I like to walk fast. Sure I enjoy the journey, but I like to get there too. Its part of my problem in leading and life. Let’s get into the battle and get something done. But I’ve been reminded over and over that I am at risk both in the walk and the fight if I have not also sat with Jesus.
A few years ago my youngest would interrupt a walk with the plea…”Sit down Daddy. Let’s see what we can see. Sit down with me Daddy.” And I had to make a choice. I could keep walking without him, or I could sit down with him. For you see, he had already found a log, or a bench at the beach, and he had sat down.
One of my favourite commentaries on the book of Ephesians is Watchman Nee’s little book, Sit, Walk, Stand. In the book, part commentary and part testimony of God’s activity in China, he outlines Ephesians according to these three verbs: sit, walk, stand. These three verbs have been regular reminders from Ephesians of how I am to live with Jesus Christ.
“–it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him int he heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:5-7 NIV
Unless I make it my habit to be still and to sit with Jesus in communion and prayer I will live poorly. Unless I sit with Him at His throne of grace or at His banquet table and receive His lavish gifts of forgiveness, grace, truth, healing, right perspective, I will live like a wealthy pauper, ignorant of the riches and status I have inherited as His child.
“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called with all lowliness, and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3 NKJV
Unless I have sat with Jesus I will definitely have trouble in the command to “walk this way.” Walking requires that I enter from solitude into the fellowship of the saints. It requires that I keep in step with the Spirit by engaging people in a manner consistent with the truth and love I have received from Jesus. Walking means I don’t walk alone but that I walk with the company of the committed; it means that I share life with a collection of people who share the same calling from Jesus to be His–that would be the church. Surprise. If you have spent much time with the church you quickly realize that those modifiers in verses 2-3 are extremely important–humilty, gentleness, patience, bearing with one another–if love and truth are going to inhabit the community and our relationships in church, marriage, home, or work. Our life with the church becomes the training ground for a new way of living in relationship with all of society.
“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the power of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Ephesians 6:11-13
Welcome to the resistance movement that Jesus started. We are to stand together in the ground that he takes back from the darkness and the devil. We are to infiltrate every domain of our cities with the truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation that accompanies the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. Unless you and I sit with Jesus, and walk with Jesus together, it is unlikely that we will stand our ground when the day of evil comes. There will be little readiness unless we have become familiar with each part of this armor that God has given us. There will be little familiarity with the “sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.” And there will be little alertness for engaging in the battle through intercession. Standing requires the fortification that comes through sitting and walking with Jesus. Without these disciplines of sitting and walking I believe we will be easily persuaded to not stand with Jesus. Instead we will give up the pursuit of justice for those who are being devoured by injustice; we will give up trying to communicate the Gospel to those who have no stomach yet for Jesus; we will be pushed back into our circles of comfort and familiarity, whispering empty platitudes to each other, and hoping that someone will rescue us from our momentary discomforts.
Ugh! Oh please Lord, not me, not us. Let me sit, walk, and stand with you. And grant to each of us a community that also sits, walks, and stands with you.