Hebrews 12:1-3 (NLT)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.
“It always feels like somebody’s watching me”…some of you may remember the song by Rockwell with music legend Michael Jackson from the great era known as the 80’s. The lyrics relate to the singer’s paranoia and fear of being constantly watched and/or followed. Well, I have good news and bad news. Somebody IS always watching you. We are indeed surrounded by a huge crowd of witnesses to the life we live. This may come as good news to some or a nightmarish revelation to others. However, as believers we do not have to fear the “huge crowd of witnesses” but simply walk by faith as we follow Jesus Christ. Sometimes, this is easier said than done. The influence of the witnesses of our life is tremendous forming peer pressure that can cause one to veer off course causing delays, detours and sometimes deadly distractions. There are encouragers in the crowd who propel us through life cheering us on. There are some in the crowd who are merely concerned with how we effect their own personal journey. And yes, there are many in the group just waiting to see if we fall, mess up or lose our way. The Lord tell us in His Word to “strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that trips us up.” Does it fell like somebody’s watching you? Well, they are let’s identify the crowd so that we can move on to more important things!
Psalm 50:1-4 (NLT)
The LORD, the Mighty One, is God, and he has spoken; He has summoned all humanity from where the sun rises to where it sets. From Mount Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines in glorious radiance. Our God approaches, and he is not silent. Fire devours everything in his way, and a great storm rages around him. He calls on the heavens above and earth below to witness the judgment of his people.
All of Heaven is a witness to our life of faith. All of those who have gone before us, as well as the angels are in the huge crowd of witnesses around us. The Lord is prepared to save us and secure our soul. His Glory comes from those who witness such an event. He has spoken. The Lord requires the witness of His People. These are the ones that encourage us from the other side. They have finished the race and won the prize now they are calling us to victory! They gave up their lives to secure Eternity finding it worth their sacrifice! God’s People still on the earth are including. These are the prayer warriors, faithful followers, servants of God who have given their life away even to you for the cause of Jesus Christ.
Job 1:6-7 (NLT)
One day the members of the heavenly court came to present themselves before the LORD, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them. “Where have you come from?” the LORD asked Satan.
Satan answered the LORD, “I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on.”
Satan is patrolling the earth and watching everything that is going on. He is looking for the next person who he can devour. (I Peter 5:8) This is his world and he knows it. As a believer, you are a foreigner in his land. His “homeland security team” is keeping careful watch over the believers who walk in the Lord’s Ways on the Highway of Holiness in fear a revival may break out and rebellion may cause many to leave darkness behind and become part of the resistance living in the Light of His Love bent on taking as many people to Eternity with them as they journey home. Those so-called Christians who have given up on the Race of Faith to enjoy the comforts of this life pose no threat the enemy so he tends to leave them alone as casual, complacent Christians convince more than enough people to remain in sin and darkness marching to their death.
Psalm 31:19-20 (NLT)
How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world. You hide them in the shelter of your presence, safe from those who conspire against them. You shelter them in your presence, far from accusing tongues.
The world is watching you. I know that we are not to be concerned with what others think about us and encouraged to concentrate on God’s Perception of our life. But this can be very difficult to consider, the whole world is watching us. Come to dinner with my family and unfortunately you will see just what I mean. We are acute people watchers who most of the time can tell you more about the people around us than our own conversation that same night. It is human nature to constantly watch and compare ourselves to one another in an innate gesture to fit in and remain part of the norm. The Presence of God is our protection from the penetrating eyes of the watching world. It is in this place that we find peace and rest from our need to keep up with the Jones’ and fit in with society. Just look at how many people watched aerialist Nik Wallenda cross the Grand Canyon on a tightrope with no safety line or net to catch him if he fell. As he walked slowly across with nothing but a pole for balance, strong winds swirled around him. People did not tune in to cheer him across but the sad truth is most were more interested in his potential to fall to his death. Every choice that is made in our life is between life and death or blessing and cursing. There is nothing that is worthless when it comes to human beings so of course the world is watching us as believers to see if our faith is real or a farce. They want to see us fall to prove that there is no point in righteousness. There are many tuned into our life that we are not even aware of.
Matthew 3:6-8 (NLT)
And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to watch him baptize, he denounced them. “You brood of snakes!” he exclaimed. “Who warned you to flee God’s coming wrath? Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.
Religion is watching just as they watched Jesus Christ. When revival began, their jealousy and pride laced with unbelief crucified the One who dared to do it His Way making the Way for all who are sinners to be saved. Religion challenges those who seek the Lord outside the comfort one of doctrine and go beyond doctrine to know Him more. It thrives on “seeker sensitivity” shunning anyone who may offend with radical worship and undignified praise. Beware of religion that might stifle your relationship with Jesus Christ. Outside of union with Christ there is no salvation. He is our First Love!
Psalm 56:5-7 (NLT)
They are always twisting what I say; they spend their days plotting to harm me. They come together to spy on me—watching my every step, eager to kill me. Don’t let them get away with their wickedness; in your anger, O God, bring them down.
It goes without saying but bears mentioning no less that your enemies are watching. From the sidelines, they plot to harm you. They watch every step ready to kill your cause. They stifle momentum with lies and deceit. They are not for you but against you. Of them, you must also be aware.
Job 34:21 (NLT) For God watches how people live; He sees everything they do.
God is watching you. He sees everything you do! Does this make you uncomfortable or uneasy? Are you embarrassed by your behavior? Are you offended by His Intrusion into your private life? Well, you should not be uncomfortable, uneasy, embarrassed or offended for that matter. God has a reason for watching you but it is not what you think.
Job 14:16 (NLT)
You would call and I would answer and you would yearn for me, your handiwork. For then you would guard my steps, instead of watching for my sins.
I have been saved for many years. I have attempted to faithfully seek the Lord and walk in His Ways for more than a decade. This verse still blows my mind and changes my perspective of His Unconditional Love. Because I have called on the Name of Jesus Christ to be my Lord and Savior and answered His Call, God yearns for me. He has always loved me and desired me but now that I have turned around (repentance) and aligned my life with His Way – He yearns for me. Salvation allows intimacy with God. Now we can enter His Presence and that is exactly what He wants. So rather than watching for my sins, the Lord is guarding my steps. My sins are as far as the east is from the west as far as God is concerned. (Psalm 103:12) Guilt is removed and sins all forgiven. (Isaiah 6:7) He clothes us in salvation and wraps us tightly in a robe of righteousness. (Isaiah 61:10) Now we may enter the Throne Room of God boldly as the Bride of Christ and a Child of God. (Hebrews 4:16) There are many watching and waiting for us to mess up but God is waiting for us to do right so He can pull us closer to Him. God’s Close Inspection of our life is a good thing! His Goodness and Unfailing Love are pursing us waiting to overtake us the moment we step deeper into righteousness! (Psalm 23:6) For the LORD watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction. (Psalm 1:6) The Lord watches the godly, but He cannot bear the sight of sin. It appalls the Lord so He avoids it. If I want the Lord to watch over me and guard my steps than it is in my best interest to walk in a way that is pleasing to Him and draws me closer to His Side. Godliness, righteousness and faithfulness are essential for the purpose of intimacy not to avoid punishment. God loves me. He yearns for me to be close to Him so He watches my steps closely guiding me to Him.
Psalm 3:5-6 (NLT)
I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the LORD was watching over me. I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side.
The Lord watches over the godly protecting them even when they sleep. We do not have to fear our enemies walking in God’s Way because He is constantly watching over us so we are allowed to rest and not grow weary, to walk and not faint. He never rests in this endeavor. God never sleeps. (Psalm 121:3) I wonder if this includes the time our knees grow weak and grip has no strength. When endurance has not yet kicked in and it feels as though we are crawling in the race of faith, I believe this is exactly what He means. We can rest knowing that He cannot take His Eyes off His Beloved so it is okay to rest even when the enemy is on our heels. He prepares a banquet in their midst as He pours out His Blessing on His People. (Psalm 23:5)
Psalm 121:5-7 (NLT)
The LORD himself watches over you! The LORD stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night. The LORD keeps you from all harm and watches over your life.
God was there in the beginning when you were formed in your mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:15-16) Not a single moment has been left out of His Plan for your life, so He will oversee it all. He is waiting to answer your call and be your rescuer when you cry out. (Psalm 34:14-15) He is our protection in every situation by day or by night. He claims if we wander back to the darkness from the Light for His Namesake. He watches over our whole life – good and bad. The Lord watches you now and forever. (Psalm 121:8) Your life has more potential than you could ever imagine but God knows His Plan. He sees the potential and prosperity in it. He is not looking for your downfall but to lift you up! The Lord watches everything both good and evil looking to bless us when we do right! (Proverbs 15:3) The only one beating you up is you! God will not allow it to happen to His Children! You are called to endurance because Jesus won the fight!
Psalm 32:8 (NLT)
The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.
Jesus decided that there was a better way to guide you along the best pathway of life so when He ascended into Heaven, the Lord sent us His Spirit. “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you.” (John 14:16-18) To tie it all together with a neat little bow, God desires a closer relationship with you so He watches over you for the opportunity to do so, Jesus Christ died to make the Way for His People and watches from Heaven hoping you will follow His Way and Example, AND you have the Holy Spirit who does not watch you but motivates you to pursue the Lord and finish the race! So what are you waiting for…finish the race! Yes, God is watching you! Yes, Jesus is looking at you, too! His Spirit is alive in you which creates great expectation! Somebody IS watching you! In fact, A LOT of somebody’s! But only the Lord will lead you to the best pathway in life so strip off every weight that slows you down! Sin is the natural culprit of death and defeat but misplaced expectation can be equally detrimental in our pursuit of victory! It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of you – only God! He loves you! He sent His Son to die for you to make a way for your return to righteousness. The Lord is offering you an opportunity to succeed not to fail so He is not looking at all your faults and failures just that one thing you do right! Faithfulness, righteousness, holiness, and godliness will draw you close to Him! This is God’s Intention when it comes to you His Beloved! So now you must watch, too!
Psalm 27:4-6 (NLT)
The one thing I ask of the LORD—the thing I seek most—is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD’s perfections and meditating in his Temple. For he will conceal me there when troubles come; he will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock. Then I will hold my head high above my enemies who surround me. At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and praising the LORD with music.
The world is watching you. Do not be afraid but become fixed on one thing. Seek to live in the Presence of God all the days of your life delighting in His Perfection as He no longer sees your imperfections. Meditate on His Temple and finding your way closer to Him. You do not have to please people – you are just called to love them even your enemies. Strip off the weight of human expectation and people approval – just make sure God approves of you! You will be set free as the Spirit gives new life in the absence of self! God loves you! Rejoice and be glad! You will not only finish the race of faith but enjoy the victory found in Jesus!
Revelation 16:15 (NLT)
“Look, I will come as unexpectedly as a thief! Blessed are all who are watching for me, who keep their clothing ready so they will not have to walk around naked and ashamed.”