THE POWER OF OBSERVATION
The act of watching is plentiful in Scripture. The women that followed Jesus watched The Lord for opportunities to minister to His needs (Matt. 27:55). Judas looked for his opportunity to betray Jesus (Matt. 26:16). Jesus warned about watching for false prophets (Matt. 7:15) and deceivers (Matt. 24:4). Plus, He admonished believers to always be on watch for His return, because His return would be imminent.
The Power of Observation is important in Scripture. Paul was under house arrest in Rome when he wrote the letter to the believers in Ephesus - better known as the book of Ephesians. It is commonly accepted that while Paul wrote this letter he had a Roman soldier as a house guest/guard. By being observant to his surroundings and under the influence of the Holy Spirit, Paul was able to receive divine wisdom concerning the Spiritual Armor of God (Eph. 6:10-20).
However, I could easily imagine Paul peering from the window of his house arrest in Rome and observing the things he warns the believers in Ephesus not to indulge. In the streets of Rome, Paul could have regularly seen impurity, greed, theft, brawling, slander, unwholesome speech, sexual immorality and drunkenness. All these are spoken about in Ephesians 4 & 5 as things to look for in your own individual faith walk and in the corporate body of the church as things to avoid or eliminate if found.
Discernment is paramount. Right in the middle of this teaching, Paul delivers the key instruction - "Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil." (Eph. 5:15-16).
Wow Paul! Your days are evil? Your prophecy to Timothy about the Last Days was and is spot on! Paul would later write in a Second letter to his protege - "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people." (2 Tim. 3:1-5)
The increase in frequency and intensity of these prophesied characteristics is what alerts me! Like contractions of a mother very near childbirth, so is the Season of Christ's Coming for His Bride (Matt. 24:8). If we are wise, watch and implement the spirit of discernment, especially in these days, then our decisions will be a lot more intelligent and our opportunities will be more fruitful. But it all starts with The Power of Observation.