To Be a Watchman
A Watchman goes to church and is active in service. A Watchman doesn’t belong to a particular denomination. Watchmen work as a team. They have no single leader other than Jesus. Watchmen are not superior; they’re servants. Watchmen are willing to make sacrifices, knowing that a great reward awaits their faithfulness.
Like ancient soldiers who stood on a wall, modern Watchmen watch and warn. Watchman watch for the enemy’s advance and signs of the promised return of the King. Watchman watch for opportunities to rescue those bound by sin. Watchmen retake territory Satan has stolen. Whatever we see that could foster growth, encouragement, or preparation, we announce to the inhabitants of our city. Our ALL-IN commitment is to Jesus, our families, our brothers and sisters in faith, and those still bound by Satan.
If this describes you or what you’d like to become, read on to discover what it takes to be a Watchman.
Listen for God’s call
Though every person in ancient Israel had something to protect, not everyone stood on the wall. Some raised animals or crops. Others governed and insured justice. Children played in the streets and did their chores at home. Merchants sold goods, fishermen fished, carpenters shaped wood, and religious leaders pointed people to God. Society divided the work so each task got done, but during the rebuilding of the wall, people also served as Watchmen on the wall (Nehemiah 4:13-20).
This pattern of differentiating tasks continues today. God assigns people their roles based on the giftings He provides (1 Cor. 12:4-11). He calls all Christians to watch and prepare for Jesus’ return (Matt. 24:42). Each of us must also fight the enemy and free those captive to sin (Matthew 28:18-20). However, some have protection as their primary task; they are Watchmen. For that, you must be called.
Let’s look at Moses as an example. He, like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and others, heard God’s clear calling to a task he would have never chosen (Exodus 3:10). Moses resisted. He knew it wouldn’t be easy. It would require sacrifice for him and those he loved. Moses told God, “I’m not the right man for the job.”
We have all resisted God at some time. We’ve used excuses like Moses did: “Who am I? Are You sure You’ve got the right person? Don’t You know all my weaknesses?”
Only two questions truly matter: Has God called us, and are we willing?
Find your place
Moses was a Hebrew, living in Egypt, and that defined his place of ministry. Our calling will be similar – most of us are called to serve where we are. Begin serving where you already are, not where you want to be. Consider how you can impact the groups to which you currently belong. God may call you to new places and new works, but don’t forget to serve God with all your heart where you are today.
How can God use you where you’re planted now? Who needs protecting? Who needs assistance? Who needs encouragement? Who needs to hear the truth about God? Remember that God gives more significant assignments to those who are faithful with what He’s already given (Matthew 25:15, 21).
Declare your intention
This might be the most challenging step, but if you are married, you’ve done it before. You declared your intentions in private to your fiancé, and then you did it again before a crowd. There’s a reason weddings have witnesses; they verify the event happened, and they are intended to help make sure we keep our promises.
You also declared your intentions to Jesus when you made Him your Savior. You told someone about your decision—your family, your pastor, your church. Declaring your faith is, in part, satisfied through the ordinance of baptism. We urge you to speak with your pastor about being baptized if you have not yet shared in a believer’s baptism. A Watchman leads by example, and as best he/she can, Walks the Walk in addition to Talking the Talk. See the article on baptism for more information.
Moses announced his call to his wife, his father-in-law, his people (Exodus 4:29-31), and Pharaoh (Exodus 5:1). Who knows your call? Have you declared your intention, not only to live as a Christian but to serve as a Watchman? Who have you told? Have you told other Watchmen you are joining them on the wall? Have you told the enemy?
Apply what you already know
You are already a watchman in one sense. You’ve been one ever since you understood the concept of ownership. You watched over your toys as a child. Maybe you lined up your wagons or your Legos to defend against a pretend attack from your toy army men. Maybe you wrapped your baby doll in a blanket. God was using your imagination and play to prepare you for the real but unseen war occurring all around you.
Moses had experience as well. When God called him, he was a Watchman of sorts. He protected sheep from marauders, predators, and cliffs (Exodus 3:1). Forty years shepherding sheep was pretty good preparation for shepherding God’s people.
Moses had the skills, and he knew it. In his excuses to God, not once did he say he didn’t know how to do what God asked. He questioned his communication skills but not his ability to lead and protect.
You have skills and experience too. God is calling you to apply what you already have to a spiritual domain. He wants you to protect from a more powerful enemy, for an eternal cause. Everything you have done in your life has prepared you for this moment.
Get all the training you can
Moses spent most of his first forty years learning all that Egyptian culture had to offer: reading and writing, math and science, politics and leadership, military strategy. Though he rejected their worldview, he took advantage of their education.
Moses’ training continued in the wilderness. There, he learned how to use a staff. He used it to help maintain his stability as he climbed uneven terrain. He used it to block his sheep from going the wrong direction and to ward off enemies who wanted his sheep for food. Soon, God would use that same staff to part the Red Sea and bring water from a rock. Moses knew how to use what was in his hand.
There are tools Watchmen must learn to use if we are to do our jobs well. Tools are great, but if misused because of inadequate training and lack of experience, they won’t serve their purpose. They might even become a danger.
The tools God gives Watchmen are prayer and the Bible. Though formal training in how to use these resources is beneficial, you don’t need a doctorate to serve on the wall. God directs some to go to school, but for now, the best training comes from being around people who know how to pray and live out God’s Word. Soak up all they have to offer and live-out your faith as best you can. Learn in the school of life.
Discern between a threat and the landscape
Moses, by God’s power, successfully secured Israel’s release from their captivity, but the danger was not past. The people reached the edge of the Red Sea and stopped. That was Pharaoh’s cue to attack.
The Israelites responded with fear and complaints. They saw two enemies—the water in front of them and Pharaoh’s army behind.
They approached Moses with their questions and anger. Moses viewed their situation from a different perspective. He saw the water as a pathway that would escort them to a place their enemy could not go. A wall of water would show them the way, and a wall of fire would prevent their enemy from following until it was too late.
As you watch from your wall, you will view many things in the darkness. Harmless shadows and moonbeams tempt you to signal enemy movement where none exists. Your job requires discernment. You must decide what to ignore because it’s merely part of the shadowy landscape and what deserves your unwavering attention because it’s a legitimate threat.
Not every change in our culture is a sign of moral decay. Not every blood moon points to Jesus’ return. Study the Scriptures so you’ll recognize the signs that matter. Ask God for discernment and understanding. Learn which changes to celebrate, which ones to watch for further clarification, and which ones warrant sounding the alarm.
Join a team
Before Moses started his mission, Aaron, his brother, became part of his team. Aaron didn’t stutter, a problem Moses claimed to have. Moses enforced God’s requirements, but Aaron gave in to the people’s desires. The two sons of Amram complemented each other. They were better as a team than alone.
While Israel lived in the desert, problems arose from daily life. Moses, the leader, became Moses, the judge. He listened to a never-ending line of people complaining. Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, wisely instructed him to enlist helpers to share the administrative burden (Exod. 18:17-26). Later, God instructed Moses to select seventy others to help with the spiritual load he carried (Num. 11:24-25).
Since the beginning, teamwork has been part of God’s plan. One individual cannot defend a city. You cannot watch the entire wall alone. More people on your team means you can rest when you need it. More people serving means fewer needed for defense.
The I Am A Watchman ministry desires to help individuals identify their calling and network Watchmen together. The prayer is to support a global team of Watchmen who are active in service and eagerly anticipating Jesus’ return. We want to help you. We want you to help us.
This network of Watchmen pray for one another, help meet needs, share what God is doing, assist with interpreting events, and encourage their fellow Watchmen not to quit when life gets difficult. We celebrate victories, weep over failures, and fight together, defeating the enemy until Jesus stands on earth as King.
Are you a Watchman? Have you heard Jesus’ call? Then declare it—to Him and to us. Give Him your heart. Then watch Him use you in the lives of your family, your friends, your church, and your world.
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