The Saddle: Seated with Christ in Heavenly Places

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. (Eph 2: 6-7)

Are you born again? Because if you are, (and if you aren’t you need to be) this is what happened when Jesus entered your heart: you were raised up, united with Christ, and seated with Him in heavenly places. God picked you up and put you on the saddle. When you were raised out of the waters of baptism it was a symbol not only of your new life in Christ as you live out your discipleship on the earth, but also of God’s own hand lifting you from the “miry clay” of sin to be seated with His Son in the Spirit. And to be absolutely clear, Scripture gives us more detail of exactly where in the heavenly realms Jesus is seated. When God raised Him from the dead by “the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead,” He “seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.” (Eph 1: 19-21).

Since we are seated with Him, our saddle is there as well. So what does it mean to be seated?

It means the job is done. The death and resurrection of Jesus completed the work of salvation for all time, and we sit with Him, sharing in that completed work. He won the victory at Calvary and we share in the spoils. Nothing we did put us in that seat – even the faith that we had to believe in Jesus was a gift of God. God lifted us, and God seated us. And the power with which He lifted us with now dwells within us, and is available to us when we “walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:4) However we must also remember that Jesus is not just sitting with His feet up at the right hand of the Father now that His work is completed: He is busy interceding for us (Heb 7:25). So as we sit there with Him we can be engaged in the same activity, and we can be talking with Him about what He wants us to pray for.

Being seated means we are in the place of authority. Jesus is seated “far above all principality and power and might and dominion.” Not just a bit above, but far above. I have never been given revelation on the topography of the heavenly realms, but those who have tell us that the second heaven is the area of the demonic principalities and powers, whereas the third heaven – where Paul was taken and “heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter” (2 Cor 12: 4) – is where Jesus is seated, and where we, in the Spirit, are seated with Him. We are not just above the forces of the enemy and their destructive works on Earth, we are literally on another level. If we think about demonic activity from an earthly or carnal perspective, we can easily feel intimidated or uncertain; and this makes sense because the second Heaven is obviously on a “higher” level than our earthly abode. This of course is exactly what the devil wants. But if we look at the enemy from where we are seated we have a very different picture, and it is no longer us who are intimidated, but him.

Finally, being seated means being in the place of rest. I am sure you have seen someone on a mountain bike, pedalling up an impossible-looking slope, with their legs moving faster than their wheels, but nonetheless moving forward in their lowest gear, remaining seated, and not even appearing to exert themselves. Hebrews 4 talks about the rest of God, and verse 3 tells us that “we who have believed do enter that rest.” Later in the same chapter the writer exhorts us (v. 11): “Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.” (ie the disobedience of the Israelites.) Peter too exhorts us to “be diligent to be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” (2 Pe 3:14) If we keep short accounts with God and with one another “the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7) and our peace remains with us. Even though we may be pedalling hard, the saddle remains a restful place. And when we are in it, whatever the path looks like, our God “will supply all (our) need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil 4: 19). The right gear will be there on the bike when we need it. We do not need to get out of the saddle to exert more pressure on the pedals, and we certainly do not need to get off the bike to help God by pushing it up the hill.

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