Watching the Swan winding towards Perth then walking across an overpass for rail lines and the Freeway headed towards our CBD I sensed the Lord speaking about cities as concentration points of natural and human resources.
Then at a Marketplace conference senior YWAM leader John Dawson encouraged us to be as little children asking our heavenly Father,
In response to Dawson’s call here is what I am sensing about the structure of God’s purposes for Western Australia. Our geographical, cultural and natural environments are all called to serve the purposes of the kingdom of God. This teaching focuses on my state and city, but the Lord’s desire is that we all fall in love with every city/state as he designed it to be.
The Source and Goal is Christ
From eternity God’s cosmic purposes centred on Jesus. As the “Alpha and Omega” the Son of God spans all history as the first and last thought of his Father (Rev 22:12). This eternal relationship is the foundational resource for the full outworking of the divine plan (Eph 1:10).
Through the agency of the Spirit the loving form of God “on the inside” poured out upon the beginning of creation for the divine glory (Gen 1:2; Rev 4:11). The Father’s plan was that all his wisdom, knowledge, goodness, justice, love, etc. abiding in the Son would be revealed through a humanity created in his likeness (Gen 1:26-28; 1 Cor 8:6; Col 1:16).
So that humanity might dynamically offer back to God all it ruled over the world was endowed with rich resources. This is exactly how things are described in Eden.
Eden is bestowed with every resource to assist humanity to flourish in the likeness of Christ (Rom 5:14). The trees there were all “good for food” with abundant rivers and the land abounded in mineral wealth, “the gold of that land is good” (Gen 2:8-14).
Such brilliant resources were available so the first people could creatively labour in a wisdom sent from heaven (Gen 2:15; Luke 3:38; James 3:17). Adam was God’s king with a calling to guard the earth as priest in a holy sanctuary (Gen 1:27; 2:15= Num 3:7-8 Hebrew text).
He was to exercise this high vocation by wisely refusing to eat of the tree of knowledge (Gen 2:17). Such familial honour would refute the demonised wisdom of the fallen angelic “sons of God” send forth humanity from Eden to fill the earth with glory (Gen 6:4; Job 1:6; James 3:15). The key to God’s plan depended on humanity’s righteous stewardship of earth’s resources.
This is why Satan was allowed to attack Eve through the resource of the tree of knowledge. Sadly, instead of trusting the resource of the commanded Word not to take from the tree Adam and Eve used their God given abilities to eat of the tree and so lost God’s glory (Gen 2:17; 3:6; Rom 3:23).
Original sin is a misuse of God given resources in the cause of self-aggrandisement. Like Adam, Israel too was a “son” of God with a priest-king vocation (Ex 4:23; 19:6). Richly endowed with agricultural and mineral resources Canaan was a new Eden. But in using the Promised Land’s resources for personal prosperity and idolatry Israel like was driven out from this new Eden away from the presence of God into exile (Deut 8:7-9, 17-20). Only by sending his Son for us can the Father reveal himself as our one true resource.
God’s Resource in Christ
In the wisdom of God the limits of natural resources in the original creation were created to point us to the unrestricted resource of Christ. Christ is the “bread of heaven” that imparts eternal life and the water source which never fails (John 4:13-4; 6:51). Through Christ is found the priceless pearl of great price and boundless of God’s kingdom (Matt 13:44-46). Jesus is the Lord of every harvest – grain, fish or people (Luke 5:6, 10:2). By perfect wisdom Jesus refuted all the temptations of Satan in the wilderness (Matt 4:1-11).
The pinnacle of Christ’s spiritual knowledge is the cross (1 Cor 1:22-24). The crucified Jesus is publicly titled “King” and by his self- offering on behalf of others has became the perfect priest God destined humanity to be (John 19:20; 1 Cor 2:8; Heb 10:14). When deprived of spiritual and natural resources on the cross, “forsaken” of the presence of the Father and dying in need, ““I thirst””, Jesus remained faithful to God for us (Mark 15:34; John 19:28).
Jesus is exalted to the Father’s glory not through using the world’s resources for self-aggrandisement but through laying them down for others (Phil 2:5-11). Today Christ calls us to join his vocation of discipling the nations in using their God-given resources for the glory of his Father’s kingdom (Matt 28:18-20). In resource rich W.A. this call should be very clear!
W.A. for Jesus
Perth is the key Western gateway city to the Indian Ocean rim and the great population centres of Asia. W.A is a land of sunshine, forests, vines, gold and precious stones, a land of peace and prosperity, a physical and economic refuge for thousands of immigrants, rich and poor. Yet like Adam, Eve and Israel we are in deep trouble. In the unforgettable words of a South Korean immigrant; “This place is like the Garden of Eden, no wonder the people here don’t believe in God.”
The dominant materialism of our culture is a sign that the ruler of this world has convinced our “lucky” country that we have all the resources we need, without God (John 14:30)! The Church however is called to show forth a “manifold wisdom” that will refute the false wisdom of rebellious spiritual “rulers and authorities” (Eph 3:10).
This will involve a restoration of a kingly and priestly ministry amongst all the people of God using all the natural and spiritual resources he has given us to produce the Christ-likeness we were destined to be. This reformation embraces all the spheres of culture. It is a call to engineers, artists, doctors, business people, tradies…to even now bring “the glory and honour of the nations” to Christ by helping them walk in the light of the city of God whose lamp is the Lamb (Rev 21:23- 26).
The Church on mission is called to use the concentrated gifts and graces of God in a city, linguistic, geographical, historical, cultural, economic, relational, in a cross-shaped way pulling down all idolatries and bringing healing to the material, spiritual and relational wealth of nations (Luke 16:9; Rev 22:2)
In its natural, cultural and economic endowments Western Australia has been created one of the richest parts of our planet.
The disciples of Jesus in W.A. need to understand all this in terms of their eternal vocation.
We are being prepared as “kings and priests” to “reign on earth…forever and ever” (Rev 5:9-10; 22:5).
For centuries the people of God in the everyday spheres of work have been denied the revelation of this high dignity.
Today however the call of God is coming to his people with a renewed clarity. This is a call to reveal the image of Christ in every workplace by sacrificially using all the resources he has provided for the glory of the Father. When the gathered Church has a spiritual revelation of these things it will be sent out in power into the Monday-Friday world with a vision to transform our city in the image of the City to come.
This City is not unearthly but shines with the glory of God in the resources of its gold, precious stones, trees, waters and trade (Rev 1:10; 21:9ff.).
In our daily labours we are working with God to build for him an eternal City (1 Cor 15:58; 2 Cor 6:1; Eph 1:19-22).
This has always been his plan and purpose and this is why Western Australia exists.