July 22, 2016

Keep Watch

For the last two weeks during my early morning and evening walks, a male Red-winged Blackbird leaves his perch in a tall pine tree and flies to-and-fro over my head chirping out a warning.  He then lands on the same cottonwood tree branch and continues his verbal warning until I pass by the territory he’s protecting. The bird is focused, on guard and diligent in his duty. I’m reminded of Paul’s farewell to the elders in Ephesus, “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:28-31 NIV). Paul too was focused, on guard and diligent in duty — for three years, night and day he warned them with tears.

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----Keeping watch over yourself implies humility. The harmful conditions which might befall you sort into two categories: those which arise by the responsibility and doing of others, and those which arise by your own responsibility and doing. Paul’s telling the elders to keep watch over themselves was then a big deal, for if they went foul, then their watch over the flock would follow. Corruption is stealthy whether it approaches from without or from within. Corruption is deadly because it is from a substance other than God; it is incompatible with God; and as such it tears down instead of building up.
-----God’s substance is truly magnificent. There is no destruction, deceit, or accusation in it. It is the very opposite: constructive, truthful, and demonstrative. It brings together and unifies around reality everything it is able to involve with itself. But what it can not involve with itself is destruction (unless it is of evil,) deceit (unless it is for trapping evil unto destruction,) and accusation (unless it is rendered into charges by valid evidence.) His righteousness will overcome evil by merely doing what it is.
-----If we want our watching to be of any effect, if our watch requires extra-fine resolution, for instance, differentiating between loving, respectful, and neighborly refugees and ISIS infiltrators, then we will be in need of some ability to distinguish. How can you look into another man’s heart? This is why it is important to watch over ourselves. By such we keep refining our behaviors and desires towards His. By this refinement we involve Him in our lives. By His involvement in our lives, we not only see more clearly, but life‘s coincidences begin working for us instead of against us. “Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” (Ps 127:1b)
-----Let’s no longer be fooled by such ignorance as “…whatever someone chooses to do in his own bedroom is nobody’s business,” and “a woman‘s right to choose (murder.)” What a man does in his own bedroom makes the city by making the man. Blindly accepting such deceit has sent the once Shining City on a Hill careening into the dark abyss. So we proceed into these most dangerous times upcoming without the Lord watching over the Dark City in the Abyss. Yes, the Lord still watches over those who watch over themselves. Do we honestly think He will watch now? Maybe. Let’s see if this November we’ve watched enough to choose another chance, or if we blindly hand freedom over to be aborted by one Supreme Court nomination.

Love you all,
Steve Corey