“I looked for a man 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 none." Ezekiel 22:30 (NIV, 1984)
I can still remember how riveted I was during the climactic scene in the movie, “A Few Good Men,” in which Lt. Daniel Kaffee, played by Tom Cruise, drills Col. Nathan R. Jessup, played by Jack Nicholson, regarding a crucial detail of a legal case that was the soul of the plot. Without spoiling the movie for you, Nicholson’s character shouts, “You want the truth?” “I want the truth,” shouts back Cruise; to which Nicholson proclaims, “You can’t handle the truth!!” I admit it, I was stunned and on the edge of my seat because the scene was dripping with tension between the two actors.
You know something, there is just as much tension in our world today regarding the family. And whether we can handle it or not, the truth is, our communities are in chaos because we lack leadership from the most important people from whom it is to come. God has entrusted men with the responsibility of leading our families, churches, and communities according to His Word and He is looking for a few good ones to “stand in the gap” before God on behalf of the land.
This is not a new thing. Ezekiel wrote to the people of Israel thousands of years ago and called on men everywhere to step up and be men of God before they lost their homeland to an invading army from Babylon, but to no avail. And while we in America, are not God’s chosen nation, we still have an opportunity to call out to God and pray for Him to heal our land and protect us from an army, not made of marching soldiers, but of “spiritual forces in the heavenly places.”
So what makes a good man? What is God looking for? I suggest three qualities for which God is searching:
1. God is looking for men who are determined to trust. Proverbs tells us to, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all you ways acknowledge him…” It is imperative that good men trust their God. It begins with trusting God with their hearts and their lives by coming to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. After that, trust in the areas of strength, wisdom, and provision are essential, albeit not easy. What man do you know who doesn’t want to do it all himself, think for himself, and provide for himself? To trust someone else with these things, especially someone they can’t see, is counterintuitive for most men so this is no easy task. In fact, it is impossible…without God, which is why it is so critical to first trust Him with our lives.
2. God is looking for men who are determined to lead. Leadership is what men are called to do. They have been entrusted with this task since the Garden of Eden. And since the Garden, they have struggled to do so. But with God’s leading, men can lead their families and the next generation to the places God wants to take them. They can also, if they are trusting God, lead their own flesh and handle it with care and honor as they serve the Lord. But I stress, it is with God’s help and empowerment; which of course brings us back to point #1: trust.
3. God is looking for men who are determined to love. Besides holiness, love may be the most discernable attribute of God. And we love, according to 1 John, because God first loved us. So we must first find our capacity to love in the Lord. Then, we can learn how to love our families, our brothers and sisters in Christ, and lost people in a fallen world. Jesus said that the defining quality which will convince others that we belong to Him is love and so He compels us to be both a recipient of God’s love and a dispenser.
So men, it’s time to step up and lead. God has called us, our families miss us, and our communities need us. Will you build up the wall and stand in the gap before God? No matter what your age or background, God is looking for you.
And for those who are not men, will you help the men in your life to be who God is looking for? Encourage them, pray for them, help them, and follow them, as they follow Christ. And may God bless our families and communities as we determine to trust, to lead, and to love.
Posted on Wed, June 19, 2013
by John Hill