Casual Observers

I awakened just after midnight and I heard these words, “casual observers”. Who are these?

How often do we “ridicule” those who are not as fervent in the battle as we are? How often do we look down our noses at those who are just hanging out on the sidelines, seemingly apathetic to this great call of the church in this hour?

I saw an image of a parade marching down the street with “ casual observers” creating a pathway and giving reason for the parade. Had there been no observers would there have been reason for the parade at all?

I saw an Image of a football game taking place with the stands filled with “ casual observers” cheering them on. Could the game have found purpose only in which team collected the most points had there not been supporting fans to give reason for the game to be played?

Many today are sensing a great battle taking place between two teams. It’s the battle of the ages coming to the final moments when it’s all or nothing for a nation, a culture and a generation. It’s a game that is played by a handful in front of a multitude of “casual observers.”

I am reminded in 1 Samuel 30 of when David and his men returned to Ziklag and discovered that their wives, children and possessions had been taken away by the Amalekites. David and his men began hot pursuit to recover their property, but 200 of David’s men were too exhausted to continue and remained behind to guard the equipment. Some felt these should not share in the enemy’s bounty but David shared all equally with these men. David also shared with the elders of Judah and with the towns he had visited in the past. David cautioned his men to “not be selfish with what the Lord had given”. 1 Samuel 30.

As we go forward to recover that which has been taken, there will be those “ casual observers” who are too exhausted to continue on. They will guard with their prayers. There will be the elders who have poured wisdom into the warriors with their experiences of the past. They will share in the victory. And, there will be those “casual observers” who have no clue there is a battle taking place, but yet the grace and mercy of God will flow on them, because someone went to battle and stopped the enemy.

Many sit in churches each week and are “ casual observers”, seemingly unaware of the battle. But the battle must be fought by those who have strength and vision for the task at hand. For the benefit of others, many are called to be on the playing field while the larger numbers simply observe.

All we do is for others. Jesus died for others…for all who would believe and receive. The disciples were martyred for others…for the future churches of the ages. Armies fight for a nation…for the generations that follow.

We have a cloud of witnesses encouraging us on, while we do battle for the others, the ones too exhausted; the ones who have finished their time on the battle field; or simply the “ casual observers”. And we all share equally in the victory God gives.

There are souls at stake and a great harvest is coming. We must be prepared to take our place and understand our role. There will always be “casual observers”, but they are there and they are reason enough to finish the game. After all, we too began as a “casual observer”.

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