Nearly thirty times in its teaching and counsel to believers, the New Testament commands us to "watch."
"What I say unto you, I say unto all, "Watch" (Mark 13:37).
Walking with God by faith requires a spiritual alertness based upon confidence and expectation of His involvement in our lives, and also recognition of the challenges presented by our spiritual enemies. In the present moment, for example, we must either remain awake or wake up. Such vigilance results from our Heavenly Father's faithfulness as He works within us to maintain our awareness of both Himself and of those who seek to distract us from Himself. However, we also play a role in the matter of wakefulness, first by confidence in the Lord's aforementioned activity on our behalf. We will not remain alert by merely seeking to discipline ourselves to stay awake. We rather "look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith", trusting our Savior to form within us expectation regarding God's involvement, and also vigilance regarding the world, the devil, and the flesh. In essence, we begin our "watch" by the "look" - of faith (Hebrews 12:2).
Upon this basis of trusting not in ourselves but in the Lord Jesus, we then realize He will lead us to avail ourselves of the gifts He provides that either keep us awake, or wake us up. The Bible serves as the primary source of light in this and in all matters. "My son, attend to My words, incline thine ear unto My sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes" (Proverbs 4:20-21). We personally read and study the Scriptures, of course, but we also avail ourselves of Biblical light by regular fellowship with others who share our confidence in the Lord Jesus. This includes personal friendship with fellow believers, church involvement, and exposing ourselves to the illumination God sends forth by preachers, teachers, and authors He calls and sends forth to proclaim and teach His Word. Believers serve each other by exemplifying and communicating The Scriptures, and thus promoting the spiritual wakefulness that keeps our eyes open to realities unseen to those who sleep.
The Lord works to keep us awake, or to wake us up when necessary. We respond by availing ourselves of the gifts He gives to maintain watchful alertness. Much is at stake in the lives of His trusting children, including glories missed because we do not expect our Lord's involvement, and challenges poorly confronted because we fail to be wary of our adversaries. Again, may we "watch" by "looking".
"Awake to righteousness and sin not."
(I Corinthians 15:34)
Weekly Memory Verse
Therefore, my beloved brethren, by ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the world of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
(I Corinthians 15:58)