Standing in the Gap: The Power of Pathos, Prayer, Proximity and Preparation - page 5




Standing in the Gap: The Power of Pathos,
Prayer, Proximity and Preparation

by Ravi Zacharias,
Founder and President of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries

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We are not aware how deeply the moral structures are collapsing before our eyes. The smoke of that may not be visible, but the entailment of what is happening is huge, huge – where we are redefining everything without having a definition for the definer.

What does it mean to be human? We have no answer for that, but we are listening to humanistic definitions. The definer is undefined and the definer and the definitions will one day be sucked into the vortex of quicksand, nothing left standing. It’s serious, with all that I’ve mentioned to you. So I look at Nehemiah, and I ask myself, “What do I do?”

When God wants to drill a man, and thrill a man, and skill a man;
When God wants to mold a man to play the noblest part;
When He yearns with all His heart to create so great and bold a man
That all the world might be amazed;
Watch His methods, watch His ways.
How He ruthlessly perfects whom He royally elects.
How He hammers and hurts him, and with mighty blows converts him,
Into trial shapes of clay which only God understands,
While his tortured heart is crying and he lifts beseeching hands.
Yet he bends but never breaks, when his good He undertakes.
How He uses whom He chooses and with every purpose fuses him,
With mighty acts induces him to try His splendor out.
God knows what He’s about. (author unknown)

God is molding, shaping men and women like you. That’s what the C.S. Lewis Institute is all about. Molding, shaping, presenting people into the arena of life with the ability to deal with the hard and the soft questions, and to so live with argument and story that it draws in the mind and the heart of the listener, till they say, “What must I do to be saved? Where do I go?”

Nehemiah took these steps. I don’t have time to go into all of it. Number 1: He felt a pathos for his people. You will never lighten any load until you feel the pressure in your own soul.

There’s nobody here who can bear the aggregate of human suffering. There is only one place, and that is in the heart of God. And God takes that aggregate and breaks it down into bearable-sized portions, gives some of it to you and some of it to me. I’m asking you, have you sought Him for the burden He wants you to carry? You can’t carry it all, but you will lighten some load and the only load you will lighten is that which burdens your heart. People ask me, “Do you really enjoy the task of apologetics?” I’d be dishonest if I said I did. I know it sounds very spiritual to say it’s wonderful. No, I’m not a masochist. I don’t want to be standing in front of audiences where I know some of them are desperately hoping I can be tripped up, fall on my face, state a misquote, or be taken to task. It’s my calling. It’s my calling.


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