GOD OF THIS CITY
6 And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city. Isaiah 38:6
Do we still believe this to be true of our city? Do we still believe that God is the God of our city or has it been replaced by so many other gods? I have read so much in the Scriptures where God was in charge of the city and then all of a sudden the people either turned away or rebelled against God. Funny that all throughout the Scriptures we continue to see the common theme of free choice given to us by God. It started in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve and it continues to this day. It just truly blows my mind how the favor of God is right in our hands and then all of a sudden we throw it all away. I am not one that believes that God plays favorites, but I am one to believe that God is a jealous God that we cannot fully fathom. It is not a human jealousy, but one that is sacred in nature and desires to have communion with us on so many different levels. Funny how that works. We think that it is always God that is turning away from His creation, but the opposite is true. God is still pursuing us and desires a deeper relationship with us, but it's the people that continue to turn away and choose who will be the LORD of their life.
On Sunday, I was able to draw a comparison to Jesus being Savior and Jesus being Lord. There really is a difference in the terms. For Jesus to be Savior, we are able to admit what Jesus has done for us. What Jesus has brought to the table in order that we will not be faced with the conviction of death that we deserve because of our sins. Instead, God brought
Jesus to the table so that we could have an opportunity to receive a free gift of God's grace. He "SAVED" us through sacrificing "HIS BLOOD" on the cross. Jesus was the ACTOR and we were the ones that received His gift of mercy. When we make Jesus the LORD, that means that Jesus receives back our lives and all that we have. The example I used was the fact that we would bend the knee or surrender our lives and our service over to God. TO bend the knee meant that we gave all of our loyalty and everything that we had over to the ruler. For Jesus to be Lord, it means that we are willing to surrender everything we have to HIM. We are truly willing to give ourselves-heart, mind, soul and strength-over to God. Savior is an action to where God brings His best to the table and making Jesus Lord means that we are bringing our hearts to the table to surrender to God.
In our Scripture verse today, we are watching as Isaiah and the people of God are struggling to see what is going to happen next. Hezekiah was sick and nearing death and God came to Isaiah and said that He was going to protect the city and extend Hesekiah's life for 15 years. God's promise was seen as He moved the sun back by 10 steps. I know that may not seem like much to us, but the reality is that God was proving that not only was He going to protect the city but that He was LORD of ALL things... even time. In our lives, we are able to recognize the importance God being in control and not us. When God is in control, there is not doubt on what is going to happen. When God's hand was with His people, they never lost a battle, faced drought, suffered destruction. It was only in the times when we tried to take over control and make decisions for ourselves that we truly watched God's people fall into despair and slavery. When God is not in control, we cannot be surprised when things seem to go awry. When all things are good it also does not mean that we are receiving favor from God. We watch plenty of people who suffer and struggle with prosperity as well because they have no connection with the Creator. Just because they have all the treasures of this world, many of their lives remain void because they have failed to draw a connection with God.
So our challenge for today is to truly answer the question, "Is God, the GOD of your city... of your life?". I know that it is really easy to profess Jesus as Savior because we are so used to receiving the benefits of the sacrifice made by God through Christ. But being ale to confess that Jesus is Lord is something completely different. It means that we are willingly ready to
surrender it all and ready to allow God to fully be in control. We are ready to say that God can have all that we have and all that we are in service to Him. This is the bigger question that we must battle with each day of our lives. I really wish that I can say that our track record was different, but just like the followers of old, we are willing to allow God to be in control in certain areas or our lives but not in all areas. When we are ready to profess that God is the God of our City, it does not only mean that God controls our lives, but also the lives of EVERY person in the city. What an amazing goal... what an image that I truly desire to behold one day in my life. Not only is God, God of my life, but through my life and the lives of others, God has become the God of cities. I can only imagine what it would be like if God was fully God of Savannah... Atlanta.... New York... etc. I fully believe that this can happen if we are able to bend the knee and make Jesus our Savior but the Lord of it ALL. It begins with each of us making that decision daily that will lead to an eternity in heaven. God, please come and be God of this City and all of Creation again.