Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Standing in the gap

September 3, 2008

Most of the times I look for encouraging verses in the daily readings to comment on.  It has been hard in Ezekiel because the book is mostly about the doom and gloom  prophecies that are aimed at Jerusalem.  Today's chapters were especially hard to dig something out of.  And though it may sound negative there are some positive things we can learn.

Ezekiel 22:30 NET
(30)  "I looked for a man from among them who would repair the wall and stand in the gap before me on behalf of the land, so that I would not destroy it, but I found no one.

Around Jerusalem was a wall.  It was not just a physical wall but a spiritual wall as well.  Now the physical wall was crumbling, but the spiritual wall had been that way for some time.  By the time of this verse, there was a large hole in the wall that needed to be fixed.  God was looking for a person to repair the wall by right living and prayer.  It is a sad fact that he could find none.  

What about you?  Do you need to stand in the gap for someone for salvation or healing.  I have two stories from my personal life that show that we can stand in the gap for people when God asks us to. 

As some of you know I have been working 3 jobs since the summer.  Part of the reason I am late with these devotionals from time to time.  The third job is not a lot of fun and it is very easy to get into a pity party when I am there.  It is for a well known department store chain and it basically is unloading there trucks and then pulling the merchandise out to the floor.  It is really a job that can be done without much thought at all.  And because of that my wind wanders and I think of how much better life would be if I could get one job to support the family and then the pity party starts. 

One night I was in a deep one.  And as I pulled a pallet of merchandise out to the sheets and curtains area, this older woman who worked in the department asked me how I was.  I told her not so well, tired working three  jobs, etc.  She told me she would rather be home but her husband had started a business with money borrowed against the house and then got hurt, so she was working to pay the bills.  He had been that way for several years.  And right at that moment, God grabbed me and whacked me across the head.  You think you have it bad, look at her, she should be retired.  Now go pray for her.  I asked if she minded if I pray for her husband.  I could have not listened, it would have been easy to do.  But I stood in the gap.  I week later, she came back to where I worked unloading the truck, she sought me out.  She told me that after my prayer for him, he had felt much better for three days and she was so thankful to have him that way for just a few days.  What would have happened if I did not pray?

The other story involves my mom.  She was/is a die hard Catholic.  As I tried to witness to her from time to time she said I do not want to hear any of that.  So all I could do was pray for her.  I did for years.  Then one day she told me that she had met a woman and started to tell her all the things she had done.  The woman simply told her that Jesus could take all those away if she could be born again.  And that woman led her to Jesus.  

I cannot take credit for what happened in either case, it was God that did it.  I was just a vessel that He used to stand in the wall to repair it.  These are just two events, I have many more.  

Is there someone in your life that you need to stand in the Gap for today? If God asks you to, will you be willing to do so?

Read through the Bible in historical order
Ezekiel 22:1-23:49
Ezekiel 24:1-27:36
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