As an Optometrist it is my job to diagnose eye conditions and produce a prescription to solve the problem. According to the Collins Dictionary, “A prescription is a proposal or a plan which gives ideas about how to solve a problem or improve a situation.”
Doctors and medical people, myself included, have notoriously bad handwriting. But we have the knowledge to write prescriptions.
In 2022, this nation is sick. Australia, the lucky country, is no longer that lucky. We are morally ill, we are socially destroying ourselves and now we have COVID in record numbers, we are also physically ill and, with the resultant political situation, consequently more mentally ill than ever before. In all my life I never thought I would see my country in this situation.
Our nation is desperately sick, but the great physician has written prescription for our nation right now. Prescriptions are not generic, but designed by the physician to solve a specific ailment or condition. I don’t get up in the morning, watch Sesame street, get told that today’s number is 7, and so set out to prescribe a pair of +7.00 lenses. Each person gets a script designed for them, to solve a specific problem.
And so it is with Australia right now. This is God’s prescription, written centuries ago, but specifically targeted at our world and our country today, and it works.
2 Chronicles 7:11-16 (ESV)
Thus Solomon finished the house of the LORD and the king’s house. All that Solomon had planned to do in the house of the LORD and in his own house he successfully accomplished. Then the LORD appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time.
This prescription was written for the nation of Israel, but it can be applied to any nation, including ours.
So He wrote a prescription, and it is His professional plan for healing our nation. Like any prescription, it only works when it is applied. If I have you a written script, you can see better with it until it is filled, and the appropriate lenses made up. So today I want to examine God’s prescription for our nation. V 14.
IF MY PEOPLE
God says, if MY people. Not politicians, not the media, not the people out there arguing on Facebook… If MY people. This prescription has been written for the people of God, you and I. This generation of Christians is responsible for this generation of souls, all over the earth. Starting right here. You and I, because God says,
1 Peter 2:9 (ESV)
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.
Are we proclaiming? Are we seeing darkness in this land turned into light? I don’t think so. I see Christians still busy fighting one another over doctrine, over opinion, over vaccines. I even heard of a Christian marriage that is about to become a divorce, because they disagree on vaccination!
Let’s be clear… We didn’t cause this mess, we didn’t make the decisions that made it worse, and our country’s situation not our fault. But we are still responsible for its amelioration, for its treatment, for its healing. And we have the prescription.
Not governments. You can protest but they are not listening. Not the media or social media, they are filtering everything. If my people.
WHO ARE CALLED BY MY NAME
We are called by His name. We’re not just Ignite members or pentecostals or churchgoers. We are Christians, literally Christ’s ones or Christ followers. We bear His name.
Names are very important in the Bible. Often people who encountered God changed their name. Abram to Abraham (father of a multitude), Sarai to Sarah, Jacob to Israel, Saul to Paul, Judas to mud.
Alexander the Great came in from a battle one day, and they threw a boy at his feet, claiming he had fled during the battle. They asked Alexander what his sentence was, which was usually to execute him, but a general sprang to the boy’s defence, saying “Please don’t kill him, he is so young and he will fight bravely for us in the future.”
Alexander, feeling benevolent, pardoned him. Then he questioned the boy and said, “What’s your name, son?” The boy replied “Alexander,” so Alexander said this… “ Either change your ways, or change your name.”
If we are truly called by His name, we are sons and daughters of the King of Kings, making us royalty. We need to act like the name we bear, because we are called by His name. What does that mean?
1 John 3:9-10 (ESV)
No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
WILL HUMBLE THEMSELVES
The Hebrew for humble is KANA, which means to be brought down, to be brought in subjection to. In essence, it means obedience.
Humility has never been a strong point for mankind. Pride was the original sin, and remember it was Satan’s original sin as well, which saw him cast out of heaven. But all throughout God’s Word He cherishes and champions humility. Humility is not weakness, it is strength under control.
Our world celebrates people who achieve success, maybe in business or sport or politics or even church. But when we have pride, we automatically disqualify ourselves from blessings God intends for us.
Proverbs 22:4 (ESV)
The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches and honour and life.
James 4:6-8 (ESV)
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
James 4:10 (ESV)
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
Humility and obedience to God is in the prescription because it opens doors of His blessings.
There’s an old bumper sticker that says, if all else fails… Pray. This is a stupid thing to say, but so often we do this. We try everything in our power, and when we are desperate, then we finally get around to praying. It should be the reverse. Pray first, and let God direct your steps.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV)
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
What does “pray without ceasing” mean. Obviously you cannot be on your knees all day, unless you are a monk or something. But prayer doesn’t require a physical posture, or special formal words, or a written script. Praying is simply talking to God. But it’s a 2 way street, and we should all be living in that constant flow where we interact with God and He with us all the time.
Notice how prayer is tied in with humility, and also how it is tied in with rejoicing and giving thanks. Prayer is living in a Joyful relationship. If I only ever spoke to my wife to get her to do something for me, I would not have a good marriage. We need to talk, to listen, to hang out, to bless one another. And that’s prayer.
But so many don’t know what true prayer is. Even Christians think it is a formal thing. I love what Jesus says about prayer…
Matthew 6:6-8 (ESV)
But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
We don’t need mindless babble and we don’t need beautifully scripted prayers. What we need are hearts desperate to connect with God. God knows our needs before we pray. He is already on it. He already has a plan to heal Australia. Prayer is not for His benefit, it’s for ours, and we need it.
And I believe that prayer is what the Lord is calling us to in 2022. The key part of the prescription to heal our nation is for us to pray, not as a last resort, but as a matter of behaviour. As a normal part of life. If we are serious about healing our nation from this pandemic and the lies, the conflicts, the control, the immorality that we are experiencing, we must pray.
AND SEEK MY FACE
Not just praying… Hebrew for seek is BAQAS, which means to earnestly and actively look for something. Imagine losing your keys or credit card, and how you seek them. We need to seek His face with the same desperation.
So many, even well meaning believers, seek God’s hand but not His face. They want what He can do for them, but they don’t want Him. They seek Kingdom blessings, but do not seek the King. Prayer is not about seeking for God to do something, it’s about just seeking God.
Let me address something that unbeknown to me came up in church. There was mention made of so called signs and wonders of gold dust, oil and angel feathers, as being a sign of the Holy Spirit. I’m not attacking someone else’s experience, and I’m not saying God can’t do these things. I’m praying fir signs and wonders too, but I do it seek frivolous signs and wonders, but rather proper, over the top miracles of healing, provision, restoration and salvation. We will see His hands at work in salvation, marriages restored, families reunited, healing, financial miracles and unity, but only when we seek His face! They are the signs I seek. Jesus said,
Matthew 6:33 (ESV)
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
If we seek God, if we seek Him because we love Him and He is our father, not because we always want something, then He will graciously give us everything we need in this prescription to heal our land, our homes and families, our bodies and our lives. But there’s still more…
AND TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS
“Turn” is in Hebrew SUB, which doesn’t mean veering slightly off course and just avoiding sin, it means repenting, and turning 180 degrees in the opposite direction. Let me be frank. If you truly love God, if you want to see prayers answered, you will not tolerate sin in your life.
Hebrews 12:14 (ESV)
Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
Psalms 66:17-19 (ESV)
I cried to him with my mouth, and high praise was on my tongue.
If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.
Listen, if you want to draw close to God, if you want Him to hear your prayer, you cannot cherish sin in your life. You cannot tolerate evil and expect God to hear you. Salvation is free, but it’s not cheap. So many Christians get this wrong. They think, God is loving, He is caring, He has a plan for your life, He has a destiny for you, no matter what we do. But we must never forget that He is also holy and intolerant of sin, and we must come before Him with godly righteousness.
We have much to repent of as people, of our selfishness, the way we treat others, even those whom we are supposed to love. We get angry, we are intolerant, we are selfish.
But as a nation, we also must turn from our wicked ways. How are we wicked as a nation? Let me give you a snapshot of the double standards our state runs under. The Queensland government has taken action to potentially save many hundreds of people, at great cost and unsurpassed collateral damage to society. They tell us they are concerned about every life.
But over the same period of time 28,000 unborn children have been murdered… by the same people who tell us they value every life. Our nation, our state, and we as it’s people, need to turn from our wicked ways!
How can we make the whole nation repent? How can we make abhorrent laws in our state to be rescinded? We can’t, but God can.
Our only way ahead in this nation is to pray, and get serious about this prescription. And God if we do, here’s the promise…
THEN I WILL HEAR FROM HEAVEN, AND WILL FORGIVE THEIR SIN, AND WILL HEAL THEIR LAND
This 3 fold promise is a covenant, a conditional promise. Of the many promises in the Word of God. Some are absolute, like for example the rainbow
Genesis 9:11-13 (ESV)
I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.
This promise is absolute, applies to all everyone forever. That’s what the rainbow is all about. It’s not about gay rights, it’s about God’s promise, all 7 colours of it! The rainbow reminds us that we have an absolute promise from God.
The promise in this prescription is not absolute, it’s conditional, conditional upon you and I. What that means is that if we do our bit, the promise will be fulfilled. If we don’t, it won’t, simple as that. So the state of our nation is in our hands, if we will fulfil the conditions of this covenant, so will God. He promises.
And the reward is spelled out and 3 fold… God will hear, God will forgive and God will heal our land. The lucky country is full of pain and hurt right now, it’s full of sin and debauchery right now, but it could be a land of righteousness, a land of plenty, a land of blessing, a land of goodness and Holiness and kindness and love… If MY people!
Who wants God to hear their prayer? If my people. Who want God to forgive their sin? If my people. Who wants God to heal their land? If my people.
There are promises all though the Bible that confirm this. That if we as the people of God still our hearts, if we pray if we seek God that He will heal our land.
Psalms 37:4-8 (ESV)
Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
It’s time for us as the people of God to stop fretting over the situation, focussing on the government, their legislation, their rules, and fighting the people who disagree with our stance on Facebook. It’s time for us to set our eyes on Jesus. It’s time for us to seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.
IT’S TIME TO STOP GRUMBLING AND START PRAYING
I know there is injustice in our society. I know many of us have experienced heartaches and are angry at what is happening. But here’s a prophetic word from God for you… Stop getting angry about the injustice and start praying. Anger, even what you might call righteous anger, tends towards evil, so I am calling this church to stand and focus on God in this godless generation.
Philippians 2:14-16 (ESV)
Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life,
It’s time for us to shine as a church, and as believers. How do we do this? The same way the early church did it…
Acts 2:42 (ESV)
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
So we are called to be devoted to teaching, Fellowship, communion and prayer. This means prioritising intimacy with God, reading His Word every day. Prioritising coming the church. I know it’s not ideal, we have not enough toilets, our creche isn’t ready yet, the coffee is not designer, but just come because you want to fulfil the prescription for your nation. Be a part of the solution not the problem. And prioritise prayer.
To this end I am calling all of us to read God’s Word every day. For the sake of unity, I’m asking you to stand with us and join with us in the Bible reading plan.
In addition, we are going to start a biweekly prayer night, starting Tuesday week at 7pm here. Together we will gather together and seek God, we will worship, we will cry our for our nation. Together we will see healings, prophetic words, miracles happening, lives restored.
Today I am asking you to stand with me. Read the Word, pray and stand together. Are you with me?
But right now I want to open the altar up and ask you to come to the front if you truly want to seek God as per this prescription for your nation. Will you surrender all, will you read the Word, will you join us in prayer? Will you make a difference to your people?
HOW CAN BE STAY EFFECTIVELY FOR OUR PEOPLE?
HOW CAN WE REPENT FOR THE SINS OF OUR PEOPLE?
WILL YOU COMMIT TO PRAYING FOR REVIVAL IN AUSTRALIA?