The meaning of the word “behold” here is significantly more intense than the word “consider”, which conveys just mere interest or contemplation. It expresses to look and examine intensely with earnestness and concern. It carries with it something to be heeded with great regard
The difference in the two words can be expressed in this analogy:
When approaching a Railroad Crossing in a rural area many times there is no crossing gate, but it has flashing red lights and perhaps a warning bell with the warning signs at the crossing. We consider that if a train were to approach the lights would start flashing. On the other hand when we are approaching and we behold the lights flashing we realize the train is coming and we must heed the warning immediately by taking the proper action or we will be placing ourselves in grave danger. In this scenario it is not a time to be distracted by other activities or deliberate, should I heed the warning or not?
Intense Vision and Focus
I believe the Holy Spirit is saying this is the year we are to “behold the hour” and we should be intentionally focused with intense vision. What this means is illumination and strategy from above, but also elimination of the clutter of the world that would cause us to loose focus in this strategic hour. It is a time to be alert, sober minded and awake with a high level of awareness and not be distracted by the dissipation of things in this world that cloud us of seeing and regarding the “signs of the times”.
It is imperitive we heed this scripture in this hour because to be “unrestrained” is like steering our spiritual vessel without a compass and with no one in the crows nest:
Prov. 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, But happy is he who keeps the law.
There is safety in numbers, but just because there are others on board with you does not mean we are safe. I remember the time we were out in the bay in a small boat with an outboard motor moving at about full throttle. I was steering and my Dad was sitting opposite me with his back to the bow and we were admiring the beautiful day and discussing where we should head next to fish. All of a sudden I saw the top of a channel marker pole appear over my fathers head while his body obscured the rest of the eight-inch thick pole. I had to swerve quickly at top speed I had no time to touch the throttle or warn my Dad. It was so close to a disaster when we nearly “kissed that poll” and we would have ended up in the water, my father didn’t even reprimand me. With our hearts in our mouths we vowed never to let that happen again.
We need focused group understanding with insight in this hour to stay on course. It is no time to be asleep or drift from our faith for the perilous times ahead will cause many unsuspecting to be shipwrecked:
Heb. 2:1 For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it.
1Tim. 1:19 keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.
Understanding and Insight are Key
Like Daniel, we need not “be afraid” and “set your heart on understanding” because these are the “days yet future” that the angel spoke about:
Dan. 10:11 He said to me, “O Daniel, man of high esteem, understand the words that I am about to tell you and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling.
Dan. 10:12 Then he said to me, “ Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words.
Dan. 10:14 “Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision pertains to the days yet future.”
As perilous times unfold many will be running to and fro looking for answers. Many will follow the crowd unwilling to pay the price and band together to seek the higher ground. The time will come when many will be turning and running the other way. We are forewarned to be positioned in readiness to take our stand:
1Cor. 16:13 Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong
Make no mistake the days are growing more evil, but it should be no surprise to us when we are walking in the light. We need to prepare ourselves for battle because to become a spiritual casualty can mean great loss- probably not of our salvation, but of our reward:
Heb. 10:35 Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.
James 1:12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
1Pet. 5:4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
The following scripture is very strategic and most powerful when it is put in the proper context and use for the “you” is plural referring to the Corporate Body of Christ and not just one person:
Eph. 6:11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
Be prepared to “Hold the Line!”
I want to draw from a scene in the movie “The Patriot” where the Patriots were in the battlefield against the British and began to retreat because of the onslaught of their enemy. One person took up the flag from a retreating militia and holding it high in the air began to run towards the enemy line shouting: “Hold the Line! “Hold the Line!” and it turned the very course of the battle. This courage was very symbolic and inspiring and exceedingly real to the viewer because secretly inside we wished we had that type of courage. In the dark times ahead we need to remember that one persons action can sometimes turn the tide of battle causing others to join in to move forward by God’s grace:
Eph. 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,
The hour is upon us when many crowns can be lost or gained, which is one reason I am posting this article. We need to stick close together:
2John 8 Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward.
Phil. 4:1 Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved.
John 18:9 to fulfill the word which He spoke, “ Of those whom You have given Me I lost not one.”
Stay in His Word, but most of all seek His presence daily for He will become the Word made flesh for you:
Rom. 15:4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Rom. 15:5 Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus,
One caution I want to leave with you. If you are facing the future presuming on the promises of God without living a life for God it is hypocritical and you are treading on very thin ice