Looking For A City

I am excited about the moves of God that I see and hear happening. In the past, I would chase them down; my heart was so hungry for the Lord. I would cry and wail and sacrifice. I was willing to hurt myself if that would help.

I was ignorant. I didn’t understand that Jesus paid the price for that, but God saw a desperate heart that desired Him. I had a lot to learn, and I am still learning! In the early days I would believe almost anyone. I had been raised in a mainline denominational church but everyone seemed so passive. They were kind. But when I approached my early twenties, the support system seemed to fail.

Others have had it better, others have had it worse. It doesn’t matter. God is not passive, even if some of His people and leaders are. One thing about passive is that you can appreciate the gentleness. But life gives hard knocks and inner life demands a response to that.

I had been touched by God enough to realize something was happening inside of me. I was born again because I had reached out to God and asked Him in, but our church didn’t really use the term “born again”, yet without the terminology, people did know Him. I knew Him better than I thought but I didn’t understand my treasure at the time.

But there was life enough inside of me to feel a certain justice about things and there was a desperate cry that there was something more, because I felt it. I knew it. I sensed it. Something “told” me so.

Later there were moves of God and I was blessed to get in on some of them. We were just college kids gathered in a group setting but there was an outpouring and it really touched me. I was among peers seeking and God was answering the soul cry and the questions. Many of these people had answers that I needed. Thus began my real journey.

A road is not a puddle. I had puddled long enough! It was almost a lake! I needed a path and I felt the call but I needed to see the path and to know the borders. I was given definition. There was a Book I found that with the Holy Spirit’s help I could understand and a God I could call on who would answer me in amazing ways.

Faith was high and it was confirmed – through others and through my own experiences. Later I came to realize that God was moving beyond my little locale. That was great but I was discovering that He was doing even bigger things! There were meetings and conferences in other cities. Television programs and ministry centers had been raised up. They cared about the cities and they cared about the government. There were many different schools. My God was getting much bigger!

It was fun to go to meetings and find lovingkindness from total strangers. It was fun to see an active crowd of familiar faces. It was amazing to go out of town or to new places and find that same love and atmosphere with people I had never even seen before. God was amazing! He truly had a Body!

Then I learned about Israel. I noticed the mention of it kept coming up in the Bible and then I got the understanding that it really was a place that GOD cared about. It may not have meant much to me at first, but it was becoming obvious He had a view about it. From my little world perspective, I knew there was controversy in the news and I remember in 1967 all the excitement people had about the Six Day War outcome when they took Jerusalem and hearing of the 1948 United Nation’s vote to acknowledge them as a nation.

I didn’t understand it then, but I saw how it moved people because of Bible prophecy. Later I would come to understand the event and see the effects of it on the church and I even later meet an Israeli who served in the armed forces when that happened and who shared with me how supernatural it was for them. But that is another story of how the reality of God is at work.

But God was revealing to me (and others) that He has a Plan. I used to hear people say God had a plan for my life, but I was clueless and they were lame in trying to tell me more specifics. He just had a plan, they said. But then I realized that I could find myself in the Book and that there was more to the Book that was ongoing. I was interested!

A hunger for the prophetic developed, and for end times understanding. Now I realize that I am telling a story that many others have experienced also. But I am going somewhere with this. There is a Plan and we all have a part to play. God is not looking for just bit players – meaning a small stand-in role. He wants us to make a difference!

If you think God is going to let you think small, you are going to find and experience a God who is disappointed in you and He will let you know it! He does not want lame performers. He pushes us for productivity and excellence – in the Spirit. We have to learn the Spirit – Who He is and what He does. He is amazing.

He can move out beyond us if we will let Him move in us and through us. But if we don’t allow Him to move in us and through us, He is limited to our position because that is the covenant He made – to co-labor and be together with Him as One. Our inactivity causes the moves of God to be dormant.

God is a Life Force and He will challenge you. You can stand on the river bank and watch, and you can get so near the edge that you fall in, but once you fall in, the current of the stream will take over and you have to learn how to navigate in even that. If you want to stay bored on the bank, stay there with that limited vision. But if you want real life in God, you have to get in the River.

Now I am not talking about manifestations. Those come and they go, but a deep work of God changes YOU and makes you potent. Those river channels go inside of your soul. They direct your traffic. Some areas flow smooth and some areas have to break through. Just because you find hard places does not mean the movement is over. Remember the former times and learn to navigate!

When you are young, you need people to feed you and dress you. When you are more mature, you can feed and dress yourself, hopefully properly, for good functionality. Jesus said the King demands a proper wedding garment at His Son’s wedding. We must be clothed in righteousness and it can happen! If people tell you it’s impossible, they lie! We do struggle, we all do, but we also overcome with His help. It’s a reality. And it’s why we need the Body of Christ. When you can feed yourself, you go to church for different reasons.

As we make the discovery of the larger Body of Christ and all of its activities, we will be drawn to understand and even labor in different places of ministry. It’s good to get an education. But after you learn, you will be called to certain assignments. Sometimes churches get too political or too sectarian. Sometimes it is too much in the flesh. But that does not mean the Church (the called out ones) have failed in God. No, just certain parts may have developed a stronghold or you have grown to the place where you need something more. Accept that as you can without condemning. Some are called where you are not and vice versa. This is God’s work, but He has given each of us critical assignments.

The government is on His Shoulders. Jesus is the King. The Father is the Overseer. The Spirit is the Enabler. God is into building community. He enjoys our private devotions, and He enjoys our small family style groups, as we should. Those are special places. But He also wants us to connect with the bigger picture too.

It doesn’t mean you have to travel, but for some, it might mean that. Some are called to hold strongholds of faith in their own locale. They should be respected for that. But there is a Big Picture going on and God wants us to understand that we are His City. We are a City within cities.

There is the economy of God and the economy of the world. There is the mindset of God and the mindset of the world. There is the nature of God and the nature of the world. There is the Spirit of God and the spirit of the world. We need to understand the differences! The Bible explains it. Study to show yourself approved as a workman who needs not to be ashamed when the work is examined and it will be – by God and the public. Where do you stand?

A city functions on many levels – meeting socially and working to meet the needs. A developed city not only covers the basics of life like food, clothing and shelter, but goes into other areas for a more sophisticated life. A developed city is wonderful in the Lord. It is constantly alive catering to needs, desires, aesthetics and new life. It even must correct the wrongs but with a heart for rehabilitation and quality healthy lifestyles.

God has a nation (Israel) and God has a city (Jerusalem). He desires these to be the prototypes for the world but they haven’t always been that and they aren’t now. But they will be! There was a season under David and King Solomon where a Godly lifestyle was honored and abundantly blessed. But the prosperity started staying “in” more than reaching “out” and so it ultimately failed and God scattered them, but what He really was doing by that to scatter the seeds to His Kingdom to effect outreach. When He scattered them, they realized they needed Him and called on Him again. Through outreach they found Him.

Through the ministry of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, He is gathering again the fruit of those seeds. The flavors coming together are one sweet aroma!

We have to be careful putting borders around God’s works. There are pillars and standards and foundations, but God always leaves room to grow and enhance. We still need the function of the day to day life that meets needs and enhances living. If we become too selfish, He must scatter us.

Abraham built his household looking for the city whose Builder and Maker was God. He understood it in the natural and spiritual terms. We should do that too. The natural will come together and the physical things will support the worship of God. God will build a Temple but the citizens of His City will come in and out functioning in their ministries. We need everyone!

God is not just a zone that you come into, although you can experience great things in that zone where He is manifesting. But He wants His life to come into us and through us and manifest in the loving powers of dominion that overcomes the evils of this world. We still have quite a job to do, but as the Book says, we win!

Heaven truly will come to Earth and manifest as we learn to line up according to plans and patterns He gives. We are a city on His Hill that cannot be hid. The peoples of the earth will see and want to come and dine with us. We will serve and we will build and when God is pleased, His Son will come again and tabernacle among us. Heaven and Earth will meet that day and the veil of division that separates us now will be torn down and the fellowship of the righteous will rule and reign.

Does it sound too good to be true? It’s reality!

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