Our Quest to Find the City of God

He is Faithful

God has had me in the Book of Hebrews for some time as He has been teaching me what it means to walk by faith. This fantastic book is rich with hundreds of contrasts between mere religion and a faith walk in the kingdom of God and in His Christ. I believe that the following verses from chapter eleven about says it all.

It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith –for he was like a foreigner, living in a tent. And so did Isaac and Jacob, to whom God gave the same promise. Abraham did this because he was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.

… All these faithful ones died without receiving what God had promised them, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed the promises of God. They agreed that they were no more than foreigners and nomads here on earth. And obviously people who talk like that are looking forward to a country they can call their own. If they had meant the country they came from, they would have found a way to go back. But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a heavenly city for them. (Heb 11:8-16, NLT)

Last night my wife and I spent two hours talking with our neighbors, a couple who are born again and attend Sunday church. They are good people who live godly lives and have done much to reach out to others. We spoke about our struggles to find real fellowship in this town. We agreed that Sunday “services,” as they are called, are not a place for real fellowship, evangelization maybe, but not true fellowship. We observed that real fellowship with the family of God is found in a family setting with people who are members one of another coming together because of their common love for Jesus and a lecture hall setting (church service) keeps that from happening. I think you will agree that a family gathering with one person dominating all that goes on is a real drag. It takes interaction with love for one another flowing freely to make a family work.

I awoke this morning while it was still dark outside with the above passages from the Book of Hebrews going over and over in my mind. As they did, my life-long struggle became clearer. I have been seeking “a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God” and sad to say, I have rarely found others who have the same intense desire.  Lots of Christians are content to meet in an industrialized setting where everything is done according to the expected norm called “the order of service,” but few have this longing deep within them as did those mentioned above in Hebrews chapter eleven.

In the movie, The Matrix, there is a scene where Morpheus is talking with Neo about a “splinter in his mind.” My life long search has been like that for me, but my “splinter” has been calling me to what is right. It has been easy to get sidetracked by all that is contrary to that search, but it is not enough to know what is wrong with this world. We must look beyond all that to what is right! What is wrong is summed up in the following discourse between Morpheus and Neo.

MORPHEUS: “Let me tell you why you are here. You have come because you know something. What you know you can’t explain but you feel it. You’ve felt it your whole life, felt that something is wrong with the world. You don’t know what, but it’s there like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that brought you to me. Do you know what I’m talking about?”

NEO: “The Matrix?”

MORPHEUS: “Do you want to know what it is? …The Matrix is everywhere, it’s all around us, here even in this room. You can see it out your window or on your television. You feel it when you go to work, or go to church or pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.”

The methodology of the enemy of the Truth (that is ours IN Jesus Christ) is just like Morpheus described the Matrix. The A.I. (artificial intelligence) was a super computer that controlled everything in the lives of those in the movie without them knowing that it was feeding them a false reality, even by controlling their very thoughts. Yet many of us, like Neo, have been in a battle to find something more than what our enemy has to offer–success in this world and in its systems. Without knowing it, we have been seeking a city with eternal foundations, a spiritual city designed and built by God. Sad to say, short-stopping our quest at “Christian City,” as many of us have done, has not satisfied our quest. (1)

As it was with Abraham, so it is with those who truly walk by faith in Jesus Christ. God has put a longing in our hearts to not settle for anything less than finding His eternal city, “…which is above is free, which is the mother of us all” (Gal 4:26, KJ2000). In the meantime the closest we can come to it is to find other pilgrims and wanderers on this earth who have the same love for Jesus in their hearts and are on the same quest. No institutionalized system of men can fill that hunger. “For here we have no lasting city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.”

Those who walk by faith have the same heart that Abraham had and are confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.” Jesus said, “Abraham saw my day and rejoiced.” Only those who do not walk by faith can settle for the distractions of this world system as Lot did in Sodom. Those whom He has called might spend a season in man-made institutions or try to fill the void inside with the things of this world, but there is that “splinter in their minds” and hearts that there’s not only something wrong, but that there is still something more.

So, my dear brothers and sisters, like the writer of Hebrews said, “So let us stop going over the basics of Christianity again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding.” Let us obey the upward call of Jesus Christ who said to John, “Come up here and I will show you things…” He has given us the Holy Spirit to teach us all that we need to know about His kingdom and a discerning of spirits to let us know when we are being lied to.

Has your quest for the City of God made you a reproach in Christendom? That is all part of the package of following the voice of the Lord in your life. The Book of Hebrews sums it all up with the following statement:

So also Jesus suffered and died outside the city gates in order to make his people holy by shedding his own blood. So let us go out to him outside the camp and bear the disgrace he bore. For this world is not our home; we are looking forward to our city in heaven, which is yet to come. (Heb 13:12-14, NLT)

May God bless you as you settle for nothing less than the fullness of Jesus Christ in your life.

(1) http://www.awildernessvoice.com/Escape.html

18 comments on “Our Quest to Find the City of God

  1. Kenneth E Dawson says:

    OK NOW YOUR HITTING ON MY FAVORITE MOVIE=MATRIX. THAT IS THE BEST MOVIE AND IT SHOWS THE REAL DEAL.I HAVE TAKEN THE RED PILL! YOU ARE SO RIGHT ABOUT BEING OSTRACIZED. MY EX-WIFE CALLS ME CRAZY. WE WILL SEE ON THE LAST DAY JUST WHO IS CRAZY. ANYWAY, YOU CAN PUT HER AND HER BROTHER ON YOUR PRAYER LIST.—THEY ARE BOTH CAUGHT UP IN THE FEDERALIST MOVEMENT. THEIR NAMES ARE PATTY and STEVE. THIS IS AN ARTICLE FOR PRINTING!

    Like

    • Michael says:

      Kenneth, I am glad you liked the article. The antichrist comes in many forms and each of them seeks to displace Jesus of His rightful place as the Father’s Prince of Peace and His Spirit as the ONE unifying force on this earth. But Jesus is the only one that has bought our peace with His own blood by making us ONE with the Father and the Son. Our unity IN Christ is a very precious thing and I covet time with His saints as we rest in His love for one another. It is so wonderful that He has done in us what the organizations of this world can only dream of. The World Federalist Movement definitely seeks to take His place on a world-wide basis just as Satan tries to take His place on every front today in the lives and hearts of mankind… even in Christendom.

      “[The Man of Sin] Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God [the hearts of men], showing himself that he is God.” (2Thess 2:4, KJ2000)

      I will be praying for Patty and Steve that God opens the eyes and hearts and fills them with His love.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Fred says:

    I will admit I still go to a Sunday service at a church called faith community. I do not go all the time and I more than likely will not be going tomorrow. Although that is mainly because I have to work. I have been to many churches and left many. I have even been to some bible studies were everyone gets to interact and those are nice. Especially the one I found recently that is very well done and no one says they are in charge. Anyone can speak and teach. It is nice as no one is seen as better than anyone else. It is nice but I do not agree with everything they teach. I have seen some teachings on keeping the Torah laws. I don’t believe in keeping the Torah laws. I believe in only 2 commands and that is love GOD and love others. They believe keeping the Torah is showing love or teaches us how to show love.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Fred, it is good to hear from you again. The most important thing is that we go where Jesus sends us when He say, “Go,” and stay when He says rest. I have come to believe that truly, “All things work together to those who love God and are the called according to His purpose.” He had me attend one non-denominational church for three Sundays, recently, and then it was over. I saw enough to know that no matter how much things change, without Christ they remain the same. I also attended a men’s Bible study for about a month and that was enough to get a perspective on what is still going on in Christendom. Yet, there is a small handful of people who I know who walk in Christ as members of HIS body and truly love Him and my fellowship with them is wonderful and I am grateful for that above all the rest.

      Keep seeking His fullness in your life, my brother, for “HE is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

      Liked by 3 people

      • Fred says:

        Interesting how you mentioned the ” I saw enough to know that no matter how much things change, without Christ they remain the same.”

        Recently on Facebook, I posted a message about being saved only by faith and grace. Just as Paul preaches in his letters. A guy I have known for a long time replies saying I was wrong. I tried to correct him and even used some scripture. Everything he was saying suggested to me he has works with no faith. I even told him that is what he is preaching but he refuses to believe me. I felt lead to stop replying as I was not getting anywhere so I stopped. I have to admit I wanted to say a whole lot more. I took a look at his blog and only looked at a few things and I can tell something is not right about what he is teachings. He runs a ministry helping children, I am a bit concerned about those children. I probably should be more concerned.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Michael says:

        Fred, sometimes the command to us from the Lord is, “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.” (Prov 26:4, KJV). I have to be watchful on this blog that I do not give a platform for false teachers by getting dragged into their long arguments in a comment string. Susanne has also written about this on her blog, “Do Not Allow Demons to Speak.” https://enteringthepromisedland.wordpress.com/2015/11/11/do-not-allow-demons-to-speak/
        Jesus had to take a stand on this as well,

        And demons also came out of many, crying, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them, and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ. (Luke 4:41, RSV)

        Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks for the link to my blog, Michael. 👍🏻

        Reading your very insightful article, I was reminded of Psalm 127. Verse 1 tells us there, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”

        “Christian City” was not built by God. Therefore it is full of struggle and strife, disunity and disputes, abuse and abomination. Indeed, the carnal mind can only produce death and dead works. Yet how much different it is to have become a living stone that is being chiseled by GOD! It hurts at times, yes, but real life in the Spirit is ours in this invisible church of God in Christ if we follow Him alone, not men.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Michael says:

        You are welcome, Susanne. Good to hear from you again on here. Yes, unless God builds the house… It is amazing how faith in Christ spread throughout the known world in the first 300 years, strictly by the power of the Holy Spirit in obedient hearts and it happened without church buildings, seminaries, denominations and paid professionals. The more that men rely on the methods and things of this world to do His work, the less what they do has any eternal value. The kingdom of God is a family knit together by His love, not a hierarchic institution controlled by fear. He is our Father, Jesus our brother and we are all His brothers and sisters, equals in Christ knit together as living stones in His spiritual house. Yes, the chiselling and shaping process hurts, for sure, but He is faithful to join us together in His heavenly temple according to His plan.

        “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calls you, who also will do it.” (1Thess 5:23-24, KJ2000)

        Your brother and friend,
        Michael

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Fred says:

    I was going to say more I guess this shows how right you are even if a place is close it is still not close enough.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      There are many churches close to where we live and yet real fellowship in the Spirit is so hard to find in them. In that respect it is like that line, “Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.” Yet, IN Christ He puts in our innermost being His fountain of Living Water so that we will never thirst again. Like that woman by the well said to Him, “Please sir, give me this water so that I will never have to come here and draw water again.” There is a lesson in her words for us all for that is the prayer He desires to answer.

      “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that hears say, Come. And let him that is thirsty come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Rev 22:17, KJ2000)

      Liked by 4 people

  4. You speak eloquently of the longing in the human heart for somewhere unattainable. We are citizens of another realm (Philippians 3: 20). Eternity calls to us.

    Too many fall prey to the temptation to establish the City of God on earth…something because of our fallen nature we can never do, whether politically or in the context of organized religion. Nothing temporal can equate w/ the spiritual. Peter’s offer to set up 3 shelters when he witnessed the transfiguration of Christ (Matt. 17: 4) illustrates the point. Those who mistake the temporal for the spiritual simply raise up idols.

    The Spirit, I believe, has generously gifted you w/ wisdom (1 Cor. 12: 7-8), Michael. Thank you for sharing your insights w/ the rest of us.

    With love in Christ,

    Anna ❤

    Like

    • Michael says:

      Yes, Anna, eternity calls us and we are being built into a spiritual house out of the reach and eyes of carnal men.

      “Like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1Pet 2:5, NRS)

      Peter was rebuked on the mountain that day because he wanted to seize the moment an start a church building program. God still has the same thing to say in times like these, “This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, Hear ye HIM!”

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dan says:

    Good post.

    Hebrews 13:12-14
    – one of my favorite verses.

    We need to be reminded again & again..
    that there is no “enduring city” here.

    Blessings,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Yes, Dan, we do, and that we are to put our hearts on the city which our Father has made for us that has REAL Foundations and that Foundation is Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 3). It is good to be a living stone in that city with you. ⭐

      Like

  6. claysikes says:

    Good word!

    Sent from my iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Patricia W. Orr (Pat) says:

    I have just read “Our Quest to find the City of God” and also ” Why Pastoral Abuse Continues Unabated in America”. Thank you for your warnings. It is so easy to be caught up in a personality cult. Father God, help me (us) to be like Peter, James, and John in Matthew 17:8, “When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only”.

    Liked by 4 people

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