Category Archives: 1st Amendment

Can a City Be Transformed?

Can a City Be Transformed?

April 29

"All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord." (emphasis mine Acts 9:35).

Can an entire city be transformed for Jesus Christ? The book of Acts reveals that at least one city was. There are four key ingredients required among its Christian leaders to see a city transformed. These include prayer, humility, unity, and knowledge of God’s ways.

Prayer
In every city in which transformation has taken place, believers have come together to pray for their city. Prayer changes the spiritual climate of a city. Some of the main areas of influence that must be the focus of our prayers include churches and businesses; the legal, political, educational and medical fields; and the media/entertainment industry. Workplace leaders must be strategically aligned with intercessors to impact their city.

Humility
God uses men and women who recognize that they need each other and who do not seek glory for their work. "He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way" (Ps. 25:9). The workplace leaders that God is using today care little about being in the limelight.

Unity
Jesus said, "May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me" (John 17:23). God calls each of us individually and corporately to represent Christ to the world, but our independence, pride and egos often prevent us from becoming unified in the purposes of Christ.

Knowledge of God’s Ways
Sometimes leaders can move in presumption instead of in a faith that is rooted in knowledge of God’s ways. Such was the case of David, who wanted to bring the Ark of the Covenant into the city of Jerusalem. He was zealous for God and celebrated as he brought the Ark into the city. However, the ark was being carried into the city on a cart instead of by priests on poles, as God required. When a man named Uzzah reached out to catch the Ark when the oxen stumbled, he was immediately struck dead by God. David was devastated. He lacked a knowledge of God’s ways.

Do you want to see your city transformed? Make sure the three ingredients of prayer, unity and knowledge of God’s ways exist in your leadership team.

Strangers and pilgrims

Strangers and pilgrims
For reading & meditation: Hebrews 11:8-16
"’ Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them." (v.16) We continue meditating on the fact that one of the reasons why we find it so difficult to cope with ambiguity and uncertainty is because we have never really died to self-interest. We are more concerned about our own purposes than we are about His – hence we are uncertain and insecure. Today we look at Abraham and the way he handled his situation of ambiguity and uncertainty. He was almost seventy-five years old when God called him to step out on the pathway of uncertainty. There he was, loading up his camel caravan with his wife and nephew, bound for ‘somewhere’. The Amplified Bible puts if most effectively when it says: "’ he went, although he did not know or trouble his mind about where he was to go." Charles Swindoll humorously pictures a conversation between Abraham and his neighbours going something like this: "Abraham, where are your going?" "I’m moving." "Why? Why ever would you want to leave Ur?" "God has made it clear that I should go." "God? You’ve been talking to Him again?" "Right. He told me to leave. I must go." "Well, where are you going?" "I don’t know; He didn’t tell me that." "Wait a minute, you know you ought to go, but you don’t know where you ought to go?" "Yes." "Abraham, you really have gone off the deep end." And so it continues. It isn’t easy to obey without understanding. It is the same thing that we talked about two days ago: going – without knowing. It might help to remind ourselves of the term God sometimes uses to describe us – strangers and pilgrims. People on the move, free to follow Him wherever He leads – regardless.

Prayer:
O God, You who wrap me around as the atmosphere wraps itself around my body. Let me respond to You as my physical body responds to its environment – and lives. Help me to trust You even when I cannot trace You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

For further study:
Hebrews 11:8-16; Psalms 25:9, Psalms 48:14
1. What was the result of Abraham’s obedience?
2. What followed his first step of obedience?