The Watch of Life over Death
“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.” (Deuteronomy 30:15-20)
As Moses stood upon the mountain, and spoke to Israel of choosing life or death, he fore shadowed a ministry, and indeed the call of the gospel. There is a high and noble call, the prophetic watch of life over death, this calling is for the humble, and is one that comes from the Father. As you stand in this watch in Christ, you see as He sees, and with His heart look intently as the question answered, "life or death'? Christ came that we might have life, and life abundantly, and has conquered the power of the grave, victorious over sin and death. And yet, He knows those who are His and thus will choose life, while others will see only death, and yet He watches with great compassion over the hearts of humankind as they are confronted with this question.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
For all believers in Christ we are commissioned to bring the gospel of the kingdom of God to all creation, preaching and living the good news that others may receive this wonderful truth of everlasting life. In this we are called to bring Christ to the environment about us, carrying Him through intimacy with the Lord, knowing His life in us is the light of humankind.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (John 1:1-5)
Those given to Him by the Father are drawn to this light, and so His call to us to be carriers of His light, and bearers of the truth that leads to eternal light. While this is part of the great commission, the Lord also calls some to watch with Him over the question of life or death, with His intent for 'life over death'. This is a high and noble call, birthed in the those chosen by Him to carry such a watch with His wisdom and sovereignty. This prophetic (and intercessory) ministry is from a hidden place seated with Christ in heavenly places, even though our bodies may reside still on earth. The Lord watches over His word to perform it, and that 'watch' has a prophetic unction that the Holy Spirit both inspires and empowers those chosen to receive such an anointing. Ours is to watch, His' is to will.
“O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:55-57)
We take comfort in the knowledge that this watch is not in vain, for the Lord rose from the dead, defeating the power of the grave, being the first fruit of resurrection, and providing the path of victory over death, and paying the price that we may have life. His work on the cross was not in vain, and He is more than a conqueror. So we watch knowing He will have His way, and ours in to watch in the power of the Holy Spirit that cause Christ to be raised from the dead.
For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? (2 Corinthians 2:15,16)
In sadness, we understand not all will receive the truth of Christ, and many will hide from it in the darkness. For those the atmosphere of heaven we carry with Christ in us repels them, and also convicts. This is the Word in action through us, as too those who are drawn to the fragrance of life that dwells in those who have an intimate knowledge of Jesus Christ, in relationship and obedience to Him as the Son of God. This is a ministry by the Spirit of God in us, and for those called to the watch of life and death, it given with a prophetic anointing.
This watch may come with the proclamation of the word of God, and His gospel, and yet also may be one that is given to those to minister in prophetic prayer with God given insight. The latter a humble place, often hidden, as the plumb line of life and death, and the hope of Christ, is placed upon them like a mantle. Such ones often see the answer to the question, or understand when the days of someone will soon come to and end, and provide a time to focus the prayer for the choice of life over death....even resurrection. For others this is one of simple obedience, as we watch with the Author of creation, who is the sustainer of life, over the choices of humankind.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)
As we watch with the eyes and heart of Christ, we are to trust the Lord and His sovereign will, understanding His desire is that all would be saved, and yet many will push Him away due to the deception of Satan, the worship of themselves, and the desires of the flesh and soul. Still God calls us to watch, for He knows those who will choose life, and love Him. The power of this work of God is that it will see an increasing number be confronted with this question, and the cry be heard throughout the nations, "choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days!".