Have you ever heard the term “OVERWATCH”? It relates to providing cover for another’s mission. That’s a role some of you may be called to fill. Let me tell you why … and how.
Before we start discussing military tactics, let me welcome you to “Mornings with Bishop Robert” — thanks for joining me … I’m grateful that you’re here.
Special Forces operators have unique requirements in terms of both protection and provision.
Since I was engaged in the intelligence operations of my unit, part of my role in the US Marines involved tactical connections to Marine Force Recon units (the USMC’s special operations force). So I understand that special forces teams need to go where others can’t and do what others don’t in fulfillment of the overall mission.
As applied to physical warfare, “Overwatch” is a term where one military unit positions itself to provide covering fire for another military unit while they are carrying out an element of their mission.
As applied to SPIRITUAL warfare, this can relate to both personal intercessory prayer for specific situations of dire need or danger. It can also refer to the actions of the Almighty as He watches over everyone who is faithful to Him.
As I write this, there is no shortage of situations in the world that require the determined, deliberate and focused prayer. Some of us are like the SpecOps folks on the ground in some of these situations, others of us need to take overwatch positions and engage. Here are some of the messages that awaited me as I woke up over the past couple of years. *** The capital of Afghanistan fell overnight, Christians on the ground in Kabul are desperate. Banks are out of cash, all commercial flights have been suspended and the Taliban have taken control. People at the airport have been killed as they try to escape. *** One of my employees lost her son yesterday. She and her family were on a lake when her teenage son took a dive and never resurfaced. She and her two younger children witnessed this, and were there when his body was recovered. *** Fr. Branden has been stricken with the COVID Delta variant, and is in hospital on 50-60 liters of oxygen. He had more complications yesterday, and may be transferred to ICU. ***Haiti has been struck by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that has killed over 1200 people and left at least five times that number injured. To make matters more difficult, a tropical storm may hit the island tonight.
For most of us reading the list above, there would be little if any direct action we could have taken … EXCEPT PRAYER. You may not have a 747 jumbo jet that you can dispatch to Kabul or Port-au-Prince, but your prayers have great power in their effect for the people in that nation. Families mourning the loss of a loved one will be undergirded by your prayer. God hears the prayers of His people, and God acts on behalf of His children.
Today’s verse says HE WATCHES OVER EVERYONE WHO IS FAITHFUL TO HIM.
Does that mean that every attack is stopped and every injury prevented? Obviously not. Warfare is, by definition, a series of painful engagements with the enemy. But the weapons of our warfare are strong and powerful, and we need to engage them on behalf of those who are in the situations I’ve mentioned and many, many more too lengthy to list here.
God is faithful, and He calls us to be faithful, as well. We are His hands and feet; we are the light of the world as we represent Him and shine His light.
As we are faithfully stepping into situations into which He calls us, we can be encouraged by today’s verse:
HE WATCHES OVER EVERYONE WHO IS FAITHFUL TO HIM.
Armed overwatch has been assigned; warrior angels are standing by to intervene. The Holy Spirit is moving in gifts of grace, faith, healing and miracles. The work shall be done by God’s faithful, He will watch over them. God’s grace will prove sufficient. One definition of GRACE is the ability to walk out what the truth calls you to do. Friends, that is where you and I come in. We are part of the armed overwatch.
The theology that matters is not the theology we profess but the theology we practice. Belief and behavior must be inextricably joined if our faith is to live. What situations has God placed before you for which He has prepared you to act? How can you put YOUR FAITH into practice today?
Perhaps you can’t help comfort the family of a drowning victim, but you can pray for the people who will be stepping into that role. It’s not likely you can fly to the world’s latest disaster with medicine, food and water, but you can pray for those who will be doing just that; and you can support trusted ministries with a great track record of effective service in these sorts of situations.
As followers of Jesus, we have been given both powerful weapons and significant responsibilities. One of them is learning to fight.
You’re on overwatch. ENGAGE and STAND READY !!!!