Key Word:- POWER
Title:- Thrones, Footstools & Cities
Matthew 5:34-36 "....But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God's throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.”
Sometimes those of us who hate the urban sprawl and have made the daily and debilitating journey into commuter packed cities where the prices are high and the streets are hot and bustling with glazed-eye briefcase carrying drones, well sometimes, those of us experiencing that, get discouraged with the book of Revelation. You see, we want to get back to the garden. However, the problem is that the Bible may start with a garden but it ends with a city. The city of God. The city of The Great King! Yes, the book of Revelation you see, is about the city of God
It's my understanding that the Scriptures refer to the city of God in four contexts:-
First of all, Jerusalem in the land of Israel is of course the city of The Great King. Why else would there be so much warfare around such a seemingly insignificant sandy and stone infested real estate?
Secondly, the New Jerusalem which shall descend at the end of the age and this, our new and eternal base of operations, home, community and centre, this as well of course, is also referred to as the city of The Great King.
Thirdly the church, in its collective gatherings, both local and universal, is also the city of the Great King, a city like Jerusalem of old , a city set on a hill that cannot be hidden.
Fourthly and Finally and most importantly, our hearts, our centre, have also become the dwelling place of the Most High God. As individuals we too are cities set on a hill.
In any of these four contexts make no mistake about it, 'the city of God' is called just that and is desirable for that one fact alone that God, is in residence there!
In England, whenever the monarch is present and in residence, the Royal Colours are flown high. It is the responsibility of the keeper of the colours, not the monarch, to watch for the monarch's approach and raise their colours high when they enter through the gates. Have you got that? It’s not the monarch’s responsibility to raise their colours but the servants!
An older Christian chorus, usually sung by children, talks of a 'flag flying high in the castle of my heart, for the King is in residence there.' We older children have sadly forgotten this. The castle, the fortress, the inner keep of ourselves, has often no outward acknowledgement by us that the King is actually and personally in residence there. At best we take this great truth simply as a positional argument or a theological fact to be mentally acknowledged except occasionally, when we are in gardens, quiet and away from the bustle of life, we feel we catch a glimpse of His royal robes swishing along our cold inner corridors searching for us, angry at our absence. Then we wish we had raised His royal standard!
You see, in the warmth and the stillness, in the beauty and gently chirruping of the sparrows, in the reflecting pool of stillness at the centre of our own inner garden, when we get there, when we look there, as we do, it will reveal Him standing just behind us, even at our elbow, hand on our shoulder, always there, never leaving nor forsaking, waiting, questioning, sighing and shaking His head a little, maybe? When we feel His presence, when we sense His presence, when we see His love, when we feel His touch, it is then that we now appreciate that the King is in residence here and actually, always has been! For those of us who have failed to raise His standard and keep His standards, this realization of His holy presence can fill us with such defeated shame and such frustrating regret, that it is with embarrassment rather than joy that we slowly begin to turn our face toward Him.
Friends, there may not be many gardens in a city, but in His garden are billions and trillions of cities, a vast and innumerable number and Jesus is in the cities friends. Jesus is in the centre. His Royal arms from now on must fly high, in the hustle and bustle of all the life that goes on around the gates of our heart. His Royal standard must now fly high, over all incoming and outgoing trade, traders and traitors; over every siege, over every arrow that is fired from every engine of war pitted against us; over every word from false prophets of personal doom and even over the big battering rams of our own despairing emotion. The flag of Jesus must still fly high, fluttering and waving in the wind of His brooding Spirit hovering high over our ramparts. Oh Hallelujah! The King is in residence here, right here in the middle of our city, in the middle of your city.
Yes, His throne is presently in heaven at the right hand of the Majesty on High and the earth is becoming His footstool, as the Father, through bloody war and dreadful conflict, is reclaiming that which His own Son, our Saviour Jesus has purchased with His own blood; but never forget this and today especially remember it, that you also are His redeemed city, in which He has come to reside. Look to Him today and then raise High His Royal Colours.
Listen:- Walk about Zion, And go all around her. Count her towers; Mark well her bulwarks; Consider her palaces; That you may tell it to the generation following. For this is God, Our God forever and ever; He will be our guide Even to death. Psalm 48:12-14
Pray:- There is a flag flying high in the castle of my heart, in the castle of my heart, in the castle of my heart. There is a flag flying high in the castle of my heart, for the King is in residence here! Let it fly in my sky and let the whole world know, that the King is in residence here.