“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Matthew 5:14
Many years ago our company worked for a powerful man who was a wealthy New York developer. He had a multi-million dollar mansion near the Hudson river, replete with security cameras, armed guards and spectacular gardens. Not too many years previously he had been in business with another man with whom he had become a bitter enemy.
Then one day our as our client walked through his grounds he noticed another large mansion being built on the hillside above him. When he inquired who was building the home he discovered that it was that of his rival! In that moment all the beauty, security and pomp of his home lost their luster. His enemy had secretly secured the higher ground!
In the warfare between our Lord and the enemy of our souls there has been a similar conflict. The devil once strutted about heaven’s hallways with power, beauty and perfection but when he became proud he was thrown out! The first counter attack of the devil against God was in the garden where he tempted Adam and Eve and through their sin began to build a powerful kingdom in the earth. Then Jesus came. He took the low ground of Bethlehem to be born and the devil smirked. After Joseph and Mary fled to Egypt for their lives he must have felt quite in control of his destiny. Then Jesus grew up in lowly Nazareth and from the carpenter shop he went one day to the Jordan river to be baptized by John. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to begin to build His kingdom and the enemy was puzzled by what he saw. There in the desert was a weak and hungry Jesus who seemed ripe for temptation. “If you are the Son of God” the devil purred, “Command these stones to be made bread!” But Jesus the carpenter knew how the house of God was to be built and he met the devil’s every challenge with His Father’s words.
Blow by blow the battle went throughout the ministry of our Lord. Satan tempted and stole the heart of one of the twelve and turned the mob against Jesus outside of Pilate’s judgement hall. Soldiers were called and after flogging our Lord they sent Jesus out towards Calvary carrying His cross. As the nails pierced the carpenter’s hands the kingdom of darkness rejoiced. They felt that the challenge to their power and control over man was secure forever. Everything seemed to have worked out and played directly into the hands of the devil’s henchmen until early on the third day when the stone rolled away!
At that exact moment, Jesus Christ sat up, set aside his earthly garments and received the name that was above every name. In horror Satan looked up and saw a shining city on a hill far above every principality and power. We, by God’s grace are that city. We must never forget who we are or lose heart when we are facing trials. We need to remember that we are the city set on a hill. God has put us here, not because we are stronger, richer or more important than others. In fact God chose us because we are weaker, less powerful and less important to show that He is greater, higher and stronger and that we belong to Him!