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God, Give Us Men!
Ezekiel 22: 30
The prophet Ezekiel looked around him and looked at the condition of his day, and said,
"I sought for a man... to stand in the gap."
Awful conditions existed in Ezekiel's day.
The king and his officials had discarded all standards of righteousness.
Doesn't that sound familiar?
The country was being plunged into chaos and destruction.
Ezekiel knew the truth -- that it is "righteousness that exalteth a nation."
He also knew that sin is a reproach, a waste, and would destroy a nation or an individual.
Ezekiel looked about him for some capable and worthy man who could stand in the gap.
He looked for a man who could avert the crisis that was coming to his country.
Then, the word of the Lord came unto him saying:
"I sought for a man among them, that should stand in the gap before me for the land,
that I should not destroy it; but I found none."
All through the ages there has been the need for courageous and able men to stand in the gap.
God is looking for a man.
God is looking in this congregation for a man.
John G. Holland prayed the right prayer and put it into a song:
"God, give us men. A time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith, and ready hands.
Men whom the lust of office does not kill
Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy.
Men who process opinions and a will,
Men who have honor; men who will not lie..."
God, give us men who are solid!
Such a man may not make the television news or be listed in "Who's Who",
and may never receive earthly accolades.
But this kind of man is the salt of the earth.
You can count on this man.
- He is the tonic of society -- the lifeblood of civilization.
- He is building his home.
- He is quietly rearing his children in honesty and piety.
- He is paying his debts.
- He stands on his own feet.
- He supports his family.
- He helps his neighbors.
He is responsible.
He may have setbacks.
He may operate under handicaps.
But he does not whine nor does he complain.
Above all, he never blames others.
He is an understanding man.
He has learned to put himself in the place of others.
He is like Ezekiel, who went to minister to the Hebrew exiles in Babylon.
Ezekiel lived among them for seven days without saying a word.
"For seven days," he said, " I sat where they sat."
He felt that until he sat where they sat that he had not turned the right to say anything to them.
This would be good for all of us to practice.
God, give us a solid man who understands and who cares for the plight of his neighbors.
A solid man is a man of faith.
His faith is real. It is not pretense.
It is not just a matter of having his name on the roll of a church.
He may have his share of doubts, but deep within himself he senses the reality of God.
He honestly seeks to live by the precepts of Jesus Christ.
God, give us a man who will stand in the gap -- you can depend on him.
Lord Wilson, a great London journalist, went down with the Titanic to his death.
When a survivor was asked how the great journalist died, he replied:
"He helped the women and children into the lifeboats,
then he and another man, arm in arm, went down with a smile."
They stayed at their posts.
They were faithful!
They stood in the gap!
We need men to stand in the gap for...
God, give us men who will serve Him!
We need men who will stand in the gap for the church.
What will happen to our churches if its men refuse to serve?
Think of the disaster to our communities if our churches were to be removed...
God, give us men who will not avoid their spiritual responsibilities to their church.
God, give us men who will no longer say:
- Men who will gladly take responsibility in the church.
- Men whose daily lives reflect their professions.
- Men who feel at home in spiritual matters.
- Men who will stand for what the church stands for.
"I'm too busy with my work, business, family,
friends, fun... to get involved with church activities."
Give us men who will not say: " I'm sorry. I would like to help, but there is not enough hours in the week.
You know how it is."
This is not an unreasonable situation because many people are desperately busy.
But the same man will make time for golf, for..., and will never miss a ball game or a fishing trip.
The problem with such a man is not too few hours in the week.
The problem is with his heart -- he has no appetite for that which is spiritual.
That is sad, but not only sad -- but it is absolutely sinful.
That man will stand before God.
When spiritual realities fail to excite a man who professes to be a Christian
or when the needs of others fail to move him -- it is an ominous sign.
One day two small boys went into a dentist's office.
One of the boys said to the dentist:
"I want a tooth taken out and I don't want any painkillers -- so just hurry and get it out."
"Well," said the dentist, "I must say you are a brave little boy. Which tooth is it?"
The boy turned to his smaller, silent friend and said, "Show him your tooth, Albert."
The same is true in spiritual life.
We are anxious to have something happened -- to someone else.
We want to see God change the world, but we are not eager for Christ to change us or to use us.
God is looking for a man to stand in the gap!
There are gaps in the lives of people all around us.
We must touch their lives!
How do we do this?
We can do it with a handshake.
Peter and John helped a man at the gate beautiful.
They simply took him by the hand.
Every man has a handshake.
We can do it with a word.
All of us have a word to say.
It need not be a lengthy word or an eloquent word, but it must be an encouraging word and an inspiring word.
It is amazing what a word can do -- either for good or for evil.
The need for men to stand in the gap is urgent.
- A word can enlighten a mind that is darkened.
- A word can strengthen a will that has grown weak.
- A word can make men hate, or it can awaken love.
- Who will lift up their heads to see the fields that are white unto harvest?
- Who will open their eyes to see men and women who are hurting?
- Who will that look and see children who need to be loved?
You can be God's man!
- There are women at the well who need the Water of Life.
- There are Ethiopians who need guidance.
- That are many Zaccheus' who need Jesus.
- Many are waiting for a Philip to introduce them to Jesus.
You can be the man who speaks the right word at the right time for the right purpose to lead others to Christ!
I would that every man here would cry out, "Lord, what would Thou have me to do?" (Acts 9: 6)
This is an extremely personal question.
That question will indicate that a man means business.
God, give us surrendered men.
God can do so much with a surrendered man.
He can take a Saul and turned him into a Paul.
He can come into your life and change it completely...
When Christ called the disciples:
"Straightway they forsook their nets and followed Him." (Mark 1: 18)
The church needs men who will leave their nets and follow Christ.
God, give us men who will give their all to Jesus.
We are in a battle! The fight is on! The pressure increases!
"Ye that are men now serve Him,
Against unnumbered foes;
Let courage rise with danger,
And strength to strength oppose."
God give us surrendered men:
"Men who will be aflame with Thy Spirit.
Men with burning hearts.
Men with brimming eyes and bursting lips;
Men who fear nothing but sin,
Desire nothing but to do His will.
Men who will get involved."
I remember a story about a young man who was proposing to his girl:
He said, "I am not wealthy like Jerome Green,
and I don't have a yacht or a luxury car like Jerome Green, but my darling, I love you."
The girl thought for a moment and then replied,
"I love you, too; but tell me more about Jerome Green."
This same thing is true of so many Christians.
One of the great virtues and one of the most difficult to practice is commitment.
God, give us men who are so committed to Christ that they are no longer tempted
to turn aside for conflicting interests.
Commitment is the essential secret of the Christian life.
Accept the challenge!
God is looking for men!
General Montgomery, the famed British military strategist, was giving a preview of a forthcoming battle
in his famous map room somewhere in North Africa.
When he had finished, his field officers agreed that the battle plan was sound.
Montgomery then put the matter before them rather sharply when he said,
"The plan is sound, but maps without men mean nothing."
The church possesses great potential.
We have a great mission.
We need men!
The question is: "Are you that man God is calling to stand in the gap?"
Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White
Email Dr. White at hleewhite@AOL.COM