Watch out!! I've heard those words countless times in my life. You probably have too. The vast majority of the time, someone is yelling 'watch out!' to me to get my attention, and keep something bad from happening. A few times, those words and quick action on the part of a friend saved my life!! When I was a young teenager, I had a nasty tendency to walk out into traffic without really paying attention to what was coming, and had I been alone, I'd probably be dead right now. Had my friend not yelled and acted in time, I would have been 'road pizza'!!
In Ezekiel 3, God tells Ezekiel that He's going to make him a Watchman, someone who dedicates themselves to the protection and care of their city. The watchman was a person who would keep watch for enemies, bad weather, or any sort of disastrous issue that would affect the city they were tasked to keep watch over. They had a pretty important job. The lives of the citizenry were in their hands; if they fell asleep or got lazy, people could lose their houses, livestock and their very lives!
God told Ezekiel that he would be a watchman over the souls of those he would preach to. God said in Ezekiel 3:18, When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. (KJV)
Jesus (God in the flesh!) calls us as believers to go and make disciples of every nation (see Matthew 28:19-20), but many of us don't do that, myself included! But we are commanded to, in essence, be watchmen and watchwomen! We have the responsibility as followers of Christ to be witnesses, to speak the Gospel to everybody, starting with our own families and neighbors. Ezekiel prepared himself for that task by getting to know the people he was sent to minister to (Ez 3:15). He sat with them, observed them, was astonished by them. God then spoke to him after 7 days and told him what he was to do. Proclaim the warning! Warn them of the impending judgment to come if they don't repent and turn towards God. God also reminded him that his job was to warn them, to deliver the message, but he wasn't responsible for their response to the message. We aren't going to like the choices our families make concerning Jesus, our neighbors may even curse at us, but we are only responsible for the message.
We may find ourselves scared of the idea of speaking to people we may barely know (how many of us really get to know our neighbors these days?), but God doesn't excuse us because we are afraid. So how can we start to be watchmen/witnesses of Jesus? 1. PRAY! You need God's power and wisdom to do God's commandments. 2. PREPARE! You can get a handful of Gospel tracts and invite your neighbors to church with you. Or hand them a tract and ask them to read it, if they have questions later they can ask you. Be prepared to answer their questions, or be prepared to find the answers to their questions. Either way, prepare yourself by having a way to share the Gospel with those around you, those you work with, those you meet on a daily basis. You can't share if you're not prepared to share. 3. PrAISE GOD! Even if it's just handing someone a tract and inviting them to church with you, praise God for the opportunity! God doesn't HAVE to use us, but chooses to use us to spread His Gospel. Thank Him for each chance you have to share the Good News with someone, and pray for that person, that they will choose to accept God's gift of salvation.
Lord, thank You for the opportunity to encourage my fellow believers to be a watchman and witness for You. I pray that they will reap a great harvest for You and will receive the rewards and blessings that come with being a laborer in your fields and vineyards. Thank You, Father, for each person who will accept Jesus as their Savior and may we all endeavor to share the Gospel with everyone, as You have commanded us. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for preparing hearts and minds to receive Your Word and for each person who decides to be a witness. I praise You, Lord, for teaching us, empowering us and helping us to follow Your Word. In Jesus' name, Amen!