Our Position in Christ- Sit, Walk, Stand – A Journey through Ephesians
Did you know that a majority of life decisions are made in 3 main positions? Either Seated, Walking or Standing. The chances are that if you find a man Seated alone somewhere, or walking alone somewhere or Standing alone somewhere, it is likely that he is thinking hard about a decision.
Ps 1:1 gives this an interesting twist, the bible says blessed is the one who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Stand in the way of Sinners and sit in the company of mockers- but whose delight is in the word of the Lord, on it He meditates day and night.
Usually- the order stats by walking- talking casually about something, by the time we stand we really are thinking seriously about it, when we sit we are resolved about the decision.
We continue with our series warfare. Last week, through the story of the Israelites we asked the questions in the battle field- What is the scope? What is the strategy and lastly who is the authority? Today I take us a little back to ask the question ‘What is our position in this battle field?’ There is much that has been said about our position in identity that is important for us to understand. But I want to focus more on our Posture in the battle field, this equally determines how we engage? Keep in mind the vision God is calling us to as a church? But also how you engage in this battle at a personal level
Our text today will be portions of the Book of Ephesians for each of these 3 postures, I will propose to us. Ephesians is a powerful book that speaks to the modern church in settling matters of Christian doctrine, Practice and also how to remain relevant in a fallen world.
The First Posture: Seated with Christ – Eph 1:17-29, 2:6-9
Paul in this passage emphasizes a final posture that Christ took after his work on earth and finally on the cross. The final triumph after he was raised from the dead is that God sat him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, having conquered everything that man is subjected to- fear, hunger, disease, the elements, thirst, and even death- Now God sat him- far above all rule and authority, power and dominion and every name that is invoked, not just in the present but that which is to come- He has become head over everything, but Verse 2:6-9, adds a very interesting angle- He raised us up and seated us with Christ. When Jesus died, he breathed his last with the word’s it is finished. The work is finished only then did God sit him in the heavenly realm.
Here is an important truth for us: The Christian life does not begin by walking, but by Sitting. Most of us try to walk in order to sit. The natural reasoning is that how can we attain the goal without working, we must walk first then we sit. But Christianity begins Not with a big Do but a big DONE.
In Ephesians 1, Paul emphasizes on this position- God has blessed us in Christ Jesus with every spiritual blessing and we are only invited from the outset to sit and enjoy what God has done for us, not try and attain it for ourselves.
Many of us often begin the year, with a great to do list. While it is important to have a to do list, we often lack peace and rest, because we miss the done list. The to do list makes us anxious and restless, but the done list works peace and trust in our minds.
The Christian LIFE begins on the finished work of Christ on the Cross. In Christ God has done everything for me. This is a principle of Trust.
When we first walk or Stand, we carry our own weight and we grow weary, but when we are seated on and with Christ- we let him bear the weight and responsibility.
This was God’s principle for us from the beginning. Man was made on the last day to enjoy the finished work of Creation and trust that God had done everything for the world to function.
When we come to God in prayer- This is our first posture, we come to seat at Jesus feet. Unfortunately a lot of our worries and anxieties and problems are tackled while we are walking. We forget to hear the words of Jesus- It is finished, It is done. We forget the authorities and powers and victory has already been won for us in Christ Jesus.
Jesus speaks to his disciples about worry and says “why do you worry about tomorrow” for your heavenly father already knows what you need.
Learning to Sit- Relieves us from the burden and expectations of the Law.
Vs 7-10, He affirms that He wants to lavish us with incomparable riches of his grace. Not by works but by faith in Christ.
Imagine, how our lives would be if we learnt to Sit first?
As we set off in battle, the temptation is to start EMERGE on an Emergency mode. At this mode, life becomes what I must do and we forget what God has done. We forget to sit. In emergency mode, the enemy attacks us by performance syndrome, and with it comes poor planning, prayerlessness, worry, anxiety and stress- I doubt you can fight the battle in such a posture.
What does it mean to start our days Sitted with Christ- Literally? Too often we find ourselves walking and asking Christ to catch up? How does that reflect in our priority to pray, read God’s word and take time to worship God in the beauty of creation.
The Second Posture is WALK
If Seating describes our heavenly position with Christ, then walking is the practical working out of our heavenly position here on earth. As we have said before Me in Christ, makes me fit for heaven, but Christ in me makes me fit on earth.
Eph 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
Eph 4:2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
Eph 5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
Eph 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
Eph 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
Paul uses the work Walk in Ephesians about 8 times. To walk literally means walk around, or deport yourself or to order one’s behavior. Having taught extensively on who we are in Christ in Chapters 1-3, Paul now begins to show how the working of us being in Christ are demonstrated here on earth.
Here is a truth for us about about Walking on this earth: Unless we bring heavenliness into our dwellings, into our offices and our homes and practice it there, it becomes meaningless. Many of us who say we are seated with Christ in the heavens sometimes display a very questionable walk in our homes.
So in Chapters 4 and 5 He talks greatly on the nature of relationships in these places. How husbands ought to love their wives as they love themselves, how Wives ought to respect their husbands, how we are to raise children and treat those who work with us and for us.
But I agree, with you, this part usually is the hardest. Walking in Love, bearing with one another, forgiving one another, don’t be angry, dont harbor grudges, bitterness e.t.c It’s hard. However part of the reason it’s really hard is because your walking is detached from Christ in you.
A lot of times our walk is ethical not Christian- we debate in our heads what is right and wrong, good and bad, fair and not fair. Nothing has done Christians greater damage than Christians trying to be right and demanding others to be right. We become preoccupied by have we been justly treated. This is what the world and Maina Kageni’s will tell you. If he is doing it, even you si—you do it?
But that is not our standard of walking- Our standard is the Cross. When the Lord died on the cross, he did not do so to defend our rights, but it was grace that took him there. We have no rights. Christianity is not about being right, but being like Christ- Who did not consider equality with God. Christianity is about Christ coming out of us. He who said, if he slaps you on one cheek give him the other. That’s what will win the enemy.
But you say Pastor I have tried to Love Him, I have really tried, I have tried to hold my tongue, I have tried to talk better, I have even tried to… but he or she wont change. In fact, the more I try, the more he hurts me.
Well the difference is this, You have forgotten the principle of Sitting. You have tried but you have not trusted in Him. You have not depended on God to show himself. It is not about trying to show LOVE, but trusting God to LOVE through you. So an honest prayer should go like this
“ Father I have no love for him, my love has run out and I am wounded, But now I need your love for him to be lived through me. I cant love him on my own, but you can love him through me”
This then is how we are to go about the battle. Our walk is about trusting in God to Work out himself from within us. It’s not about trying to show ourselves but trusting God to show Himself in us. The question is how are we walking?
How will we go about EMERGE- We want to be a church that cares and genuinely pursues people with LOVE. How will they be drawn, by the LOVE we show. But I agree with you, it is difficult if we try, but God makes it possible if we trust.
We will overcome this battle if our trust God to walk with us in our marriages, in our homes, in our relationships. But we will fail if we try. As you can see, even in walking we come back and in a sense walk in our knees in prayer. Continously asking God to be the one who walks in us.
Too many of us, act as Christians, to Act is to pretend- we speak spiritual language, go to the right places adopt spiritual attitude, but still doing the whole thing by ourselves- we keep trying.Nothing is as hurtful as a Christian acting out Christ, when He can just trust that Christ can work a natural, authentic and real LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GENTLENESS in Him
But Lastly Our position: To Stand
If we Sit in the heavens with Christ, We walk with Christ on earth, then we can STAND against the enemy.
Eph 6, which we talked about extensively talks about our STAND in Christ and as we said we must stand Aware of the battle, we must stand Armed with the armour, and we must stand Assured of victory. I want to emphasize that we must STAND in the NAME of Jesus. What authority and power do we have against the enemy. As we are sitted with Christ- We draw from his Name, his authority, dominion and power to contend against the enemy. And we do that in His NAME.
When we call on the NAME of the LORD we invoke His presence, His self- committal. When we agree here on earth with His Name, it is done in heaven as well.
The power of God’s Name operates in 3 directions
- When we preach we do so in His Name- When we invoke his Name in Preaching we acknowledge his power to draw in the sinner and bring true repentance. As scripture teaches us Call on the Name of the Lord and you will be saved. When they were asked in what authority do you preach and teach and they replied they do so in His Name. This is how we will go about 5KM radius, we know that there are other names and authorities, but we must go in the name of the Lord. We must trust that He is with us through His name to bring people to himself. No work is worthy to be called the work of God unless God has committed himself to it. God has committed himself to EMERGE.
- But the second direction is in contending against the Enemy- In Warfare God’s Name is mighty against the satanic powers to bind them and bring them into subjection. We know there is opposition, but We have God’s Name. Even Demons tremble.
- Lastly When we pray and ask God we do so in that Name. It is effective towards God to Pray in His Name. Whatever you ask in my Name it shall be given.
When we stand we stand in that Name of Jesus, because we acknowledge God as the God of the Vision, He conceived it for his divine purpose and glory. But that also in his Name we depend upon him to accomplish it.
How is your posture in this battle- Are you sitted with Christ, Are you walking as Christ, Are you standing in Christ’s Name- Let’s Pray