hope for churches in stress

Stand

Christians must be prepared for conflict.

With this sobering assertion, Watchman Nee begins the final segment of his book Sit, Walk, Stand. He draws his insights from Ephesians 6:10-20, a portion of the “practical” chapters of the letter which focuses on Satan, the archenemy of every Christ-follower.

Beset within by a fallen nature, seduced from without by the lures of an unholy society, we also contend “against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (6:12).

We are vulnerable to an ancient foe who “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). But we have a sure defense: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil” (6:10-11).

In this conflict, Nee explains, we “stand” on ground already won by Christ. Satan may attack our rest in Christ and our walk in the Spirit. But we can withstand his lies and schemes with the truth, praising Christ Jesus for his victory which assures our salvation, righteousness, and peace. For Nee, our effective defense is all a matter of faith in Jesus.

Victorious in personal battle, we can participate in the redemptive work of God. In this, we take the offensive. We wield the weapons of prayer and the sword of the Spirit, the word of God, to assault the kingdom of darkness and advance the kingdom of light (Colossians 1:13).

In prayer God has entrusted to us the authority to speak in “the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth” (Philippians 2:9-10; Ephesians 1:20-22; Matthew 18:18-20; John 16:23-24,26; Acts 4:7).

Praying in Jesus’ name is inextricably linked to the revealed word of God. That is, prayer must be in full accord with the eternal purposes of God, prompted by the Holy Spirit, executed in the power of the Spirit, and directed to the glory of God.

When these requisite conditions are met, we can speak and act in Jesus’ name. All hell must recognize our authority to do so, and the kingdom of darkness will be driven back in submission to the conquering Christ (Romans 8:31-39; Acts 3:6, 16:18, 19:13-15).

In summary, Nee recaps the significance of the capstone words of Ephesians: sit, walk, and stand. “We begin our spiritual life by resting in the finished work of Christ. That rest is the source of our strength for a consistent and unfaltering walk in the world. And at the end of a grueling warfare with the hosts of darkness we are found standing with him at last in [triumph]."

This post highlights Nee's insights on the word “stand."

Previous posts focus on the words "sit" and "walk."

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Barnabas Initiatives is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Donors are invited to contribute. Client churches are asked to reimburse expenses, but are not assessed a fee for service. Instead, as they are able, churches are asked to consider a per diem or customized contribution. 

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