God is not calling Christians to abandon the cities of this nation and other nations. He is calling us to take the cities. Why? For the obvious reason that they are filled with people. God loves people. He sent His Son to die for people. People are the most valuable treasure in all creation. They are of the greatest value in God’s eyes.
Joshua went to look at the city of Jericho. “And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked.” (Joshua 5:13) We need to take another look at the city to where God has sent us. Why did God bring you to your city? To punish you or test you? No! He sent you as part of the answer for the deliverance of that city.
Jesus said, “‘You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.’” (Matthew 5:13-16)
God is raising up, in every city of the world, a light of salvation. There is to be “a city within the city.” That “city” will be on a hill, and it will be a light to all of the rest of the city. God has sent us to the city in which we live for a divine purpose.
That divine purpose is to be light and salt. In these last days, God is raising up an army of “city-takers” who no longer live on the defensive, but who are praying, preparing, making and implementing strategies to take their city for God! This “possessing spirit” is sweeping over the Body of Christ in these days.
Psalm 2:8 tells about this possessing spirit to take our cities for God: “‘Ask of me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for your possession.” We are to ask God for our cities, and then begin to possess them by faith. The word “possession” here means “something seized by force.” Is God capable of bringing revival to your city? Yes! Are you capable of believing God to do that? Yes! Then let us take our cities for God and see revival come to our land.
A church in a city that has no divine purpose will not only NOT affect its city, but it will produce defeated Christians who are seeking to survive the wickedness of their city rather than seeking to conquer it. Christianity is made for conquering and overcoming, not retreating. In Matthew 16:18, Jesus said that “the gates of hell” would not stop the army of God.
The end-time church will be filled with a divine purpose in regards to their cities. As you look at your city, what do you see? Can you see the possibility and potential of thousands coming into the Kingdom of God in your city? Why has God led you to the particular neighborhood in which you live? Instead of seeing yourself surrounded by a host of darkness trying to extinguish your light, can you see that God has sent you into the darkness of your city to bring the light of God’s love and life?
“Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you.” (Isaiah 60:1, 2) It is the hour of the “arise and shine” of the church. As you and I begin to show forth the life of God, the darkness is defeated by the light.
If your church and pastor has no “divine purpose” for your city, then begin to pray for God to give your pastor a vision for your city. If you are not a part of an on-fire church and don’t have a godly pastor, then immediately ask God to lead you to one. Find a church, and be committed and submitted. Help take your city for God. Find your place of ministry in a local body, and work together with that church to help win your city for God.
Jericho means “fragrant or sweet.” To Joshua, the city was a “sweet place” of God’s promises and provision. Your city may be overrun by pollution, crime, divorce and drugs. It may seem to be a place of hopelessness and despair. But God wants to change what you see when you look at your city.
God loves your city. He loves the people in it. As you begin to pray for your city, it will become a “sweet place” for you. You will fall in love with it because God loves it. Then allow God’s love to be a river of life flowing to the barren desert of a hurting humanity. Don’t give up on your city and nation. God hasn’t.