Watchman Nee on “Sitting, then Walking”

A well-read friend of mine read a bit of my blog and pointed me to a classic Christian author whom I’ve been missing out on all these years: Watchman Nee. Nee became a Christian in China in 1920, and ultimately died for his faith after 30 years of active ministry and 20 years of imprisonment for his faith. His thoughts are profound:

“Most Christians make the mistake of trying to walk in order to be able to sit, but that is a reversal of the true order. Our natural reason says, If we do not walk, how can we ever reach the goal? What can we attain without effort? How can we ever get anywhere if we do not move? But Christianity is a queer business! If at the outset we try to do anything, we get nothing; if we seek to attain something, we miss everything. For Christianity begins not with a big DO, but with a big DONE.” (excerpt from Nee’s book, Sit, Walk, Stand)

I was reminded this week about the intentionality required to whole-heartedly follow Jesus. There is a conscious reordering of life, if we choose to live by faith. Nee speaks of a crucial reordering that Christ-followers must pursue. Although it seems unnatural in almost every way, we are to rest before we move. We are to sit before we walk.

This isn’t easy! And that’s why Sabbath keeping can feel so difficult at times. Most of us believe that the easiest way from here to there is to move ourselves in the direction of our goals, dreams, and desires. Observing the Sabbath well means stopping the pursuit of life to rest in God.

If you’ve joined the experiment and it is harder than you thought to keep the Sabbath, take heart. After all, most of the things God called us to do aren’t easy, are they? More on that thought next time.

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