Fully Alive:
Becoming The Man God Intended

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The Issachar Man

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Col. 4:2 

Col. 4:2 is a powerful and profound verse for us men today.  Please note the order presented in its command—pray, bewatchful and then thankful

It should go without saying that prayer needs to be the priority in every believer’s life—no matter the times or conditions we find ourselves in.  That said, we are then called to be watchmen

God wants us to be like the men from the tribe of Issachar.  From the tribe of Issachar, there were 200 leaders.... All these men understood the signs of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take.   I Chronicles 12:32 (NLT). These men made great efforts to understand the signs of the times in which they lived to best guide their people. 

Dear friend, it should not be difficult for us to discern the collapse of all things godly in our world today.  There has never been such a stark contrast between good and evil.  As a watchman my job is to translate all of that for those God has called me to lead in a way that encourages and enables them to live in a way that glorifies God.  I must also remember the clear warning laid out in Ezekiel for the watchman.

Ezekiel 33:1-9 Once again a message came to me from the LORD: “Son of man, give your people this message: When I bring an army against a country, the people of that land choose a watchman. When the watchman sees the enemy coming, he blows the alarm to warn the people. Then if those who hear the alarm refuse to take action—well, it is their own fault if they die. They heard the warning but wouldn't listen, so the responsibility is theirs. If they had listened to the warning, they could have saved their lives. But if the watchman sees the enemy coming and doesn't sound the alarm to warn the people, he is responsible for their deaths. They will die in their sins, but I will hold the watchman accountable.  “Now, son of man, I am making you a watchman for the people of Israel. Therefore, listen to what I say and warn them for me. If I announce that some wicked people are sure to die and you fail to warn them about changing their ways, then they will die in their sins, but I will hold you responsible for their deaths. But if you warn them to repent and they don't repent, they will die in their sins, but you will not be held responsible.

Perhaps the most important part of this responsibility is to help people understand how we should live.  This is best laid out in 2 Peter 3:11-14, Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.  But in keeping with his promise, we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him.

We must encourage people to live spotless and blameless lives, staying close to and at peace with Him.

As I close let’s not overlook the importance of our last command—being thankful.  Is this difficult when in the midst of great danger and confusion—yes!  I can think of no one better than Nehemiah to guide us here.

After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people, Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives, and your homes.  Nehemiah 4:14

As men, called to be prayerful watchmen and the spiritual head of our families, we are also to be like Nehemiah who, in the face of great danger, brought strength and comfort to everyone he encountered.  Our final component, being thankful is best wrapped up in the words Nehemiah shares, Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome.  In other words, no matter how bleak things may seem, we are to be encouraged and thankful that our heavenly Father has our back—just like the watchman on the wall.

It's like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.  Therefore, keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back --whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn.  If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping.   What I say to you, I say to everyone: Watch!  Mark 13:34-37

During this special season let’s read and pray these powerful verses:

1 Thess. 5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Col. 3:15 Let the peace (Hope) of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Col. 3:17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Col. 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

Phil. 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 

A clarion call from our Lord: 

Hear me, you who know what is right, you people who have taken my instruction to heart: Do not fear the reproach of mere mortals or be terrified by their insults.  For the moth will eat them up like a garment; the worm will devour them like wool.  But my righteousness will last forever, my salvation through all generations.  Awake, awake, arm of the LORD, clothe yourself with strength!  Isa 51:7-9a 

Enjoy this special message from Vince on The Four Pillars Of Leadership.