Knowing Who’s Up There

“Cricket, you on?”; those haunting words came from somewhere deep in my past. When we heard our call sign, everything around us faded. We listened intently for what was coming next. When on overwatch, you were even more focused because the lives of your buddies was in your hands. Whether on “glass” (looking through a scope), belay (securing a person during a climb or rappel), or overwatch (viewing from a strategic location for maximum situational awareness), “on” meant business. It meant someone was depending upon you, another trusted you with their life.

Gazing out the kitchen window at my west pasture, those three words invoked a powerful response. When was the last time I heard them? Was it Grenada? Perhaps in a lane at Benning? Too long ago. As often happens these days, my mind quickly turned from memories to “what is the lesson You want me to learn here God?” About that time, “Prancer” seemed to look up and see me in the window. As she stood there looking my way, I wondered, “Do they take comfort in knowing I’m watching over them?” In reality, I don’t think cows think about too much other than “where’s my calf” and “when’s the next meal”.

Sensing a need to understand, I silently voiced a prayer; Lord, come show me what it is You want me to see. Teach me what You want me to learn. As God so often does, the truth of His Word I’ve hidden in my heart delivered His two-fold message. First came the reassuring words of Genesis 28:15. I’m quoting the AMP translation here to increase understanding.

“Behold, I am with you and will keep [careful watch
over you and guard] you wherever you may go, and
I will bring you back to this [promised] land; for I will
not leave you until I have done what I have
promised you.”
(Genesis 28:15, AMP)

In these words, I once again heard “On” in my heart. The one word reply reassured my soul that I was watched over, protected, and cared for. It was God’s way of reminding me that nothing can happen to me He is unaware of, and nothing will happen He has not warned me is coming. In answering my heart’s call, God reminded me that with all the craziness happening in this world today, my Lord and Savior is still watching over me. He’s the overwatch of my life.

Knowing that God is on high and watching over me brings great peace to my soul. #WatchingOverMe #GodSees Share on X

My next thought was Isaiah 21:6. “For thus has the Lord said to me: ’Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he sees.’” (NKJV). In what I consider a call to action, God’s Word quickened my heart. His words reminded me that I must watch over those I am charged with stewarding and caring for. Whether my family, “family of faith”, livestock, or grounds here at the Cross-Dubya, God has entrusted them to my care for a short time.

For me to accomplish that charge, I must be like the fire watcher in the observation tower shown in the photo above. My situational awareness is best when I am above the world around me and can see further. This vantage point enables me to identify the looming threat and sound the warning while there’s time to act.

Your situational awareness is enhanced when you rise above all that is surrounding you. Your spiritual awareness is enhanced when you remain closer to God. #SpiritualAwareness #OnWatch Share on X

Friends, we can’t know what the next event will be that will attempt to overpower and overtake us. We can’t know what Satan will do next in his efforts to derail our faith. What we can do, is seek higher ground and remain there. We can rest peacefully in knowing who’s up there. Peace is found the knowledge that God is watching over us and He will always deliver on the promises of His Word.

God’s blessings,


54 thoughts on “Knowing Who’s Up There”

  1. Amen, brother JD. God is surely in control, and we can rest in the promises of His Word. We will be attacked by the enemy, but God has provided us spiritual armor for defense and the sword of the Spirit for offense. Let’s stay ON and be ready for battle, reassured of our victory through Christ’s sacrifice and the word of our testimony.

    1. Yes ma’am. Knowing that God is always my overwatch, that He is always looking out for me is so comforting. In that, however, I recognize that for Him to be most effective, I have to listen to Him and submit to His guidance. Too often, I tend to employ a “Ready, Fire, Aim” approach and am learning to wait on His leading. After all, He already knows the outcome. My job is to not mess that up too much.

  2. On is a phrase I’m used to hearing, if not audibly, then in my soul as I stand watch on a security team at church. I think of all my weaknesses and know they can’t be what I depend upon. I must stay alert to dangers, even though there may not be one at any given time. The ability to focus for such things comes from my Overwatch so I can better serve those around me. I find it easier to constantly observe the normal so I can immediately spot the abnormal, sort of like a bank teller who spots counterfeit bills at a glance.

    Thanks for the reminder we have been appointed for such a time as this. We must stay vigilant in today’s world.

    May God richly bless you, my beloved, as you watch over your domain.

    1. Yessir. I too find myself in that “Sheepdog” role, at church and other places. These days, it’s imperative. I love how God gives us not only Situational Awareness, but Spiritual Awareness. That discernment is so valuable in our walk.

  3. J.D., this is a wonderful word for us all. May I remember that no matter what is going on in the world, or around me, God is in control and watching over it all. “God reminded me that with all the craziness happening in this world today, my Lord and Savior is still watching over me. He’s the overwatch of my life.” Amen and Amen!

  4. J.D. This is a beautiful encouraging post. Just this past week one of my Bible study questions related to the most comforting aspect/attribute of God to me. My answer: El Roi- the God who sees me. His omnipresence, knowing He holds all things together, including me, is a truth I hang on to .

    1. Amen Ms. Marilyn. Knowing that God – our El Roi – goes before us and will make our paths straight is such a comforting thought. I am learning that while I may have to be watchful in this world, the thing I have to watch for the most is staying in step with His will. To do that, we must stay close to Him. Well said my friend.

  5. He is with us and will never leave us are such reassuring words. To know that the Creator of the universe lives unside me never ceases to amaze my mind. We serve an awesome God who does give us all we need in life–provision, protection, purpose. Thanks for this inspiring message, J.D.

  6. It brings peace to my soul to know my Lord is watching. I sometimes forget that when things threaten to overwhelm me. Thank you, my dear friend, for your reminders. This was for more than just you.

  7. The ever-faithful eyes of the Lord is solid reassurance to my heart. Isn’t it something to realize that while our gaze may wander, his never leaves us. His motivation to stay “on” is protective love. He is the supreme Commander of the universe! I am comforted to know he sees all and can sound the alarm when I tune into his directives – his holy word spoken through the Spirit. Great post, JD!

  8. I love this line: “My situational awareness is best when I am above the world around me and can see further. ” It resonates with me, a reminder to look up and rise above. Thank you for your service to our country, JD, and for encouraging and challenging me through your blog.

  9. Many years ago, my sister-in-law drew a picture of God’s hand holding a baby. It’s the logo for a local crisis pregnancy center now.

    I often imagine myself as the one in His hand.

    Great post, JD. God bless!

    1. Oh, how I love that image Ms. Nancy. We all, after all, His dear children. To know that He holds us in His hand, and He has promised in His Word that no one can ever snatch us from it is most comforting indeed my friend. I hope you can share that picture with us one day.

  10. Everything you write manages to send my mind and heart in directions that prove to be rich and rewarding, but the events of the past week make this one especially meaningful to me right now,
    I love your description of the lookouts as being “on.” I thought the word was just perfect and the scene it helped to depict was one one of the kind of protected security that would enable the troops to sleep soundly. Knowing that someone’s eyes were open and watching on their behalf was powerfully encouraging. I also loved imagining them posted in different places and checking things out from different vantage points. Our Father leaves no perspective unmanned and nothing the enemy does escapes His scrutiny.
    The other helpful reminder was that lookouts aren’t some special breed all their own. All of us have a post to man and we’re all commissioned to be lookouts for one another. We often talk about the vital element of unity that seems to be missing in the Body of Christ these days and one of the downsides to our divisive nature is that we’re not standing guard over one another. We often leave one another exposed and unprotected and this insightful piece of spiritual nourishment reminds me again that I have an obligation to my brothers in this warfare being waged all around us. Just showing up at church and greeting one another once or twice a week is not enough. The enemy that threatens any of us threatens all of us and we’re to be a physical extension God’s presence in the lives of our brothers and sisters.
    Diane and I are always so grateful for the way you keep your eyes on the terrain and for the way you faithfully transmit those messages from Headquarters that the troops up here in TN need to hear. Give your Mrs. Diane a hug for us and pass our love around to everyone else at the Cross-Dubya.

    1. Your encouraging comments are always a blessing sir; and I love how you add such richness to my posts. Your words took my mind back to a warm evening, sitting in a Tactical Operations Center (TOC) well away from “the fight”, yet it was as though I was right in the middle of it. The TOC was warm and muggy, filled with lots of monitors, headsets, and specially trained people. Each had a specific responsibility and monitored a different area, both within the building and the surrounding area. All the information was synthesized and communicated in real-time to the ground commander. Your thoughts reminded me that our omnipresent God does this in His life all by Himself. Our job is to stay in touch and heed His advice. I was reminded also that the free will God created us with is much like the ground commander. He can choose to ignore or accept the information being fed to him, but he did so at his own peril. Great thoughts sir. Why am I not surprised at how you can take anything and create a wonderful spiritual lesson from it. Always inspiring sir.

    1. Thank you Ms. Ann. I struggle to think of a time when I don’t reach out to God each day to “check my bearings”. I think there’s comfort in knowing that He’s always watching out for us.

  11. Talking about the observation tower and the need to be above the fray and watchful reminded me of a devotional someone shared in college. I don’t remember who or what the situation was. But he brought out that whePsalms talks about God being our high tower, it’s that same idea–that He is above all, watchful, caring. I had glossed over that phrase often in my Bible reading without thinking much about it, but that devotional gave me such a word picture and stuck with me.

    We can get so easily distracted these days, we need the reminder to be “on.”

    1. Thank you Ms. Candyce. You’re so right ma’am. Often, the scripture we have hidden in our heart chooses us. Isn’t it wonderful to know that in various situations we find ourselves is, His Word has the solution we need? The key, of course, is in knowing His Word. Today, so few seem to “make time” to study His Word. Myself included sad to say. We can always do more.

  12. You do a fine job of watching over things. In addition to your dear wife and cattle, you watch over the Christian writing network I’m privileged to be part of. Thank you.

    1. As do yours Ms. Melissa. I am so enjoying watching how God is using you and your writing to bring Him glory my friend. It seems I’m seeing “Mimi” everywhere these days, and that’s a good thing indeed!

  13. Your message brings hope and assurance of God’s love for us and His creation, my friend. The lessons our Father sends us as we work outside on this beautiful Earth are always timely and meaningful. My horses are dumb as posts, but like your cattle share wisdom from God to you, my horses do as well (of course they don’t realize it, but God does.) Thank you, my friend, and may God bless you and keep you safe. A great BIG thank you for your service to our country.

    1. Amen Ms. Katherine. They may be “dumb as posts” (it’s been so long since I’ve heard that phrase), but God uses all of His creation to point us to Him, doesn’t He ma’am. I sometimes lament that His greatest creation does perhaps the poorest job of doing that. What a patient and loving God we serve.

  14. J.D., I love the verse you quoted with God’s words to Jacob (and to us). I went back and read a bit further. Jacob’s response is to honor the Lord as His God. I pray that I stay perpetually aware of Father’s presence and care so He remains properly honored in my life too. Thanks for this precious reminder of God’s goodness!

    1. Amen Ms. Annie. It’s so very important that as we sojourn through this world, we seek to honor God with everything we do. Oh, what a very different world it would be, and one day will be, if more folks would remember and apply that.

  15. That prayer you often pray, “Lord, come show me what it is You want me to see. Teach me what You want me to learn,” is inspirational to me. The Lord is faithful to reward your eagerness to see God’s lessons in every situation. Thank you for sharing them with us.

    1. Thank you Ms. Dottie. I often pause when I read your inspiring “Six on Saturday” or other posts. I think of what lessons God is teaching my friend through the beautiful world you’ve created and how you use it and the gifts and talents He’s given you to shine His light into the world. Thank you for being such an encouragement ma’am.

  16. Another powerful analogy, J.D. How comforting to know the Lord is watching over us, His Word warns us of the enemy’s tactics to lure us out from under the watchful eye of God.

    1. It absolutely does Ms. Karen. So often, we fail to process what we see, hear, and sense from the world around us through the filter of His Word. What a wonderful reminder sweet sister. God’s blessings.

  17. I felt Him “on” duty as we lost our way up in the mountains yesterday and as darkness began to fall. What a blessing to know He is standing guard and keeping us safe. Thanks JD

    1. Oh my, those can be scary times for sure Ms. Yvonne. Anytime we find ourselves in unfamiliar territory, the “Unknowns” can become even more frightening. I sometimes wonder how anyone can even function in this world without the assurance that God provides. So glad you’re safe today. God’s blessings ma’am.

  18. J.D., I love this so much!
    Countless times, God’s Word, hidden in my heart has rescued me from fear, anxiety, and from sinning.
    How amazing it is that our Creator watches over us and is even mindful of everything about us— and He cares!
    Thank you for this beautifully written reminder of His love and care.
    By the way, my prayer for children today is about God’s Word, hidden in our hearts. Oh and thanks for regularly sharing my prayers for children. You’re such a blessing.

    1. Thank you Ms. Connie. I look back at some of the most stressful times in my life and I am strengthened by recognizing how many of them were resolved with God’s Word. Sometimes it was hidden in my heart. Other times it was shared by another. His Word is certainly a powerful influence in our lives, isn’t it? Thank you for all your kind words ma’am.

  19. Thank you, J.D., for your reminder that God is always watching over me. One of my favorite Psalms , 121 is also a good reminder of this for me.

  20. Such a huge responsibility you carried in the military being “on” for your comrades as well as for yourself. I find that I have to be “on” for the enemy’s attacks. He strikes when you’re not looking. The trick is to recognize his tactics, be aware of his approach, and stand guard with your weapons! Even then, he’s a sneaky snake.
    I loved your tweet quote. I tweeted it.

  21. Absolutely Ms. Karen. In the world today, no one can afford to go through life without keen situational awareness. In the past 10 years, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had someone in a store aisle, and worse, walking through a crosswalk on a street with their heads buried in their not-so-smart phone. Walking out in traffic, bumping into old folks and not even stopping to apologize (yep, I’m that grumpy old guy who yells, “Hey, the words you’re looking for are ‘excuse me please'”), and the list goes on. Maybe I’ve had too much coffee this morning, now I’m all riled up.

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