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Cities - The constitution of a city

In this episode of the city of light, we are considering the constitution of the city.

There is something fascinating about Latin and Greek meanings so lets go back to the Latin and Greek origin of the word city - it has its roots in the word civitas and corresponds with urbs . Civitas is a Latin word meaning citizenship or community member, this eventually comes to correspond with urbs meaning city in a physical sense.

In our world today, the legal constitution of the city operates very much like a state so the same policies and guidelines and legal stipulations would apply to the city as it would to a state. Normally, a city would be the centre of a state and citizens are required to adhere to its constitution

"A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity and commonly determines how that entity is to be governed." Wikipedia

If this is true, a city operating without a constitution is operating with no control and liable to all kinds of crime, social misnomers, degradation and lawlessness because there is no accountability. Every city would therefore require its own set of principles that constitute a legal basis for operation and governance.

The constitution of a city invariably sets its climate, like the leadership of an organisation sets the culture. The constitution often determines its way of being. I am not an easily excitable person but there have been some inexplicable experiences that have completely changed the course of my life and left me in complete awe. . Like the first time I heard a whisper from God or the time He lifted the stash of pain I had held on to so tightly making me feather light. Or the time He caused me to take some of the boldest steps of my life even while my heart seemed like it was breaking yet all He was doing was taking a heart of stone and making it flesh. Oh, what about the times when I should have been scared out of my depth but somehow all I felt was this strong sense of peace. When I look back, now it appears almost as a beautiful tapestry winding itself through channels of my soul and revealing what had always been there. Seen yet unseen, known but somehow unknown. My own personal person, my constitution, breathing in and out with me. Who would I be without it I wonder.

The constitution of the physical city supports order, societal growth and development even through the upheavals and uncertainties of life, the Holy spirit as the constitution of the spiritual city necessitates same and the yielding of fruit that makes the city prosper - fruit such as love, kindness, gentleness, brotherly affection, faith, goodness etc. There is nothing worse then entering a city and being treated with contempt or having your property stolen from you or being ignored because you are not considered socially relevant or being exploited in someway. Its a lousy experience, one that should not be the testimony from the encounter with a city of light. You.

The word says a son has been born to us and the "government is on His shoulder" not our shoulder, His. Christ is our government and the Holy Spirit stands in his place while He sits beside God in Heaven right now, the plan being that some day we too will be seated with Him.

Significant energy and thought is put into building a city. Cities don't just pop out of the air, they are intentionally built and over a period of time. Building a city involves planning, collaborating, contending, demolishing, discovering and ultimately expanding. Even when its seems still, there is always something brewing beneath the surface often determined by the constitution. So you might ask, what then forms the best kind of constitution for a city?

- The city needs information and knowledge - A city cannot make plans, build or grow without this. It cannot make good decisions without the right information. The lack of knowledge will limit performance and the word says a lack of knowledge causes people to perish. Hosea 4:6 "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge..."

- The city needs good counsel - Good counsel supplies good information and when good counsel stands it is pleasant. Proverbs 15:12 "Without counsel, plans go awry, But in the multitude of counsellors they are established."

- The city needs wisdom - It is not enough to have the information or counsel but to know when and where and how to apply it in the everyday rigors of running the city. What works perfectly well in one sector of the city may cause complete mayhem in another.

- The city needs strength, a strong standing - A city should be well fortified. A city strives on financial, political, socio-economic and spiritual strength. If we examine some of the top best cities in the world we will see that some of their underlining strength draws from these basic pillars.

- The city should have a healthy fear of its sovereign state - The city ought to have a healthy fear of the repercussions of going against its sovereign powers. Psalm111:10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever."

The Holy spirit is our legitimate basis to operate as a city of light Rulership in God's city is determined by the relationship with the holy spirit and that relationship comes by accepting Jesus as Lord. The dominion and authority we are able to exude is because of the Holy spirit.

The world around us is fundamentally a dark one and the light has been put in you to shine. Consider the essence of a bride - to out shine everyone on her wedding day.

John 1:4-5 says "In Him was Life, and the Life was the Light of men. And the Light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it put it out or absorbed it or appropriated it, and is unreceptive to it."

For us to actually receive this light, there must be a divine exchange where we enter a place of rest in God and take on his own burden which is "light". This isn't a one time thing in my experience, its a continuous process. I am there everyday relinquishing stuff so my load is never heavy. God knows we need the help.

There could be things in our daily lives that keep us from entering his presence and that rest, accepting the grace and then experiencing the peace of God. First comes grace, then peace and then the enablement to accomplish righteous works.

It is important to take hold of peace and hang on to it remembering that depleting energies indicate a lack of peace. In the same way, intermittent blackouts in a city suggest there are issues with its power supply. We don't want to be one of those cities with a flickering light system observed from afar leaving people wondering what the problem really is.

James 3:18 And the harvest of righteousness (of conformity to God’s will in thought and deed) is [the fruit of the seed] sown in peace by those who work for and make peace [in themselves and in others, that peace which means concord, agreement, and harmony between individuals, with undisturbedness, in a peaceful mind free from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts].

Perhaps you have not considered what it means to have a reign over your live, have you considered that to have control and really experience freedom is to give the control, that we lose our lives to gain it. We enter light to become light, always seeking out the light in every situation. This is not always easy but this is the call for the city - you, are this city. You are like a city set on a hill. You cannot be hidden. Have you ever wondered whether it is possible to be light without knowing the source of your power ? Can I challenge you to seek out your source as we end this amazing series in our final episode, "Sought after".

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