LIFE IN THE GAP | Standing in the Gap

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

I. We are not alone in the Gap

A. There is a gap between what I am and who I want to be. We are not alone in that.

  • Husband | My wife is in a gap, Father| My kids are in a gap, Pastor | My church is in a gap.

B. The most dangerous thing that can happen to you is to get focused just on you.

  • God uses other people’s gaps as well as your own to refine you.
  • God meant for us to be involved with one another. To live to share… We call it community

 >>> Our life is not just about us. We are called to be part of the family of God and when you are adopted into that family you not only get all the benefits but all the responsibility. You have a new family and you need to be the best brother or sister you can be. When we talk about embracing the responsibility to lead others to New Life and New possibilities we are not just talking about people who don’t know Christ, but also our brothers and sisters.

II. Stand in the Gap for others

A. Jesus came and stretched out His arms to fill the gap between you and God.

  • Someone had to do it. We couldn’t do it for ourselves.
  • He calls every one of us to follow His example.
1 Peter 2:21 - For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.

B. The gap can be big and confusing we need each other in our gaps.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 - Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. 11 Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? 12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
  • We are better together. We need to stand in each other’s gap!
  • Paul said it the best.
1 Corinthians 10:33-11:1 - I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved. 1 And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.
  • I don’t just do what is best for me… He is not saying your gap isn’t important…
  • I do what is best for others too… I am not laying down what is important for me I am adding too…

 >>> That’s hard in a culture where everything is competition.

III. It is part of your gap. Your responsibility

A. We are meant for community

  • We need others to move forward in the gap | We need help, but part of our gap is to help others.
  • We look to help others in their gap and that moves us forward in our gap.
  • That also brings us together in community. 
Philippians 2:1-5 - 1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.  5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ
  • We are of one spirit. We are traveling the same road. We need to move forward in our gap (our interest) and help others move forward in theirs. (interest of others)
  • If there is an either or, then you’re not doing it right.

B. Getting over ourselves

  • God made it clear that He didn’t make man to be alone.
Genesis 2:18 - The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
  • God designed us to cooperate, Accomplishing more together then as one
  • The success of our endeavors depends upon our interdependence.
  • During the trials of life it is critical that we are walking in fellowship with other Christians.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 - Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. 11 Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? 12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

V9 | You can accomplish more of his purpose/ more return for their work

V10 | If you fall you have friends to help you up.

  • the consistent testimony of fallen Christians is that they isolated themselves from other believers and had no one to hold them accountable. 

V11 | They keep warm - Their fire stays hotter longer when added to another.

V12 | They are not distracted by what is behind because they know that someone is watching their back.  (Accepting their past as the past and battling what is in front not looking back.)

Summary: 

God does nothing by accident.  People with needs do not just show up around you in the middle of your gap by accident. He has given you the resources to meet needs, to stand in the gap for others. Remember it is not either-or, its both-and. Your responsibility is to move forward in your gap and reach out to others on your way through. Come, imitate me as I imitate Christ and reach out to others who are struggling in their gap. Remember their gap is part of mine and mine is part of theirs.  The success of our endeavors depends upon our interdependence. Let us embrace the gap!