The circumference of the city shall be 18,000 cubits. And the name of the city from that time on shall be, “The LORD is There.”

Ezekiel 48: 35

 

Ezekiel makes this statement at the end of eight chapters of description of the new temple in Jerusalem and of the way that temple life is to be conducted in that center of a redeemed kingdom. Somehow, I think that God was not nearly as concerned about the five miles plus of the circumference as He was about the second half of this final prophetic utterance. This is what most Christians say that we desire today. We desire to live in a redeemed city, which is within a reformed nation, which is situated in a world turned toward God. The general climate around us makes it clear that these ideas and wishes are more fantasy than reality, and this seems to be true regardless of where on earth we live. Our world has abandoned God as its center, and it seems to have lost its way back to Him in this process of deeming the Lord to be irrelevant and unnecessary.

 

So, if dwelling in a place where this visionary dream is true is my own desire, what does that mean for me? It would seem that it requires me to stop living as I have always done it. By that I mean in the center of comfort and personal safety. There is little about the work of redemption that is easy or that brings about comfort, for it is the work of Christ in our world. Engaging in this process with its seemingly endless struggles and on-going animosities is not for the faint of heart. It requires courage, wisdom, and commitment at levels that I do not possess myself. The strength of character and the resources that I need to follow the Lord’s redemptive path into the world are found only through my submission to Christ and in the relationship with Him that results from that surrender to Him.

 

If my daily travels are to be along paths that are named in honor of Christ, then I need to recognize the fact that all of the terrain and territory of this earth are, in fact, His already. Every step that I take during each hour of my life falls upon the Lord’s holy ground. That attitude of reverence brings about a realization that all that I do is a part of being a follower of Christ, and every interaction that I engage is a moment when Christ is there. Thus, I do have opportunity upon opportunity to join my Lord in His work of redemption in this world where He has placed me. The Lord is truly there in this place, and my journey here is a small part of His grand and glorious plan for redemption of this world.

 

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