Stand In The Gap

If you live in the United States of America, you live in the greatest nation on earth.  One of the primary reasons immigrants left Europe and traveled to America was for freedom from religious persecution; and, our very wise founding fathers developed a rule of law for our country based on biblical foundations.

I have lived a good and long life so far and have enjoyed the freedoms that are afforded to us by the legislative documents on which our nation was formed.  But over time things have changed and it seems to me it is changing faster all the time.  We are seeing so many of our freedoms eroding with threats of more being destroyed.  So what are we – as individuals – to do about it?  

World events are under his control. He removes kings and sets others on their thrones. He gives wise men their wisdom and scholars their intelligence.”  (Daniel 2:21)  “Every person must submit to and support the authorities over him. For there can be no authority in the universe except by God’s appointment, which means that every authority that exists has been instituted by God.”  (Romans 13:1 TPT)   These verses would indicate that God has a hand in who our leaders are and when they are placed there.  That may be hard for us to accept and understand, but who are we to question God and His ways?  

I believe that it is very important for us to pray for our leaders – at all levels, from our cities, to our counties, to our states, to our nation and internationally.  Is that an easy thing to do?  Not always.  But here is what 1 Timothy 2:1-3 (MSG) has to say:  “The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.”  Then, 1 Peter 2:17 (NLV) says:  “Show respect to all men. Love the Christians. Honor God with love and fear. Respect the head leader of the country.”  Those verses are pretty straight-forward; and, please note, they do not say to pray for them/respect them only IF you agree with them and everything they want to do!    

We can be a hard-headed people that have a tendency to want to do things our way and we get off track at times.  Then there are those that are ungodly and live lawless and depraved lives that can drag society down as a whole.

Is this what is happening in our nation?  Are the ungodly, lawless, depraved running rampant while the godly are just sitting back watching it happen, hiding in our homes, in our churches – pretending that everything will be okay if we just wait it out?  We had better wake up and show ourselves and make our presence known to God.  How do we do that?  God speaking to King Solomon said:  “‘Whenever I hold back the rain or send locusts to eat up the crops or send an epidemic on my people, if they pray to me and repent and turn away from the evil they have been doing, then I will hear them in heaven, forgive their sins, and make their land prosperous again.’”  (2 Chronicles 7:13-14 GNT)

So in light of these facts, what are we to do?  What can we do?  There are many examples for us in the Bible of how wrong living can affect cities/nations.  For example, the city of Jerusalem fell into such depravity – piling sin upon sin – until God had had enough.  He said to Ezekiel:  “‘I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.’”  (Ezekiel 22:30 NIV)  God was seeking out Godly people to stand in the gap for the sake of their city.  Where were they?  Why could they not be found?

Does any of that ring a bell?  We see tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, droughts, riots and looting, uncontrolled crime, PANDEMICS striking us, etc.  Is it possible that God is trying to get our attention?  Calling us to repent, turn away from evil and pray?  My opinion is yes – that is very likely.  But He presents the solution and it is NOT complicated.

So in keeping with the theme I have talked about the last two weeks – the power of our tongue/our words, I believe it is time that we start using our tongues/our words for good.  Rather than talking so negatively all the time about our leaders, we should instead be praying for them.  We do not have to like them or how they are governing, but we can pray for them and for their hearts and minds to be changed so that their decisions and actions are what is best for our nation.  Our leaders need our help – they need God’s help. 

We should praise and thank God every single day for the privilege and opportunity we have to live in the United States and for our freedoms to worship and pray.  How can we expect God to make changes for the better if we speak only negatively?  He is our only and absolute hope – Jesus said:  “‘And everything I’ve taught you is so that the peace which is in me will be in you and will give you great confidence as you rest in me. For in this unbelieving world you will experience trouble and sorrows, but you must be courageous, for I have conquered the world!’” (John 16:33 TPT)

It is up to us to stop being spiritually lazy, thinking only negative thoughts, being full of fear and just grumbling about everything.  There are so many that have not, can not, will not think positively or pray for God’s mercy.  Yes, it is time for us to stand before God in that gap – with prayer, on behalf of our families, our friends, our leaders, our nation…the world.

(All emphasis within the quoted scripture passages is mine)

Written by Karran Martin – January 15, 2022

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