Ezekiel 22:30 “I looked for someone to build up the walls and to stand before me where the walls are broken to defend these people so I would not have to destroy them. But I could not find anyone.”
What if I fail? What if I lose? What if they don’t believe me or care? What if they hate me? What if I lose my life?
These are questions asked by us all when we are facing difficult decisions or trying circumstances. If we speak up and say the wrong thing how will we ever repair the damage?
Standing in the gap means, filling in a place of weakness, danger, or creating a bridge. In this instance in Ezekiel, God has seen a weakness in His people, and He is looking for those courageous enough to build the bridge that leads to Him. Yet in this world we always see the many things that could go wrong and begin to ask the age old ‘What if…’ question. Fear sets in and many of us back down from the boldness to stand up for Jesus. Be honest, how many times have you let a divine opportunity pass because the ‘what if’ began filling your mind? It’s easy to share with friends and church families of like minds, but how many times have you stepped out boldly in faith and spoken up, trusting God to turn the opportunity into a good outcome?
Scripture is full of God’s people standing in the gap as a bridge that leads to God and even in the scary moments of ‘what if’, they trusted God no matter the cost. Let’s look at some now.
How about the well-known first? Esther was a Jew, even as Queen and when Haman plotted to have the Jews killed, she was faced with the choice. Go to the king unannounced and face possible death or keep quiet and let her family die. She chose to prayerfully and boldly trust God and we know the outcome was good. God moved the heart of the king and he listened to Esther and many of the Jews were saved.
Noah was all in, no matter the cost. God spoke and he obeyed even with the ridicule that he faced daily. Noah chose to ignore the fears of what if and God saved his family and him.
Daniel and the lion’s den. Daniel still prayed faithfully and once he was saved in the den the heart of a king was changed and he believed in God. The same goes for Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego. What if they stood up for God and were mocked, laughed at, or lost their jobs? Worse yet what if they were killed? How much easier it would have been to just follow the crowd? Yet they trusted God and refused to bow to an idol and even though they were thrown into a furnace God kept them safe and King Nebuchadnezzar’s words were, “Praise the God of these men, no one shall speak against their God again for He saves His people.”
I’ve gotten you started; can you think of some more well-known people of God who stood in the gap.
Barnabas, although Paul had been a strong advocate at destroying God’s people, once God converted him, he was ready to serve God. It was Barnabas who was willing to have Paul’s back and risk his reputation to vouch for Paul’s genuine conversion.
John the Baptist called people to repent, even if it meant going against popular belief. And yes, it cost him his life, but he was willing to go to the trenches to stand in the gap for God.
Deborah was a prophet for God and people came to her knowing she depended on God for her insight. She stood in the gap and God used her to reach many.
Caleb along with Joshua wholeheartedly faced spying on Jericho at the risk of their lives, trusting God had promised them the land, and God sent Rahab to keep them safe. Caleb continued to fight for God through his old age, standing in the gap.
Search the scriptures and ask God to show you more stories of those who stood in the gap as a bridge to God.
Being disciples for Jesus though, doesn’t automatically exempt you from the ‘what if’ and make you a faith giant. Thomas is known as doubting Thomas because he struggled with truth. Gideon trusted God yet when confronted to take a stand he needed many signs. Moses, one of the most prominent Bible figures wrestled many times with the ‘what if’. David, another man we hear the most about, many times struggled with faith. We can read about most of them in Psalms, and he still was called a man after God’s own heart. Jonah, Mary and Martha, Jeremiah, Abraham, and Sarah. Even Jesus, God’s own Son was found pleading in the garden that there be any other way, even though He knew His death was the only way.
The ‘what if’ is real and we will all face the questions, looking for any other way. But we are called, as Christians, to trust God for a good outcome and refuse to give into fear. When we stand in the gap in whatever situation, God will help sort it out, find new angles and then we can act according to His will and trust Him for victory. Today, look for the divine opportunities to stand in the gap for Jesus and don’t let the ‘what ifs’ get in your way.
Take some time today to see who else you can find in scripture who stood in the gap for Jesus. Also for some further Bible reading let's start going through James, I did a study called Blue Jean Faith and fell in love with James from there. We will start reading James.
James 1:1-8, you can study this on your own and see what the Holy Spirit wants you to learn or if you would like some prompting you can visit https://bible.org/seriespage/1-faith-hard-times-jam-11-8-includes-audio-message
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