And seek the peace of the city whither I have cause you to be carried away captives and pray unto the Lord for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace. Jeremiah 29:7
Too often our view of life is skewed by ingratitude, coupled with a lack of service and cultivation. We feel like we’ve been taken away to some foreign place we never asked to be, yet our actions and words asked for that very thing – something we did not envision; something we did not hope for, let alone want. Choices, words, and actions have consequences.
Last DBO I focused on decisions made in anger and haste, making decisions from emotion itself and not necessarily anger from a right biblical view or Holy discontent. We need to have the right view of doing things.
One of my favorite short scriptural series is “For the Life of the World – Letters to the Exiles” produced by the Acton Institute. In the first segment, Evan poses the question, “How are we to be in exile?” – “Are we to hide, to fight, to blend in, or can we, even in the everyday things, learn to see our work as a gift to heaven by working for the life of the world for the good of the city of exile into which we’ve been sent… Imagine if all of us offered our work for the good of the cities around us. How might we be able to change those cities?” He then sits and writes a letter to everyone and begins with “Dear Everybody” talking about Jeremiah’s instructions to us to pray to the Lord for it (our cities), because if they prosper, we too will prosper - as it is our economic responsibility - our families, our work, our communities, and in every broken place.
I have always perceived that work starts at home - to bring peace, love, hope, prosperity – to be eternally focused, because when this is abundant the overflow spills out to our neighbors, our work, our community, etc. Yet I have failed miserably in many ways to make this a reality. However, beauty is often in our flaws. For when we see it, we may correct it. We should consider our correct view of exiles and what matters most, and how we ought to be in exile. “The earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof, the world and all who dwell in it” (Psalm 50:12).
It’s time to correct our view and, “seek the peace of the city where you have been placed”. I’ll close with a portion of lyrics from one of my favorite songs, Where I Belong by Switchfoot,
Feels like we're just waiting, waiting
While are hearts are just breaking, breaking Feels like we've been fighting against the tide
I wanna see the earth start shaking I wanna see a generation Finally waking up inside
Daily Battle Order:
Heed the words of Jeremiah. See your exile for what it is - pray for it, work for it, invest in its peace and prosperity. Wake up to the fact that this is not home, and we have a responsibility in every area of our lives, even the broken places to point people to Jesus and where our true home is.