The Watchman’s Duty

I’ve always loved hearing stories about certain messages or even people that influenced a person so much that they never forgot those words or that person. It’s like those Sunday School teachers or Crusaders leaders (some of you know what I am talking about here…remember the guard code?) that are painted on our memories and no matter how old we get, we still remember their faces and their names.

I was about fifteen or sixteen when I heard a message that struck me at the time and has never been far from my thoughts since. For me, it embodies the essence of what I believe. It was my youth pastor that shared the message and I hope he reads this and is encouraged that his words did not fall on barren ground.

The scripture was from Ezekiel 33. It’s called The Watchman’s Duty and I remember that night sitting in the basement of the church that served as the youth room and having the words pierce my heart “But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require from the watchman’s hand.”

I believe it was a life altering moment for me. I grew up in the church and I always heard that we are to share the gospel but it was this message that really clarified that commandment for me.

If I, who know the truth, do not share with people, do not warn them; if I do not do my duty than their blood is on my hands. Whoa. It impressed upon me that night that my life is not my own. I am not a Christian merely to live a good life and be blessed by God; I have been saved so that I can share the good news! That is what it’s all about, isn’t it? It’s like the watchman; being in the position to know what is coming; how could he NOT speak. How unforgivable if he knew that disaster was coming upon the people and chose to keep silent!

It’s this verse that spurs me on. Spurs me on to speak the Truth even when I know it may not be well-received, even when I know that it may be uncomfortable. I mean, let’s be transparent, rejection is never fun. And even knowing these words, there are times when I fail, when I don’t speak when I should. But I am eternally grateful for God’s grace and my prayer is that He gives me the boldness and the strength to share His good news and the meekness and compassion to do so in a way that touches hearts. I will be the watchman for the people that He brings into my life.

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