November 16 – Watchman

watchman-trw

When the watchman sees the enemy coming, he sounds the alarm to warn the people.  Then if those who hear the alarm refuse to take action, it is their own fault if they die. They heard the alarm but ignored it, so the responsibility is theirs. If they had listened to the warning, they could have saved their lives. But if the watchman sees the enemy coming and doesn’t sound the alarm to warn the people, he is responsible for their captivity. They will die in their sins, but I will hold the watchman responsible for their deaths. (Ezekiel 33:3-6)

Read: Ezekiel 33:1-34:31, Hebrews 13:1-25, Psalm 115:1-18, Proverbs 27:21-22

Relate: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” That is the question Cain presented when God asked him where Able was. Yes, Cain was guilty as sin for what he had done to his brother, but the way the question is most often today is very different. Today that question is generally used to really ask, “Am I responsible for another’s actions?” I wish there was an easy answer to this question. This is true on both a personal and national level. I recently had a discussion with someone on whether the US is responsible for ISIS. It is very easy for people to spout out a quick yes or no based on their ideology and preconceived notions of what is happening there, but the closer one looks the harder it is to give such a black and white response.

In the same way, if I tell somebody, “You really shouldn’t do that”, but they go and do it anyways, am I really off the hook? If I didn’t tell them why they shouldn’t do it or if I said it in a self-righteous condemnatory way that did nothing more than get their back up, have I truly given them warning? The same thing is true with social justice warriors. We all love to get on our social media platforms and shout out to all the world how this cause or that one deserves more attention or how this thing or that one needs to change. We then pat ourselves on the back and go about our business. Is that truly being a watchman? How many people actually see our facebook meme’s? How many really read our blogs? Am I screaming out in an empty room and wondering why no one hears? Am I just one more social billboard in the times square like environment that is people’s facebook walls wondering why I don’t have more “likes”? Is this what being a watchman is really all about?

React: What does it really take to be a watchman? How can I truly be effective in my warnings? They say that actions speak louder than words, how true is this? If my words are falling on deaf ears and my writing on blind eyes, is it possible that my actions can become a warning that will get through to people’s minds and hearts and bring about a true change? How can I go about being the warning for change that people so want to hear? Is it possible that simply shouting out one more message in a crowded noisy environment is actually causing more harm than good?  Am I truly a watchman or just a false prophet? Is there blood on my hands even as I fool myself into thinking that I have done my duty?

Respond: 

 Dear God,
Please, please don’t let me be just another drowned out voice on a noisy street with no one listening. I don’t just want to be loud, I want to be effective. Help me to find creative and powerful ways to let my voice be heard. Help Your warning that I cry out make its way to the ears and minds and hearts of those who desperately need to hear. I am my brother’s keeper. Help me to keep well that Your kingdom might advance and Your glory might be seen and that Your warning might be heeded.
Amen.

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14 thoughts on “November 16 – Watchman

  1. My experience has been that the most effective watchmen are those whose actions back up thier words-God certainly had Ezekiel do some very specific things to illustrate the message He gave him. I am much more willing to listen to the person talking if they are also walking the talk. Yes, we are our brother’s keeper-in so many ways-but first in that if we have the light of the gospel it is not ours alone. It was given for the purpose of shining and bringing others to the light of Christ.

  2. Important question as it leads to the topic of commitment. When my blog was up for renewal this year, I seriously considered stopping. Millions of blogs out there, etc..I shared my thoughts with my readers and they provided strength and encouragement to continue. It is normal for us to have such doubts. I stopped looking at the stats page….they really don’t matter. If we stop, the enemy wins as another voice for Christ is silenced. I encourage you brother to keep sharing your walk of faith. We cannot know who will read what post and the reality is, the rest is up to God once we put a writing out there. I also ask that we communally pray for our humble words to be heard and have an impact!

  3. It looks like people are hearing your voice! No worries from me. I read before I, Like, and, Comment! You have given me something to think about. Thank you. My faith holds so much caution these days. That sentence could be taken many ways I guess. Watchmen… Hmmm…

  4. All you can do is speak with a righteous tongue to your brothers and sisters, the rest is up to the Father. Whether they are open vessels to words spoken in warning is up to them, but guarding after the Body of Messiah even in the face of ridicule and rejections is up to us. And while we feel a great burden or heaviness due to the truth of different situations, we should feel humbled that our Loving Father chose us to be vessels of His Holy Spirit. May your words echo in the minds of the chosen ones, may the Father’s esteem by magnified by your love for others, and May His will always be done. Blessings!

  5. Our actions must prove our words. I just recently restarted blogging because of the action of building a spiritual retreat and outreach to my area. It is a journey I want to record. I was motivated by things bothering me in our modern church. So far I get likes, but no comments. Makes me wonder if my comment thingy is even working? Anyway, I define tell want to read more of your site. I think we may have a kindred spirit.

  6. I hear you
    Very well written. I want to say essay but it’s so much deeper than that. Like someone earlier said, back up your words with actions. And make sure they match. Don’t say one thing & do another. Be proactive.
    Glad you shared this.

  7. Sometimes, the most primal screams are the least heard above the cultural roar. This does not negate the value. It disgustingly relatives it. Don’t stop shouting.

  8. Well you’re doing too much, you’re handling more than you can take. I can’t say that your voice is not heard when you speak in the crowd, certainly people hear but they doing or following it is the problem. This is where prayer comes in. If you really want to be effective as a watchman, you have to be prayerful because everybody talks but not all of them carry weight.
    And I think that you’ve taken warning the people too far. It’s ok to speak to the people to warn them but how you do it, (does it matter or count?). Well, that’s what I just learned from you so I wouldn’t be rash to come to a conclusion.
    God bless you for sharing 😉

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