A Watchman’s Balance
A Watchman is balanced. Watchmen understand balance—more than most. Balance is an evidence of personal character. A person who is balanced has sound judgment, excellent interpersonal skills, keen insight, and often, the spiritual gift of discernment. They know how to navigate life just as an Old Testament Watchman could navigate a stone wall in the darkness, where one misstep could be his last.
According to the dictionary, the word balance includes numerous ideas and applications. What can a Watchman learn about balance from the dictionary? Quite a bit. The Merriam-Webster definition of balance includes the following list. Compare your skills to a balanced Watchman, then seek God’s help to learn the skills and acquire the spiritual discernment to step into the gifts and parts of balance you do not yet possess.
An aesthetically pleasing integration of elements – ‘aesthetics’ often relates to visually appeal—looks. It can also mean pleasant, a sense of attractiveness. Is good looks a sign of a great Watchman? It’s not a requirement, but a lack of it isn’t a disqualifier. Think of pleasant as pleasing. You can exert tremendous authority and still say ‘please.’ Listen to a police officer. They’re trained to say “Please.” They don’t have to, they could give orders, and it is a crime to disobey a police officer’s orders, but they say ‘Please.’ Why? Because people respond better to pleasant than they do to authoritarian.
Watchmen wield tremendous authority, but with great authority comes great responsibility. Neither authority nor responsibility overrides the quality of being pleasant. What does that mean?
If you are a Watchman, people should desire your company. You should attract people to your message, and that begins with people being attracted to you as a person. That does not mean Watchmen need great hair, impeccable fashion or flawless makeup. It also does not mean there is an advantage to wearing last decade’s styles or being disheveled and purposely looking drab to prove personal impressions are unimportant.
Pleasant Watchmen are more effective. People listen more attentively to your message, even when it’s difficult and painful. Warnings can be delivered with a balance of intensity and pleasantness.
It’s about balance.
Mental and emotional steadiness – steadiness applies to an even and controlled temperament just as much as it applies to being steady and not tumbling off the wall. Watchmen are steady. They don’t fade easily to emotional imbalance. Emotions—yes. Watchmen weep over their city just as Jesus wept over Jerusalem (Luke 13:34), but they don’t fall apart at every sign of hardship.
A Watchman surveys the situation, determines the severity, then balances his reaction against the potential for disaster, or magnitude of the inevitable. Not everything is a calamity. Some events, though unsettling in the short-term are merely minor irritations in the bigger picture of life. Enemy assault or simple misunderstanding, Watchmen are steady.
Mental steadiness means having a balanced mindset, an uncommonly singular sense of purpose. In the face of bad news, political upheaval, military conflict or difficulties in everyday life, we want steady people in charge—Watchmen with balance.
In 2016 this Watchman had brain surgery. Do you think steady hands are a requirement for a brain surgeon? Yes, for any surgery, but especially brain surgery. It was important to me.
On a physical wall, steadiness is the ability to balance in a precarious position while peering down into the ravine below the city. “Steady… don’t fall.” For a Watchman in these last days that steadiness applies to holding onto a wall, maintaining a vantage point, standing steady and often alone. End Times balance means interpreting the most precarious scenes in history. It also means reporting them without the frantic mania which too often accompanies such reports. Watchmen understand the gravity of world’s turmoil, but they also understand the difference between trauma and birth pangs.
Watchmen are mentally balanced, not double-minded. (James 1:8) A Watchman (definitely a Watchwoman) can execute more than one duty at a time, but they maintain mental balance. They control what goes on in their head. What goes into the mind is what comes out in every activity and word. Watchmen think on purpose.
Balance. Stability. Watchmen are steady.
To bring [something or someone] to a state or position of balance – Watchmen deliver somber and serious news, but they need not be somber and serious all the time. Jesus was not a striking physical specimen (Isaiah 53:2), yet people were drawn to Him. Watchmen are attractive in that same way; people are drawn to a Watchman. Where a Watchman is, Jesus is. The Holy Spirit indwells each believer, and the Spirit is attractive – people are attracted. In a world desperately lacking balance, when people see it, they are attracted.
People followed Jesus, not because He looked like one of the professional models who portray Jesus in films. They followed because when they saw Jesus, they saw God. In the absence of the One True God, people will follow anything spiritual or supernatural. The devil has taken advantage of that principle for eons. At the time of this writing, there are over 20 programs on TV with supernatural themes; one is actually named Lucifer. Romans 1 explains that humanity knows there is a God, and that by creation alone His eternal power and Godhead are visible. We are held accountable for explaining and demonstrating by who we are – Who He is. So, when the world is drawn to something supernatural, they are drawn to the One True God, among many god impersonators.
A Watchman is a reflection of the One he serves. When people see or hear a Watchman, they should be attracted, not because they are attracted to the Watchman, but because they recognize Jesus’ reflection.
Jesus said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me. This He said, signifying what death He should die.” (Jn. 12:32,33) Watchmen point to the Savior, telling the world the significance of what happened at Calvary. Identifying Him as God. Jesus does the drawing. Watchmen do the pointing.
Watchmen balance others.
A counterbalancing weight, force, or influence – A Watchman serves as a counterbalance when the weight of evil appears to outweigh the truth. Watchmen balance truth against error, composure against pressure, influence against intimidation, faith against fear. They counterbalance.
The world is out of balance; wobbling in an unsustainable orbit toward its own destruction. Darkness seems to reign in many parts of the world, and where it does not reign, it is encroaching.
Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote a humorous tongue-in-cheek poem about the times we live in—unbalanced times that require Watchmen.
“God’s plan made a hopeful beginning,
But man ruined his chances by sinning.
We trust that the story,
Will end in God’s glory,
But at present, the other side’s winning.”
Watchmen counterbalance a scene which, to the spiritually vision-impaired or unaware, may seem overwhelming, even irreversible. In one sense it is. Things are not going to improve until the world is ready to receive the Messiah into a beautiful earthly environment that humanity has renovated, enriched, adorned and bedazzled so much that Jesus will return and feel right at home.
That might happen, but only after we throw away half of Daniel, much of Ezekiel and Zechariah, and most of 1 & 2 Thessalonians, and pretty much all of Revelation, and 1st 2nd and 3rd John, and the 24th chapter of Matthew. Citizens of Syria, or Russia, or North Korea, Iraq, or Iran could tell you the world is not improving.
There are forces: forces of conformity, forces of stress, forces of anxiety, and forces of evil. Watchmen counterbalance those forces. They offer peace to the anxious; relief to the stressed, freedom from conformity, warning, and victory over the forces of evil. Watchmen introduce the power and authority of the King into the middle of the worst attacks the enemy conjures. Minor uncertainness or complete terror, the Watchman counterbalances with the Supremacy of God Almighty.
Counterbalance requires a Watchman’s calling.
Equipoise between contrasting, opposing, or interacting elements – Any Watchman will be balanced by God’s strength. All Watchmen stand on their wall bringing balance where it is lacking. Certain Watchmen are called to demonstrate balance by lovingly and graciously interacting with the world around them. Their balance is so evident those around them cannot help but notice.
This group of Watchmen holds up the mirror of God’s Word which immediately contrasts with the world around it. A Watchman who interacts with opposing and clashing elements of the world must be fully armed and adequately protected. (Eph. 6:13)
The contrast of God’s Word is in clear opposition to much of the world’s thinking and belief system. A balanced Watchman will encounter resistance and possibly scorn from the very people he is attempting to warn and save.
That has always been true of God’s Word. Sometimes people are offended before they are affected. Watchmen understand their role is to love, inform, warn, and watch. The conviction is up to God. Although a Watchman’s alert may at times offend, it should never be offensive on purpose. There is a big difference between contending for the faith, and just being contentious.
Balance is all about contrast, contrast in love.
Equilibrium, calmness, serenity, composure – this one really should require very little explanation, only application. A Watchman understands there is no value in panic. There is no advantage to bombastic predictions or doom and gloom. Some people are rescued from hell by a confrontational approach, but more are attracted to the Gospel through the serenity and composure which only flows from love and compassion.
The world gets an overdose of misery and distress on the eleven o’clock news, what they need from Christians is hope. Hope rarely comes in the form of woe and despair. Watchmen have the truth, but they know how to deliver it with a balance of love and warning. Is hell real? Yes. Is it a place of eternal torment and anguish? Absolutely. (Luke 16:23, 24) Can we, should we, try to “scare the hell” out of most people? No.
Do some people respond to a message that warns them of how foreboding and horrific hell is? Yes, some do. But that old adage about flies and honey is accurate in many areas of life. People run to love faster than they flee from death. We know when we’ve found love, we never know if we’ve outrun fear and disaster.
Balance is a ministry.
A means of judging or deciding – balance is equitable and unbiased, but that does not mean it is always pleasant. Watchmen know their calling is to warn, not to judge those who choose not to heed the warning. Watchmen feel the pain of knowing judgment is coming, and they grieve for those unprepared. People make their own choices, and sometimes they make them in error. Watchmen make sure the city has the warning. The inhabitants of the city decide whether or not to act wisely and prepare or disregard the message and choose to ignore God’s grace.
Watchmen judge what to say, and they decide when and how to say it. That kind of balance is difficult to find, and God has given Watchmen the singular responsibility of employing that balance.
Is it a Christian’s place to judge the world? No. That will come in the Last Days when every person will be judged (Hebrews 9:27). There is no rehab program for that judgment. It is a final and irrevocable sentence. A Watchman sees that day approaching, and decides – he decides to warn. A Watchman knows the penalty is death without parole—no second chances. Judging is part of a Watchman’s calling, it cannot be avoided, but Watchmen leave the judgment to the Holy and Righteous Judge. (Jer. 11:20)
Balance includes judgment. Watchmen judge with good Godly judgment.
Summary: Freedom to move about in daylight or darkness without falling requires balance. Watchmen are spiritually agile. They see what God is doing in a place and move there to do their job. They sense a shift in the spiritual balance of a church or institution and identify it to others who have authority over that area or ministry.
Watchmen are called to warn the world it is blindly heading for destruction, and far faster than it knows. Watchmen cannot stop that trajectory, but they can alert and awaken those who are not prepared.
Balance is one of a Watchman’s primary tools. It isn’t fearsome or flashy. It does not look or sound impressive like a sword, or trumpet. Balance is a weapon when used correctly. The devil hates balanced people, they avoid extremes like harsh or wishy-washy. Balanced people understand their choices have an impact beyond the obvious and temporary.
God uses balanced Watchmen to recalibrate their family, or church, or city, or country.
Balance is necessary to Finish Well.
Watchmen are balanced.
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