Topic: Watch Your Back!
(Open Heaven 16 June 2019)
Memorise: “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;”- Colossians 4:2
Read: 1 Peter 5:5-11 (KJV)
5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Watchfulness means to be alert and expectant as you monitor someone or something in your care, or as you await the arrival of someone important or a significant event. To be watchful is to be alert to things around you as you live your daily life. The Bible warns us to be vigilant by closely watching the activity of the devil, mortifying all vulnerabilities to temptation, looking out for the enemy’s wily attacks and being ever prepared for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our watchfulness should begin with the words of Proverbs 4:23, which says:
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
The Holy Spirit refers to this as renewing the mind in Romans 12:2, which is best done by filling our minds with the undiluted words of God (Hebrews 4:12). Having set a watch over the thoughts and imaginations of our hearts, we then need to bridle our tongue in order not to sin with it (James 1:26, 1 Peter 3:10). Finally, 1 Peter 4:7 says:
“But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.”
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As Christians in these last days, we are called to watch unto prayers more than ever before.
Why do we need to be watchful? The Holy Spirit answers this in 1 Peter 5:8, which says:
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”
Let us follow the example of our Lord, who took the need to be watchful seriously in the last hour before His sufferings began. Knowing what was about to happen to Him, He was so sorrowful and decided to take His disciples to have a private moment at the Garden of Gethsemane. It was at this retreat that Jesus gave His disciples the sure antidote to temptation. He said in Matthew 26:41:
“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
We are therefore called to be alert to dangers which can erode and shipwreck our faith in Christ such as false teachings, worldliness, love of money, inordinate ambition, sinful pleasure, sexual immorality and all other works of the flesh. Complacency or failure to watch can be very dangerous indeed. It led to the sudden death of Abel, who was killed by a brother who spoke peacefully with him in one minute but rose up to kill him in the next (Genesis 4:8). Sanballat and Tobiah, the enemies of the Jews, would have successfully terminated Nehemiah’s building project if not for watchfulness (Nehemiah 4). I pray that God will expose every activity of the enemy in your like and family today in Jesus’ Name.
Open Heaven 16 June 2019 Sunday Prayer Point:
Father, as You did with Elisha, help me to always be one step ahead of my enemies, in Jesus’ Name (2 Kings 6:8-12).
Open Heaven 16 June 2019 Sunday Hymn 2: Oh Jesus, I Have Promised
1 O Jesus, I have promised
To serve Thee to the end;
Be Thou forever near me,
My Master and my Friend;
I shall not fear the battle
If Thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway
If Thou wilt be my guide.
2 O let me feel Thee near me,
The world is ever near;
I see the sights that dazzle,
The tempting sounds I hear;
My foes are ever near me,
Around me and within;
But, Jesus, draw Thou nearer,
And shield my soul from sin.
3 Oh let me hear Thee speaking
In accents clear and still,
Above the storms of passion,
The murmurs of self-will;
Oh speak to reassure me,
To hasten or control;
O speak, and make me listen,
Thou Guardian of my soul.
4 O Jesus, Thou hast promised
To all who follow Thee,
That where Thou art in glory,
There shall Thy servant be;
And, Jesus, I have promised
To serve Thee to the end;
O give me grace to follow,
My Master and my Friend.
5 Oh, let me see Thy footmarks,
And in them plant mine own;
My hope to follow duly
Is in Thy strength alone.
Oh, guide me, call me, draw me,
Uphold me to the end;
And then to rest receive me,
My Saviour and my Friend.