Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. … What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’ Mark 13:33, 37 NIV
The context of these exhortations from Jesus is in regard to the end times. The disciples had asked Him when He will return and what will be the signs of His coming. After answering in much detail, He summarizes with these three exhortations – Be on guard… Be alert… Watch!
While the context dictates an interpretation regarding the second coming of Christ, there are additional principles that apply, especially for Kingdom leaders.
As we seek to advance the Kingdom – the rule and reign of Jesus Christ, we must be on our guard against evil and those who would seek to hinder our mission. Our adversary will not yield easily and we should not be surprised by opposition to the gospel or God’s purposes. Rather, we need perseverance and steadfastness as we move ahead in our mission.
We must be alert to the changing times and cultural shifts around us. What has worked for some time may not work now. It’s not just a matter of working harder or looking for more committed workers. Perhaps our methods are less and less effective because our audience has changed. We must be alert to these changes. Ask the Lord for wisdom and discernment into how best to further His work at this time. What new approaches or methods need to be tried to determine if they are a better fit for your audience?
Watchfulness is a focus on Him and the certainty of His coming – an anticipation that He will do as He has promised. Kingdom leaders are to keep a watchful eye on the ‘horizon’ as we plow through the details of the day. Don’t get so buried in the daily work that you take your eye off of the bigger picture. It is the Lord’s work, not ours and He will accomplish it in His way and in His time. He is with us and will never leave us. And He will fulfill His promises!
Be on your guard – today! Be alert – today! Watch – today!