2011-03-11 - Sit, Stand or Walk
Originally Preached 2005-02-20 ~ Part 2
You must stand up for Jesus. Jesus said in Mark 8:38, "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." Take a stand for Jesus. Paul tells us "for by faith ye stand" in 2 Corinthians 1:24. He urges us, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free." (Galatians 5:1). He tells us to stand three times in Ephesians 6. In fact every letter by Paul to churches from Romans to 2 Thessalonians urges us to stand. There in Ephesians 6, we are told to put on the boots of the gospel of peace. Being guarded by Roman soldiers he knew their armor up close and personal, I believe his choice in pieces of the uniform to be deliberate and meaningful. The roman foot soldier had one shoe similar to today's cleats that allowed them to stand firm in a fight. They could hold their ground. The gospel, the good news of God's word, prepares us to stand and enables us to stand.
We must stand but don't stand in the way of sinners. Many take a stand for Jesus but they just spend their lives standing still. Never going on to let others stand and move forward. If Jesus is the door and I stand idle in that door no one else can get in. It's no wonder the the householder in the parable of Matthew 20 asks "Why stand ye here all the day idle?" (Matthew 20:6) or the angel in Acts 1:11 asked, "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven?" We're not to stand still but rather stand up and walk. To get out of the way you must walk.
We need to go beyond taking a stand. Remember the Roman soldier. The Roman army was successful because of their shoes. They also had a great boot made for walking. We all should be walking. We each need to take that step of faith and then another and another.
There is a Christmas special by Rankin/Bass called "Santa Claus is Coming to Town". In this story there's a character named Winter Warlock. He's a mean old monstrous wizard who lives on top of a mountain and he keeps stealing all the toys. One day, he catches Kris Kringle. Kris says to the warlock "Oh,Winter." "Call me Mr. Warlock," he replies. "Mr. Warlock ... I have something for you." And then Kris gives him a present. That grouchy old monster of a man had never gotten a present before so he cries and his heart melts. As it does, he turns from an icy monster into a kind wizard. He says that the spell is broken and that he wants to be good, but he doesn't know how. That's when Kris says it's easy, you just put one foot in front of the other. Then they sing the song. "Put one foot in front of the other, and soon you'll be walking cross the floor. Put one foot in front of the other and soon you'll be walking out the door."
That is a great picture of spiritual rebirth! We are an icy cold-hearted sinner but then we are given a great gift - the gift of salvation, the gift of atonement ad forgiveness bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus - and become a changed man. But there we stand a changed man just standing there until like Winter we put one foot in front of the other.
We need to walk but don't walk in the counsel of the ungodly. With each step you are either walking towards God or away from him. The counsel of the wicked is away from God. Ungodly people don't believe in God so they won't recommend praying to God, reading the books inspired by a god that doesn't exist to them, confessing sins because there are no higher powers or eternal consequences, or even gathering with other nuts who believe in God. The man who follows the ungodly person's advice will find himself miserable because Hebrews 12:6 says, "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth."
Chasteneth and scourgeth in good old Southern English means a talking to and a whipping. I used to hate hearing my Dad say, "Adam! Come here! I want to talk to you!" I hated the talking to and I hated the whipping I knew was going to follow. Most of the time I wished he'd just whip me, send me away, and be done with it. As much as I hated the carousel belt ride I hated the talking to even more.
Don't sit in the seat of the mocker, stand in the way of the sinner, or walk in the counsel of the ungodly. Instead let's be the blessed man like in verse 2. "But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord." (AMP) His delight and desire are in the Law of God. He loves it and wants to do it so "and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night." (AMP) He makes a habit of learning day and night what it is God wants him to do. The blessed man has taken and stand and is walking closer and closer to God one step at a time.
Today, you are sitting in sin, standing as a Christian but in the way of sinners, walking away from God, or walking closer and closer to God. If you are sitting stand and receive the gift of salvation. Let him melt your heart and change your life. If you are standing as a Christian in name only, barring the door in your pew week after week, doing little or nothing in God's service, get out of the way. Get to walking; learn to delight in God again. If you are walking away, turn around. He's still right there. Just turn and he'll reel you right back in just like that. If you are walking towards him, keep on keeping on. Keep running the race and stay the course.
All verses are from the King James Version unless otherwise specified.