Monday, 5 November 2018

The Calling of the Watchman


Scripture: Ezekiel 33 v 2 - 7: "Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: 
 3  If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;
 4  Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. 
 5  He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.
 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.
 7  So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me."

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!"

I discovered the writings of Watchman Nee who was a Chinese Christian who was martyred in the 1950'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.

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 full submission 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.

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, you 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.

You learn to pray without ceasing, and are often in the middle of it before awareness dawns.  There is an inner ear, a spiritual ear, that is always open to the Lord.  You know the voice of Him whose thoughts are higher than your thoughts, and you never second guess Him.  Sometimes it's like being blindfolded and groping in the dark when suddenly all the lights come on and everything is clearly seen.

The worst moments are when you have to give warnings which people seem totally unprepared to accept.  It reminds me of one of the scariest moments in my life.  We lived on a very busy road, a short cut to industrial sites used by large trucks and other heavy traffic.  We had a long driveway.  

One day a lady visited me to drop off a parcel.  I had never met her before.  Her 3 year old son got out of the car too and while I was paying her he ran off towards this road which was at its busiest.  He was about 10 metres from the road when she went into panic.  I said call him to stop.  She said, I can't he is stone deaf.  He could not even hear the traffic he was running into.  I was once a very fast sprinter and somehow managed to cover that distance at better than Olympic speed a catch this child at the edge.

This is how Jesus trains you to stand in the gap.  You have to be fast to catch those who don't want to hear.  You learn to outrun them in Spirit and its always heart pounding.  As He says if you don't give them warning you will be counted guilty with them.  No way will I not warn when instructed, and many of my blogs contain such warnings.

The Calling of the Watchman is not a choice we make, its a choice He makes and moulds us to His perfect will.  Jesus is our Intercessor continuously before God, we must be His hands extended on Earth.

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.