I think you’ll agree that there’s a growing awareness that there is a change of climate in our world and we have no control over it, other than the relatively minor changes we can make through environmental control factors.
Tonight however, I want us to consider the change in the spiritual climate of our world, which has taken place over recent years.
We have seen the decline of society in Australia, affecting all of us, but particularly our children in terms of safety and security, availability of highly unsuitable and ungodly TV programs, DVDs, computer games and a range of undesirable web sites too numerous to mention. – And that’s just the beginning…….
When we oldies were children, we went down to the creek for the day, catching tadpoles or guppies, or down the gully, stripping bamboo shoots to make whistles. No-one worried, unless we weren’t home in time for tea. Our family used to go for a walk around the block after tea. We didn’t bother to lock the back door. There was no need.
Things have changed!
The Federal Government in Australia has laws in place to guard our borders against intruders, and those laws are enforced on people entering Australia by land, sea and air.
The Christian Church, however, has become slack. We have not protected our borders in the Spiritual realm, so that now Australia is no longer called a Christian Nation. We have allowed pagan gods of immorality, sport on Sundays, gambling, excessive leisure-seeking, Eastern religions, new age teaching, psychics, witchcraft and all kinds of occultish practices and so-called ‘spirit-wisdom’ – to over-run our borders. Forty or fifty years ago these things were almost unknown in Australia.
In the early 1900’s 50-60% of Australian children attended Sunday School. Now it is less than 1%. Even if those children were not saved, they at least received training in good social and moral values.
So what can we do? We have not bowed down to idols. We have not embraced occult practices. However, we too have failed the Lord in many ways. We have not always guarded our eyes and ears from watching evil practices and sexual depravity and violence on the TV screen.
But what is really disturbing, are the number of so-called family shows which are full of meanness and sarcasm, people threatening revenge, children being openly defiant to parents and parents not respecting their children.
Some of us have experienced grief and anger over broken marriages. Our children have not been protected from the agony of broken homes and families.
Many of God’s people are suffering from sickness or depression because they know they have sinned in various ways and inwardly they have condemned themselves. Oh yes, we know God has forgiven our sin, but have we applied that forgiveness to our faults and failings? Have we really received God’s forgiveness, and forgiven those who have hurt us, and have we forgiven ourselves?
Because we have focussed more on our jobs, our possessions and the things that we want rather than on God’s purposes, because we have not guarded our eyes and ears and hearts from evil, the enemy has been able to pull a blanket of self-will over us and many have been lulled into the sleep of deception. It’s so easy – so comfortable. After all, we live in the ‘lucky’ country.
Have you ever noticed the barrenness of the land in places like Afghanistan and Iraq?
How can we save our nation? We know the need to humble ourselves and repent and call upon the Name of the Lord. We know that we need to spread God’s Word through witnessing and inviting people to church.
The other matter of great importance is that we become strong and free in our Christian walk, so we can demonstrate to others that it is God’s Truth that sets us free. We need to be living, walking, talking advertisements for the Christian Life.
We need to be changing the spiritual climate round about us, by demonstrating the Love, Grace and Power of God everywhere we go, but we can only do that as we become aware of the power and authority that God has given us through the Holy Spirit.
For years we have been counselling and praying and caring for those who are weak, and we still need to do that, but the Call of God today is for the church to stand up and grow up and begin to take authority over the evil one, so that the Kingdom of God will be established on the earth.
We may need to rearrange our priorities. We certainly need to prioritise time spent with God and time in His Word. We also need to prioritise our marriage relationships and time spent with our children, to build good, strong Christian values in their lives and to teach them how to manage and enjoy life. Not much use winning others if those we love most are lost.
We need to refocus on the Kingdom of God and realise that our whole lives as Christians are meant to revolve around the Kingdom of God.
2 Tim.2:3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. 5 And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6 The hard-working farmer must be first to partake of the crops.
The hard-working farmer isn’t sitting around watching television. He’s out at 4 or 5 in the morning, milking the cows, planting crops. The athlete is up early exercising, working out, running miles/kms. And what is the average Auzzie Christian doing? Well, he’s probably on his mobile talking to his friends, or on the way to work to make money or doing assignments so that one day he’ll have a good career…and there’s nothing wrong with that……..it’s just a matter of focus. Jesus said: ‘Seek FIRST the Kingdom of God.’
There are many things in the spiritual realm that we can’t do. We are totally reliant on God to break down enemy strongholds and soften hard hearts to the Gospel. But God says if we will PRAY then He will take action. A lot of Christians don’t realise it, but prayer really is our work. We are responsible for it. As you pray, be aware that you are having a major effect on spiritual forces in the nation.