Standing in the Watchtower

14 07 2006

Scripture:
Isaiah 21:8,9 (NIV) 8 And the lookout shouted, "Day after day, my lord, I stand on the watchtower; every night I stay at my post.  9Look, here comes a man in a chariot with a team of horses. And he gives back the answer: ‘Babylon has fallen, has fallen! All the images of its gods lie shattered on the ground!’ "

Hebrews 11:40 (NIV) God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

Observations:
It is interesting, having completed this Bible reading plan a few times, I had never noticed this text.  That is what makes the Bible so exciting — there are lots of little nuggets yet to be discovered.  In fact, it isn’t just the nuggets not read, but the deeper truths hidden in these nuggets that are yet to be discovered.

Just earlier this week at our leadership meeting we read and discussed the three angels messages in Revelation 14.  It is interesting to see that Revelation 14 — the second and third angels are quoting from Isaiah 21.

But the text that really struck me was the comment about standing at the watchtower day after day.  It is so easy to get lazy and take for granted that we live in a life of peace and safety.  Things are blowing up in the Middle East, people’s lives are being destroyed, our economy is on shaky ground, and the spiritual attacks are intense.  Yet, there are time I coast — asleep at my post.

Most of this week has been interesting.  There are things I wish had gone better.  Emotionally, spiritually, physically, and socially.  It was a hard week.  Then yesterday one of my neighbors pops in and we end up in this intense spiritual discussion concerning his salvation.  It would have been better if I had been at my post on the watchtower and prepared to answer his questions, deal with the issues in his life, and better able to lift up Jesus in his life — but I wasn’t.  I had been asleep at my post and now in a groggy stupor I was trying to warn him of the dangers around him and the sure path to safety.

I believe God still worked through me to help my neighbor, but it could have been better.

Sometimes we misunderstand the role of the man in the watchtower.  It isn’t so much to change people — to control them — rather it is to inform people and maybe warn them.  I need to be alert to everything in my field of view.  Whether it be danger, or blessings, it is my job to inform people of what I see.  But in my limited human perspective, I don’t always have to best information.  However, if I seek to see through God’s eyes, I have much more to offer in the way of information.

Paul tells us that spiritual things are spiritually perceived.  My role is not necessarily to change people, but to inform them.

Application:
As the leader of this church, it is my role to scout ahead and find the path we are to take.  Whether I can see days into the future, or just moments, I can only inform of what I know.  Some days the whether is clear and we stand on a rise that lets us see far down the road.  On other days we are in the forest and it is foggy and rainy and we can only see a few feet ahead of ourselves.  I can’t control how far ahead I see.  I can’t control how much information I have.  But I can control the way I communicate and the source of my information.

In other words, my connection with God is integral.  He can see through the fog and He can share insights with me.  The state of the church, the state of individuals, the state of the world, the spiritual battles around us — God sees all of that.  He will share it with me as He sees fit and it is my role, as the watchman, to share it with the church as we move forward.

I don’t need to be concerned with any information I don’t have.  I am only responsible with the information I do have — and much of that I don’t share well.  Sometimes I fear passing on information I do have, and I want to share insights I don’t have access to.

Jesus said to not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself.  He asks us to consider the flowers, for they don’t worry about tomorrow and they’re doing just fine.  For the past several months I’ve been concerned about the future and how that will affect my family, our church, and The Church.  God continues to tell me, that’s none of my business.

My job is to let go, and let God do what he knows is best.

Prayer:
Father God, today, I surrender to your Lordship and guidance.  I will let you lead.  I will follow you and communicate your will to those you’ve entrusted me with.  Continue to teach me how to do this.  Continue to guide me in your ways.  Continue to open my perspective in ways that I could never see on my own, and continue to keep me in the dark on things that I don’t need to know.

I love you God and I will continue to trust you.

gw


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