Today we’re going to read one verse. That’s right…just one verse. However, it’s a verse that will be individualized for both you and I. Before I share this scripture with you…let me give you some context behind the story. For 29 verses in this chapter, God is pronouncing judgement on his people. He’s condemning & telling them that he had tried to reach out to them time and time again…however they didn’t respond. He had sent people to warn them but they failed to hear His warnings. So here we go…verse after verse…God is reminding His people about what he had tried so hard to do…but they ignored him. But all of a sudden…out of nowhere…the condemning & judging God that was speaking for 29 verses, cries out one more time. Even though he had come to a point of enough is enough…he says, “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)
I love the wording in this scripture because God is so detailed on the particular words he uses. It says that, “I looked.” That word “look” (“sought” in other translations) refers to a person who is earnestly seeking something which or someone who exists or someone who is thought to exist. God was believing for just one. Just one person that would rise up so the enemy wouldn’t be able to come in. Just one that would be a prayer warrior and seek his face. This verse shows that God is in pursuit of finding such a person. The question for you and I today is…”are you that person?” Are you that man or woman who would take their place in that gap? Are you that young person who would answer the call of God on your life? Are you that single parent that would be a prayer warrior? Are you willing to build up that wall of intercession for your city, for your church, your life group and your family? God is seeking one church, one city and even one person that wants to make a difference. Are you that person? Let it not be said, “He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede…” (Isaiah 59:16). God is calling both you and I to a deeper level of intimacy with him. Remember those times when all you wanted to do was be in his presence? Remember those moments when nothing else mattered more than being at his feet? Remember when your heart cried out for more of him in your life? Let’ s get back to that kind of relationship with God.
Before we end today, I want to leave you with a story…
There was a man named Dr. Alexander Duff. He was a great, long time missionary to India in the 1800’s. When he was an old man, after spending his whole life reaching people in India…he returned to his homeland in Scotland. He returned to die there. He was sick, very old and frail. He couldn’t preach anymore and he could barely walk. One day during the general assembly of a church in Scotland, Dr. Duff asked if he could address the young men and women that were there. He was given the opportunity and he made a strong appeal for young people to volunteer their lives for India…but no one responded.
Not one man or woman responded. So under this strain…he kept on making his appeal. The aged missionary fainted and fell to the floor and was carried off the platform. The doctors that were there, rushed over to help the old veteran. While they were examining his heart, all of a sudden Dr. Duff opened his eyes and said, “Where am I? Where am I now?” And the doctors said ‘Lay still. Your heart is very weak.’ Then the old warrior replied, “No, I can not lie still. Please help me to get back to the pulpit.” They said ‘that’s impossible. Lay still.’ He refused and he began to move. So the doctor and the other gentlemen that was there, helped him up. He gathered as much strength as he could and got back on his feet. And the great white-haired prayer warrior & man of God was led back to the pulpit.
The whole congregration rose in honor of his courage. He quickly ignored their applause and said, “No, no…listen to me.” And he said, “When Queen Victoria calls for volunteers, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of young men respond…but when King Jesus calls, not one of you is willing to stand and go.” And he began to weep. And he said, “Is it true that there’s not even one more son of Scotland that’s willing to go and give his life to preach the gospel in India?” Still no one responded. Then under the heavy burden of India’s unreached millions…he looked at the crowd and he said, “Ok. Very well then. If Scotland has no more young men or women that are willing to lay their lives down and go & preach the gospel to this dying country…then this old, worn out man…I will go back. And even though I don’t have the strength to preach anymore, I’ll go back and I’ll lie down on the shores of the Ganges River and I’ll die there in order to let the people of India know that there’s at least one man in Scotland who cares enough for the souls to give his life for them.”
And at this, he turned his back and began to walk away…weeping. And as he was walking away, from over his shoulder…it says, that young men and young women began to stand at their feet and cry with all their heart, “I’ll go.” Then another “I’ll go.” And then another “I’ll go.” And many more began to follow in saying, “I’ll go, send me.” He turned and looked…and smiled. There was a multitude of young men and young women who answered the call. The story goes on to say that a few days later he died and went on to be with the Lord. Many of those young men & women actually went to reach people in India.
The same call is going out today for you and I…will you respond? Are you that man? Are you that woman? I believe with all my heart… YOU ARE! Take some time today to respond to God’s cry for your city, your church, the hurting people that surround you day in and day out. I can guarantee that you won’t regret it.