But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Tim 4:5)
. . . praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— (Eph 6:18)
But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. (1 Pet 4:7)
Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. (1 Cor 16:13)
Often the Bible urges us to watch as well as to pray. (Mk 13:33; 14:38; Lk 21:36; Eph 6:18) It’s important that these two actions go hand in hand.
Watch means to stay awake; to be sleepless. We need to take this command literally as well as spiritually. We are meant to be vigilant, on guard, alert, and intently aware. Spiritual watching combined with prayer will give us the strength we need to resist temptation and to overcome difficult situations in life.
Staying awake is connected with righteousness. (1 Cor 15:34) If ever there has been a time to stay alert and focused, it is NOW. Many scholars believe that we are living in what is called the “end times.” We must focus on strengthening our relationship with Jesus Christ and living a holy life, by the grace which He imparts to us.
Believers must be prepared for the return of Jesus Christ; we must guard against temptation; and we should pray without ceasing. We should prepare for the completion (conclusion) of our salvation!
“Vigilant watchfulness is a manifestation of genuine spiritual life.” ~ Billy Graham
In Christ, we have been given a “new self.” (Eph 4:24) We have been born again. (Joh 3:3; 1 Pet 1:23) We must cooperate with the Lord and put on the new man. In other words, we need to make the effort to live through our new man by the power of the Holy Spirit within us.
So get rid of your old self, which made you live as you used to—the old self that was being destroyed by its deceitful desires. 23 Your hearts and minds must be made completely new, 24 and you must put on the new self, which is created in God’s likeness and reveals itself in the true life that is upright and holy. (Eph 4:22-24 GNT)
The Bible tells us to “put on” a number of different things. We are told to PUT ON:
- The armor of light (Rom 13:12)
- The Lord Jesus Christ (Rom 13:14)
- Incorruption; immortality (1 Cor 15:53-54)
- Christ (Gal 3:27)
- The new man (Eph 4:24; Col 3:10)
- The whole armor of God (Eph 6:11)
- The breastplate of righteousness (Eph 6:14)
- Tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering (Col 3:12)
- Love—the bond of perfection (Col 3:14)
- The breastplate of faith and love (1 Thes 5:8)
We are being taught, through all of these Bible verses, how to live our born-again lives. The Holy Spirit is tutoring us on the “normal Christian life” so that we may understand our responsibilities and be able to lay hold of our blessings and our inheritance.
Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit.
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? (1 Cor 6:19)
If we will rely upon God, trust His Word, and live obediently, we will be living the “new man life” which is upright and holy.
Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth [words], this defiles a man. (Mt 15:11 NKJV – parenthesized word added)
But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. (Mt 15:18)
If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. (1 Cor 3:17)
The definition of defile is: spoil, sully, impair, debase, or degrade; to desecrate or profane something sacred. The words that come out of our mouths are capable of defiling us!
From the verses quoted above, we understand that our words can displease God, because we are His holy, sacred temple. He never wants us to speak words which would degrade us. Words are the heart’s reaction or response to people or circumstances. He wants us to respond to all things as He would—with love and mercy.
Jesus is our example in all things. (1 Pet 2:21-24; Jo 13:13-16) He has called us to follow Him, as He leads and shepherds us.
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good . . . (Lk 6:45a KJV) Let us encourage ourselves to speak forth only words which are good and edifying—which bring glory to God and blessings to mankind.
Today, we’re considering what we can KNOW.
Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him. (John 9:31 NKJV)
Then he said, “The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of His mouth.” (Acts 22:14 NKJV) – Ananias spoke this to Paul after he prayed for Paul to receive his sight.
… having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself … (Ephesians 1:9 NKJV)
We may claim these promises for ourselves. God has:
- Chosen us (Acts 22:14; 1 Peter 2:4) – We’re precious to Him.
- Caused us to know His will (John 9:31; Acts 22:14; Ephesians 1:9) – God shares mysteries with us.
- Made us know His voice (Proverbs 20:12; Acts 22:14; John 10:27; 18:37) – What an honor it is to know His voice!
- Promised that we’ll see the Just One – Jesus (Acts 22:14; Matthew 26:64; Mark 14:62; Luke 7:22; 8:35) – This is a glorious promise.
We belong to the Lord Jesus; we are set apart and made holy because of that fact. We may trust Him to reveal His will to us in every circumstance; and we can accurately and clearly hear His voice, if we will train our ears to listen. If what you “hear,” agrees with the Bible, you can be reassured that you’ve heard from God!
How do you train your ears to hear Him? Read, meditate, and study the Bible, which is the Word of God. The better that you know the Word, the easier it will be for you to hear His voice, because He will never contradict His Word.
Rejoice in your sweet relationship with the God who is more than enough! Hallelujah!