Psalm 1 contrasts the way of the righteous and the wicked. The righteous one is “blessed” and “like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither” (Psa. 1:1, 3a). The blessed prosper in all that they do (Psa. 1:3b-4), whereas the wicked are “like chaff that the wind drives away” (Psa. 1:4). They ultimately fail. “The wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous” (Psa. 1:5)
We are also told that the one who is blessed “walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers” (Psa. 1:1). Here the action words “walk,” “stand” and “sit” indicate conformity to evil ways.
The journey from the presence of God begins with embracing bad advice from the wicked. The fallen then stand up and defend the way of the wicked. Things get topsy-turvy. God and people of God are made out to be morally defective. Soon we are sitting at the table of the scoffers. Incorrigible and arrogant, the scoffer despises instruction from the Lord (Prov. 15:12; 21:24). Nevertheless, there is an expiration date for fallen people. “The way of the wicked will perish.” (Psa. 1:6).
To walk with wicked, stand with sinners, and sit with scoffers signify the departure from a right relationship with God. Reuniting with God goes in the opposite direction. Scripture tells us that we sit in the heavenlies, and the fact that we are seated in the heavenlies is foundational to our walk with God and our stand against the powers of darkness.
Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians tells us: “God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:4-6). The apostle also states that “we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). We are then beckoned to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called” (Eph. 4:1). Moreover, the apostle calls us to: “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm” (Eph. 6:11-13).
Watchman Nee in Sit, Walk, Stand notes that in Ephesians we find great spiritual truth depicting our life in Christ. He points out the word sit (2:6). We sit with Christ in the heavenly places, and we start our spiritual life from that place of rest. Later in Ephesians we find the word walk (4:1) expressing our life in the world. We are called upon to display conduct that is in keeping with our high calling. And finally, we find the word stand (6:11), describing our place of triumph.
God takes us out of this world dominated by sin and seats us in the heavenly places. It is from this place of rest that we begin our walk with the Lord, doing all the good things that God created us to do. It is because we are secured in the heavenlies that we have access to all that is needed to stand against the powers of darkness that wage war against God and the people of God. We are like trees planted by streams of water, always bearing fruit in due season.