I had an interesting thought the other day as I was driving through Atlanta. I’m not an Atlanta-area native, so I have a difficult time figuring out where one city or community ends and the next one begins. I’m sure the city of Atlanta proper has boundaries…I just can’t tell where the city of Atlanta ends and the next adjoining suburban community begins (and the next adjoining community after that, and so on). To the unknowing eye, it all just looks like one huge city even though I know it’s really comprised of many distinct communities. If you were an uninformed observer, could you really tell the difference between Atlanta, Decatur, Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Marietta, Dunwoody, etc. just from an aerial photo? Could you even distinguish the existence of multiple municipalities in the first place? I can’t.
Then it hit me…This is a picture of what it looks like when we as Believers live in “Godly suburbia”. The more we become broken over our sins, the more we repent and turn away from our own selfish desires and align ourselves with God’s desires, the more we walk in a manner worthy of our calling, the more we live our lives knowing that our life is not our own and that we were bought with a price…Then the closer we are to God. I envision God’s kingdom being comprised of a multitude of Believers, joined together with such unity that all you see is God Himself.
Jesus prayed for this very thing in John 17:20-23…
20 “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word;
21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.
22 The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one;
23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.
Where are you “living” right now? Have you taken up residence in “Godly suburbia” or are you so far away that you can’t even see the glow of the lights from the city anymore? Wherever you are, I encourage you to ask God to reveal anything in your life that is keeping you from getting closer to Him. I’ll do the same. Together, we’ll all become “perfected in unity” as we continue our journey together.
For those of you reading this, I’m praying for you! You haven’t gone so far away from God that He won’t hear you!
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. (James 4:7-10)
God loves you!
—– Paul —–