When God’s people are being watchful in prayer for others, they are in a position to
share God’s love with them by meeting their needs. Conversely, when we suffer, others can in turn meet our needs. When we are watchful we are also in a position to be thankful for what God does for us through others. We also gain even more empathy to show to those around us who are hurting. Being watchful helps us not to take things for granted in our lives.
Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Who are you Lord?
I AM the God who wants to use you. There are many people in your circle of influence that are hurting and need my presence in their life. If you are willing, I would like to use you. I will open doors for you (opportunities), and even though it may cost you-possibly even chains, I want you to make the most of every opportunity that I give you to speak of the mysteries of my grace. This requires that you really know me enough to sustain you as you minister to them and to season your life with my grace to make your life attractive to them. You must be in prayer and be mindful of them so that you can hear me direct you to them. You must be in my word so that my Spirit can bring to your recall how to answer their questions and meet their heart’s needs. As another passage says, 1 Pet 3:15 “Be prepared in season and out to give an answer for the hope that lies within you…” I AM also the God of Integrity and sincerity; and as my children, you are to deal truthfully with everyone as my representatives, seasoned with my grace and truth. But most importantly I want you to be watchful and thankful so that you do not become complacent and apathetic to the needs of others by taking my grace, mercy and provision for granted in your own lives.
This passage reminds me of a story out of the book of Acts where Peter and John were going about their daily business of going up to the temple when they came across a lame man at the Beautiful gate. The Holy Spirit prompted Peter’s eyes to be aware of this man’s needs (Peter fastened his eyes on him), then God directing him what to say and do. As a result, the church almost doubled in size. We rub shoulders with lots of people every day who have needs. Are we aware of the open doors that God is daily giving us for ministry?
How are we to be used by God when we have schedules to keep, blinders on our eyes and we pray that nothing happens to us throughout the day to interfere with our plans? In another story Jesus tells, I would imagine that the priest hurrying along the road from Jericho to Jerusalem was thinking only of his schedule as he walked past the individual who fell among thieves lying beside the road. How many individuals in need have we passed up in our rush? It is a scary thought that when we pray that nothing will happen to us on our journeys we actually prohibit God’s children from having opportunities to be used by him to help us and thus prevent God from bringing glory to himself and reward in their lives. We all know stories of (and want) “God things” to happen, where someone helps us in our time of need. It shows us that God is real in our lives and consequently, our faith grows. But, we cannot be the ones used in these situations unless we allow God to open our eyes and change our hearts to be willing.
I wrote a blog about being aware of what the Father’s focus is on so that we know what He would have us to do. As we look to him, He is better able to lead us by his eye and not by a bridle. Being aware of needs around us is the first step in lifting up our eyes to the harvest and being used by God “where we are at”. Henry Blackaby says in his book “Experiencing God” that God is at work all around us, we have but to choose to get involved and see what God will do through us.
More to come,