One morning while I was in Bulgaria, I was in a room above the little church where they were hosting me. I’d been speaking to around 70 people for the first two nights who’d braved the late winter snow to come and hear what the foreigner had to say. I’d shared my life story of how I came to believe in the God of Abraham and then in Jesus. Another night I’d shared some basic classes on the importance of Jesus, the subject of Salvation, the significance of the Holy Spirit, the need for the Bible in our lives.
But I somehow felt that the last night’s time with these folks lacked the full power that an opportunity like this requires. So the next morning I felt desperate that things go better. I’ve already written about this some in “Work? Or Prayer…in Bulgaria” There I mentioned how that I felt the Lord answered my desperate prayer by laying something on my heart which I wrote down after my prayer. Here’s an edited version of that and what has come to be one of the main things I’ve shared with these ones since then.
God Needs You
In Ezekiel there’s an obscure but extremely significant passage. God is speaking and He says, “I sought for a man among them to stand in the gap and make up the hedge, that I should not destroy the land. But I found him not.” (Ezekiel 22:30) The picture is of a broken wall. We can think of it as the city of our fellowship and heritage of the people of God. There was a gap through which the Enemy could attack and God needed a person to rally the forces of God to stand up for Him in the battles of the Lord. But the Scripture says, “He found him not.” God found no one to take up the mission of His will and service.
In another place, God is speaking in Isaiah, “Who shall I send, who shall go for us?” Then Isaiah answers “Here am I Lord, send me.” (Isaiah 6:8) That’s what is needed, but there are so very few. Jesus said the same thing. “When He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion. For they fainted and were scattered abroad as sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plenteous, but the laborers are few. Pray to the Lord of the harvest that He will send laborers into His harvest.’” (Matthew 9:36-38)
And it’s certainly still the same today. God needs and wants fighters, not just believers. There is a raging war going on. Souls are dying without the Word of the Lord. In the endtime, we are destined to be winners in the battles. Where are the victors of God? Where are the heroes? Where are the “mighty men”, like David had, who knew there was a battle and that they were on the side of the God of light and love and truth?
That’s what is needed. Not spectators, but players on the field of battle. God has a destiny prepared for those who will claim it in their lives. God has victorious battles to be won, souls to be set free, lights to be lifted up, and multitudes to turn to Him. But He doesn’t want to do it alone. He wants us to work with Him; He wants to work with flesh and blood us.
Who can He use in your community, in your family? Who does He chose? “The foolish things to confound the wise.” (I Corinthians 1:26). “When they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled and took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13) That’s really all that’s needed. Not theology school, a university degree, the right skin color and the backing of a large denomination. What’s needed is that “they had been with Jesus”. And so, so many have been with Jesus and are with Jesus. But their lights remain “under a basket” (Matthew 5:15), rather than really on a candlestick. The church of our times has left the arena and now sits in the grandstands.
How can we rule with Him in the Millennium if we are not working, fighting and winning with Him right now? “Now is the day of salvation“. (II Corinthians 6:2) Today is the day that souls are fainting in the land, dying and giving up hope. Today is the day that God needs you to step out of your circle of normalcy and to go a little further. It says of Jesus, “He went a little further, and fell on His face.” (Matthew 26:39) That’s what each of us should be doing each day: going a little further and falling on our face in desperate prayer that we can be all that He wants us to be and needs us to be.
May God help all of us to not be complacent, not satisfied with the normal hum-drum tediousness of our lives. May we obey what the Lord said, to “Lift up our eyes and look on the fields, for they are white already to harvest.” (John 4:35) The Lord needs laborers, the Lord needs soldiers, the Lord needs simple people like you and me to take the mantel of His mighty men of old in these desperate end times, to have the vision of fighters, winners, overcomers, harvesters, soul winners, sheep-feeders, comforters of the weak, whatever the call or need is, that His people will have the vision of the service He has called us to and which is so very needed in these desperate times.
It’s just a very basic principle of God for centuries, “If you draw out our soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light will rise in obscurity and your darkness will be as the noonday.” (Isiah 58:10) Even in your own life, if you “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then all these things will be added to you”. (Matthew 6:33)
It all comes back to love, to love God and your neighbor. But that love is a compassionate, active, stirred up love, love that doesn’t get stopped by barriers, love that ends up being something that isn’t really often seen to the degree it needs to be. It was love that sent the shepherd boy David to the front lines to see and confront the enemies of God. “Is there not a cause?”, young David said. It was love that cause Philip to run to meet the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8), “The love of Christ constrains us”, Paul said. (II Corinthians 5:14)