Stand in the Gap

By Pastor Jason Paul

God told Ezekiel to convey a message to the people of Israel. God’s message was to prepare the people for the judgment that would fall upon their land. Their leaders led them into sin and violated God’s instructions for righteous living by disregarding God. Their leaders went as far as to lie to the people to progress their agenda. Their deceitful motivation oppressed the poor, robbed the needy, and deprived the people (Ezekiel 22:29). God looked throughout the land and told Ezekiel that he “looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one.” (Ezekiel 22:30 NLT)

God was looking for a godly person who would stand in the gap and stand up for righteousness. God wanted someone who dared to challenge the lies with the truth of God’s word. He wanted someone to speak up and rebuild the walls of righteousness torn down by the sinfulness of Israel’s leaders.

If God was to look throughout our land today, would he find someone who would be courageous enough to stand in the gap? Would He find a body of believers, those who make up the church, to stand in the gap? I believe that the answer to that question is a resounding YES. Today, God is looking for godly men and women who can stand in the gap. Christians who stand in the gap as those who will stand up and be zealous for the truth of God’s word. Someone who will intervene for those who have been deceived and point them to God.

Today, Christians stand up for truth, and their motivations are godly and honorable, but what caused them to get to this place of reverence for God and his truth? These believers stand in the gap because of their reverence for God’s truth and godly convictions. You will notice that I said, “godly convictions.” In our land today, we can see many individuals who stand up for their “convictions.” Some because they know it is morally wrong, some because of their political party stance, or even because of lies. Some think they are standing for truth, but like the question that Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?” As Christians, we know that Jesus came into the world to testify to the truth and that all who love the truth recognize that what Jesus said was true (John 18:37-38). But recognizing the truth is just the first step in getting prepared to stand in the gap—the knowledge of what is true needs to turn into action. Christians who stand in the gap spend time with God in his word. Time spent with God led to a more profound knowledge of God. Then their knowledge turned to reverence for what God has commanded, which turned into godly conviction, which motivated them to stand in the gap.

Throughout Scripture, we can find individuals who stood in the gap, such as Moses, Phinehas, Esther, Elijah, and Noah. When we look closely at these individuals, we can see some of the displayed characteristics that allowed them to stand up for the truth of God’s word.  

  • Standing in the Gap requires intercession.

Moses stood in the gap when the Israelites and Moses were wandering around in the wilderness. Moses had such respect for God and his law that he stood up and interceded for the people when God was ready to pronounce judgment on his people for their sins.

  • Standing in the Gap requires a zeal for God and his word.

When the Israelites angered God by joining in with idol worship, a plague broke out among them. Phinehas dared to intervene, and the plague stopped (Psalm 106:30). Phinehas as being zealous in action and obedience to God, and God noticed (Numbers 25:11)

  • Standing in the Gap requires courage

Esther also stood in the gap. Esther approached the king with courage wanting to request on behalf of the Jews. As Esther stood before the king, she exposed Haman and his deceitful plot to kill all the Jews in the kingdom, and the people were saved.

  • Standing in the Gap requires a commitment to God and his word

Elijah approached King Ahab with a message given to him from God. King Ahab did evil in the sight of the Lord and led the people into sin. Elijah prayed that rain would not fall until Ahab repented, and the drought lasted three years. Elijah showed commitment to the Lord when we declared that he served the living God of Israel.

  • Standing in the Gap requires obedience

Noah, by faith, obeyed God when warned about things that never had happened before. Second Peter records that Noah warned the world about God’s righteous judgment, yet they would not turn from their wicked ways, and then the flood came.

Maybe you can relate to these individuals who stood in the gap. Standing the gap for God will look different for all of us. What characteristics can you relate to, and how can you stand up in the gap?

Are you a Christian that intercedes for those who can’t speak up for themselves? Intercede for them. Are you a Christian who is zealous for God’s word? Then be zealous for God in your sphere of influence. Are you a Christian who stands for God’s truth with courage? Stay courageous. Are you a Christian who is committed to sharing God’s word? Stay committed to God and your commitment to him. Are you a Christian who is obedient to God’s commands? Continue to stay obedient to God, and he will open the doors where you can stand in the gap.

Mordecai appealed to Esther before she approached the king. He told her that “if you keep quiet at this time, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14) As Christians, we can stand for Christ by filling the gap. We have been placed here for such a time as this.                

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