Believing for the City

city dawn.jpg

Have you read Frank Perretti’s book, The Prophet? It’s a modern-day story of a deeply secular man who suddenly begins to hear God’s pain for his city. He is literally swept off his feet, and unable to cope with what he hears.

Ever felt like that when you hear the news?

Yesterday, I was marking an Old Testament Survey assignment. The title question was “The role and function of the Hebrew Prophets.” Now the student was expanding on the Looking-Into-The-Future side of a prophet’s work and quoted Jeremiah 33: “Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.

I was readying myself to challenge the student’s perspective, scribbling a pencil note in the margin, “Yes, but don’t forget God’s pain -He speaks into the present.”

Maybe I was still thinking about Perretti? I had been thinking of God’s pain for the way things are, but suddenly the next passage fairly shouted out from the text to me

“Nevertheless, the time will come when I will heal Jerusalem’s wounds and give it prosperity and true peace. I will restore the fortunes of Judah and Israel and rebuild their towns. I will cleanse them of their sins against me and forgive all their sins of rebellion.  Then this city will bring me joy, glory, and honor before all the nations of the earth! The people of the world will see all the good I do for my people, and they will tremble with awe at the peace and prosperity I provide for them.”

And there it was.

God’s calling to Jeremiah was not just to speak against sin, but to declare salvation. In this remarkable passage he does so on a corporate level.The future and the now are all wrapped up in a vision of God’s grace.

Clearly it all has a historical context, but there is an eternal principle of intercessory prayer,faith and spiritual insight. Jeremiah was looking into the character of God and so was not overwhelmed by the extent of the world’s evil but confident of the goodness of God.

In the name of God’s love,  and in the confidence of God’s power, things are going to change.

And God said “I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.”

So this morning, Lord, I’m believing for my city. I hear your three-fold declaration I will heal …I will restore …I will cleanse

And I claim that rosy future: “Then this city will bring me joy, glory, and honor before all the nations of the earth! The people of the world will see all the good I do for my people, and they will tremble with awe at the peace and prosperity I provide for them.”

And I’m singing Chris Tomlin’s song as the dawn rises over my city

Youre the God of this city
Youre the King of these people
Youre the Lord of this nation
You are

Youre the light in this darkness
Youre the hope to the hopeless
Youre the peace to the restless
You are

There is no one like our God
There is no one like our God

Greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this city
Greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this city

 

 

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2 Responses to Believing for the City

  1. Amazingly, I am also listening to Chris Tomlin now as I read this post – I had put on the cd Love Ran Red before I sat down at the computer. While the first song ‘Greater’ was playing I was reflecting on how I could be like Peter and want to stay in that place of worship up on the mnt of transfiguration and not move out into the uncomfortable world of faith. Your words today have reinforced for me the knowledge that God has powerful plans for our world and by trusting Him we need not fear.

  2. kenbaker says:

    Amen, I like those God-incidents

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