His Delight is in Washingtonby Jamie Donne
Each week we pray for Heaven to invade our city. Every Friday we pour out adoration and intercession for the city and globe. Even as we pray regularly, it’s easy to forget that it’s always been God’s heart to see cities restored. We’re coming into alignment with the dream in God’s heart. In fact, Scripture gives clear, vivid pictures of what it means for cities to look like heaven.
God illustrates his love for places by marking them with hope rather than desolation. He sings over land “My Delight is in Her!” He thunders from heaven that this city is not forsaken. He remembers the ones he loves and it’s not just the individuals but the very places themselves. His love is expressed tangibly and as we reflect his love in the world it should include real expressions of breaking decay in our cities.
God touches all that we are and his wholeness overflows into every aspect of our lives. When God meets us, it’s not just to have a warm & fuzzy moment with Him, but an invitation to a lifetime of friendship with Him. The grace of God empowers us to be people with healed hearts, a sound mind and walking in step with the spirit. It’s a partial experience with God to live encounter to encounter without having those moments overflow into our lives. Our neighborhoods should be transformed because we’ve touched the power of God. Integrity of heart draws us into a pure walk with the Lord that beckons us into a full unity of heart and lifestyle. When we yield all of who we are to God, every space we walk becomes an opportunity for transformation.
This weekend at the Pursuit Conference, Will Hart breathed fresh life into the reality of these promises over cities. On Thursday night, Will spoke to those who needed fresh passion for the calling of God right now. There is an invitation from God to build and re-set the foundation stone of our lives. As a prophetic culture, we love to dream with God and anticipate what is ahead, and yet if we only live there we will miss out on the beauty of what God’s doing right now. We must be people who look to God right now, not longing for the next bigger or better thing. This isn’t a simple appreciation of where we’re at and an exercise in gratitude, but a prophetic invitation from the Lord to be fully present. Intentionally living in the present sees the seed form of the promise we long for. We see what God’s doing and fan it into flame in order to fully walk in the promise.
City transformation begins in our own hearts. Without love and honor, we will never gain authority and influence. We must intentionally cultivate a heart of love for our cities. When we love someone or something, we’re willing to make great sacrifices for it. I believe that God is looking for a people that will fall in love with a city so that the body can be trusted with transformation. Partnering with God’s heart over a city means we’re already longing to see how he sees and he loves to meet that.
We love the idea of transforming the world, and yet we often forget that it doesn’t begin when we get on an airplane. Seeing nations transformed starts when we clean our neighbor’s yard and contend for local government officials. Discipling nations begins when we take it seriously in our every day lives.
In fact, the prophet Jeremiah had sharp words for the Israelites living in exile. They were longing for the promised land and God’s word for them was to bloom where they were planted. Plant gardens, build houses, marry, and increase in the land. Seek the welfare of the city, because it’s where they’d find their welfare. God told the Israelites not to listen to the prophets among them who would suggest anything other than investing, praying, seeking, knocking for the welfare of Babylon. To a displaced people who knew their season was temporary, the Lord said the promised land was profoundly tied to their stewardship of their current season. What if God–the same yesterday, today, and forever–is inviting us to the same process? What if our promises are more tied to the farmers market or our difficult neighbor than we realize?
God does have plans to prosper us. It’s very likely that we are missing out on what he’s doing right now because it doesn’t look like we had imagined. He has plans to give us a future we can hope for, but every future begins in our present lives. We are invited to align our hearts with God to declare a city of hope, remembered and delighted in. God always pours out his love in tangible ways and as his image bearers in the world we express his likeness. The holy spirit is stirring among us, beckoning us into a season of being firmly rooted and passionate about where we’re called. How will we say yes to him?