Tuesday, 27 June 2017

The Calling of the Watchman

Scripture: Ezekiel 33 v 6:  "But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned: if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand."

In 1979 the Lord called me to be a Watchman, which I had no idea about. I had never heard of a Watchman or an Intercessor but I accepted the call. I asked some more knowledgeable Christians who sort of smirked and said, "You'll find out!"  

Jesus Christ is our Great Intercessor who lives to intercede with the Father for us.  He knows the temptation of every sin from his forty days in the Wilderness where Satan threw everything at Him, yet He stood firmly against it.  

Jesus expects the Intercessors to warn people of danger.  When He reveals a dangerous doctrine or a demonic attack, if the Watchman neglects to proclaim it to those in its path, the Watchman is equally guilty of that sin.  If people reject the warnings they gamble with their own peace and freedom.

I discovered the writings of Watchman Nee who was a Chinese Christian who was martyred in the 1970's. He majored in submission, meekness and brokenness. I have discovered through much trial and many errors that it is not possible to achieve these desirable states by force of will.

Submission means yielding to God in All Things. Not just the things you have negotiated but in those things you wish not to discuss with Him.  Submission to God's will means being willing to trust Him when every nerve is screaming "run the other way!"

The first few hundred times you do run but turn around eventually. When you break through to the Lord in this area of your will against God's will and stop resisting there is an enormous victory. Instead of trying to manoeuvre a car with locked brakes you are freewheeling along the highway. That jerky unstable ride becomes so smooth and pleasant.  On the up side, all your resistance makes you stronger and more determined to please the Lord.

Your relationship with the Lord moves to a new level of intimacy and understanding. The thought of going back to the unyielding stubborn self is unthinkable. Now you and the Lord are working together and you get shown new things. The Lord loves shortcuts. He quickly teaches you to read his signals. He guides you with His eyes.

No longer do you wonder what on earth you are doing. Now you do have a clue and it grows into a pattern into which He guides you as you pray about difficult situations. He can alert me by a change in the sound of the wind; by an odour that is in my face and not made by anything visible; by a feeling of icy coldness etc. Once I pick up the thread we roar off at top speed to bring light into the darkness of someone's life. All these prompts are initiated by Jesus and if you are not in submission to Him you will surely miss them.

Brokenness is likened to the breaking in of a wild pony. Our stubborn pride and will behaves like that unbridled pony - very difficult to control. We buck and shout and rear up full of resistance until Jesus deals a blow to all that and we stand trembling as He gently leads us beside the still waters.

When we are broken by Jesus we find ourselves in a new quiet relationship with Him. The hype has changed and we have changed, matured, and we immediately can discern the spirit of others. We can easily see those who are wild ponies and those who are broken in.  

Our souls are the area of most need of brokenness, because our souls consist of our intellect, our emotions and our will and through sin and rebellion before we met Jesus, they have formed a hard shell around our spirit.  All our arguments, protests, self-will and anger need to be subject to the filter of the Blood of the Lamb.

Humble is a strange word. When you are yielded and broken in you reach the profound knowledge that without Jesus you can do nothing. Without Jesus you are nothing. All self-sufficiency has been eliminated. Your former selfish, self-centred lifestyle has undergone a revolution. You are now humble before God, showing Him gratitude and appreciation.

Jesus in your heart shows you your faults and in your humility you recognise them and bring them into the light. You argue less and less and grow in wisdom and stature with God. Like-minded people draw near to listen when you speak. You realise that those who are comfortable around you are the true family of God.

These are the attributes an Intercessor needs to have to be useful to God, and effective to the people concerned.  You can never become an Intercessor by your own choosing, it is the Lord who calls you and He is your "handler".  He alerts you day or night to whatever situation needs your immediate attention.  Some matters are ongoing for many years others are dealt with in minutes.  Total obedience and availability are required.  You cannot procrastinate or claim anything as a priority when He needs you.

There was one memorable occasion when a friend came to stay and we had plans.  Well, Jesus had other plans......six days and nights without sleep or food as we prayed without ceasing and somehow children got sorted and life went on around us as Jesus broke many spiritual strongholds.  

That was thirty years ago and some of the things we prayed about are still being dealt with today.  You only recognise them when they appear on international news bulletins!  Jesus says pray in your closet and I will reward you openly.  Several times it happened on TV series 9-1-1 and once on Medical Detectives.  You can only praise and worship the Living God for His faithfulness.

Prayer: Father God how You love and value those who are broken and submitted to Your will. You called me to be Watchman and an Intercessor which is a very hard calling carrying much responsibility and accountability.  Please let me be found worthy at the end of my journey of being true, fair and diligent in blowing the warning horn. I pray that many will recognise Your desire to bring them closer to Yourself. In Jesus' name. Amen.