Every major city has a downtown area with its skyscrapers, convention centers, and concrete jungles. Nashville, while it’s no New York City, has its fair share.
A group of us here decided to find the Lord in the city and share our findings with one another. If the Lord is building His kingdom in the earth as the bible claims, what does that look like and how do the cities of man reflect this reality? This was my takeaway.
Bricks, concrete, steel, mortar, bolts, and the like are used to create the buildings we see downtown. These are the building blocks of man’s kingdom. Mankind is able to create awesome structures (which reflect the Lord’s life in a different light) and, for the most part, money is what makes these structures relevant and useful.
In man’s kingdoms, mammon offers the power to control, make more money, make more buildings etc. The world’s cities are shadows at their best and counterfeits at their worst of the Lord’s City.
The brick, concrete, steel, mortar, bolts and the like that make up the buildings in His city are people; and more specifically, relationships between them. We are the building blocks. Being hewn, shaped, and built together into a great City in the earth.
As impressive as the cities of men can appear, their beauty pales in comparison to the unseen reality.
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
“Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”
I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.
The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it.
Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. – John the Revelator
We’ve been taken captive for the purpose of participating in the building of these kingdom blocks together. Jesus’ life, by the Holy Spirit in us, is what flows through these relationships to make them relevant and useful for the heavenly kingdom. His kingdom is relational in every way.
Having relationship without the flow of the Holy Spirit, or not knowing each other after the Spirit, is much like the buildings downtown; it’s someone else’s kingdom. Maybe mine. Maybe yours. Maybe the enemy’s or a religious group’s or some other organization’s.
Intentionally forming relationships around Him is what it looks like to build real Buildings in His new City.
How do you see the Lord in your city’s downtown?