For around a month I’ve deeply yearned to write to you, but I was speechless…..
My last message was about joining the army of God as a prayer warrior (instead of a worrier) while our country was raging in turmoil. A lot has happened since –the most positive was attending Dreamweek 2019, hosted by CRC (the Christian Revival Church) in 2 cities (±14,000 in attendance) that brought unbelievably gifted and anointed pastors from all over the world. And another was joining a fabulous Facebook initiative “I’m Staying” – whose members grow daily and provide a refreshing and touching alternative voice to the South African rhetoric.
After finally finding my voice again my heart is overflowing with what I believe God has inspired me to say, so please forgive me if I take up some time. I agree with the sentiments of the “I’m Staying”- supporters: South Africa is still the place to be, when you filter out the “wilderness-elements” it is certainly the land overflowing with milk and honey, beauty and resources – the “Promised Land”.
It’s true we have been wandering (and struggling) in the wilderness now for many years, regardless of ethnicity – lovers of this country aren’t limited to skin color. Metaphorically we have traveled a pilgrimage similar to the Israelites, out of Egypt (slavery – Apartheid?); through the wilderness – free from Apartheid but still enslaved (in our case to fear, violence and corruption); longing for the Promised Land. In a spiritual sense Egypt represents our days before salvation where we lived in bondage to sin; Then came our deliverer Jesus Christ who liberated us and offered us a brand new life in Canaan where you live in the fullness of Christ and His promises, a life on fire for God & His purpose. (Canaan does not represent heaven – Joshua and his men still stumbled and fought wars in Canaan). God invites us to live in Canaan. There is only one condition, we must turn our backs on the wilderness. Just as Canaan represents the victorious Christian life, the wilderness represents the defeated Christian life (the Israelites were barred from entering the Promised Land because of their constant murmuring and lack of faith – despite a constant array of miracles and provision)
The REVEAL Research Project went on a search for Joshuas in 2007 surveying members of more than a thousand churches to determine the percentage of churchgoers who are actually propelled by their faith to love God & love others with their whole hearts. How many Christians would describe their days as Glory Days (as opposed to feeling disengaged, discouraged and lacking spiritual growth)?
The answer: Eleven Percent!!!! Nearly 9 out of 10 believers, in other words, waste away in the wilderness. Saved? Yes. Empowered? No.
11%! If a high school only graduated 11% of its students, if a hospital healed only 11% of its patients, wouldn’t changes be made?
The church has a serious deficiency!
We also have a wonderful opportunity! About 2,2 billion people on earth call themselves Christians. That’s ± ⅓ of the world’s population. If the survey is any indication then ± 2 billion of those Christians are sluggish, leading to weak churches and ministries. What if revival hit and 2 billion people came out of the wilderness, on fire for Christ – how would that change the world? How many marriages would be saved, wars prevented, orphanages built? How much hunger would be eliminated? If every Cristian began to live the Promised Land Life – how would the world be different?
If YOU began to live the Promised Land life, how would you be different? Do you sense a disconnect between the promises of the Bible and the reality of your life? Jesus offers abundant joy, yet you live with oppressive grief. The Epistles speak of grace. You shoulder such guilt. We are “more than conquerors” – yet are commonly conquered by temptations, fear, weaknesses, habitual sin.
Think of the Christian you want to be? What qualities do you want to have? More compassion, conviction, courage, generosity? What attitudes do you want to discontinue? Greed, endless negativity, critical spirit, racism, judgementalism, negativity, corruption, dishonesty?
Caught in wilderness living. Here’s the good news: with God’s help you can close the gap between the person you are and the person you want to be – indeed the person God made you to be. You can live from “glory to glory” (2 Cor 3:18)
If the study is to be believed, the multitude o Christians in or country are living in the wilderness – just imagine what a mighty move of God can do in South Africa!
This is God’s vision for South Africa – to take us from the wilderness by the leadership of (formerly defeated) Christians who have now switched to living on fire for Christ, you as you were intended. You as victor over the Jericho’s and giants.
You and your Promised Land life in South Africa – we can make the change, if the masses of Spirit-filled Christians stand together we can bring Bibles back into our schools, we can bring God back into Parliament, we can inspire a new generation
Expect to be challenged. The Promised land is first and foremost a spiritual reality before it’s a physical territory. It’s less about real estate than about a real state of the heart and the mind. The enemy won’t go down without a fight. But expect great progress. Life is different on the other side of the Jordan river. Breakthroughs outnumber breakdowns and victory can with time become a way of life.
Is revival possible? It starts with ME and MY answer to the question if I’ve had enough of wilderness living? God’s Promised Land awaits. According to the 2001 Census held in South Africa 79,8% of the population identified as members of a Christian denomination. God is giving His people the (spiritual) Promised Land – He is calling us to a NEW vibrant life in Christ where His promises are OURS and He’s calling us to LET GOD ARISE in South Africa (in our family, business, school, university, church) – it starts with YOU – and just imagine, if everyone takes that attitude, and not wait for someone else to do it, but take that first step into the Jordan river, lay down the wilderness living and LET GOD ARISE in you individually – just imagine what we can achieve in terms of achieving peace, ending injustice, corruption, harnessing wisdom and collaboration.
“God’s power is very great for us who believe. That power is the same as the great strength God used to raise Christ from the dead” (Eph 1:19-20 NCV) – is that power operating in you?
The same steely, burly force that raised Christ from the dead will turn every “I can’t” into “I can”. “I can do all things through Christ, because He gives me strength” (Phil 4:13 NCV)
A new day awaits you my friend. A new season of accomplishment, discovery and strength – new reasons why “I’m Staying”. Leave every “I can’t” behind you. Set your “God can” ahead of you. Get ready to cross the Jordan and let God arise in South Africa To be continued…….