Saturday, August 22, 2009

Standing In The Gap

“I searched for someone to stand in the gap…but I found no one.” Ezekiel 22:30

“Lord, what should my answer be?”

Another job opportunity had been presented to him. An opportunity he had desired all his life. Finally he could leave the job he had always tolerated and follow his dream of becoming a Pastor. He could resign from his current vocation, go back to school and embrace his passion. Still, he sought confirmation from God. Everything seemed to be pointing down this path, but he could not take one step without God’s affirmation.

Turning again to His Word as he had been doing daily now for so many years, he implored the Lord to speak clearly as an answer must be given today. Opening his Bible he began to read. Although all of God’s Word has power to speak into life’s situations, nothing in today’s scripture reading was resounding in his heart. He was approaching the final two verses, confused, uncertain and seeking. Suddenly God shouted.

“And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap...but I found none." KJV

God was looking for someone to stand in the gap!

With uncontainable excitement, he raced up the stairs two at a time. Finding his wife and children in the kitchen he exclaimed, “God wants me to keep filling the gap!”

For years now the Lord had been using this man’s ministry and gift of teaching when Pastors were on vacation or suddenly not well. Similar to a supply teacher who is “on call” when instructors become ill or unable to lead their class, he could receive a phone message at any time asking him to respond to a church in sudden need of a speaker. In a moments notice he would be on his way. As he had never taken official membership at any church, doors opened in every denomination, yet his message never changed. He shared the truth of the Gospel with power and assurance.

That morning, God confirmed his vocation. He would continue working in the office where he was employed. He would stay at a job that offered little pleasure and fulfillment, yet it enabled his weekend ministry. Receiving a pay-cheque from this employer made it easier for him to “fill the gap” freely, without causing additional expense to a church already in need. With renewed enthusiasm he rejoiced in the certainty of knowing the Lord had found a man to fill the gap.

Later that day, in his office at work, a broken searching soul wandered in. Right there, in the place he had longed to leave, he had the honour of leading a co-worker to the Lord. It wasn’t time to resign yet. His life was being used to share the message of the cross. The cross that bridged the gap between our sin and Christ’s salvation. Yes, he was in the gap filling business.

(This story is true. It’s one of the many stories of my Dad’s walk with the Lord. I’m so thankful for my godly heritage.)

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Laura said...

Beautiful story of listening for God's confirmation. I just love when He speaks so plainly! I"m having some trouble hearing Him about a particular question lately. This reminds me to wait on Him.

Thanks, Joy!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Isn't that something...

Standing in the gap and blooming where we're planted. God has undoubtedly used your faith in untold measure over the years to be his light in some dark places. Heaven has recorded his faithfulness, and one day soon, the record will be read for all to hear. I imagine that we will all be quite surprised about the ways in which our Father used us in the place of his choosing, even when we're unaware!

Love you Joy. Hope you're doing well. I tried to call you the other night, left you a message. Did you get it?


Marilyn in Mississippi said...

I knew before getting to the end of this story that it MUST be your father you were talking about! I can see how you take after him! You have not physically come to where I am but you have "stood in the gap" many times for me in prayer and in encouragement! Thank you Joy for also being a "gap filler" for me and I'm sure many others!

Love you sister! Mississippi

Sande said...

I'm sure we would be stunned to know what freedoms we are enjoying today because of the seeds sown by our parents, grand and great.

Sarah Dawn said...

What a beautiful godly heritage, oh the joy to pass such a heritage along to our children.

Blessings to you from Costa Rica,
Sarah Dawn