OUR DUTY AS CHRIST-FOLLOWERS
Father God, your Word to Ezekiel in 3:16-21 informs our duty as Christ-followers to warn, guide, and care for one another in love and truth. It is a timeless message found in both the Old and New Testaments of your Holy Word.
OLD TESTAMENT WATCHMAN
Ezekiel, the prophet was appointed a ‘watchman’ for Israel during Babylonian captivity. He, like us, are given the task of relaying God’s message that those who love God must help others to turn from sin. He, like us, are held accountable for the sin of our sisters and brothers (Ezekiel 3:18, 20). But if he, like us, deliver warnings, regardless of whether it’s heeded, Ezekiel, like us, would have fulfilled the God-given duty and be saved (Ezekiel 3:19, 21).
WE ARE OUR FELLOW’S KEEPER
This theme of spiritual responsibility resonates throughout the New Testament. In Romans 14:12, God teaches us through Paul that “each of us will give an account of ourselves to God”, affirming individual accountability, like Ezekiel’s role as a watchman. Paul writes that we all must “preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.” 2 Timothy 4:2 NIV. No one is exempt from this mandate.
Echoing Ezekiel’s responsibility to guide erring Christ-followers back to the right path, James writes, “Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins” James 5:19-20 NIV. We all are responsible to do this. Paul advises the Galatian church to restore those caught in sin gently and with caution for their own spiritual well-being (Galatians 6:1). This mirrors the watchman’s task of warning both the wicked and righteous, all the while mindful of our own spiritual health.
We are all called to be ‘watchmen’ in our respective communities. The verses in Matthew 18:15 and 1 Peter 4:10 crystallize this idea: we are encouraged to gently correct our brothers and sisters who stray while using our gifts to serve one another and steward God’s grace. While we may not be prophets, we share Ezekiel’s responsibility to warn, guide, and care for those around us. We are accountable for carrying out this duty and, ultimately, for our own actions.
• GRACE ABOUNDS: Amidst the warnings and potential consequences, there is a message of grace. Like the wicked and righteous in Ezekiel’s time, we have the capacity for repentance and change. We can choose to heed the warnings and live, affirming the enduring theme of redemption in God’s Word.
• OUR ROLE IS CLEAR: As we interact with others daily, we are all to embrace our role as watchmen—ever alert to guide, warn, and serve in love, and ever mindful of the grace that enables change and redemption. After all, in our unique ways, we are all instruments of God’s wisdom and love, called to reflect His character and uphold His truth in the world.
• HOLD CHRIST-FOLLOWERS ACCOUNTABLE: No matter what “level”, from the new Christ-follower to the most senior Christian leader, all of us are accountable to one another. All of us are required to speak into each others’ lives. If we sense something, we must say something. We need to follow the Holy Spirit, which lives inside of each one of us, to be effective watchman for each other.
THE LAST WORD ON ACCOUNTABILITY
I am the last word on accountability my child. I will lead and guide you to be bold and courageous. Speak into your sisters’ and brothers’ lives, and encourage my children to follow me, fully surrendering to my way of life that I demonstrated in my time on earth. You will be with me for eternity and any discomfort you now may have in being my watchman is a momentary affliction. Be strong. Don’t shy away from speaking truth to power. Those who are over you are also accountable to you, and to me. Too many of my pastors and ministry leaders are failing for lack of accountability. Do not blindly follow me, but me, your God. Worship me alone. All people sin. There is no one without sin. Everyone falls short of my glory. Keep your eyes on me. Follow my Word. Seek me with all your heart. Be effective watchman, especially for those who hold themselves out to be leading Christ-followers.
Amen Lord Jesus.
Your aspiring servant,
2 June 2023
POSTSCRIPT: Dear friends, if this daily, transparent conversation with God blesses you, please go to www.SOLIDpastors.org, where you will find these posted, and a repository of all, in English (Spanish is coming soon). If you ever want to chat, reach out at Daniel@SOLIDpastors.org. My Christ bless you richly as you have your own intimate, daily Conversations with God.