15 July 2021
As the days grow darker, we as Christians must focus on the Truth and not be side-lined by traditions or religious behaviour that is not scriptural.
The following scripture is commonly used today as a prayer for our nation:
2 Chronicles 7:14
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Let us consider this scripture. The Lord appeared to King Solomon at night and spoke these words to him. We need to realize that this scripture was given to the nation of Israel, His nation. The whole of the Old Testament revolves around the nation of Israel and is treated as one under a Theocracy. Also, there are stipulated criteria in this scripture; humbleness, prayer and repentance, do this, and I will heal the land, says the Lord.
In the New Testament, we as believers are one body, from all nations, cultures and colours. We are citizens from heaven, part of God’s Kingdom.
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to Himself.
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.
1 Peter 2:9
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.
For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.
They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
Therefore as citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, we should not be worried about the things of the earth.
Unfortunately, as South Africans, some people love to apply the old testament scriptures regarding the nation of Israel to our nation. See /afrikaans/die-israel-visie/
Paul did instruct us once to pray for our leaders:
1 Timothy 2:1-2
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
Imagine Christians in China, India, and Iran pray that God may heal their land. Won’t we rather expect them to pray for God to strengthen the Christians in the midst of persecution and that people will repent from their wicked ways and get converted through the power of the Holy Spirit? Christians who live in a relatively safe country love to pray for God to intervene in the political, governmental and social arenas. (Google: “kingdom now error”) And why do we do that?
We do it for self-preservation. We want to preserve our safe and comfortable lifestyle on earth rather than focus on the Kingdom above.
The early church was severely persecuted, and Christians were stoned to death or burned alive. We do not find Paul praying for protection from the Roman authorities or political leaders for the believers in his letters to the churches. Instead, Paul prayed for believers amidst their trials and tribulations for:
- Strength – Eph 6:10
- Mercy and grace – Heb 4:16
- Knowledge of His will, live a life worthy of Him, pleasing God, bear fruit, strength, endurance and patience – Col 1:9-11
- Wisdom and revelation, eyes of our hearts enlightened, knowing His great power – Eph 1:17-19
- Strength, rooted in love, filled with His fullness – Eph 3:16-19
- Love to abound, be pure and blameless – Phil 1:9
We are to pray for the salvation of our leaders and should show them respect. However, our focus is upon Jesus Christ and His kingdom because our help and salvation come from Him.
1 Peter 2:17
Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
Some Christians become “Preppers”. Preppers mean survivalism, a social movement of individuals or groups who proactively prepare for emergencies, including natural disasters and disruptions to the social, political, or economic order. What does the New Testament instruct us to do? Is this not self-preservation? We know and see that things are going to get really bad. Still, we have no instruction to accumulate food, weapons or survival gear.
We do not focus on protection or self-preservation as we have died to self and live in Christ.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;
“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Jesus repeats “do not worry” 4 times in about 2 minutes! (Verse 25-34).
We do not find such emphasis for sins like murder or adultery. This makes “worry”, especially for a true believer, one of the worst sins in the New Testament.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
1 John 4:4
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
feel or cause to feel anxious or troubled about actual or potential problems.
feeling or showing worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.
We as citizens from heaven must not worry or be anxious about ANYTHING on earth!
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
What is our heartbeat? Our safety, security and prosperity or that we may KNOW HIM? (Whatever the cost?) Sometimes God uses trails for us to grow closer to Him. 2 Cor 12:7-10 We are to focus upon Jesus Christ. We are to be the light and the salt of the earth. They say that 5% of salt (true Christians) in a city or nation dispel the dark forces and change the atmosphere. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZdU24a_ZYs Our focus is to know Him, spreading the gospel and shining His Light in the midst of the darkness.
In the end:
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” …
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Heavenly Father, I approach your throne room of Grace in the name of Jesus. (Heb 4:16)
I pray for all the people in my street, my suburb, my town or city, that You may open their eyes, turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins. (Act 26:18) I also pray for the salvation of all our leaders and those in authority in South Africa (1 Tim 2:1-2). Your Holy Spirit can guide, impart wisdom and bless those that belong to You, therefore we ask for their salvation.
Father, You know the handful of evil influencers that control the masses to cause anarchy, chaos and destruction. We ask that You remove their power and authority (spiritual or physical), in the Name of Jesus! We bind all principalities, powers and rulers of darkness that influence leaders in South Africa in the Name of Jesus (Eph 6:12, Matt 18:18-20) and we speak PEACE in this land! Father we ask that South African’s will turn to You and seek Your Face (Psa 27:8) in these times of trouble!
As a nation, we repent from pride, prejudice, greed and lawlesssness, and we ask for Your mercy. (Act 8:22) Make me an empty vessel in which You can dwell and pour out Your Holy Spirit on me to demonstrate Your power and goodness.
In Jesus Name, Amen.
Written by C&C