“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).
In the olden battle days, the Nguni warriors of Southern Africa came up with a fighting strategy known as the bull- horn formation. Essentially it involved encircling the enemy in a tight formation allowing no gap of escape. If the enemy happened to find an escape because of a gap he might stage a fatal counter attack. The bull horn formation was air tight. The Ngunis were the most dangerous warriors to face because of their lid tight attack strategy.
A gap has been described as a “space or interval that breaks continuity.” Just as in war, there is a lot around us to reveal that a gap can be dangerous if left unattended. In construction a gap that starts small can unless quickly filled and covered extend to bring down a gigantic building or a seemingly stable bridge.
Whenever there is a gap, it therefore goes without saying, such must be immediately closed up. You always want any gap that appears to be covered otherwise the risk are too high. Gaps can exist in our Christian life too, which if we do not have them covered, they can let in the enemy. For example, a household that has a gap of lack of prayer, can without that cover, let in the enemy to creep in and do what he is best at, “to steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10).
When Nehemiah set out to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, he found that he had to station guards day and night to protect any gaps, that might let in the enemy. “But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the people of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry” (Nehemiah 4:7). His response is telling. “They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat” (vv 8-9).
Imagine a situation where there is no guard to watch over the gap! This is why it becomes very important to find those who are willing to stand in the gap. Sometimes the decay we observe around us is just because, without that gap covered, the thief long came, slipped in and took over the territory. Where are those willing to stand in the gap?
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I choose to stand in the gap, and will give the enemy no chance to penetrate and take over any territory that belongs to you, because I have every area much covered in prayer, this I pray in Jesus’s name
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“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” – ( 2 Timothy 4:7).
Fighting may be looked at as a non-desirable way of life, especially by those who are pacifists. In fact, throughout Christian history there are many who have literally taken Jesus’s admonition of “turn the other cheek” in Mathew 5:39, to mean nonresistance in the face of attack. The fact that Jesus rebuked the Apostle Peter for drawing a sword against his captors ( Mathew 26:52), means giving in to those who attack them, as a sign of humility.
Yes, of course there are moments where Christians must practice that humility and give in to those who attack them well remembering His word, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord” ( Romans 12:19). However, that said, Believers in Christ would be mistaken to imagine that they must not fight for their faith, whenever under attack. For in reality, the faith of believers is under constant attack from Satan, who comes to “kill and destroy” ( John 10:1).
Faced with this, Paul went at great length to advise Christians to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” ( Ephesians 6:11). To ward of constant attacks by the enemy Paul challenged us to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” ( vv 14-17).
Paul is telling us that if you think that ours is a walk over faith where you are not going to fight back against the attacks of the enemy you are very mistaken. Fight we must, and hold our ground. The devil respects that! And when all is done, we can then gladly say, “we have fought the good fight, finished the race” and thank God Almighty we are free at last!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise ready to resist the attacks of the enemy, by wearing the full of armor of God, and with the sword of the Spirit, fight back to victory, this I pray in Jesus’ name!