon wounded him in his head, his hand, and foot . . . This sore combat lasted for above half a day, even till Christian was almost quite spent; for you must know that Christian, by reason of his wounds, must needs grow weaker and weaker . . . Christian’s sword flew out of his hand. Then said Apollyon, ‘I am sure of thee now.’ And with that he had almost pressed him to death, so that Christian began to despair of life; but as God would have it, while Apollyon was fetching of his last blow, thereby to make a full end of this good man . . . Christian nimbly stretched out his hand for his sword, and caught it, saying,
‘Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy; when I fall I shall arise’; and with that gave him a deadly thrust, which made him give back . . . And with that Apollyon spread forth his dragon’s wings, and sped him away, that Christian for a season saw him no more . . .
What courage! What defiance! It reminds me of the disciples of Jesus after his resurrection. They were no longer intimidated. Imagine Peter thinking, “Come on, let’s get this meeting started. Just give me the pulpit and turn me loose. I’ve got a word from the Lord for this group! Thank you, Jesus, for allowing me to preach your name to these Christ-haters.” Acts 4:8 begins with: “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit . . .” and this tells me he wasn’t going to deliver a lecture. It wasn’t going to be quiet or reserved. Peter was a Jesus-possessed man, bursting with the Holy Spirit power and anointing.
God’s servants should be secure in their identity in Christ. They should stand strong, confident in Jesus’ righteousness. Because of that, they had nothing to hide; they could stand before anyone with a clear conscience and speak with boldness and confidence. Not only that, the Lord would demonstrate His support of their words.
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