Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Role of a Watchman Today: Are You One?

Have you ever thought of yourself as a watchman?

You might be thinking of this . . .

New York. Associated  Night watchman

And wondering what on earth I'm talking about.

Yet even though we don't carry a flashlight and a billy stick, we are all called to be watchmen, watching over our homes, our husbands and children, our church, and even the culture we live in.  

For many of us--myself included--being a watchman is not something that comes naturally.

So, what does a good watchman do?

  • He keeps his eyes open.
  • He's alert and always on guard to potential attacks--both subtle and covert.
  • He's armed in case of a dangerous threat.
  • He's active. You won't find a good watchman catching a few winks on the job; he's vigilant.
  • He warns the innocent of impending danger so they will flee for safety.
  • He has back-up in case there's too much for him to contend with alone.
Ezekiel, the great Old Testament prophet to the Israelites in exile, was appointed by God to be a watchman:

"'Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me. When I say to a wicked man, "You will surely die," and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood."'"

Ezekiel 3:17-18

Ezekiel's task is not one I would have wanted. He was commissioned by God to warn Israel of the coming destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. He had to tell God's chosen people that they would remain in exile for many years -- that was not a popular message. Israel did not want to hear what Ezekiel had to say. Still, if he refused, God would hold Ezekiel responsible.

We, too, are to be watchmen, warning people of the dangers sin poses. Many people will not want to hear the truth when we speak it; yet, we must "speak the truth in love" just as Ezekiel did. People will call us names and reject us when we preach Christ, but, like Ezekiel, we too will be accountable if we do not stand up and proclaim the truth.

In what areas should we be watching?


Whether we are watching over our own hearts . . .

"Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life."

Proverbs 4:23

Whatever goes in ultimately will come out. Whether I'm watching a program with foul language or reading a book with sexual themes, I am influenced by what I consume. We have to be very careful what we allow into our minds, our hearts, our ears, even our mouths, so it doesn't become a stumbling block for us.

Whether we are watching over the hearts & souls of our husbands . . .

"She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life."

Proverbs 31:12

As Wives we are watchmen over our husbands. We must be careful to fill up his love tank regularly. We keep magazines and movies out of our homes that might be a hindrance for him. We are alert to changes in his mood and give him encouragement when he needs it, praying for him and his soul continually.

Whether we are watching over the hearts & souls of our children . . .

"My son, keep your father's commands
and do not forsake your mother's teaching.
Bind them upon your heart forever;
fasten them around your neck."

Proverbs 7:20-21
As Moms we are watchmen over our children's souls. We are careful about what TV programs they watch, the music they listen to, the books they read, the people they associate with, even the foods they eat and what they wear. We are instructed to teach our children right from wrong and to discipline them when necessary so that as they mature, they will know for themselves what is good for righteousness and what is not.
We're also watching over the influence of our culture & this world . . .

". . . let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."
Matthew 5:16 

As Women living in the world, we are watchmen of our culture. We must keep our eyes open to anything that might not be of God or in keeping with His Word. We must arm ourselves with the Sword of Truth. Therefore, we must know the Bible. That means studying it, praying about it, meditating on it OFTEN.

When "danger" lurks about us, we must not compromise our integrity to fit in or be liked. We must be on guard for potential attacks to ourselves and our families, knowing each ones' areas of temptation and personal struggles.

And when we are surrounded by danger, we need back-up -- our brothers and sisters in Christ -- to support, strengthen, and encourage us to stay firm in the faith.

Watchmen not only watch and warn of danger; they also proclaim salvation to those who are lost. We need to be sharing the good news of Jesus to our dying world, and that starts in our own homes.

What We Need to Do as Watchmen in Our Homes 

Women, if being a watchman doesn't come naturally to you, first of all, pray and ask God to help you

We must then ask God to reveal specific areas where our family members and we ourselves are struggling, and we need to uproot sin wherever it is.

  • If the TV is destroying our family, then we need to turn it off, maybe even get rid of it. 
  •  If too many activities are creeping into our family time, then maybe we need to say "no" to a few.  
  • If a child has a friend with questionable morality or who causes trouble, then maybe, Moms, we need to step in and cut off that relationship.
  • If we aren't in tune with our husbands, then, Wives, we need to sit down and catch up.   

We can't sit around and ignore the evil worming its way into our homes and communities. We have to be vigilant and proactive, and we need to be sharing with our children and non-Christians the hope of the Gospel 
We are called to:

"Be of sober spirit, [to] be on the alert [because] our adversary, the Devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8)

Satan wants to consume us! He wants to infiltrate our homes and drive Jesus out of them, and he is doing it ever so stealthily.

We need to . . .
  • Be alert to what is and who are coming into our homes. 
  • Be armed with the Word, so we're able to discern the Truth and drive out Satan. 

  • Have back-up: Trusted Christian friends who will help us along the way.   

  • Teach our children the Lord's ways, so they will be able to distinguish good from evil on their own.

  • Be involved. If we isolate ourselves from the world, we will fall with it. We must know what's going on in our community, state, country, and the world, and commit to stand against evil. 

  • Watch & pray! 
  • Share the good news of salvation that comes through Jesus.

One day the Lord will return, and all His promises will be fulfilled. We need to be ready!

"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come."

Matthew 24:42 

I'm praying for you, sweet friend, as you watch over yourselves, your families, and your corner of the world.

Blessings to you,

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  1. I seriously love this post, Keri. Our families desperately need us to be watchful and to keep a vigorous prayer life. Praying for you too, sweet friend! :) Sharing to FB and Twitter this afternoon.

    1. Thank you, Meghan!
      Prayer is so key. Thank you for yours.

  2. Yes, yes, yes. Will & I studied Ezekiel 33 not long after we were married and the visual of the watchman has stuck with me.

    I am grateful that you mentioned being a watchman over our children's friendships. Our girls spend most of their time together, and at 7, 6, & almost 3, we don't feel like they need to spend many of their hours unattended with friends. I talk to them from the Proverbs about what God wants us to look for in a true friend, and what we need to do to be friendly toward others - and how God calls us His friend and it's not a term to throw around but to treasure. We've been picked on and criticized (sometimes by other believers!) who think we are controlling our daughter's lives too much by being so picky about who they spend time with, what they spend their time doing, and who we allow to invest in them, but we are so convicted that Scripture is so clear about the importance of surrounding oneself with wise and God-fearing people.

    I'd honestly never thought about myself as the watchman over my husband, but I needed to hear that - to be vigilant to watch for those areas in his life where he is so often assaulted spiritually and to gird his life in prayer even more. Thank you for sharing this, Keri. :)

  3. Absolutely spot on with this Keri! I can tell you that although I agree with everything you said, I sometimes let my guard down. You get so bogged down with all the mundane responsibilities of life, but that's exactly what Satan wants. He knows that he can't make us turn our backs on God, so he tries to infiltrate wherever he can. We have to, as you say, be the watchman of our home and be ever diligent. Great post!

  4. Such a good post! Sometimes it's so easy to let our guard down or focus too much on one area at the expense of another. Will be sharing this. Thanks!

  5. Thanks, sweet friends, for your comments. I was wondering if maybe I had been a little presumptuous by suggesting God is calling us to be watchmen as He called Ezekiel, but I think I was not. It is incredibly challenging to watch and be vigilant when so much is pulling at us in so many directions. I am so busy, and I think the devil uses my busyness as a way to keep me off guard a lot of times. Thanks for your encouragement!