“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love.” (1 Corinthians 16:13–14)
If you’re looking for the key to a better life, this powerful verse from 1 Corinthians has some crucial exhortations for you.
Paul gives five different encouragements to his readers that give you and me the keys to not just a “good life,” but to a life of victory.
Right now, I want you to think especially about the first one: watch.
Quite often in the Scriptures, the phrase “watch” or “be watchful” is used. But the question is, what is it that we’re to be watching for?
I believe there are four things that Scripture teaches us to watch for.
Number one, we are to watch for the adversary. First Peter 5:8–9 says,
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”
Be vigilant, or watchful, because your adversary is out there, seeking someone whom he may consume. But that doesn’t mean he can just devour anyone he wants! He has to find someone that is vulnerable.
I believe we’re vulnerable at two particular times in our lives—first after a great victory, when we let down our guard, and secondly when we are fatigued. We need to be on our watch especially at these times.
The second thing we’re to be watchful for is wolves. In Acts 20:29–31, Paul tells the church in Ephesus,
“For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch.”
Wolves don’t care about the flock. They distort the truth and divide people in churches. I’ve seen this happen firsthand, and we must be careful of those who seek to tear us away from the gospel and each other.
The third thing we’re to watch for is one another. Ephesians 6:18 reminds us we ought to be “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.”
Over a period of several months I lost many people that were close to me, including my parents. That was a very difficult time, but as I was greeting people before one of the services, a lady grabbed my hand and said, “Pastor, my friend rang me up and she said, ‘We have to pray for Pastor Bayless. We have to pray for him.’ We’ve been praying our heads off for you.”
I felt the lift of the Holy Spirit. I felt the results of those prayers in my life, because someone was watching for me.
I guarantee you there are going to be some people in your world right now who need your prayers. We need to watch for one another.
Finally, we need to watch for the return of the Lord. Remember those profound verses of Matthew 24:42–44:
“Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
Jesus is coming back when you don’t expect it. It might be before you finish reading this article! We need to watch for His return so that in the meantime, we live to honor Him.
Bayless unpacks even more of this idea of watching in his message, Five Keys to Victorious Living, and also goes through each of the other exhortations in 1 Corinthians 16:13–14. These exhortations can transform your Christian life!
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