Be a TRUE Watchman!

We have all encountered people who stand on a street corner or approach someone at work, in a retail store, or even in church and begin to proclaim that they are sinners and are headed straight to hell. I have even seen people stroll up and down beaches seeking out those who are drinking, smoking, or wearing something they deem offensive, so that they can tell them how filthy they are in the eyes of Jesus. Most of these ‘street evangelist’ have good intentions. They are really not much different than many church members, family members, and co-workers in that they see people messing up their lives and they want them to stop. Unfortunately, they are going about it all wrong and are causing more damage than good.

In Ezekiel we read that God gave a serious charge to be a Watchman. (Ezekiel 3:16) God said to Ezekiel, “Son of man, I have made you a watchman.” God told Ezekiel that he was to warn the people of the consequences of their sins. Then God went further and said that if he didn’t warn them and they died in their sins, that God would hold Ezekiel responsible for them. If Ezekiel warned them and they continued in sin anyway, then Ezekiel would not be held accountable.

Many people hear this story (so many sermons are delivered on this subject) and get all fired up about being the ‘watchman.’ It is unfortunate that they get the first part of this charge without reading the ‘rest of the story.’

Ezekiel, third chapter, continues this way:
(Ezek. 3:26-27) And I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be speechless and unable to rebuke them, for they are rebels. 27 But when I give you a message, I will loosen your tongue and let you speak. Then you will say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says!’ Those who choose to listen will listen, but those who refuse will refuse, for they are rebels.

Ezekiel wasn’t given an authority to go out and meddle with peoples lives in his own way, neither do we have that right. His tongue was stuck to the roof of his mouth until GOD RELEASED him to speak. When you learn to be led by the Holy Spirit and speak when it is time, and say what GOD wants said, you will be an effective watchman. If you speak on your own authority, quick to convict and condemn, you will certainly cause great damage to the Kingdom of God.

The crucial thing here is to learn how to be led by the Holy Spirit. He will give you words to speak and open the opportunity for you to speak. A few words spoken from our own hearts can bring much harm. A few words that are directed by the Holy Spirit will turn lives around!

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