"Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, 36and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. 38If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! 39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. 40You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect."
Luke 12:35--40 (ESV)
Maybe some of you have figured out by the tone of my writings that I am a Watchman. Quite simply this is somebody that has been appointed to Stand Guard on that wall and lay watch to call out danger that is coming. Notice I didn't use the word "might" come, as danger is inevitable. I have been told by some that my Blogs sound full of condemnation and don't always paint a rosy picture. To that I respond that each one of us has our own spiritual gifts that God has given to us. Mine is not one of an encourager, although I do that from time to time as well. Mine is one of being a strong arm of challenging and exhortation. This might come in the fashion of correction, or calling men on the carpet for their sins.
I was sitting in church this morning and a thought popped in my head: "What makes you think that you are any better than anybody else?" Allow me to answer that question right now. NOTHING!!! I am just as much of a sinner as the next guy. It if wasn't for the saving Grace of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I would be dead in sin and walking around like a zombie. However, because of the sanctification process of Christ conforming me into His image, then daily I find that I detest sin more and more. Occasionally I fall into my past carnal sinful ways and find myself wallowing back at the pigs trough. However, His Grace is always sufficient to point me clearly back to the path of Righteousness on the straight and narrow road.
Now to the passage in Luke that I have listed above. Verse 35 is not just written to Watchman who stand guard on that walls of the city. No, it is written to everybody that has placed their trust in Christ. I must spiritually stay dressed for action and keep my lamp burning. If I put my Sword down for even a moment, which I assure you I am as guilty as the next person of doing, then I can find myself in a compromising position with the enemy. If I do not keep oil in my lamp, then I can find myself falling asleep and slumbering, just as the enemy decides to scale the wall.
This weekend I have broken out re-runs of one of my favorite shows, Alias. This show starred Jennifer Garner, and it was all about her being a CIA operative. I find the action absolutely stimulating. Occasionally I find myself saying stuff like, "That guy was so unprepared for what she had to dish out." From kick boxing to shooting, the action is never ending. In a way, this is what verse 35 is saying. We are to stay prepared for Action. Just like my previous Blog that I wrote, I would like to reiterate my point. Is your Sword rusty and dull, or is it sharpened to a fine and shiny point? Are your clothes on, and are your ready for Action???
I have recently had an epiphany of realization that without Christ in my life, I am literally DEAD. The Bible mentions the word "LIFE" 412 times. I have realized that not only did He come to give me life, but life more abundant. This means more than I could ever ask or conceive. He tells us that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life! Will you live for Him, or continue to wallow in Death and absolute absense from Him? I choose to LIVE!!!
I woke up this morning with a desire to write a Blog, but was unsure of what topic to discuss. As I was pondering, I started reflecting back to a conversation that I had yesterday with a friend. We were discussing the absolute necessity to be Watchful and Vigilant in today's society, and alert and aware that our guard is up at all times. Now for the most part some of this is second nature to us from a secular standpoint. We accept that it is wise and prudent to lock our doors at night in order to keep any malicious burglars at bay. We also know that it is not wise to pull up beside a Hells Angel biker at a stoplight, and tell him that his tatoo looks stupid. Point being that in life we have some moral and civic attributes that are absolutes in our daily practices. However, in Spiritual areas we might be lacking...
I was curious how many times that the word "Sword" was found in the Bible, so I pulled out my Strong's Concordance app on my iPhone, and literally counted every last appearance. Did you know that the word "Sword" is found 356 times in the Old Testament, and only 27 times in the New Testament (9 of which alone are found in the book of Revelations)? I had no idea. Now before you start jumping to conclusions and assuming that the Sword is less important in the New Testament than the Old, lets look at some passages:
"He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming Sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life."
Genesis 3:24 (ESV)
There is much speculation as to what or whom this Sword is or might represent. I look forward to studying more about this and writing a future Blog on this topic.
"When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The Sword of the LORD, and of Gideon. "
Judges 7:18 (KJV)
"When they blew the 300 trumpets, the LORD set every man’s Sword against his comrade and against all the army. "
Judges 7:22 (ESV)
This is an amazing story of how 300 men armed with nothing more than Trumpets and Pitchers concealing a torch, went up against thousands of armed men. However, it is important to note that they were obedient to the Lord's instruction. The Lord fought their battle for them with His Sword, by turning the enemies swords on themselves.
"And each of the builders had his Sword strapped at his side while he built. The man who sounded the trumpet was beside me. And I said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, "The work is great and widely spread, and we are separated on the wall, far from one another. In the place where you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us."
Nehemiah 4:18-20 (ESV)
I love the story of Nehemiah, and would absolutely encourage you to read it soon. This passage talks about Nehemiah leading men to rebuild the wall. With opposition against them, they were watchful and alert. With brick and mortar in their hands, the sword was right there by their side ever ready.
"...and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
Ephesians 6:17 (ESV)
This passage in Ephesians is dealing with putting on the whole Armor of God on a daily basis. We can see here that the Sword is referred to has His Holy Spirit, which is the Word of God.
"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged Sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart."
Hebrews 4:12 (ESV)
For anybody that tells me that the Bible is just an ordinary book that was written thousands of years ago by some men, I refer them to this passage. The Word of God is alive and active! He says that it is sharper than any two-edged Sword. This is because these are not just mere words printed on some paper, but rather THE WORDS OF GOD!
"From his mouth comes a sharp Sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords."
Revelation 19:15-16 (ESV)
I am speechless every time I read this verse. My LORD is coming back on a white horse. In the passage before it says that His eyes were like a flaming fire, and that His name is called The Word of God! This Sword is an instrument of judgement as a fullfillment of His Righteousness.
I think that it is safe to say that the Old Testament is definitely bloodier than the New, however don't ever neglect the aspect of trading a physical sword for a spiritual one. It is essential for Believers of the One True God to guard themselves spiritually with The Word of God every second of the day. May we always be ever watchful and alert that satan is lurking about like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour (I Peter 5:8). Therefore, naivety and weariness are not viable excuses, and never have been.
My friends, Where Is Your Sword? Did you pack it away somewhere after church camp many years ago? Did you leave it at Walmart last week, after witnessing to some needy soul? Or could it be that you have never gripped the Almighty Power of the Sword of the Spirit? The time is too short to aimlessly walk through life hoping that eventually you might hit the target. Cry out to God if you have never gripped that Sword or you have misplaced it in your life. If you are firmly grasping your Sword, NEVER LET GO...