Fortified Cities

(Read about kings of Israel and Judah, II Cor. 5:20)

As I write this, I must remind myself, I am writing to an audience that has some faith in Jesus Christ.  If you are not a believer, none of this will make sense.  Last year the Lord showed me that he sees us, each of us, as living stones in the wall of His city.  When we read of the heavenly city, New Jerusalem, the names of apostles, and the sons of Israel are assigned to the foundation stones and to the gates of the city.  One cannot ignore the true sons of Jacob, whose name the Lord Himself changed to Israel.  So, the Lord takes us, as His children, His living stones, and places us in the wall of the city.  More than doing the work of a watchman on the wall, we are being living stones set in place by the Master Builder.  When we try to be watchman by working at it, we will come short of the real thing, and learn that it takes the life that Christ is in us, and then we shine without human effort.  No stone is too small, none too large; He positions us and fits us together perfectly.  And He continues to polish us so we shine more clearly.

Submission to His love in the process polishes us up so that His glory shines through.  That is who each of you are!  By His wonderful working in you.  It is your identity in Christ.  It touches everything you do.  As you are a wife, a mother, a father, a husband, a son or a daughter, you shine Christ within your immediate circle of influence.  Hear that word, IN FLOW ENCE.  What flows through you to others?   As you believe in Him, out of your innermost being, your deep places, will flow rivers of living water.  That is the working of God’s Spirit in you, and through you.  You may react and say, “That’s not working.  It’s not happening.  I am hard on myself, and then on my family.”  Go to Him, pour it all out.  We are all psalmists, you know.  The same Spirit that moved David to write psalms is in us.  Go to Him with all your words.  You will find His grace at the end of yourself.  We are transformed in His presence by going to the throne of grace.

At the turn of this year, the Holy Spirit changed the picture for me.  He expanded it.  He says He is seeing us as fortified cities, standing firm.  In the days of the Lord’s expressions through the prophets, the kingdom of David and Solomon was divided due to human failures.  The kingdom of Judah was that closest to the Lord’s purpose.  It was the remnant of that day through which the Savior would come.  Jesus said that He is the root and the offspring of David.  That is deep truth.  The root and the offspring.  The kings of Judah had a sense that preservation was important.  Among those kings who were aligned and seeking the Lord’s purpose were those who rebuilt and strengthened fortified cities.  These would stand against the enemies’ attacks.  The Lord today is building us individually and corporately to be strengthened with might in our inner man.

We must cooperate with Him in this building.  How are we fortified?  Part of that process is praise.  It was Judah that was chosen to be in line with God’s purpose.  Israel’s apostasy was greater yet Judah could be self-absorbed, the prophets rebuked her as well.  DeVern Fromke alerted us to the fact we can get caught up in the experience of worship and lose focus on the Lord Himself.  The worship is for Him.  Yet I have found we can allow our enjoyment of His presence.  The Holy Spirit brings us to a place where we simply praise, sing, dance, and act our worship. And we know the joy of His presence.  And if we don’t “feel” it, we continue because He is worthy.  The Lord’s purpose has always been to have a people who represent Him, bear Him witness in the earth.  Israel, through Solomon, failed and the Lord maintained a remnant in Judah.  Struggle continued as leadership faltered among Judah’s kings as well.  The Lord was preserving a line which ran through David, for the seed, Christ, to eventually come.  As we have said, the best of Judah’s kings knew to fortify cities against the enemy.  These cities were then places of safety, of refuge, for the Lord’s people, for His remnant.

As we struggle through our lives here and overcome ourselves and spiritual enemies that resist Him, we need to follow the Lord’s example as evidenced in measure by those “good” kings of Judah.  They were not without faults but they sought the Lord.  They broke down places of idolatry.  They received His prophets.  They restored and maintained worship in His house.  We need to pursue the sanctification which brings alignment with His purpose.  Glorify the Son and the Father by the Spirit.

So for us today, be spending time in His presence, praying in the Spirit, we are strengthened.  Pray with the Spirit (heavenly tongues may be, and can be, part of that), pray also in the Spirit in your earthly language.  Thereby, you pray also with your understanding.  But pray!!  Let your prayer time mature.  Pray the scriptures.  Pray the psalms.  Pray Paul’s letters.  Commune with your God.  Build up yourself on your most holy faith. Jude 20-21.  He is near to strengthen you.  You yourself are being made a fortified city.  And moreso, as we gather together with others who love the Lord Jesus Christ, we are built together in an expression of the New Jerusalem.  Is she not the bride and are we not being built up into an expression of His beauty and glory in the earth?!  Keep building us, Lord!  We are willing.

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