Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sit, Walk, Stand

Ephesians 2:4-6

Many times in our Christian walk, we speak of resting in the Lord as if it is something that we should do after we are completely exhausted from the cares of this life. It is made to sound as if we finally sit down and take our ease in Christ only after we have worked sufficiently for Him in one capacity or the other. The order usually goes something like this: Stand up for the Lord in front of the world and take the blows; then walk softly before God and stay on the straight and narrow; and finally, someday, when it is all said and done, we will sit together with Him in heaven. Paul paints quite a different picture.

The order of events, according to the Apostle Paul, is designed by the Holy Spirit, for nothing happens in the Word by chance. Paul shows us what I call the “2-4-6” method of Christian experience. Watch it unfold:

Sit“And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (2:6).

Walk“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (4:1).

Stand “Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (6:11).

We actually start out defeated and beaten somewhere on the road of life, and then Jesus “raised us up together” (2:6). This is a type of our salvation experience, where the Good Samaritan cares for us along life’s highway. The first thing that He does is sit us next to Jesus. The starting point for every believer is resting next to the Master. Only when we have learned to rest with Him in His finished work are we qualified to “walk worthy” (4:1).

The “walk” is now made easier because we are accustomed to being so close to Him in proximity. You need not fear that you are going to wander off of the “straight and narrow”. Even if you do go down into a valley of the shadow of death, your Shepherd will enter it with you, and He will not abandon you in the midst.

Once we have placed our daily walk in the Lord, we are ready to stand when the enemy begins his attack. Interestingly enough, there is no mention here of the believer fighting back. Some have preached sermons on spiritual warfare, calling for militant Christians to “attack the devil”. Paul tells the believer to “be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (6:10), showing us that all of the battle belongs to the Lord and none of it belongs to us.

In Christ, He does the fighting and we get the victory. What a Savior! While we certainly wrestle (6:12), when it comes to the attack of the enemy, we simply stand there, while Christ takes care of us (6:13, 14). Consequently, the Holy Spirit is careful to let us know that we will stand in the “evil day”. Note that it is singular, for whatever bad comes our way, it is temporary. When God blesses the believer, it is always with “good days”, used in the plural, for they will last for all time (1 Peter 3:10).