Ezekiel 22-24, Psalm 38
This past year has been a difficult one. Not unlike many who follow this site we all have our share of trials and tribulations. Through these different trials I have learned that my one constant is the solid foundation of God and His Word. What varies is what is available to me to confront these various issues. Nevertheless, no matter what we are confronted with we are called to stand in the gap for God and His truth. For many we are in an ongoing relationship which means we have the ability to allow the Holy Spirit to use us directly to convey whatever message that person needs to hear, whether popular or not and whether received well or not. Our commitment to consistently pour into these individuals is what we can do to stand in the gap. For others we may have lost our voice in that they no longer are open to our influence. When this occurs we still have prayer and this is not a consolation prize but a real and active way to stand in the gap for them. For others the situation may seem beyond our control, such as illness. For these situations too, we are to stay in prayer continually, and seek His guidance and will. For our nation which is reeling under the weight of sin, we are to pray and ask God what we can do in our own individual spheres of influence to make a difference. As I mentioned previously, the one constant is Him and the sooner we realize that, the sooner we will realize that He is on the throne and not us, but amazingly as unworthy as we all are, He allows us to participate in His plan.
We read in Ezekiel 22:30-31, "So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. Therefore I have poured out my indignation on them; I have consumed them with the Fire of My wrath; and I have recompensed their deeds on their own heads,"says the Lord God." Aside from the sins of the people, the elders, priests and people of God should have stood in the gap, but were nowhere to be found. In their past when the Israelites had so quickly turned their backs on God after the Exodus from Egypt and the crossing of the Red Sea, almost immediately they fell into idolatry, worshipping a golden calf and participating in a raucous pagan ceremony. God was about to rightfully pour out His wrath on them, but we read in Psalm 106:23, "Therefore He said that He would destroy them, Had not Moses His chosen one stood before Him in the breach, To turn away His wrath, lest He destroy them." Moses chose to stand in the gap for these rebellious people rather than accept God's offer to start a new nation beginning with Moses.
We must all realize that to stand in the gap is not a one size fits all method. There are times that prayer and prayer alone is our only option. When that is the case we should do so fervently. There are other times when we are to take a more directly active approach to mentor or disciple another. When that is the case we are to pray fervently and also boldly step out and actively approach the issue rather than cowardly hoping someone else will do what God is calling us to do. Our sphere of influence is huge, but we are the ones who often make it small. God has given each of us our own individual mission fields. The only question is whether or not we are willing to stand in the gap or not. We should adopt Paul's mindset as we read in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, "For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more;...to the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel's sake, that I may be a partaker of it with you." May we all like Paul, stand in the gap and by any and all means necessary reach out for Him to a generation who needs to hear.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: