We find in Ezekiel 22 that the prophet Ezekiel is prophesying or preaching in a time where there was violence, crime, and immorality being practiced by society. People were claiming a relationship with God yet were forgetting God and forsaking real worship. The priest were either afraid to speak out against sin or chose to ignore or dilute it. There were corrupt and abusive political powers leading the nation. Ezekiel told the people that God was looking for a man to “stand in the gap” and be a godly example of living faithfully for the Lord. He sadly told them there was no man found.
We are living in a day where there is a need for men and women to “stand in the gap” and demonstrate godly characteristics that says to the world, “We love God and want to live faithfully for Him.” If we are going to stand in the gap for the Lord then we need to heed Proverbs 3: 5-6: Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (KJV). This text reminds us that we must learn to trust the Lord and not in our own understanding. I want to share with you 4 areas that we need to strive to trust the Lord if we are to stand in the gap.
The first area is that we must trust the Lord for our salvation. There are so many people putting their trust in things other than the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches us that it is not how good we live because the best we can be is as filthy rags in the sight of God. It is not how many good works we do because it is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and not good works that we are saved. It is not by having an abundance of things; because one day the things of this world will be destroyed by fire.
There is only one way of salvation and that is through the shed blood of the perfect Lamb of God Jesus Christ who gave His life on the cross and raised to new life on the third day. There is no other name given among men that will bring salvation but Jesus Christ. So to stand in the gap we must let the world see that we trust Jesus and in Him alone!
The second area is that we must trust the Lord for strength to make it through this world. This world is filled with sin and we face many kinds of situations and storms as we go through life. When these storms come and we feel like we are about to go under there is only one whom we can trust to help us make it through and His name is Jesus.
No matter what the storm is, whether it is physical, emotional or spiritual, if we will call on Him, He will lift us up out of the horrible pit and place our feet on the solid rock of Christ and we can face anything because the Bible tells us that we can do all things through Christ that strengthens us. Then we will be standing in the gap because the world will see our strength comes from the Lord.
The third area is that we must trust the Lord to supply all of our needs. Many people are forgetting that if we have jobs, houses, automobiles, clothes, and money that all of these come through the Lord. It is the Lord that gives us the health to work and earn a living, it is the Lord that places us in our jobs and gives us the money to purchase the things we need to live, and it is the Lord that places us in the neighborhoods where we live.
The world needs to hear us thanking God for supplying all our needs according to His great riches. Then we will be standing in the gap because the world will see that our needs are being met by the Lord.
The fourth area is that we must trust the Lord for steps we take each day. Many times we decide to follow the steps of life that we want to follow and never seek to consult with the Lord for the direction He has for us. When we trust the Lord to guide our steps, we must pray about everything we do. We should pray and seek the Lord to direct us and then wait and listen for His guidance before we decide what direction we will walk through this life.
These steps will not always be the most popular among men, they will not always be what we want to do but they will be what is best for us and what will bring glory and pleasure to God and that should be the desire of our heart. Psalms 37:23 confirms this: The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. (KJV) Let us stand in the gap by allowing the Lord to direct our steps daily.
Today, if we are going to be men and women that will stand in the gap for the Lord then He desires that we put our trust in Him completely and not in our own understanding.
Rev. Tim Burton is minister of Flippin Memorial Baptist Church.