By Joel Iyorwa
“And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none.”Ezekiel 22:30 (ESV)
How could God have said this in a world that has literally billions of ‘men’, a world that now has 7Billion people? How could God search for a man in a world with so many men and claim to find none? What was wrong with all the men? These are some of the questions that run through my mind as I read Ezekiel 22:30. Note that this scripture applies to men in a generic sense. My prayer is that this will not be the case in our own generation; we should not be alive and God will be looking for a man in vain.
Yes, the world has billions of people, but many are content with a superficial life, many are not willing to put up with the rigors of a serious beyond-the-surface walk with God, and many also have no burden weighing down upon their hearts. Many Christians are ok with belonging to a church, showing up in the pews on Sunday and paying their tithes. Many have not found that rhythm in their devotional lives that keeps them pressing in with God.
It seems that the ‘job’ to be done has never been as nearly a great concern to God as the men to do the job. The unfinished task of missions as we see it today is also not as serious a concern in the heart of God as the men who will rise up and finish it. God will not mind leaving the work undone until he has found the right men to do it. He will never be so desperate and in a hurry as to utilize workers who are beneath His set standards.
This world is experiencing a ‘gap’, the Great Commission has a ‘gap’, and there are ‘gaps’ everywhere around us…but God is looking for men who will stand in those gaps to breach them. Some will breach the gaps in prayer, others in giving, others in going, and still others in mobilizing and advocating among others.
Let me just point out two issues I find very interesting in this scripture:
‘And I sought for a man’:
Notice it says ‘… a man’, not ‘men’ or ‘many men’ or ‘people’. If we are going to do extraordinary things for God and with God, we must disabuse our minds from the Myth that one person is too small and not enough to make a difference. One man with God is majority. History clearly shows this fact, that often one man who had given himself wholly to God, arose out of the ashes of mediocrity and nominalism and God found him/her and accomplished great things.
The next time you’re tempted to look first at the number of people standing behind you, remember that God is looking for ‘a man’ and chose to see the God in front of you rather than the number of people behind you. You might be alone in your unique situation wherever God has placed you, but you must never go about with a defeatist mentality. God does not fancy crowds but individual commitment.
‘…a man among them’:
I have come to believe that this phrase ‘among them’ was a reference to the common, ordinary people at the time; it includes those who may not have been in the category of prophets, priests, kings and Leaders or ministry professionals. In the context of this scripture, God was referring to those in the pew rather than in the pulpit. In our time too, this phrase ‘among them’ describes the laity and the ordinary citizens and members of the public or rather, of the Church. A collar around the neck or a miserable piece of paper we call a certificate are not the things that endear a man to God.
Sometimes we are quick to blame what’s not right on the leaders or ministers; we think it’s their job to fix us and fix the mess of society…but many times God looks away from these people to the common, ordinary citizens whom He can use in extraordinary ways. You don’t need to have a title or a prominent position for God to use you; you just need to be an available person and willing ‘among them’.
As the world steeps the more in wickedness, decadence and perversion, and as society seems to be getting itself over the cliff and even Christianity seems to be degenerating in many parts of the world to a mere form of religion, God is out looking for men, just one man, ordinary everyday people who will give themselves away to God so he can use them mightily to bring transformation and initiate the move of God in various contexts. May God find you my dear brother and sister, as He looks for one man in this generation, amen!