God of This City

About ten years ago Chris Tomlin recorded a song entitled, “God of This City.” The song has a very simple but profound message. The lyrics describe the God of the Bible as One who is incomparable and One who has a missionary heart. I remember exactly where I was when I first heard this song. I was in a van high in the Andes mountains of Peru. It was evening. Three Christian brothers (one who had traveled with me from the U.S., one driver, and one translator) accompanied me. We were moving from one village to another where we would meet with a new believer in order to begin a discipleship process.

As we carefully traversed the mountain road, the driver of the van was playing music from his phone through the sound system in the van. It was dark. The road was treacherous. I was in completely unfamiliar territory. Then it happened. This song began to play. I heard these words for the first time:

You’re the God of this city, You’re the King of these people,

You’re the Lord of this nation, You are

You’re the light in this darkness, You’re the hope to the hopeless

You’re the peace to the restless, You are

There is no one like our God, There is no one like our God

Greater things have yet to come and greater things are still to be done in this city

Greater things have yet to come and greater things are still to be done in this city

Needless to say, given my situation and surroundings at that moment, the words of this song made a tremendous impact on me. I began to weep. I was overcome with the truth of who God is and the reality of the darkness in the world. I was also reminded of the fact that, regardless of what I may see with my physical eyes, God had bigger plans for the people of these villages, these cities. He is God. He is King. He is Lord. God is who He is irrespective of whether or not we choose to acknowledge Him as such.

Fast forward five years. I am sitting in a hotel room in Raleigh, North Carolina. I am attending a conference about biblical discipleship sponsored by 9Marks and SEBTS (Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary). I bumped into a good friend earlier today who is also attending this conference. He serves a church in Roanoke, Virginia. He loves the Lord, he loves the Gospel, and he loves the people whom he serves. You may be wondering why I am telling you about my friend. I’m glad you asked.

One striking similarity ties these two stories together. Every time this brother of mine posts something on social media regarding his ministry in the local church in the city of Roanoke, he types this statement at the end: “Roanoke belongs to Jesus.” Again, what a simple but profound statement. I took the opportunity this afternoon to tell my brother what an impact his statement has made in my life and ministry. What I neglected to tell him was how his statement takes me back to the mountains of Peru. It also gives me great encouragement for ministry in general.

Here is what I know. It matters not the geographical location where you serve. It matters not the particular people group you serve. What matters primarily is the God you serve. When you understand it is the Creator of the universe, the God of the Bible, whom you serve, things change. When you understand the Gospel of God, things change. When you understand the mission of God, things change.

Wherever God sends you to proclaim His gospel message, take heart and remember this:

Your city belongs to Jesus.

Mike. Out.

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1 Comment

Filed under Mike

One response to “God of This City

  1. Daniel Palmer

    Great encouragment bro!

    Isaiah 6. The whole earth is full of His glory.

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