“Dad says we should call 911.”
Nope! Not this time. Although the words were coming from a young medical student who had his family practitioner dad on the phone, I had my mind made up. I replied, “No. We will pray this through!” I had seen this demon before. Just hours earlier my husband had been discharged from and overnight hospital stay. It had been two weeks of close calls with his life. All symptoms pointed to a stroke. And all tests showed nothing was wrong with him. Despite the fact that the ER monitor registered his rates as 179/93, the doctors could see nothing triggering these episodes of symptoms. And we were back home watching the symptoms start again. I refused to call 911. Not this time, Satan! Not taking him today! Not on my watch!! Within minutes of prayer, he was up again and walking around.
It’s the slogan that often makes a good story line for a would-be hero. The Marine, policeman, city leader, or whoever the good guy is in any particular story. But what about the church? Dare we speak those words into a situation?
A few years ago I had the privilege of attending a ladies retreat where my daughter was the speaker. In one of the sessions, the same statement was emphasized. And it has stayed with me. Yet what would it look like to really live out, “Not on my watch!”?
Let’s break this down. A watchman both sounds the alarm and is prepared to defend. He often will practice drill in order to keep his senses sharp. We see this in Nehemiah 4.
“Every one of the builders had his sword girded at his side as he built. And the one who sounded the trumpet was beside me.”
Did you catch that? Each of the workers were going along tending to their daily duties and yet remained on the alert to defend their family and community. Their duties were rebuilding the city’s broken wall. They realized that part of seeing to the needs of their families also meant making sure their city was protected from intruders who perhaps had evil intent. And they were doing this as a team of workers. Together.
Isn’t that how we should approach our relationships in Christ? Working together. Taking care of our families by also defending those connected to our families through the body. Nehemiah gave a charge to the workers in verse 20, “Whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.“ Another “AHA!” moment! When they heard the shofar, they were to come to attention, stop the work of building, and run to the aid of their friends. The enemy was approaching and their community was at risk.
Standing in the gap for each other. Protecting our families even while going about our daily lives. It’s that state of mind where we remain alert in the spirit, listening for a possible spiritual shofar blast. Times when you get an uneasy feeling and know you just need to pray. Or when you recognize the pattern of attack, such as constant symptoms with no explanation, and you know it’s time to make sure the enemy realizes you have had enough!
One time I heard an audible voice call out to me in middle of the night. Just one word. It was the name of a young man whose life was drowning in drugs. I was immediately awake and praying for this precious soul. Often God had placed this young man on my heart for prayer. But this night I felt the urgency. Later I learned that while I was praying, he was angrily speeding down the highway. He did not come to Christ until a year or two later, but no doubt a tragedy was averted that night.
Once, after my husband had gone to lay down and rest, I was drawn to go in and pray for him. I literally started crying and asking God not to take him. I prayed until I felt a peace, then left the room. When he was up a little later, he explained that a dark figure had crawled in the room and within minutes something was choking him. He was being choked by the demon when I entered to pray. Not on my watch! The Spirit had sounded the shofar. I used the sword. We won the battle!
And there was the time I woke up to my eight-year-old daughter screaming from her room. She had been battling with nightmares and that very night we had decided to anoint our doorposts and pray. She awoke from a dream and saw red eyes watching her. That made me angry! How dare he defy my authority over him!! Not on my watch!! The commands starting flowing out of my very being. He must go!! That was the last night she battled the night terrors.
“When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.” Isaiah 59:19
A standard. A standard is an object, such as a banner or flag, used for different occasions. It often marks a rallying point in battle. Flags raised as a standard usually are meant to represent the head of a state or a royal family and carries their emblem. It’s presence speaks of power and authority for the one it is raised above.
So what is happening to those around me during my watch? Am I at alert while going about my every day life? A soldier staying alert usually takes training. Am I taking time to train in my spiritual weapons? Am I dressing for battle?
I don’t know where you are today or what the enemy has thrown your way. For me, he’s trying once again to take out several believers around me. But he should know by now what my response is —- NOT TODAY SATAN! NOT ON MY WATCH!!!