THOU KNOWS MY DOWNSITTING
“O LORD thou has searched me and known me. Thou knows my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understands my thoughts afar off.” (KJV)
This marvelous Psalm speaks of GOD’s Omnipresence and Omniscience. It needs be read and meditated upon frequently. Today, I wish to focus upon the unusual word ‘downsitting.’
We seem to instinctively understand what is being said here that God knows when we sit and when we stand. That He is concerned with all the ‘trivial’ details of our lives. That He is even aware of the moments we sit or the moments we stand. That nothing is too ‘trivial’ to not garner His attention. This is true, but is there more? With God, there is always more!
This word ‘downsitting’ is from the Hebrew word ‘yasab’ which can be translated to mean ‘to dwell or inhabit, to remain or tarry, to sit, to abide.’
Let me quote the familiar Psalm 23.
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures:
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For his name’s sake.
Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou prepares a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;
Thou anoints my head with oil; my cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”
A well-loved Psalm that has brought countless hours of comfort to thousands.
To dwell or inhabit. Here in the above Psalm we have the promise that believers will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. This is to be our dwelling place.
In our opening Psalm, the writer reminds us that the LORD has searched each and every one of His children and knows their ‘downsitting.’ Know where they are currently dwelling.
Knows our mind set. Knows where our focus is centered.
Are we living as though we are dwelling in His house?
Later in the Psalms the writer tells us in Psalm 27:4 the following.
“One thing have I desired of the LORD, that I will seek after;
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.”
One aspect of our ‘downsitting’ concerns our place of dwelling. Are we seeking to dwell in the house of the LORD or are we dwelling in our own abode?
Have we in fact given over our domicile to the indwelling Holy Spirit?
Are we busy ruling within our temporary fleshy structures, or are we giving over, day by day, hour by hour, our right of occupancy to the Holy Spirit?
Is Christ upon the throne of our lives?
So, as the LORD searches us and investigates our ‘downsitting’ what is He finding?
Let’s return once more to the Psalms and listen to Psalm 91:1.
“He that dwells in the secret place of the most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”
The LORD searches our ‘downsitting’ to see where it is we dwell. Are we dwelling in His house; are we dwelling in the secret place of the most High?
Is this were we live; is this where our confidence resides? The Psalmist continues in verse 2 of Psalm 91.
“I will say of the LORD, He is refuge and my fortress:
My God in Him will I trust.”
If we dwell within the house of the LORD, as our place of refuge, as our place of security, then we trust in Him and not in our own fleshy strength.
So, as the LORD searches and investigates our ‘downsitting’ He begins by determining where our dwelling place is.
The wonderful book, The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boon speaks volumes to this. Do we find victory by dwelling within our own devices and within our own strength and understanding, or do we seek with diligence His dwelling place?
The second aspect of the LORD’s searching our ‘downsitting’ concerns our remaining.
Are we remaining steadfast in His joy?
I say, His joy, rather than our joy. For it is His joy He has given us so that we can express joy.
Have the cares and intrusions of life pushed out our joy. Has the joy of the resurrection been overshadowed by the depression of this age?
So, as He searches our ‘downsitting’ does He still find joy?
Consider John 15:11.
“These things have I spoken unto you that my joy might remain in you,
And that your joy may be full.”
We are to remain in joy and cultivate that joy until it become full.
Another aspect of our ‘remaining’ is outline later in John 15 at verse 16.
“You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you,
That you should go and bring forth fruit
And that your fruit should remain:
That whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name,
He will give it you.”
The LORD searching our ‘downsitting’ looks for the characteristics that should remain. Characteristics of joy and fruit.
Joy, as one of the attributes of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, should lead directly to our fruit bearing. As our joy becomes or remains full so too will our fruit remain and become full.
Does our joy remain?
Are we still joyful that He has chosen us! That He has ordained us! That He has declared we are to be fruit bearers.
Are we still of the mind-set – faith-set – that we still ask of the Father in His name?
Hebrews 12:27 discusses the things of this world that must soon be shaken as compared to the unshakable word of GOD that will remain unshakable.
Are we remaining committed in our confidence in the unshakable word of God?
1 John 2:24 says it this way.
“Let that therefore abide in you, which you have heard from the beginning.
If that which you have heard from the beginning will remain in you,
You also will continue in the Son and in the Father.”
Will the LORD find you remaining within His word?
So, as the LORD searches our ‘downsitting’ He seeks where it is we are dwelling, and whether we are remaining in our joy, in our fruit and in His word.
A third aspect of the LORD searching our ‘downsitting’ relates to our ‘sitting’
‘Which He [the Father] wrought in Christ when He raised him from the dead,
And set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
Far above all principalities and powers . . .
“And has raised us up together,
And made us sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus . . .”
Ephesians 1: 20-22 and 2: 6-9
“Christianity does not begin with walking; it begins with sitting. The Christian era began with Christ, of whom we are told that, when he had made purification of sins, he “sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3). With equal truth we can say that the individual Christian life begins with a man “in Christ”—that is to say, when by faith we see ourselves seated together with him in the heavens. 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. Thus Ephesians opens with the statement that God has “blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (1:3) and we are invited at the very outset to sit down and enjoy what God has done for us; not to set out to try and attain it for ourselves.” 1
So then, as GOD searches our ‘downsitting’ He is looking to see where we are sitting!
Are we resting in Him and His finished work or are we hustling about trying to do things in our own strength?
As Watchman Nee expressed so expertly in his book Sit Walk Stand we tend to walk before we have sat.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Learn to sit before you attempt to walk.
The forth meaning within the word “downsitting’ is the attribute of abiding.
Again, from the Psalms we have Psalm 15:1-2
“LORD, who shall abide in Thy tabernacle?
Who shall dwell in Thy holy hill?
He that walks uprightly, and works righteousness
And speaks the truth in his heart.”
Jesus had much to say concerning abiding. John 15: 4,7,10 are listed below.
“Abide in me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself,
Except it abide in the vine; no more can you except you abide in me.”
So, as the LORD searches our ‘downsitting’ He looks to see where we are abiding.
Previously we learned that our fruit will remain and here we obtain more detail concerning our remaining.
We are to abide in the Vine – Jesus – and as we do so our fruit will be abundant.
John 15 continues.
“if you abide in me and my words abide in you,
You will ask what you will and it will be done unto you.
If you keep my commandments you will abide in my love;
Even as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love.”
Does GOD find us abiding?
Are His words abiding in us? Are we being diligent in the study of His word?
Are we abiding in His love – the sacrificial love of God.
Are we allowing His Spirit to help us concerning His commandments?
The promises of GOD contained in these verses are tremendous! And they are made reality in our lives as we abide.
An additional area that GOD looks for as He searches our ‘downsitting’ concerns our works.
Our works, in the sense of works through the Holy Spirit.
Are our works wood, hay and stubble or are they abiding works of gold, silver and precious gems? Consider 1 Cor. 3:11-15
“For other foundations can no man lay than that is laid,
Which is Jesus Christ.
Now if any man build upon this foundation
Gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it,
Because it shall be revealed by fire;
And the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
If any man’s work ABIDES which he has built thereon
He shall receive a reward.
If any man’s work shall be burned he will suffer loss:
But he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”
So then, as the LORD searches our ‘downsitting’ the type of work we are actively involved in is tested. He seeks to see the abiding nature of our work.
Summarizing our state of abiding we turn to 1 John 2:17-18 as our guide.
“But the anointing you have received of Him abides in you,
And you need not know that any man teach you:
But as the same anointing teaches you of all things,
And is truth and no lie, and even as it has taught you,
You will abide in Him.
And now, little children, abide in Him, that, when He shall appear,
We may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.”
So then, four attributes concerning the word ‘downsitting.’
GOD searches our ‘downsitting’ looking for where our hearts are dwelling; whether or not we are remaining faithful; determining where we are sitting and if we are abiding in Jesus, and if He and His word are abiding in us. Let us be mindful to our ‘downsitting.’ Amen.
1 Watchman Nee Sit Walk Stand
As we celebrate Mother’s Day this Sunday let us be mindful of those mothers among us and within our communities.
“Dear Father, we approach your throne on behalf of the mothers whom you have entrusted with the care of your most precious little ones. We thank you for creating each mom with a unique combination of gifts and talents. We thank you for the sacrifice of self each mom gives for her children. For the late nights spent rocking a colicky infant. For the hands calloused from washing, wiping, scrubbing, mixing, backing, stirring, hugging, patting, disciplining, holding, writing, erasing, painting, and pouring.
We thank you for the gift of time moms give for their kids, whether it’s stay-at-home moms, working moms, and moms who have some combination of the two. We thank you for the flexibility of moms, for their tirelessness, their perseverance, and their devotion.
We pray you give each mom strength. Help her to see in every mundane task the eternal, cosmic significance that you place on motherhood. Help her to understand that the most radical, world-changing events may be happening anonymously in her home. Help her to forgive those who undermine her significance.
We especially pray for single moms, who must lean solely on you for the fathering of their children. We thank you that you’re big arms surround children who may never know their earthly father. We also pray for mothers who never had the honor of bearing children, but whose nurturing extends to the many poor and needy who cross the threshold of their lives.
We ask you to be the daily bread of tired mothers. We ask you to be their living water. We ask you to be their source of spiritual and physical strength. We pray that the same grace that flowed from Father to Son to us in salvation will flow from mothers to their children. We pray that each mother rejects perfectionism and instead embraces the goodness of the gospel. We pray the rhythms of repentance and forgiveness shape every home.
Lord, give each mother a worshipful reverence of you, the Creator and Sustainer of life. Help each mother to rest in the knowledge that they are but stewards of your children and that only your Spirit can produce change into the hearts of each boy and girl. May each mother find rest in you.
Most of all, Lord, on this day in which we honor mothers, may we love and cherish the special women who have born us, who have nurtured us, and who have prayed for our well-being. May our hearts overflow with gratitude to you, who formed and knitted each of us in a mother’s womb.” 2 In Jesus name amen.
2 Daniel Darling