Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
- Matthew 13:58
Australia, like the UK and USA, considers itself a first world country. But, I wonder what God thinks?
Notwithstanding COVID, we have home ownership, Medicare, jobs, suits and ties, lovely dresses, luxurious holidays and all the trappings of a first world nation. We look upon countries like Africa, New Guinea and other nations as third world, and we give them financial aid to prove they are. We think we're superior, whether we like it or not.
However, there is a marked difference between them and us. Those third world nations know there is a spirit world beyond the physical realm, where, on the whole, Australia does not! They understand that things that happen in our physical realm are often attributed to the battle in the spiritual realm. We western nations acknowledge neither the existence of either God or Satan, angelic beings or demons.
So, in God's eyes, which is a third world country?
In 2017, the Barna Group ran a survey in the USA of the five major groups. One question asked was:
"Satan is not a symbol but a living being" (agree strongly)
Evangelical Christians (6% of adult population) 98% agree strongly
Non-Evangelical Born Again Christians (23% of adult population) 35% agree strongly
Notional Christians (42% of adult population) 14% agree strongly
Adherents of Non-Christians faiths (6% of adult population) 34% agree strongly
Religious Sceptics. (23% of adult population) 16% agree strongly
Therefore, in the USA, a far more 'religious' country than Australia, most don't believe Satan is real. A figure which renders spiritual warfare all but a myth.
This one-liner line could explain what happened to the western world. "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn't exist." We, so-called first worlders, have swallowed that bait hook, line and sinker. A valid first world country believes in the spiritual battle between good and evil, and how fierce the fighting is in the spirit realm. They are aware.
In the making of our great nation, we lost that fighting spirit long ago. As one author put it, most of today's Christians are peacetime Christians who are not used to the war of praying hard to win battles. They are asleep, as were the disciples in Christ's last effort of prayer when he asked them to stay awake. Matthew 26:40 "And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?" Was that the result of tiredness, or Satan whispering in their ear as he did with Eve, "Don't worry, Jesus didn't mean that. He won't mind if you have a sleep. It's alright for him; he's tireless."
The Church should be full of wartime Christians who understand and engage in prayer and fasting, but it is not. Few are battle-ready, which is why Satan appears to be winning. It's also why healings are that few and far between; we may as well not count them. Our nation is third world.
God wants to perform many mighty miracles in Australia, but first, he needs repentance from both sin and our peacetime lethargy. We've all fallen for it at one time. Australia hasn't endured a war where it has been threatened with a takeover for nearly 80 years. This lengthy time has brought a spiritual cost, a softness, and many of us are asleep on our pews. We can no longer see the threats. We are oblivious to the trojan horses delivered to us in the form of legislation and other non-war takeovers, and we're leaving the battle to others instead of being on the watchtower wearing out our own knees in prayer.
If Australia is genuinely the Southland of the Holy Spirit, shouldn't that Holy Spirit within us cry out daily to God to protect our churches, parliaments, and leaders? Shouldn't we be "denying ourselves and taking up our cross daily" on behalf of those who go to battle for us, instead of the soft "bless them" peacetime prayers which alter little in the heavenlies?
When reading the Bible, we find it full of battles. Those battles are about spiritual warfare, whether with sword and spear in the Old Testament or prayer and fasting in the New Testament. Whether Job or Joshua, Moses or Malachi, David or Jesus, the makeup of every battle is good versus evil. Our battles are identical.
Every battle was fought fiercely. Those like Gideon and Deborah and our fishermen disciples had to turn themselves from fearful underdog believers into wartime warriors of their day. We must do the same. We are professionals in seeking God and identifying ungodliness. Let's use our spiritual skills and gifts.
Today's prayer: Dear Lord, like many Christians, I have been guilty of a peacetime mentality. My hopes were for a pleasant, relaxing future. Would you please help me with that? I want to do my part in the warfare and be counted a good soldier of yours. Please give me strength and direction.
Photo by Henry Hustava