I was able to visit a church I’d never been to before this morning, and they had a guest speaker from Brazil. His message was profound and incredibly encouraging to me because it is exactly what God has been speaking to me. His message centered around this scripture:
(The word of the Lord speaking…) “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.” (Ezekiel 22:30)
I have read this scripture before and its context, but today, it breathed new life into the fire that has been shut up in my bones! I must confess, over the last couple years of being in a pit (that I am now fully out of!), I did not do much interceding for anyone or anything. There are people in my life I know I am called to pray for; people that I love dearly who are family and friends. Then there are the people I don’t know, all over in every nation, I am to stand in the gap for, especially those in my own nation.
Over the last few months, I have had a wrestle in my heart regarding God’s judgment and His mercy. In my course of studying and meditating on His Word, I have discovered they are not opposite, but they are very much intertwined as one in the same. God is holy, and He is love. In His righteousness and justice, He never shuts the door of redemption. As I read that scripture again, I also read over the side notes that are written in my Spirit-Filled Bible. This is what it said:
The heart of God is searching for those who will answer the need for someone to “stand in the gap.” The picture is clear: without someone in place, invasion of darkness occurs and eventual destruction of people takes place. Answer the Holy Spirit’s call. Don’t allow the price that needs to be paid make intercession a passive issue. It will cost time, energy (Is. 64:7), sleep (Mt. 26:40), purity of motive (Mt. 6:6), and greater faith than most other things we do. Immediate results are seldom seen; sometimes we may wait for many years to witness God’s answer, or it may occur beyond our own lifetime. Let us be the opposite of the neglect referenced in Isaiah 9:16, 63:5. God has made it clear from Genesis to Revelation that prayer is the match that lights the fuse to release the explosive power of the Holy Spirit in the affairs of men. Let us give it priority time.
As I was reading this, two more scriptures came to my mind. There is one that we all have heard and should know well, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (Chronicles 7:14) The other scripture is out of Isaiah 58 where the Lord calls the kind of fast that: loosens the bonds of wickedness, undoes the heavy burdens, lets the oppressed go free, and breaks every yoke…to take away the yoke, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness and instead, extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul…to become the Repairer of the Breach.” (The word “gap” also means break or breach.) There are promises that God WILL fulfill IF we are humble, IF we pray His heart, IF we lay ourselves down for one another.
As I was thinking over these things, wanting to connect with the heart of God, I began to cry, a cry from the deep of my heart. What I’m about to share with you is something I would rather keep to myself, hidden away in my journal, but it is a fire shut up in my bones that cannot be contained:
I cannot give up! I cannot stop praying! A few years ago, God said to me, “Understand My mercy and why I wait.” That none would perish. I know the time of sorrows as such we have never seen before is coming, but I believe in Your love, I believe You are good, and I believe You move on behalf of the one who is willing to risk it all, even in the face of suffering and persecution, and stand in the gap! I believe that despite of deception and conspiracy, You bring the counsel of the nations to nothing and make the plans of the peoples of no effect. I believe You are higher, stronger, and so much greater, and I want to be a vessel of glory for You!
I am not ignorant of the enemy’s lies and schemes. He has one goal: to kill, steal, and destroy the sons and daughters of God by any means necessary. As His child, I trust Him wholeheartedly. If I ask for bread, He will give me bread. The by-products of pouring my life into gazing on Him, listening to Him, and resting in His arms are discernment, wisdom, a hunger for holiness, and being made fearless in His love. And when you see God for who He is…how can you not fall before Him and cry out, “Here am I, God! Send me!” How can I not give my life for this Worthy One? How can I not believe that what He says is true? How could I waste my life on anything else? How could I not stand in the gap and intercede for a great move of God, whether it be for a single life or many?
It takes faith, humility and sacrifice to believe that God is good and that His Word is true!
IT’S NOT TOO LATE! Pray for those you love. Pray for those you don’t know. Pray for those you see in the store or on the street. Pray for your nation!! The disciples asked Jesus, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus said, “With men, this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:25-26). What does this mean? It means the prodigal son can return home, the addict can be set free, the deceived can know the truth…even the extreme terrorist can encounter Jesus and be saved!
God is searching for those who will stand in the gap. He is seated on the throne, in full control of everything. He is righteous and sovereign, and only He knows what the future holds, yet He chooses to partner with us in changing lives. As His beloved, we can move the heart of God. We have access to the knowledge of His will, to pray and walk it out. We can speak out the things that are not as though they are! Jesus did. It’s time to stand. To put on the armor of God and stand on His Word. He is a merciful God who desires that none should perish! And He has chosen to use us. In all of our weakness, He shows Himself strong. So, let us seek His face, pray without ceasing, and go into all the world with boldness and love!
Father God, give us Your heart. Let us never stop our pursuit of the greater love in our lives. Let us stand firmly on Your Word and believe. I pray that we would declare Your Word over and over, breaking the hold of unbelief in our lives. I once heard a wise man say that “changed people change people”. I know it’s not too late, God. You can turn a nation as easily as you can turn a single heart, and I won’t give up! Holy Spirit, release to us the groan. The groan of the Spirit that pulls us into the heart of the Father, that causes us to weep in desperation for You to move. Start with us, Jesus! Let us be conformed into Your image, and shine the light of Your love and salvation for all to see! Keeping our eyes on You, to really know You in a deep way and not be moved from our conviction. Give us the strength and joy to stand in the gap and pray. Release fresh revelation and understanding every day enabling us to pray without ceasing. Forgive us for allowing the breach. God, let us be repairers of the breach, that You would be loved and glorified. I pray this in the name of Jesus, Amen.