STEP UP: Lead. Initiate. Be a man of action. Assume it is your job and your moment. Hate apathy. Reject passivity!
“And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land.” (Ezekiel 22:30)
One of the best words to describe this Post-Modern, fast-paced age in which we live is BUSY. We run full throttle in our daily lives and have little time for the important considerations of life. It is easy to get distracted. However, it is important for us to take the time to be still. God gives us several reasons in His Word to stand still.
God wants us to stand still and hear His voice. In the book of 1 Kings, Elijah was busy serving the Lord. He built the altar on Mt. Carmel and took on the prophets of Baal. He was so busy that before long he started listening to the voice of Jezebel instead of God. So, God leads him to a cave in the wilderness to get his attention. In the cave, he experienced the “noise” of the world, but God was not there. 1 Kings 19:12 tells us, “And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.” Sometimes God has to pull us aside by putting us in a “cave” to get our attention. He may need us to be still to hear his voice.
We have to be in a position to hear when God speaks. He is not in our actions but in our receptivity. We have looked at the theme of standing in the gap for God. I have noted that this often means being in the right place to be used of God, but it might also mean being in the right place spiritually to hear Him speak. Perhaps God is speaking to you about your role in His harvest. Stand still, get in His Word, and listen for His voice.
God wants us to stand still to see Him work. A great example of this is when Moses and the children of Israel were running from Pharaoh and his army. The fear of this threat overtook them. They didn’t know it then, but God was about to show them His mighty power. They were too busy running to see this. So God brought them to a place where there was no escape. They had to stop and stand still. The Red Sea was before them. A fortified Egyptian city was to their north, and the desert was to the south. Humanly speaking there was nowhere to go. Moses gave them the word of the Lord: “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever. The Lord shall fight for you” (Exodus 14:13-14).
We all know what happens next. In the next verse, God gave them orders to walk forward into the sea. God destroyed the Egyptian army and saved Israel; He performed a miracle by parting the Red Sea. He wanted them to stand and watch him work. We have this opportunity too. On the back of this sheet, you can see your missionary’s prayer letter. Please stop and take time to see His work in lives around the world.
God wants us to stand still, firmly planted against the attack of the enemy. In his epistle to the Ephesians, Paul gives us instruction on preparing for spiritual battle and warns us that our enemy is not human. He writes, “Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore…” (Ephesians 6:11-14). We cannot hope to prevail in our own power. Once we are dressed for battle God does not tell us to run ahead and do as much damage as we can. No, He says for us to stand our ground. Standing for God means standing against the enemy no matter how formidable, but we are not standing alone. God will never leave us or forsake us.
In our lives, we can stand together against the enemy. An IFM missionary used to remind me how missionaries may be on the front lines, but the supply lines are just as important for a victorious battle. There is no small role in the battle. Please continue your commitment to stand firm in your support for missionaries against the attack of the enemy.
God wants us to stand still and intercede for others. In the Psalms, God records an incident where Moses prayed for the children of Israel that God’s wrath might not be poured out on them: “Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy them” (Psalm 106:23). His care and concern for his brethren are clear. Christ himself set an example of intercessory prayer. Speaking to Peter He said, “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fails not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:32).