Some years ago, I was in a prayer meeting, and I was leading the brethren to pray. We were not many in that prayer meeting, just about 3 or 4. Then the Lord began to raise an issue for us from Matthew 5 vs. 14 an issue I had stored away in my heart until lately. The passage was an excerpt form an address by our Lord Jesus to His disciples popularly known as the sermon on the mountain.
It read, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill that cannot be hid”
The first issue that struck us was that Jesus said a city on a hill. Later on, we tried to check out as many translations of the Bible and each one of them used the same term “A CITY”. It is the burden that arose from that matter and which had grown stronger in my heart that I desire to share with you. Foremostly, Jesus did not say a house on a hill, as many of us are liable to interpret it, rather he said A CITY. Now, what is the difference between a house and a city? The difference is simply in this, NUMBER. A house is a single entity standing on its own and upon its own foundation. It is one single unit of building which sits alone and on its own. A city, however is different; it is a conglomerate or a concierge or a concert or a pool of houses standing each on their own foundations, but on the same expanse of land. That is what forms a city.
So,we can never talk about a city and picture just one or two houses. No, when we talk about a city, we are talking about many houses converging and forming close ties to make a single respected entity called a city. Now, Jesus thus makes it clear to us that what He is raising on the hilltop, making it visible for all to see is not just one house or one building, but a city.
A city is not raised by building one house and pulling down another, rather a city is raised house by house. As each house stands firm and faithful on its own foundations, we have all together a city being formed. How does that translate into our personal lives? Jesus talked to his multitude of disciples and said, “you are a city on a hill”. The ‘you’ there is not singular but plural. Thus, each disciple of Jesus is himself a house in that city, and they all together are a city on a hill. What will cause a noticeable effect upon the environment is not the singular influence of one house standing on a hill, but rather a city on a hill.
It is time gone for us to think that one Christian brother or sister strategically positioned somewhere will bring about the coming revival and transformation we earnestly desire for our nation. It is altogether important that we all begin to appreciate the fact that what will make a lasting influence on our environment and entrench Christ in our national consciousness is not one singular Christian who becomes a political leader, or some powerful preacher who after fasting and praying in tongues for 100 days comes out and begins to prophesy like Elijah. No, my brethren. Rather, the transformation we seek will come as a result of the combined effect of our individual faithfulness amd firm standing upon our Christian convictions in our own little corners.
God looks for a city, not a house. But there cannot be a city until each house stands in faithfulness upon its own foundations, dutifully occupying its own parcel of ground on the hilltop. 100,000 Christians in Nigeria, who are mere artisans, lecturers, teachers, local pastors, medical personnels, etc who are faithful to the cause of Jesus and will stand firm on the solid rock, refusing to be shaken by the wind of corruption in our land, will cause more revival of God’s will and reign in our land than a Christian president or vice-president.
Sometimes, we look to some people in some high places for solutions to problems in the land, but we do not see how we ourselves are also the problem. It is possible that the killings happening in many parts of Nigeria are happening because the Christian brother who would have risen up in the night to speak in tongues and pray for souls is busy watching pornography in his private chambers. The sisters who would have risen up as warrior princesses to raise intercession for the land are busy chatting deep into the night with a lover exchanging meaningless text messages.
It does not yet cross our minds that we are part of a city, part of an army, part of a Kingdom, part of a warfare still raging on, and our personal victories or defeat in our private chambers affects the whole outlook of the warfare which we are fighting. Has it ever crossed your mind that your nation could be in the mess it is in today, because, you the Christian is not faithful to your God in your own little corner? You cheat, you lie, you compromise with the wicked, and you bow at the altar of sexual immorality and yet wonder how it appears like your nation is being taken over by strange personalities, and the voice of the church in your land appears to be muffled. It is time for us repent and begin to take responsibility for our lives and our environment.
The power of Christianity is not in our ability to fast for 100 days or pray for 24 hours non-stop, or even raise the dead, though those things are good. Our power is in our ability to apply our Christian faith to every areas of our lives, and in all our endeavours. That way we are helping God to raise His CITY ON A HILL.
—-To be continued—-