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TRUST JESUS TODAY
I am surprised how long this turned out to be, it is a devotional on Ezk. 33 and the watchman but from my own personal experience as a Watchman. This is not an easy job. I am reminded of war movies when soldiers could not get to their troops but were able to hear their cries. I would welcome any critiques. It feels like there could be two different devotions but each time I try to take something out, I find it too intertwined. Help!
Ezekiel 33:12 “The righteousness of the righteous man will not save him when he disobeys, and the wickedness of the wicked man will not cause him to fall when he turns from it.”
When I first came to the LORD I hit a wall with how I was supposed to respond to this world, especially to my childhood family and all their mixed messages. He gave me Col. 3:7-12 as my answer. “You used to walk in these ways in the life you once lived but now you must rid yourself of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips since you have taken off your old self and its practices. Do not lie to each other.” He told me I had to put on compassion, kindness, gentleness, humility and patience; bearing with others in love and forgiveness.
I didn't know how to do that until I saw that He had given me a bath. I came to Him with stinking grave clothes on and He had taken them off me, bathed me and presented me with clean clothes to dress in and it was my choice. I could put back on the grave clothes and if I did no one would notice that I had been changed, given a bath and a choice; or I could put on the new clean clothes and learn a new way to behave.
My mom told me an AA slogan one time. It says "fake it till you feel it" and at first I thought what hypocrisy, but then I saw the wisdom behind it when I came to Christ.
I could refuse those clean clothes because I wasn't used to feeling clean but instead I wore them and felt strange for a long time. I felt hypocritical, but I kept them on as best I could, at least I tried to keep the old clothes off as long as I could. I don't know that I yet wear all the new clothes He has given me. I know I don't wear all of them at any one time, but I've tried to burn the old clothes so that I don't have anymore choices. I also know that I have got the new clothes dirty from time to time, but they don't seem to hold the stains like the grave clothes did.
After acknowledging that I didn't want to look like or behave as a person in grave clothes I agreed that as foreign as His way felt, it was still far easier to learn this new way than to continue the old way. He gave me people that began to sharpen me and with each stroke of the whetstone against the sword of truth He had empowered me with, I became sharper, more attuned to lies, able to deal with them more effectively. I no longer had to cut through the lies in my life with a butter knife. God gave me a sword and began teaching me how to sharpen and use it.
I need people that sharpen the Sword in my life, and I need to sharpen the Sword in the lives of others. Others can show me where the sinew and tendons of lies are still attached to the bone, when I can not see clearly and I am to do the same for you.
One of the things that make it so hard to deal with my family is that their behavior harms themselves and others. I have been told once that we are allowed to judge behavior not salvation. Behavior is an indicator of where the seeds are planted and growing and bearing fruit or thorns. I constantly have to look in my life and see where is that happening, what needs nurturing, what needs to be pulled out? It is tiring and never ending but when I get rebellious I just take one look at my family and realize that God is not against me He is trying to strengthen me. As hard as it may be to fake it one more day, putting the grave clothes back on is just not an option anymore and the longer I stay on God's side and fight his way, the less I want the option.
But still, I do sometimes feel rebellious, especially when I feel alone. I read the other day that God does not take sides and remembered how Jesus said, "I've have not come to take sides, I've come to take over!" My choice is to either join Jesus on HIS side agree with him about the battles in my life, or I can stand in the middle or I can take Satan's side. Standing in the middle is not an option for me either, Jesus warned all believers "I would rather you be hot or cold, but you are neither, because you are lukewarm I will spit you from my mouth."
So really I have two choices: I can go to the side of my God and win my battles there or I can side with Satan. God will not move in my life without me. He is victorious where He stands, if I want to be victorious I must stand with Him. He will move in my life and bring victory but only if I am at His side. His greatest work of freeing me from the slavery of sin was all that He felt required to do without my permission.
When I left Texas and came here to the Pacific Northwest I felt that I had left a desert and moved to an oasis with lush grass and plentiful water. I never want to go back to the desert again. It is the same spiritually. I have done battle in the desert and now that God has crossed me over into the Promised Land I find I still experience battles but the living conditions are much, much better. The desert was home too long for me, the ground was not victorious, like when God cursed the earth because of Adams participation in sin, I also had to hack out my victories with the sweat of my brow. God was there and victory occurred but the enemy wasn't exactly running in fear of me. Now that I have crossed over into my promised land wherever I set my feet is victorious ground. The enemy retreats from me, God goes before me and the battle is often over before I even get there.
I tell you this because you have been promised that you would get your land back. Where are you fighting?
Are you still in rebellion, have you not yet made the decision that Satan is one little worm of a lie that goes down easy and poisons the whole system? Are you still in the desert fighting on enemy territory learning to trust God walking by sight rather than faith, are you lying next to a pit, or are you still trying to decide which clothes to wear?
It is hard for Watchmen to view this slow painful process. Do you have others trying to be a whetstone in your life, a watcher on the wall? They can only tell you what they see and speak what they are told to speak and try to do so in love and truth. We do not watch in order to see you fail. It breaks the heart to see you in rebellion, to see the destruction that is happening all around you. A wise woman builds her house and a foolish one tears it down with her own hands. If a man builds alone he builds in vain. I have seen the latter kind, the woman I know who destroyed her home with her own two hands sits in a nursing home all alone, void of those she brought into this world. Void of peace, completely surrendered to bitterness, apathy, self-pity and it started with rebellion.
Rebellion is an incredibly serious situation. When truth is spoken a choice must be made. When revelation is given, obedience must follow. The choice is like two dogs “Truth” and “Lie” on leashes in your hand. You can only feed one and your choice is either to feed the lie or to feed the truth. If you feed Lie, he will grow quickly and become strong and Truth will wither on the other leash. If you feed Truth, He will grow more slowly but your muscles will grow with Him. Both will walk with you but Lie will pull at your weak arm that wasn't able to grow in proportion with him because he grew so quickly. He will pull you down a steep dark path and devour you in the pit. Truth will guide you up steep hills and paths and protect you from any hidden danger. The more you care for Truth, the dog- Lie, will shrivel up and become unable to pull you from your course.
I hope that you will consider these words. We don't get to appoint who is our watcher on the wall. The Lord does that. Who is yours? A watchman is someone vested in the safety and victory of those he is watching for. He has been given a sight line into your life. The watchman can see the frontlines you are fighting on and so tell you where the danger lies elsewhere around you. It is not a pleasant job. A watchman can call out the warnings and blow all the trumpets but he is stuck on the wall, his job to watch and to warn. He is afraid for you and jealous for your safety, but only you can act. You can ignore all of the warnings your watchman gives and that is totally up to you.
Isn't it time to decide who you are going to agree with? Are you sitting, going through the motions day in and day out, agreeing with Satan and believing his lies: you are too tired, you are not enough, you will never have a dream again, and you will never be able to achieve the dream even if you had one, you can't make a decision, you have no time, you are one person and you need someone else to help you. The worst thing Satan does to us is makes us dependent on the diet of lies he feeds us. They make us bloated and lethargic unable to push ourselves away from the table.
I have spent time on the wall for another and I have found it so hard to watch as my friend chose a path of least resistance and steadily deteriorated. I have watched the last minute rally that got her back on the other side of the fence and then watched her sit at the foot of mountain not daring to go up and look around.
Do you really want to continue gathering just enough courage, just enough energy to keep from falling over the edge of the abyss or do you want to walk away from the edge and go up the mountain? The LORD says we have come to a different mountain with a New City filled with joyful assembly and ruled by the judge of all men. This is a safe mountain filled with many adventures.
I once had a vision about my friend. She, another watchman in her life, and I were standing at a mountain base, only one path led to the base where the three of us stood, and it ended at my friend’s feet. It was her mountain to climb and explore, not ours. The other watchman and I had our own mountains; we also had our own abyss-sitting moments. We each saw different things when we looked into our abyss, we saw what terrified us. We have begun to climb our mountains, we are still exploring and, yes, there will be trips back down to the base camp and the abyss.
That is why I can say that when your Watchman says to you, "My dear friend, it is time to get up and move." It is not judgment. It is experience. My time next to the abyss was different than my friend’s but my choice was the same. I could sit and stare and lose all my gifts and talents and promises, or I could get up and climb the mountain.
Dear friend, get up and climb that mountain! You've been sitting or circling around the base of it too long. If you want God, want to see Him move in your life, then you move to where HE is, quit expecting him to come when He has clearly called you away. Rebellion is hurting you in ways that you cannot see. You are crippling yourself and there are still other battles that must be won but this one must be tossed into the abyss.
God will allow you to rebel, but it will cost you dearly and you will pay. This is where your Watchman is most jealous for you. We don't want to watch others pay the cost of rebellion. Submit and live. God's word says "Do not be afraid for I am the Lord your God." Do not be afraid...do not make decisions based on fear...do not put off decisions because of fear.
My personal battle was anger. I rebelled because I was angry and doubt -full. I had to choose to quit being angry, quit making decisions based on anger. Anger is a blanket for fear. I was under the covers and in bed with Fear. I had to decide to pull the pillow of doubt out from under my head, cast off the covers of anger and pretend to be brave. I am still pretending but it is getting easier. The LORD said, throw off every thing that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and run with perseverance. I am not running yet, but I am done huddling under the covers, done with sitting, and learning to walk. Every once in a while I can even skip. Lie dragged me into the bed-pit, the abyss showed me what it said I would never be able to do, and yet I am, I can, I did, I will.
I am telling you from experience you can too.
Gen. 4:7 “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."
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