God of This City

9:52 PM

I once read that instead of trying to do work for God, you have to find out where God is already at work and join Him in it. It took me ten years to find out exactly what that meant.

Sitting on a plane on my way to Germany for a visit the summer before I moved here, next to a man who looked disturbingly like Adolf Hitler, mustache and all, I began to wonder about my precarious future. After the visit, I had a ticket back to the States with a return date set in late August. However, I had only bought the return ticket as it was cheaper than buying a one way. Franzi wholeheartedly expected my swift return to Germany after a “visit” to America but in my heart of hearts I half expected that I might never make it back. After all, who on earth did I think I was to just up and move to another country with little more than direction from God? It was a Western country, they had heard the gospel, and didn’t need some silly American girl to come in there and boldly announce that God had sent her there! Without a missions organization or a church back home supporting me, it seemed foolhardy, ridiculous, arrogant and yet, oh so vaguely, thrilling. Opening up my Bible out of sheer boredom, (wonderful Christian that I am ;) ) my eyes fell upon this verse “For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them again to this land; and I will build them up and not overthrow them, and I will plant them and not pluck them up” Jeremiah 24:6.
     In that moment I cried out to God as has many a Jonah before me “but God, what if their hearts are hardened to you! What can I do?!” “‘Is not my word like fire’ declares the Lord, ‘and like a hammer which shatters a rock? …..I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the Lord; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.” Jeremiah 23:29, 24:7. 
    As you have probably guessed, I came back. But this isn’t about my story. That was written and finished by the author of time long ago and has only to be played out. What I do want to share with you is the story ofWurzburg. I don’t know why it’s important, but it is. Perhaps someday I’ll write about its ragingly tumultuous past. However, here I want to write to you about some of the plans I believe are in God’s heart for this city. I am bound by my language so for those Germans reading this, ich bitte um vergebung und verstaendnis :).                                                                                                                                                            “For it is the light which makes everything visible. That is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” – Ephesians 5:14. It seems that Wurzburg and the church in particular have been asleep for quite some time. When praying about God’s heart for this city I felt as though He was saying “I want my bride to be spotless and white. I want her beautiful from within. Old men shall have visions and young men shall dream dreams. My spirit shall move upon this place as on the face of the waters. My name shall be glorified and my servants healed. It shall be a light to the nations and I am here! I am in the midst of it! My kingdom come.”  Even writing these words I feel such a spirit of anticipation. His heart for this place is so immense. 
     Early on in my time in Germany, He drew me up to the fortress above the city to pray as He has often done since. And as I sat there looking across this magnificent, broken place, the words echoed in my mind and fluttered across my heart in a whisper of agony just as real and as poignant as it was 2000 years ago when spoken by a man looking out over another great city “Oh, Wurzburg, Wurzburg, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often have I longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” Matthew 23:37  
     Again and again in prayer I feel called to pray for just one thing. The first time He called me to it, I practically denied Him. “It is too high I cannot attain it”- Psalm 139. He told me to pray for that thing spoken of barely above a whisper, that word which inspires longing and passion in the hearts of those searching after God as soon as it is breathed; revival, awakening, Erweckung. I don’t know when. I have absolutely no idea as to how but I believe with my whole heart that the Jesus who walks these streets and sees these people who seem to have it all together but are often so brutally shattered inside, wants to “make all things new” and to “Bring out the people who are blind even though they have eyes, and the deaf, even though they have ears.” Isaiah 43:8 He wants to bring the kingdom here! The only two things I am absolutely sure of are that it’s going to take a whole lot of prayer, humbleness and repentance on our parts. The rest is up to God! Won’t you pray with me for this place believing that “Greater things have yet to come and greater things are still to be done in this city”?

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