Read: Mark 12:30-31 NIV |
Every night Willy Annen of Lausanne, Switzerland, calls out the hours from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.
Annen, whose job may be unique in Europe today, is the city watchman. From the windswept belfry of the city’s ancient cathedral, he will cry out: “This is the watchman; it struck twelve.”
Annen uses an alarm clock to wake him up five minutes before each hour. He waits until the six-ton bronze bell has tolled the hour, and then through cone-shaped hands, he calls the hour. Then he goes back to sleep for fifty minutes. [Prairie Overcomer].
Willy’s primarily prone approach to his job, does not match the typical job duties of a “watchman”. After all, he is only alert and attentive 10 minutes of each hour.
Ezekiel 33:1-9, give us a scriptural expectation of a watchman. The Lord instructs Ezekiel how to watch. He required Ezekiel’s posture to be alert, attentive, prepared, concerned and willing. He also expected two proactive actions. Ezekiel was to sound the alarm and maintain accountability.
As our soul waits for the Lord to answer our prayers, let each of us strive to attain the Biblical standard of a watchman. From this proactive posture, we can experience His loving-kindness as God reveals His plan.
What to Watch For
As a watchmen, we should be on the lookout in every direction for His answers. As we walk uprightly with Him, He will reveal the answers in the right season of our lives. (Psalm 84:11)
For example in the story of Moses, the Hebrew’s were suffering under Pharaoh’s regime. They had been praying and watching for God’s rescue from their persecutors for generations.
Before he confronted Pharaoh, Moses and Aaron assembled all of the elders of the Hebrews. They shared what God had told them and performed the signs of God’s presence. They believed and accepted Moses as the answer to their persistent petitions.
In Exodus 5, Moses confronts Pharaoh for the first time. He tells him, “Let my people go…!” Angered by the demand, Pharaoh decided to get tougher on the slaves. Subsequently the Children of Israel wondered aloud, why God was doing the opposite of their prayers and His promise.
God heard their doubts. In Exodus 6:5, He reminds Moses that He has heard their groaning and remembers His covenant. He instructs Moses to tell them “I am the Lord, and I will bring you out…”.
In the same way, our situation while we wait for God to answer our prayers can take a turn for the worst. Resist growing fainthearted. God is still in charge. Instead, proactively watch for God’s answer by keeping our eyes on Jesus and following His will.
Danger of Not Watching
A poor “waiting” posture is one where we fail to watch for God’s answer. If we fail to be alert, attentive and follow-through on what we see, we allow Satan to emerge from the shadow of our doubts. Satan, the tempter, leverages our doubt to convince us to create a man-made solution. His goal is to short-circuit our desire to wait for God’s answer by getting us to take a side-step towards self-sufficiency.
In the third month after Moses led the Children of Israel to freedom from Pharaoh, the Lord reminded them of His mighty deeds. He told them to simply obey His voice and keep His commandments.
Later in Exodus 24, God calls Moses to return to Mt. Sinai for a second time. Moses stays there for 40 days and nights. After a while, some of the people grew restless. They tired of watching and waiting for Moses to return (Exodus 32). Three thousand men stopped watching, even though they had witnessed miracle after miracle. Instead, they constructed their own solution. They built a golden calf to serve as a god they could see and touch.
As believers, waiting for God with a poor posture can lead to accepting or creating substitutes for God’s best. Wait and watch with God.
Be a watchman who waits for God and walks uprightly with God. Over time, we will find that the more we depend on God, the more dependable we find He is.
The ability to calm your soul and wait before God is one of the most difficult things in the Christian life. Our old nature is restless…the world around us is frantically in a hurry. But a restless heart usually leads to a reckless life.
– Warren Wiersbe
A. What kind of watchman are you? One who stays alert and attentive or one how takes matters into their own hands?
B. For the times that you did decide to act on your own instead of waiting for God to act, how did the situation turn out?
A. How much if any, does what God has delivered you from in the past influence how you trust Him with what you are going through now?
B. Does trusting God in difficult situations come easy for you or do you struggle with that?
A. A good physical posture is very important to our well-being. As a believer maintaining a righteous posture is also important. How would others describe your spiritual posture when you are under stress and waiting for God’s answer?
B. Share the insightful quote from Warren Wiersbe with a prayer partner. How it is true in your life?
Profiles on Waiting Outline
Postures we should adopt when waiting for/with/upon God
1. Wait on Time (link)
2. Watch for Him (link)
3. Wait by walking within Touching Distance (link)
4. Work while waiting upon God’s Answer (link)
5. Willful Waiting does not Wilt (link)
6. Weather the Storms while waiting under His Umbrella (link)
7. Wait with an Unwavering Faith (link)