Still Standing

I guess I must have been 16 when the parcel arrived. A lifetime ago now. And all the way from the States.

A copy of ‘Sit, Walk, Stand’ by Watchman Nee. Sent by a much older female American second cousin who had stayed in my room a few weeks earlier on a UK trip and had seen all the Jesus stickers on my bedroom mirror.

A great little book which helped me a lot as a young Christian.

The words are taken from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians:
Sit: (our position in Christ) beginning the spiritual life from a point of rest as we ‘sit in heavenly places’
Walk: (our life in the world) ‘walking’, working and living day by day, and
Stand: (our attitude to the enemy) putting on armour to ‘stand’ against the schemes of the devil in spiritual warfare.

I was reminded of the title recently when a friend mentioned it in the course of conversation. Interesting that we had both been drawn to it from different angles.

I had been thinking of how the three words painted a picture (for me at least) of the process of coming out of lockdown.

‘Sitting’- Work-wise and church-wise (and travel-wise and movie-wise and many other wise) having been resting from other activities. And, yes, I know it’s not felt too restful at times.
‘Walking’ more- And now, getting back to something that’s a bit more like life as it was way back early last year. More involved. More active.

But ‘standing’?

I’m conscious that as I’ve become more actively involved in church activities, where my involvement may actually make some real difference, things haven’t gone so much to plan.
I was reminded of C. S. Lewis who wrote, ‘There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them’.

And I realise afresh that I’m not in a fight with people or ideas, not squabbling for my territory. But I am in a battle. It might sound a bit over-dramatic but there’s a war on. And I need to put on a helmet and a flack jacket and arm myself.

Because I’m in a different kind of fight and it’s inevitable that sooner or later I’ll come under fire. Sometimes the line of attack can be direct: illness, injury, death of loved ones, job loss, debt. Things like that are visible and obvious.

But more often they will be unseen, unconscious, subtle, less easy to identify- old rivalries, envy, jealousies, petty rumours, misunderstandings, irritations, fallings-out, lukewarmness.
Sometimes he will tempt, sometimes accuse, sometimes lie, sometimes roar.

I need to be watching, to guard my heart. And to gain strength to stand as I walk among others and rest in a victory already won.

Angus Lyon