Friday, March 18, 2011

Standing In His Name

by Donna L. Watkins

I've been reading a book I read many years ago. A small book with a huge impact, Sit, Walk, Stand written by Watchman Nee, is one of the Christian classics.

© Donna L. Watkins - Canada Goose - Greenwood, SC
It has three chapters each titled with part of the book title. We must learn how to be still and know God, to rest in Him at all times and in all things. This must be our first position in Christ. This has been the hardest one for me. I'm a doer and it's much easier to 'Just do it' than to sit around and talk about it.

Too many times we begin our Christian lives by 'walking' which means getting involved in doing a lot of religious things. If we are not first seated in Him, then He can't work through us with His strength and purposes. We simply become used to doing good things that we are enabled to do by our own strengths and abilities. Good things are not all God things.

We can't afford to live life in our own strength. We wrestle with wickedness every day. Ephesians 6:10 tells us to "Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power." We are commanded to put on our armor each day for the battle that the devil will throw at us.

We cannot enter into battle without first knowing how to rest in Christ, because our strength is not good enough. Watchman Nee states that "no Christian can hope to enter the warfare of the ages without learning first to rest in Christ and in what He has done, and then, through the strength of the Holy Spirit within, to follow Him in a practical, holy life here on earth. If he is deficient in either of these he will find that all the talk about spiritual warfare remains only talk; he will never know its reality."

Since Adam chose to disobey there has been two thrones at war. We don't wrestle with flesh, but Paul says, "against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:12) which means we are at war with the devil himself.

Satan has been seeking to usurp the authority of God since he was thrown down from Heaven. We as Christians are called to make Christ Head over all. He has already won the battle with His death on the cross, but are we standing to uphold that victory in the Earth? From the time one chooses to become spiritual the enemy will launch assaults upon that spiritual realm of our lives. Questions, doubting, confusion are all tactics of the Evil One. Faith doesn't need answers, clarity or full disclosure. Faith rests on God's Truth.

When Paul says, "Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (Ephesians 6:11), the words 'stand against' mean 'hold your ground.' Nee says, "There is precious truth hidden in that command of God. It is not a command to invade a foreign territory. Warfare, in modern parlance, would imply a command to march. Armies march into other countries to occupy and to subdue. God has not told us to do this. We are not to march but to stand. The word 'stand' implies that the ground disputed by the enemy is really His, and therefore ours. We need not struggle to gain a foothold on it."

Nee points out that nearly all the weapons mentioned in Ephesians 6 are defensive. Even the sword can be defensive, as well as offensive. The difference being pointed out is that we are not to be on the offensive against the enemy, but we are to defend the territory/ground that Christ has already won for us. Christ battled the Evil One and won the victory. So we battle Satan only to maintain the ground gained by our Lord.

Watchman Nee says, "We must not ask the Lord to enable us to overcome the enemy, nor even look to Him to overcome, but praise Him because He has already done so; He is Victor. It is all a matter of faith in Him. If we believe the Lord, we shall not pray so much but rther we shall priase Him more. the simpler and clearer our faith in Him, the less we shall pray in such situations and the more we shal praise."

In Christ we are more than conquerers, so you no longer need to hope to overcome, you are already the victor in Christ. We must learn more about the authority we have in the name of Jesus. Nee explains that "God has committed all authority to His Son, so that in the very name itself there is power. But further, we must note in Scripture the recurring expression 'in the name' - that is to say, the use to which the apostles in fact put that name. It is not only that he has such a name, but that we are to use it. In three passages in His last discourse, the Lord Jesus repeats the words 'ask in my name" (see John 14:13,14; 15:16; 16:23-26). He has placed that authority in our hands for us to use. Not only is it His, but it is 'given among men' (Acts 4:12). If we do not know our part in it we suffer great loss."

How precious that He would entrust to us His name. We must honor and treasure that name and be sure all that we do aligns with the holiness of that name. How careful we must be as to how we use His name. We are to be true representations of Him as we walk through this world. This comes not from our gifts and talents, but from the fruit of resting in Him, in sitting with Him in Heavenly places. Are you resting today? It's been a discipline I've been learning over the past few years and I find that there's always another level to it, so don't stop short of totally becoming one with Him. For a clear revelation of what it means to sit, walk and stand in Christ, I recommend Watchman Nee's book, Sit, Walk, Stand.

How have you learned to sit and be still? For me, it was because of health problems. I had no off button prior to that. Although healing is a Kingdom blessing, I know God uses disease and illness to bring good to our lives by disciplining us with more stillness in the midst of them.

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