Stand in the Gap

Ezekiel 22:29-31 – The people of the land have used oppression and extortion and have committed robbery; yes, they have wronged and vexed the poor and needy; yes, they have oppressed the stranger and temporary resident wrongfully.  And I sought a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none.  Therefore have I poured out My indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; their own way have I repaid [by bringing it] upon their own heads, says the Lord God.

Judgment is man’s ways coming upon themselves. It isn’t God sitting up in heaven waiting for someone to do wrong so He can judge them. God’s heart is that someone will stand in the gap before Him for the land to stop the destruction. God’s will is for mercy not judgment.  See my previous post on Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment for more on this. Jesus came to save the world not judge it.

Ezekiel 33:11 – Say to them, as I live, says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?

Jeremiah 5:1 – Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem; see now and know; and seek in her open places if you can find a man, if there is anyone who executes judgment, who seeks the truth, and I will pardon her.

Genesis 18:21-33 – I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether [as vilely and wickedly] as is the cry of it which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.  Now the [two] men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord.  And Abraham came close and said, will You destroy the righteous together with the wicked?  Suppose there are in the city fifty righteous; will You destroy the place and not spare it for [the sake of] the fifty righteous in it?  Far be it from You to do such a thing—to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as do the wicked!  Far be it from You!  Shall not the Judge of all the earth execute judgment and do righteously? And the Lord said, If I find in the city of Sodom fifty righteous (upright and in right standing with God), I will spare the whole place for their sake.  Abraham answered, behold now, I who am but dust and ashes have taken upon myself to speak to the Lord.  If five of the fifty righteous should be lacking—will You destroy the whole city for lack of five?  He said, if I find forty-five, I will not destroy it.  And [Abraham] spoke to Him yet again, and said, suppose [only] forty shall be found there.  And He said, I will not do it for forty’s sake.  Then [Abraham] said to Him, oh, let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak [again].  Suppose [only] thirty shall be found there.  And He answered, I will not do it if I find thirty there.  And [Abraham] said, behold now, I have taken upon myself to speak [again] to the Lord. Suppose [only] twenty shall be found there.  And [the Lord] replied, I will not destroy it for twenty’s sake.  And he said, oh, let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again only this once.  Suppose ten [righteous people] shall be found there.  And [the Lord] said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.  And the Lord went His way when He had finished speaking with Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.There is a battle on this earth for the souls of men.  The devil is out to steal, kill and destroy.  God is out to give abundant life.  The devil is out to keep people before they hear and receive the Gospel.  God is out to get them saved and into His kingdom.  He has given us the ministry of reconciliation and sent us out to save the world not judge them.  We have been given all authority in heaven and earth to perform the work He has given us to do.

God will allow one earth whatever we allow.  God has given us authority.  All authority in heaven and earth was given to Him and He passed it onto us – for the salvation of mankind.  His greatest desire is for all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.  This is the heart of God I hear so many pray and long for.

Many times we can stop catastrophes and natural calamities through prayer.  Other times we can lessen the effects of them and save the lives of some that the devil would like to kill.

We can surround our nation and area with a hedge of protection.  Or we can just let evil come in and say, “Oh, God is judging us!” But this is ignorant and unscriptural.  God is not holding sin against the world ( 2 Corinthians 5:18-21).  People need to see a loving, merciful God!  The church needs to be doing what God has given us to do in this present age of grace. We are in the church age, the age of grace; today is the day of salvation.  There is a day of judgment coming, but today is still the day of grace.

Our job in this day of grace isn’t to judge or condemn the world but to preach salvation, to preach acceptance with God.  Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world but to save it.  This is God’s heart, and this is our job. Let’s stop judging the world and get the job done that we were given by Jesus. This will hasten the day we are looking for.

1 Timothy 2:1-4 1 – Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

God wants all men to be saved.  God wants ALL men to be saved.  This is the focus of the present dispensation.  It isn’t a time of judgment but a time to spread the good news of God’s grace.

By our prayers or lack of prayer, we determine the kind of outward life we will live.  Much of what happens in the world around us is connected to our prayer lives.

Jeremiah 29:7 7 – And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace.

When we pray for those in leadership, we can life a quiet and peaceable life.  When we seek the peace of the city and nation in which we live, in its peace we will have peace.

If we give our nation up to “God’s judgment”, Satan will come in and take advantage of our ignorance.  If we become proclaimers of God’s judgment we are fighting against His will and plan and intention who desires all men to be saved.

If God shows you something evil while in prayer, be like Abraham who prayed for mercy, be like Ezekiel and pray to build up the wall and stand in the gap before God for the land it might not be destroyed.   In that day He found none who would pray; let it not be like that in these days.

If you really want to know God’s heart, listen to God’s heart as expressed in His word.

Ezekiel 18:23 – Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked? says the Lord, and not rather that he should turn from his evil way and return [to his God] and live?

Ezekiel 18:31-32 – Cast away from you all your transgressions by which you have transgressed against Me, and make you a new mind and heart and a new spirit.  For why will you die, O house of Israel? for I have no pleasure in the death of him who dies, says the Lord God. Therefore turn (be converted) and live!

James 1:16-18 – The effect prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

It is time for God’s people to stand up in our authority and take our place in prayer, standing in the gap for the people who don’t deserve His mercy.

Expect results when you pray!  Exercise faith that according to James 1:16 your prayer is effective, feelings or not, whether you understand it or not.

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