The immediate context for this message is of global significance. I have known about the Global Day of Prayer (GDOP) for some years, and its immensity as the greatest prayer gathering in human history signifies that it is a strategic act of God concerning the saving plan of God for all nations. Whilst I had previously met the pioneer of this movement (Graham Power) overseas, it was only when he visited Perth during CHOGM last year that the Lord really started to stir up my spirit concerning the derelict state of the Australian-born Church. Prophesying in a meeting I communicated the following:
“God has blessed Australia with extraordinary prosperity, but because of its complicated and difficult history this blessing has become a snare to us. We are happy for people to come into our zone from other places and after a while become like us, but we have no passion to go into other people’s zones. WE DO NOT WANT THE PEACE AND PROSPERITY OF OUR EARTHLY PARADISE TO BE DISTURBED. I am asking all those who have been born of Australia to stand up with me and we can prayer together and confess the sins of an inward looking Australian Church and ask God to break through so that we can get out of the zone in which we have become trapped.”
Graham was back in Perth last week, and once again my heart was deeply moved about the prayerlessness of our nation and its general disconnection with what God is doing globally. This time around however I felt that the Lord was giving me much more detail about the spiritual strongholds that are resisting God’s destiny for our nation, and the precise call which is over Australia. This message is about a new vision of Fatherhood and a new form of fathering among the people of God.
The World’s Best Nation
Its official, what Aussies have always known has finally been recognised by the international community, we are the best place in the world to live. If you eavesdrop on a conversation between locals and immigrants it’s fairly usual to hear us parading the superiority of our weather, or standard of living, or holiday loading, or sporting prowess or easy-going peaceful lifestyle compared to the other nations of the world. From God’s perspective such match ups are boastful and place us in an underprivileged spiritual sphere (1 Pet 5:5). They reveal that whilst we are accurately conscious that this is an extraordinarily blessed land, there is virtually no public recognition that such good fortune is from the hand of a gracious Father. Having exchanged the true image of God for idols Australians suffer from an identity crisis at a profound spiritual level (Rom 1:20-23). The insecurities this brings are constantly revealed both at the highest political levels of leadership and in the territoriality often shown by pastors and other leaders in the Church. The origin of such “short sightedness” can only be found in the pervasive evils at the foundation of modern Australia and can only be remedied by a new vision of the Lord as Father of all (cf. 2 Pet 1:9).
A Power-filled History
The traumatic events at the roots of our history have often been retold, but the scope of their spiritual impact is much less commonly understood. Uniquely established as a continent sized jail filled with rejects from the motherland and policed by unwilling military personnel, Australia as the home of the distant Father is a recurrent theme through the ups and downs of settlement, pioneering, war and so on. Founded in such a way the treatment of the Indigenous people as sub-human was entirely predictable. For most of our history aboriginal peoples were rarely given the status of children of God. Since divine punishment fits the crime, the denial to others the dignity of sonship means God has handed us over to a “cosmic orphanhood” . There is blindness to the universal Fatherhood of God and a consequent crisis of spiritual fathering in the land. The divine agency for such retribution involves the action of evil powers at a national level (2 Cor 4:4).
From creation each people group has a supervising angel; “When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.” (Deut 32:8 ESV) Through a fall from heaven however these angels have become evil forces that oppose the rule of God at a national level (Dan 10:13; 20-21). Having abandoned their true identity as “sons of God” the climactic activity of demonic agencies is to deceive the nations concerning the true identity of God as universal Father (Gen 6:2-4; Job 1:6; 2:1; Rev 20:3, 8). The presence of these evil powers is manifest in a number of ways.
Firstly, they encourage a narrow nationalistic spirit. We are used to seeing the world in relation to Australia e.g. how the economic boom in China profits our exports, but we need to see Australia in relation to the world. The huge mineral resources of Western Australia were not sovereignly placed here to inflate our incomes, but to be a fount of blessing to a needy world. Our characteristic egocentrism needs to be turned on its head.
The ignorance and resistance of the Australian Church and our prayer networks to seeing the Global Day of Prayer as a gift of God for the world’s salvation is symptomatic of our blindness to the vision of one universal Father. The GDOP prophetically symbolises that it is only with “all the saints” that we can be “filled with all the fullness of God” (Eph 3:18-19). The revelation of God’s fullness is the gospel message that in Jesus the Father’s gift of sonship is equally for all. This is the revelation of the breadth of God’s purposes in Christ that the powers of evil so strongly resist.
Secondly, the forces of darkness are not so naive as to simply oppose all attempts at Christian unity. They cunningly permit forms of unity not grounded in the wholeness of Christ. Appeals to oneness are common, but few leaders point us to the Father as the fount of unity in all things (cf. 1 Cor 3:23; 8:6; 11:3; Eph 4:6). When Jesus prays, “The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,” the glory he is referring to is surely the revelation that God is the Father of all (John 17:22 cf.17:2; Acts 17:28; Heb 2:10-13). Only a revelation of a Fatherhood that is universal in scope and intensity can release the fullness of God through the Church into all the world (Eph 1:22-23). Only when God’s people in Australia are seized by such an extensive vision will our unity pour out beyond the gathered church and the limited bounds of the prayer networks to which we belong.
A New Vision
A new level of vision is emerging across the world, and much of it is focussed on the marketplace/workplace. What the Lord is doing finds prophetic expression in the life of Joseph (Gen 37 ff.). This young man is a dreamer and visionary of things to come whose technicolour coat images the favour of God the Father upon his life. He is destined, through great injustice and suffering, to be a man who ministers to the nations. It is by Joseph’s wisdom that Israel and the “whole world” will be fed in a time of famine. Joseph is a type of the “multicoloured wisdom of God” in the marketplace (Eph 3:10). His older brothers however do not share his visions. Though elect of God and fathers of the tribes of Israel they are men limited in prophetic insight and jealous of the favour of God on their brother. Though in the end they will be saved by their brother, their selfish ambition blinds them to the broader purposes of God in all the world.
In as much as Joseph is a type of Jesus, today we are going through a Joseph type transition in spirituality across the world. It is the breadth of Joseph-like counsel that is spreading across the globe and which has the power to expand our insight into what it means to be Australian. There are no limits to the marketplace wisdom which God released through Joseph for the world in the courts of Egypt. This refers to a form of fathering that the Lord is releasing in our time which will manifest the presence of Christ in “all things” which the Father has given him (Eph 4:10). I believe this will involve the fulfilment of a word given to me some years ago (1995).
An Unbreakable Net
Flying across the Pacific between Argentina and Australia I had a strong sense the Lord was constructing a global network of prayer. I could see a net being placed over the whole world. The purpose of this net was prayer saturation, so that every city, suburb, street, office, school and home would receive intercession. The passage I was given concerning the spiritual dynamics of this net was the one about the miraculous catch of fish in John 21.
The disciples have toiled fruitlessly all night when the risen Christ appears to them a final time. At his command they cast the net on the other side with outstanding results. Two features stand out; they “hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn.” (John 21:11). Unlike the earlier miraculous catch in the Gospel of Luke (5:6) this time the nets do not break. This is a revelation of the exalted Lord to the “Children” whom God has given him of the all sufficiency of his now glorified power (John 21:5 cf. 20:17). The 153 large fish seem to represent an end time harvest from all the nations of the world. The unbreakable nets symbolise that the power of God’s kingdom of God working through the disciples is sufficient to bring people from all nations to Jesus. In 1995 I assumed that this net would be centred on churches and intercessory networks; now I see a further dimension.
The Father is expressing his “richly varied wisdom” by weaving together a network of prayer threaded through all the domains of society and culture: media, politics, arts, business, health, education, law, sport and so on. It is this penetration of the presence of Christ through Christians as light and salt through all the strata that constitute culture that will bring in and retain the end time harvest of God (Matt 5:13-16). Only a vision of the fullness of God on this social and global scale can truly “bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things” and overcome “the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places” who for ages have resisted the truth of the gospel (Eph 3:9-10)
Fatherhood and the Gospel
The new depth of insight I sense about the universal Fatherhood of God has opened up for me another dimension of the gospel summed up in one of Paul’s great prayers:
“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:14-19 ESV)
The extensive and intensive and (“breadth and depth”) dimensions of the love of Christ are inseparable. As the people of God we can only be “filled with all the fullness of God” to the degree we accept people from “every tribe and language and people and nation” as equal with us as children of God (Rev 5:9). Only as this vision of sharing in one universal Fatherhood impacts our consciences can we be impacted by the complete power of the ransoming blood of Christ (Rom 1:16; Eph 1:7). A truly universal conscience means a renewing of the mind about what it means to be called “Australian”.
Australia Receive Your Name
In Christ we have access to “the knowledge of God’s mystery” and his inexhaustible wisdom (Col 2:2-3). When Paul prays, “I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named” he claims insight into the identity of all nations. In Jesus we no longer have to be defined by the tragedies of the last two hundred years but can see “Australia” afresh.
The sweeping influx of people from every continent into Australia in the last few decades is part of a divine plan to release our destiny as one of the foremost Abrahamic nations of the world. When the LORD changed Abram’s name it was with this promise, “you shall be the father of a multitude of nations” (Gen 17:4-5). In New Testament terms God was preaching the gospel to Abraham that he and his descendants would inherit “the world” through faith (Rom 4:13; Gal 4:13). Today this is the promise of our heavenly Father to us as Aussies. The time is coming, and now is, when the call will come to those who come have to this land from all the lands to go forth in the power of the Spirit of God to disciple all nations. Not as Asian, or African or Aboriginal or Caucasian Australians but as those who have drunk together the Spirit who baptises us into one Body in Christ (1 Cor 12:13).
Immigrants will no longer think of South Africa, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, India, UK, USA, or…as their spiritual homeland but the land which has adopted them shall become their mother (Ps 87:4-6). Neither will the Indigenous people of the land be marginalised on the fringes of the church. When the Lord releases his vision of universal Fatherhood it will be said of Australia: “All my fountains are in you.” (Psalm 87:7). By the power of the Spirit that raised Jesus from death the Church in Australia will embody all the virtues of true spiritual fathering and mothering that for so long have eluded us as an adolescent people (1 Cor 4:5; Gal 4:26). This will put to death all our spiritual identity crises and free the people of God from hindering nationalism and powerless attempts to attain functional Christian unity.
Such a blessing from the Father will release multicultural and multiracial mission teams across the globe, 24/7 prayer centres will arise interceding for all nations, the workplace and the persecuted Church, pockets of prayer will proliferate across the varied dimensions of the marketplace, the resources of the land will be harnessed by kingdom-centred enterprises and funnelled towards the restoration of the needy both at home and abroad, discipleship schools will spring up penetrated by grace and holiness, the “one new man” vision of Jew-Gentile together in Christ will enter a new level of maturity.
Over the decades generations of Australian Christians have struggled to recognise what it means to be a part of a single global family that Jesus is forming for the glory of God the Father. Only a vision of universal Fatherhood contains the glory which Jesus promised to impart as the true source of our unity (John 17:22). The Global Day of Prayer, and the visit of Graham Power to Western Australia, is a prophetic sign that the Lord is moving by his Spirit to release a new vision for the healing of our land and to raise us up to be a functional part of a holy commonwealth of nations. In order to be able to see and participate in such a vision we must receive the gift of a very comprehensive sort of wisdom. This is a prophetic insight to see with the eyes of God the Father the peoples of the world. It is to have our eyes opened to the beautiful colours of Christ’s presence in all the nations and their deep grace-given complementarities in the purpose of God. The old Australian way of seeing ourselves in the world is passing away and everything is becoming new (Rev 21:5). May Jesus grant us eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart imagine all that the Father has prepared for us in this our time of destiny (1 Cor 2:9-10; Eph 3:20-21).
 Tabulating the results of the OECD Better Life Index. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303610504577419320948930402.html
 I am yet to hear an Aussie bragging about the move of God we are enjoying!
 The weak and abused often become abusers of those weaker than themselves.
 E.g. Ps 7:11-16; Isa 47:2-3; Jer 5:18-19; 2 Thess 1:8-9; Rev 16:5-6
 The “princes” of Persia and of Greece oppose Michael, the “prince” of Israel. These evil forces are the principalities and powers of the New Testament (Ephesians 6:12; Colossians 1:16; 1 Peter 3:22).
 They uphold the interests of their fallen father, the devil (cf. Matt 13:38; John 8:44).
 Passages like Psalm 133 and John 17:20-21 are favourites.
 I call this “prismatic wisdom” for when plain white light passes through a prism the glory of the rainbow appears.