Monday, 24 June 2019

The Calling of a Watchman

Scripture: Ezekiel 33 v 6 - 9:  "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.
 8  When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
 9  Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul."

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.  
Hebrews 7 v 25 - 27: "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. 
 26  For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
 27  Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself."

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  the people reject the warnings that God sends, they gamble with their own peace and freedom.

It happened in the south east of Zimbabwe during the Rhodesian War, that the Lord brought a prophetic warning of immediate danger of death and destruction to a Mission Station.  The missionaries understood the warning and chose to stay with their new converts.  Only the daughter of one of the missionaries escaped and shared the sorrow of it in Cape Town.

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.

You start with your prayer list and pray long hours over each item, until the Lord reveals a more effective way that speeds things up.  Being shown a vision and praying about it till it changed, and being shown another vision showing the desired result was now achieved became the norm.  Prayers that previously took many hours to reach an answer now took ten minutes or even less.  

As we became familiar with the visions and results, the Lord added other gifts like the discerning of spirits.  In those days the prayer team consisted of my two sons and myself and the younger son, aged six, could see very powerfully into the spirit realm.  He could see Jesus, angels and demons and hear them speaking to one another.  It helped us tremendously to understand what God required.  He had free access to Satan's boardroom and heard all the plans he was making.  We were then guided in how to disrupt and overturn those plans.  Oh the power and glory of God and His enjoyment of our willingness to do some impossible things.

Both the boys were gifted at giving specific scripture verses in every need we had.  So together with visions, spiritual discernment and spot on verses we were a tiny team in total submission to the Lord.  It was a season of great prayer and a learning curve of great delight.  

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 else as a priority when He needs your full attention.

This ministry started 40 years ago and the boys are grown and married.  Things have changed but the Lord brings in others who form new groups of Intercessors and add their anointed visions and words of knowledge to this work.  Our eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.  We have seen the fateful lightning and His terrible swift sword.  This may be the American anthem but those words are for us all.

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.