Thursday, August 6, 2020
Are you Watching?
“Watchman, how much longer until morning?” Isaiah 21:11 NLT
What enemies are abroad today? Errors are a vast horde, and new ones appear every hour: what heresy must I guard against? Sins lurk about, creeping from their hiding places when darkness reigns; I must climb the watchtower, and pray. Our heavenly Protector can already see the attacks that will be made on us, and even while they are still only the desires of Satan, Jesus prays for us that our faith will not fail when we are sifted like wheat (Luke 22:31–32). Oh, gracious Watchman, continue to warn us of our enemies—and for Zion’s sake, don’t stop warning us. “Watchman, how much longer until morning?” What kind of weather is coming for the church? Are there gloomy clouds, or is it clear and fair overhead? We must care for the church of God with an ardent love—and now that false teaching and infidelity are both threatening, let us observe the signs of the times and prepare for conflict. “Watchman, how much longer until morning?” What stars are visible? What precious promises suit our present situation? You sound the alarm, give us comfort also. Christ, the North Star, is always in His place, and all the other stars are secure in their Lord’s right hand. “Watchman, how much longer until morning?” We still await the Bridegroom. Are there signs of Him, coming forth as the Sun of Righteousness? Hasn’t the morning star risen as the promise of day? When will the day dawn, and the darkness flee? Oh, Jesus, if you don’t come in person to your waiting church today, come in your Spirit to my yearning heart, and make it sing for joy. Now all the earth is bright and glad With the fresh morn; But all my heart is cold and dark and sad: Sun of the soul, let me behold thy dawn! Come, Jesus, Lord, Oh, quickly come, according to thy word! “Lord, Open My Eyes,” Christian Friedrich Richter (1704, translated by Catherine Winkworth, 1855) - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening
The Watchman on the wall in Biblical times was perhaps the most important person in the town or village. Taking their time to always be on the alert, scouring the horizon for any form of danger. They were the ones that alerted the gate keepers as to when it was safe to have the gates be opened.
We all need a Watchman when it comes to what enters our hearts and minds. We are easy prey when it comes to manipulating our thoughts. Don't think so? Then why are suggestive words so easy to use on us that created a multi billion dollar industry for commercials.
We are easy to stir up. Show videos of evil practices to a group and you will get every range of emotions from shock to rage to physical reactions.
We don't guard our minds and hearts the way we ought to. As odd as it sounds we can't do it alone. History is replete with people groups that have been every type possible in the range of human interaction. From isolationists to those who go with anything happening. You know what? All have the same problem with sin. You can't get away from it til you die. Some believed that was their only recourse and woke up where they found out wrong.
We need a guide, a Helper, and in Christ we have one. The Ultimate Watchman on the wall of our hearts and minds. The Holy Spirit. Without Christ you're on your own. You have to be on the alert all the time. You have to figure out what's good and what's evil. Reality is, apart from God you cannot know. Only the Spirit convicts people of sin. Only Him. We cannot trust ourselves to make wise and right decisions because we have nothing to use to tell if we are right or not. A feeling or factual understanding isn't enough in a Spiritual war.
A Watchman on the wall guarded against all dangers, the most trusted person in that place. Who is the most trusted person in you? If it's you, and you claim to be a Christian, then Jesus is not on the Throne of your heart. Outside of Christ everyone is believing they are on their own Throne of their own lives. Yet in them their advisor is the sin nature and Satan.
In Christ we have an Advocate, we have a Helper, we have the power, strength and wisdom of God at our disposal. As long as Christ is on the Throne of our hearts, He calls the shots.
We must be careful to listen as well. Warnings will come. We must heed them. Where He is working we must be attentive. A good example is in the book of Nehemiah. Working with one hand and your sword in the other.
No where in the Bible does it say that in this life it's ok to let your guard down. Peter did and in his first thought after confessing Jesus as the Christ face planted by tripping up and was rebuked.
Christianity today is caught up in mixing in the rights of people. In Christ our rights are not ours. We belong to God. We serve at His direction. We are not citizens of this world anymore. It's easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment when situations happen. The Spirit doesn't. He always is on guard against such things. He sees through everyone's thoughts and intentions.
The Watchman on the Wall is partly where this blog was inspired by. Over a year ago God told me that I would be given things to say and it was up to me to say them. Writers of books in the Old Testament were solemnly warned to tell the people exactly what God was telling them to say to the people. It's the same responsibility as the Watchman on the wall. If a danger was approaching and they said nothing the consequences fell upon them.
I am not good enough on my own to watch me. I am not good enough on my own to write what you read here. I can't do it. In Christ, I can. In Christ only is true fruit grown with respect to Salvation. Only in Christ, through the Holy Spirit, can we really know right thoughts from wrong thoughts. People constantly misuse even Scripture to believe something about God that's not right. Satan used that immediately in his temptations with Jesus. You don't think he wouldn't with you?
God won't give me more than I can handle. A lie.
No weapon formed against me will prosper. A lie.
There are others. Why are those a lie? If you only were given what you could handle you wouldn't have a reliance on Christ. Many Christian martyrs had weapons formed against them that certainly worked against them. Throwing that verse around while not living a Christ centered life just makes it's misuse worse.
You are not going to be on easy street after coming to Christ. The world hated Jesus they aren't going to be fond of you. He said that to us in the Bible. A man's enemies would be members of their own house. Sound like you only get what you can handle? Not hardly.
Be watchful. Be on guard. Take no input from people or social media or interactions in life for granted. In Christ we have the power to do something about life. Without Christ you don't stand a chance.