Are we looking up or at our watches?


By Stan Counsell | PREVIEW Columnist

Isn’t it typical for all of us to be mindful of the time and not give our full attention as to why we are in a place for worship and His Word? In doing so, we often show what our real priorities are. It really doesn’t matter where we are meeting, many eyes will watch that metallic thing on our wrist and our listening will fade out of the picture.

This is true of Christians everywhere, me included. Without knowing it, we can slowly drift “off course” with our Lord Jesus, seeing things through our own eyes. It can become all about ourselves. But, it isn’t about us; it is about Him. God knows our brokenness, failures and pain. He also knows our prideful nature when everything seems to “roll our way.” 

Still, He forever calls us to be reconciled to Him. His salvation isn’t at all selected for this person and not that one. He loves all the peoples of the world and desires for them to learn about and receive His love, salvation and forgiveness, to start fresh with Him every day (Psalm 5). 

Still, there is something about that watch on our wrist. Regardless of its value, it calls to us with a voice that our fallen nature can hear. Its voice seems to find a way into our deepest thoughts, closing our spiritual eyes and plugging our ears to the worship service that we chose to attend. 

We tend to see and hear the watch, not our loving Savior who gave His life for us upon that cross. Be it Rolex or Timex, it didn’t, but Jesus did. Think about it: His worth, as the only begotten Son of God, being poured out in the complete sacrifice, versus that silly watch?

In a healthy church we should be learning a clear, simple, but in-depth study of God’s eternal word, the numerous topics that relate to our lives here on earth. Such a critical topic for all followers of Christ is His grace through His Holy Spirit. 

Becoming legalistic, failing to understand our relationship with Him tarnishes our view of Him, making us constantly doubt our standing with Him and our being His beloved children. He didn’t save us only to let us flounder in life, swallowed up by our fallen nature. 

Jesus commanded us to follow Him, to go forth with the knowledge that it is all about Him — His death, burial and resurrection. His grace is more than unmerited favor, it is the power needed to sail the “seas of life” (2 Corinthians 1:12). 

The word of God, presented lovingly by church leaders and congregants, teaches us how to set our spiritual sails to gain the fullness of God’s power in our day-to-day walk with Him. The seas of life can get rough, the winds shifting much like political thinking. Still, God has abundantly given us His Son, the word that became flesh, to direct us, the Holy Spirit giving our sails full value. 

Have we checked our sails lately? Are we heading in the right direction with God’s love, peace, forgiveness, righteousness, humility, caring for those truly hurting and in need? Or, is it that stupid watch that continually calls our name if a message or study goes five minutes too long? Let’s learn to lie down on God’s green grass and find rest and comfort in Him, looking not at our watch for a spell (Psalm 23:1-4).

Do we hear Him or that “silent” tick, tick, tick of our watch? Ready to hear His voice? He’s speaking. But, what time is it?