It seems that there is no shortage of opinions and arguments these days on the state of things and on what people should do.
A virus that is invisible to the naked eye has dramatically affected billions of people on every continent. The impact is felt by governments, businesses and people of all walks of life.
It reminds me of sin entering humanity. It has affected, and infected, everyone since. It has fractured and ruptured relationships of all sorts, but most importantly our relationship with God. But thanks be to God, in His great love He sent Christ to bear the iniquities born of sin and provide healing for our souls.
As we consider the present turmoil of the world and the latest crisis, whatever are we to do?
As I pondered that question my thoughts were drawn to the word Watch. This word, and its synonyms, are frequently used in the Gospels, the Epistles and Revelation. The nuances of the original word include to be alert, to be awake, to be on the lookout and to be vigilant. We are admonished to keep watch and to watch and pray. One crucial text is found in Mark 13: 32-37 where Jesus gives instructions regarding His Second Advent. He says to His followers, “What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’” That instruction carries a promise that we should ponder often, especially during a difficult season.
Here are a few important ways we can watch.
The Upward Watch—The God we worship
We should watch for the Lord’s return and, as we read in 1 John 3:3, having this hope live pure lives. While we watch and wait, we worship Him in Spirit and in Truth never forgetting that the Lord Jesus must be the centre of our worship. We daily fix our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2) and we love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul and strength (Matthew 22:37-38).
The Inward Watch—Heart, mind and soul
We know we need to seek God and learn to live our lives His way and to mature in Him. We are called to be different from the flawed culture around us and be on guard to watch out for the things and influences that shape our heart, mind and soul. As we grow in Christlikeness, there should be visible traits of lives shaped by the Word and the Spirit. This inward transformation is nurtured in our lives through prayer and reading and meditating on the Word of God. Galatians 5 and 1 Thessalonians 4 and 5, outlines the dispositions of the Christian. We can ask ourselves whether our conversations, attitude and tone reflect the fruit of the Spirit.
The Outward Watch—The Harvest Fields of our Lord
We have received a clear assignment from the Lord—to be salt and light in this world and announce His Gospel to everyone possible, everywhere possible no matter what the circumstances are, as it has been down through the centuries. The message of the Gospel of Christ is the only message that answers the dilemma of humanity and of every human heart. We can all have a part in bringing it to people.
He is Watching Over Us
As we intentionally watch upward, inward and outward, the Lord watches over us. He watches with loving and merciful eyes, looking out for our best. In II Chronicles 16, we read that the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.
Watch and Pray
As we watch, let’s ask Him often to breathe His grace and life on this broken world and to awaken people everywhere to the reality of His love and mercy.
He is with us now and to the end of the age. If at times you feel you are under it all, take a few minutes to reflect on Psalm 3 and take heart. And remember the end of Book. Revelation 21 and 22 tells us that something wonderful is coming.