by Steve Preston
One of my favorite pastimes is watching. Sometimes I just sit somewhere and watch people walk by. When my family lived in Missouri we would often sit by the Mississippi river and watch the boats go by. Watching the rain come down is another activity that I enjoy.
Not by coincidence, watching is required of all Christians.
In Ezekiel 3:17 and 21, the children of Israel are warned thus:
“Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. … Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.”
The warning is no less urgent for us today. God commands us to watch.
One of the things we are to watch for is the coming of our Lord Jesus.
Matthew 24:42 tells us to “[w]atch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come”. We do not know when the Father will send Jesus back to claim His people. Jesus himself, at least while on earth, was not privy to the time and place of his second coming (Matthew 24:36).
Each person is obligated to live their life as if each day may be the day of our Lord’s return.
We are also told to “[w]atch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).
Satan “walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8) necessitating our watchfulness.
The devil does not care about your family, your job or your good name. Satan’s only desire is to keep you from getting to heaven.
And make no mistake about it, the devil will pay more attention to those who have put on Christ in baptism (Romans 6:3), who have been “translated into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Colossians 1:13) than to those who are not part of the body of Christ.
Those in the world already belong to Satan. The people who belong to Christ are the ones that Satan will try to devour.
Our Father also expects us to watch in prayer for ourselves and our brethren.
In Ephesians 6:18 we are told to pray “always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”
Prayer is a powerful tool given to Christians. With prayer, God’s children can let him know their desires and troubles. The old saying, “There is strength in numbers,” most certainly applies to prayer. When Christians go to God in behalf of one of their brethren, our Father then has even more reason to grant a petition.
Love of fellow Christians will cause us to watch in prayer for one another. One great example of this can be found in the book of Job. Job was a man “perfect” and “upright” before God (Job 1:8). Every day Job would offer sacrifices to God. He even offered up sacrifices for his children because, as Job states in 1:5, “[i]t may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts”.
Job seemed to be concerned about his sons sinning and not offering up the proper sacrifices to God. As Christians we must also offer up the sacrifice of our prayers to God (Rev. 5:8, 8:3-4).
There is never a time in our lives when we are to stop watching. Sin is all around us. Some of our brethren are weak in the faith and need to be strengthened against the attacks of the devil. Those who are stronger need to watch that they also do not fall to temptation (Galatians 6:1).
“And what I say unto you I say unto all, watch” (Mark 13:37).
Steve has been writing BibleTalk, from which this article was taken, for 10 years. He and his wife work with the Tara church in Jonesboro GA. They have three children.