Revised April 2013: This is an interesting and relevant post today. Many asked how He knew he was called, or sent? He had even seen watchman intercessor being moved from place to place within short periods. How did they know when to move and to where and for what?
Here are some updated answers: First you just need to be close to the Lord daily seeking His face. Living a lifestyle before Him is number one requirement. A few watchman/intercessor to-be asked the watchman how they live before God. The answer is simple. How does God appear or manifest Himself to you today? John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
The number one answer is: stay with the word of God. Read the Bible. Make sure you have the words of God in you. (John 6:63; 15:7; Matt. 4:4; Joshua 1:8)
2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty, ” The number two answer is: be joined to the Lord, be one spirit with the Lord. make sure you follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor. 6:17; 2:12; 2:16; Romans 8:14; John 14:26; 16:13)
_____________the following is the original post dated 2010-01-24 (The watchman has since learned that the Bible characters that he was led to emulate changed with time and season. Nothing stands still. The river of living water flows on and the wind changes direction.)
A young man discussed this matter regarding special calling with Jack one day. Is it difficult to know what one’s calling in life is? How does one know he is being called to be a watchman? Jack has never thought of this before. He himself has stumbled his way into this spiritual journey in the first place. Surely there are other more focused ways!
As they discussed, he asked the young man what he thought his calling was. The young man told him that he felt more inclined to be an intercessor too. He said his favorite character in the Bible was Elijah. It was indeed an interesting and unusual choice. The Holy Spirit has been working on him! Jack thought about his own favorite Bible character. He could only think of two with whom he sort of identified: the prophet Jeremiah and the wall builder Nehemiah.
Are there similarities in these two Bible characters? How were they called to be watchmen? Jeremiah was called when he was a young man. He was a reluctant watchman. He was asked to speak to audience who rejected his messages. He had been ridiculed and even persecuted for his messages. He saw visions and spoke prophecies. God’s words burned inside him and he had no choice but to speak them. Yet he was most unwelcome for speaking the truth.
Jack of course had not encountered such experiences as he never saw significant visions for nations and assigned risky duties. All he ever saw and did was mostly limited to within his personal and sometimes wider church/mission scope. At times he was urged to pray in the Spirit although he did not know the content of his intercessions. He definitely has an easier watchman life than the ancient watchmen! However, deep in his heart he wanted to identify with Jeremiah. He felt as if he could see how Jeremiah wept for his city and nation who rejected his prophecies. This picture touched his heart.
Nehemiah was not called until he was already an established official (cupbearer) well trusted by the King in the Persian court. There was no mention of his calling by God. Nevertheless, he was touched and interceded fervently when he heard the sad news about his city and nation back home. He prayed until he knew God has answered his prayers. He was indeed granted favor by the King to return to Jerusalem to re-build the walls. He was different from Jeremiah as he was not only an intercessor he was a builder too. How could a cupbearer (a man who tested the wine before handing the wine to the King so that no one could poison the King) become a capable and efficient governor and city builder? This sounds impossible, yet Nehemiah had succeeded. What he completed was physically evident, in the form of the duly completed walls of Jerusalem, built in 52 days despite external political and military threat and harassments and internal discouragement among the workers.
Jack would like to identify with him in that he stayed close to God and prayed through the whole building project. It appeared to Jack that during Nehemiah’s intercessions, God had revealed to him His plan for the walls of Jerusalem and thus all Nehemiah did was to listen carefully and obeyed God’s instructions! It was no easy task but certainly exciting and worthwhile! The picture of Nehemiah kneeling down before the great God in heaven, interceding day and night until God answered (complete with a wonderful work plan and supplies) is certainly inspiring to Jack.
How does a watchman know he is being called? Looking at the above two cases, there is no one definite answer. God’s way cannot be limited. However, the certainty is that when one stays close to God, and is sensitive to the Holy Spirit, God will let him know. In the above two examples, one watchman was selected by God even when he was in his mother’s womb. Another watchman became one when he paid attention to news about God’s people and cared about matters that touched God’s heart. No matter how they were called, both had chosen to obey the calling. Both are models for emulation for all watchmen-to-be. Thus Jack concluded.