Sit, Walk, Stand
By Watchman Nee (reviewed by Peter DeHaan)
Sit, Walk, Stand, by Watchman Nee is a compilation of messages given by Nee, centering on the book of Ephesians. It was first published in India in 1957 (five years after his false imprisonment), with the American version following two decades later in 1977 (five years after Nee’s death).
Like many of the epistles, Watchman Nee notes that Ephesians is presented to two parts: the doctrinal (Ephesians 1 through 3) and the practical (Ephesians 4 through 6). He further subdivides the second section into two components, the first addressing life in the world (Ephesians 4:1 to 6:9), with the latter focusing on conflict with the devil (Ephesians 6:10 to 6:24). The result is a trio of teachings that cover “our position in Christ,” “our life in the world,” and “our attitude toward the enemy.” Nee’s succinct one-word prescription for each – forming the title of his treatise – is that we are to “sit,” “walk,” and “stand.” As expected, each of the book’s three chapters addresses one element of the title.
First, Nee notes that we receive the gifts we are given by God “not by walking, but by sitting,” “not by doing, but by resting in the Lord.” He then proceeds to offer a cogent illustration illuminating what it means to be in Christ.
Second is the verb walk. Nee teaches that this suggests “conduct or behavior,” as well as denoting forward “progress.” He proceeds to instruct on the importance of offering our first fruits to God, then he swiftly segues into a lesson from Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins.
Last, Nee admonishes that “Every Christian must learn also to stand,” to “be prepared for conflict,” that is “wrestling with evil spirits.” He instructs that the phrase “stand against” can best be understood as to “hold your ground.” The weapons for this warfare are purely defensive, adding that “in Christ we are already conquerors.”
Nee wraps up chapter three with “four essential features of a work to which God can fully commit himself,” and concludes by sharing an inspiring personal story, appropriately titled, “The God of Elijah.”
While Sit, Walk, Stand is built on Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, it is not a verse by verse commentary, but rather a springboard, teaching on the book’s main themes. Although it is a short book (78 pages), it is not a quick read. This is likely due to it being separated from us by both time and distance. Nevertheless, it is worth wading through for the truths it contains.
[Sit, Walk, Stand, by Watchman Nee. Published by Tyndale house Publishers, Inc, 1977, ISDN: 0-8423-5893-5, 78 pages.]
Read more book reviews by Peter DeHaan.