February 8, 2021
I was spending time with one of my good friends the other day, a combat vet who served in the 82nd Airborne Division, and he mentioned how “Forward Operating Base (FOB) Shank” was one of their strategic outposts in Afghanistan. It provided security and defense against Taliban fighters whose reign of terror came to an end, because the warriors there were willing to “stand in the gap.” Our FOBs are a key component to mission success because they fill in the “gaps.” Warriors who serve on the front lines there are willing to give their lives to defend more than land and property. They are defending a way of life. But according to a recent Stars and Stripes article, Shank is now called “Zombieland.” The Afghan military is having trouble finding warriors who can stand in the gap with that same vision. They can no longer maintain this once powerful base and it has lost its ability to protect a vulnerable people. Long ago the nation of Israel suffered from the same problem. Around 600 B.C., Israel’s capital had been decimated. The defensive walls were destroyed, and Jerusalem had become a “Zombieland.” God called Ezekiel as a prophet to encourage and motivate warriors to stand in the gap of the broken walls. But there was a problem. God summed it up this way: “and I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach [gap] before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none” (Ezekiel 22:30). No one was willing to give their life to defend their nation. From a warrior’s perspective, it was inexcusable. But there’s a bigger problem than broken walls. There’s a “gap” created by our sin. When we go against God’s commands, we abandon our post. When we ignore God’s directives, we separate ourselves from the only source of life. That leaves us vulnerable. But the good news is that we aren’t defenseless against the attacks of the enemy. Christ came to “stand in the gap” for us. He forgives us and gives us life, and we can be sure He will never abandon His post (Hebrews 13:5). “…I will never leave you nor forsake you.” If you have not trusted Christ to stand in the gap for you, do it today. He will never, ever fail you.