Date: 5 July, 2015
Text: Ezekiel 22:30
Title: Where are God's Men?
Theme: The Master seeketh after men to do a man's job.
I am often asked, "Why did you move to Scotland? Why did you start a church in Loanhead?"
There is a simple answer which most people can't understand. The answer is, "Because God called us to start a church here."
ill. When I was in high school I surrendered my life to the Lord at a Christian camp.
ill. When I was in grad school, God called me to church planting.
ill. 5 years later we began praying about where to start a church and God used James Stewart's Biography, "James Stewart Missionary" to call us to Scotland.
ill. We prayed earnestly about where to start a church in the Edinburgh area and God directed us to Loanhead.
ill. We prayed for a place to rent and God led us to the Miners.
But before most of that, when I counseled at the Wilds after my Sophomore year in college - God used a message by Evangelist Tom Ferrel on Ezekiel 22:30 to call me to preach."And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none."
ill. I had prayed before that service that if God would give me the ability to preach, then I would surrender to His call to preach. God used an illustration of a stutterer to call me to preach that night. When the invitation came I went out and surrendered to the Lord. I wrote in my Bible, "June 14, 1997, I surrender my life to full time service for the Lord. I believe the Lord has called me to preach. Ezekiel 22:30 by the grace of God, I am going to stand in the gap."
We need men and woman today to SURRENDER TO SERVE THE LORD. Are you surrendered or are you just saved?
I. The search.
30 And I sought for a man among them,...
exp. God was looking for a MAN OF GOD from among THEM.
2 Ch 16:9a For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.
question: When God sees you in the congregation of His people - does He see someone he can use?
· Not someone who never sins, because we all sin.
· Not someone who has great ABILITY because God doesn't use much great ability.
· Just someone whom he can use?
ill. David looked like a young shepherd boy to all men. But, when God looked at him he saw the heart of a faithful king.
1Sa 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
app. Young people or adult, you may feel like you can't serve the Lord. Moses, Gideon, Joshua, Elijah and Peter all felt that way at times. But, when God called they answered His call.
II. The situation.
exp. God's wrath was going to come upon a wicked people and only the ministry of intercession would postpone or turn away God's wrath.
ill. David came and prayed with us this past week on our Monday night prayer time. He is a soldier and will be returning to Afghanistan soon. I said to him, "That is some serious work." You are working when you are risking your life in service for your country.
note: God's work does not come without sacrifice to those who would do it. THAT IS WHY IT IS CALLED SURRENDERING TO SERVE THE LORD.
question: What can an intercessor/ambassador accomplish?
A. Build up a divine defence.
...that should make up the hedge,
ill. Job had a divine defence around him.
- Job 1: 6 ¶ Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.
7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?
10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
note: Praying people can put up the hedge.
4 ¶ And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.
5 And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.
note: God took the hedge down to prove his servant. But, we could assume that it was up because God had answered Job's prayers.
B. Stand in the gap for those who need protection from God's wrath.
and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it:
ill. Balaam's donkey stood in the gap for Balaam.
Numbers 22:22 ¶ And God’s anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his @#!*% , and his two servants were with him.
23 And the @#!*% saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the @#!*% turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the @#!*% , to turn her into the way.
24 But the angel of the LORD stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side.
25 And when the @#!*% saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall: and he smote her again.
26 And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left.
27 And when the @#!*% saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the @#!*% with a staff.
28 And the LORD opened the mouth of the @#!*% , and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?
29 And Balaam said unto the @#!*% , Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.
30 And the @#!*% said unto Balaam, Am not I thine @#!*% , upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay.
31 Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.
32 And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine @#!*% these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me:
33 And the @#!*% saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive.
34 And Balaam said unto the angel of the LORD, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again.
ill. Have you heard the phrase, "Over my dead body." Have you thought about what it means. It means, if it kills me, I will die trying to stop you from doing this.
app. If you are going to go to @#!*% it is, "Over Christ's dead body." He died to keep you from there. Christians we ought to be throwing ourselves between sinners and eternity in @#!*% - just like Jesus did. He gave his life. Will you give your pride, your ambition, your time, your sin habit, etc. so that you can do ALL THAT YOU CAN TO KEEP PEOPLE FROM @#!*% .
III. The sorrow.
but I found none.
ill. There are some sad texts in Scripture all having to do with the wrath of God.
Exodus 12:30 And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.
Jeremiah 8:20 The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.
Joel 3:13-14 Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great.Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.
Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
app. Incredibly sad!!!!! What is sadder yet is that Christians are doing nothing about standing in the gap against the wrath of God. BUT I FOUND NONE. BUT I FOUND NONE. BUT I FOUND NONE. BUT I FOUND NONE. (LET IT ECHO IN OUR EARS!)
God's wrath is coming. What are you doing about it? We need Christians to surrender to God's call.
I'm so glad that God called me to preach. Called me to church planting. Called us to Scotland. And has faithfully encouraged our hearts in what He has called us (including everyone in our ministry) to do.
When the invitation came I went out and surrendered to the Lord. I wrote in my Bible, "June 14, 1997, I surrender my life to full time service for the Lord. I believe the Lord has called me to preach. Ezekiel 22:30 by the grace of God, I am going to stand in the gap."
Are you standing in the gap for the Lord today?
Does God want you to surrender your life to Him?
Does God want you to surrender to preach?
Does he want you to surrender to salvation.
Are you going to write anything in your Bible today?
Let Him have his way this morning.