Sit, stand, walk, run … which is it?


(This is a sermon I preached back in 2002 at youth service.)

I. Introduction
A. Sit, stand, walk, run … which is it?
1. Paul describes Christianity as a race – 1 Corinthians 9:24 – 27
2. We also are told to walk – Deuteronomy 5:33
3. But then we are told to stand – 1 Corinthians 16:13
4. God also tell us to be still (sit) – Psalms 46:10
B. We’ve got to do it all.

II. Sit – Isaiah 40:31
A. This is the precursor to rest.
1. Start your day off and be still. – Psalms 5:3
2. See Illustration – 1 Kings 19:11 & 12
B. Sitting before God is vital to our standing, walking, and running.
1. You must always sit before you can do anything else.
2. Many times, spiritually, we try to run or walk with out sitting. Then we are just flopping around making a bunch of noise getting nowhere fast.

III. Stand – 1 Corinthians 16:13
A. Once we’ve learned how to sit, God we’ll see if we can stand.
1. Galatians 5:1 – For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
2. Ephesians 6:11 – Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
3. Taking a stand has certain connotation.
B. Can we stand up for Christ and against the devil?
1. God will test us in this. – Exodus 14:13 – And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again.
2. But if we have already sat with Him, the standing will be much easier. – Deuteronomy 11:25 – No man shall be able to stand against you; the LORD your God will lay the fear of you and the dread of you upon all the land that you shall tread, as he promised you.

IV. Walk – Deuteronomy 5:33
A. This gives connotations of every day life.
B. This is no small thing.
1. Enoch – Genesis 5:24 – Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.
2. Noah – Genesis 6:9 – These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation; Noah walked with God
3. Abraham – Genesis 17:1 – When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram, and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless.
C. How should we walk?
1. By faith – 2 Corinthians 5:7 – for we walk by faith, not by sight.
2. By the Spirit – Galatians 5:25 – If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

Sit illustration: Being still is not easy. I know I struggle with it. Our minds run a hundred miles an hour most of the time. And when we try to sit before the Lord and hear him, everything is magnified ten times, it seems.
Here we are trying to be still, and about 15 seconds in we’re like, “Hmm, wonder what’s on TV?” Oh, no … I’m being still, that’s right. Here we go again. 15 seconds later, “Hmm, book!”

It’s always going to be a fight. The devil will always try to distract us from spending time with God. Because it is the most vital part of our day.
Jesus knew what he was talking about (imagine that) in Matt. 6:6 “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Not only was he talking about praying in such a way that does not bring glory to you, but he also knew the benefits of getting away from it all to be with the Father.

We see in scripture were Jesus, gets up early and gets away and spends time with the Father. How much more do we need it? A lot.

We need to get in our prayer closet, as we say. Even there we can be like, “Hmm, shoe.” It will be a battle, but we have to sit before God and focus on Him alone. It is the precursor for standing, walking, and running.

Mountain/ Valley Illustration: When we are running and walking the road that the Lord takes us on is not all flat. We go through many mountains and valleys. The key is to know when to do what.

I’m from West Virginia and there a lot of hills and mountains there. You may have never experienced this if you’re from the flats lands, but it is really difficult to walk down a steep hill. The whole time you’re fighting the incline and putting your brakes on. When you’re going down this hill it’s almost easier to run than walk. And I did it many times growing up. Just let go.

Well, when you’re heading down the mountain that must mean you are entering the valley. Many times we see valleys in our life coming up, and we are putting the brakes on big time. Then we hit the valley, and we get bogged down. Then we’re stuck.

Sounds kind of funny, but I believe God wants us to hit the valley going full speed. God can be saying to us, “Hey run with me through this, and I have something great for you on the next mountain top.” But there we are many times, sitting in the valley when we should be running. God uses the valley experience in our lives to teach us things and make us grow, but how often do we end up there longer than we need to be. Like a little kid, we get frustrated and mad, then we just sit down saying, “I’m not going, waah.” We should run through that stuff as fast as we can. Learn what we need to learn and get going. And if you see it coming, and say, “Lord, I’m going to run with you through this” it’ll happen. Let go and let God.

After we’ve run through the valley, now we’re on our way up the next slope and the next mountain top experience. When we reach the top, this is the time to sit with God and bask in His presence and goodness. I always think of a little lizard on a rock when I think of “bask.” It means to expose oneself to pleasant warmth or to take great pleasure or satisfaction. When need to take great pleasure in God and that mountaintop and all the things God brought us through to get there. And take time to soak up His Son. Feel the warmth.

We also do this wrong. We make it to the top and we sit with God. “Mmm, God you are good … Alright, woohoo! That was great.” We’re off running down the other side. “God sure is good isn’t He?!” Yeah, God is good, but we have no idea how good He is. We need to sit with Him. Don’t be afraid to take your time on the mountaintop. Make it a plateau and not a peak.

You’ve seen the cartoons with the wise man on the mountaintop, and the guy crawls up there to get a nugget of wisdom. We’ll when we get to mountaintop; we need to take advantage of Wisdom himself, Jesus Christ. We need His wisdom to know when to do what. Lord, should I run now, or is now the time to sit. As we spend time on the mountaintop with God, we will obtain wisdom. Then we will know not to sit in the valley, and not run over the mountaintop.

1 Corinthians 9:24 – 27 – 24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Well, I do not run aimlessly, I do not box as one beating the air; 27 but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

Deuteronomy 5:33 – You shall walk in all the way which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land which you shall possess.

1 Corinthians 16:13 – Be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong.

Psalms 46:10 – “Be still, and know that I am God. I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth!”

Sit

Isaiah 40:31 – but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

Psalms 5:3 – O LORD, in the morning thou dost hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for thee, and watch.

1 Kings 19:11 & 12 – And he said, “Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.

Stand

1 Corinthians 16:13 – Be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong.

Walk

Deuteronomy 5:33 – You shall walk in all the way which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land which you shall possess.

Run

Hebrews 12:1 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

MSR

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