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Transforming our World
Brett Anderson ©2005

This week on Wednesday our church watched a documentary video called Transformations: Fiji - actually I think the video has a different title that has the word 'tide' in it but it was the Transformations video filmed on and about Fiji.

Do yourself a favour - I don't think there are many copies in South Africa yet, but apparently they are on the way, but if you can get hold of a copy of this video and watch it, it could change your life. I actually own the first two Transformation videos that came out and both of them are also very inspiring depictions of a God who is still alive and working big time in the world today.

In the shell of a nut, it is the before, during and after picture of a series of revival incidents that take place in various areas across the Fiji islands. In fact, the last island mentioned is the island of Vanuatu which will have relevance to those South African viewers still caught up in the last few weeks of the latest Survivor series to be shown here.

Politically, agriculturally, denominationally, crime-relatedly and above all spiritually, this video shows how a whole country is affected by people confessing their sins and turning to God and crying out to Him in prayer.

I will just give you one example. There is this one river running through the one village that 4 decades ago (that's like 40 years to the untrained mathematician) was poisoned by witchcraft and totally unusable. The water became poisonous and those who drank from it started suffering from brain lesions, the fish all died and plants could not be planted alongside the river bank. It just became a symbol of the deadness that spiritually gripped that village. For forty years the water can not be used.

The village gets to a point where they realise their need for God and start confessing their sins and repenting to God and they burn a whole bunch of their idol worship stuff and totally submit to God... and overnight the water clears up, the fish start returning, the people start planting closer to the river. Overnight! You see and hear the testimony of this huge Fijian guy who simply cannot believe it.

There is another lake where the people used to collect these clam type things and this Fijian lady explains that if you collect a few clams from the lake, then you had to wait a few months before you can collect some clams again. After this miracle happened, the people were collecting buckets of these clams every single day, the fish returned in thousands and the place agriculturally started showing the healing and restoration that was happening in the people spiritually because they had returned to God.

WHAT ABOUT US?

I watched the video twice cos I had to watch it in the morning to check that it was cool and find a place to stop it half way through for those who had to leave early (cos it's about 79 minutes long!) and the first time I watched it I had the thort of 'What about South Africa, God?'

At various times in the last few years I've heard that we are the murder capital of the world, the rape capital of the world, the violent crime capital of the world, the homosexual capital of the world and Aids is running rampant as well. it's not like Fiji has a greater need than us, surely?

And yet instantly, that thort left me. Because I personally can never recall having seen South Africa or Cape Town or even Stellenbosch come close to the kind of confession and repentance and prayer that I saw in that Fiji video. There are definitely individuals and maybe groups that do that kind of thing. But I have never observed it as an area or even a local church having such commitment and desperation for God to do something, that would maybe bring about that kind of action or reaction from God.

Every now the church at large maybe finds a cause like this coming Transformations Global Day of Prayer and gets behind it and joins in and prays for an afternoon and then thinks, 'Okay we've done it God, where is the action?' as if that is the end of it. Yet something like Transformations Global Day of Prayer (May 15 by the way if you weren't aware) should be the start - it should be a wake up call and a realisation that unless we call out to God to come and turn things around in our country, then we are going to continue to be the biggest and best of the worst things in the world.

HOW STUPID AM I?

On the one hand, we are aware of the problem. We know that murder and crime and rape and lack of education and unacceptible treatment of woman and children and sexual immorality and AIDS and so on are prevalent in this country. We are aware of the sickness.

On the other hand, I think it is pretty clear in God's word as to what the cure is:

"The Lord appeared to him (Solomon) at night and said: "I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices. When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among My people, 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 WILL I HEAR FROM HEAVEN AND WILL FORGIVE THEIR SIN AND WILL HEAL THEIR LAND. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place." [2 Chronicles 7:12-15]

Now, could it be significant by any possible means, that the two recent things that have hit this part of town at least (altho wider in the country I know) are a shutting up of the heavens (in terms of lack of rain, empty dams, water restrictions...) and a plague of locusts (in the form of crickets which have been more prevalent here than I have ever seen in my life) and in terms of a plague, I think we are all becoming aware of the damage that AIDS is doing and the legacy that it is going to leave in terms of devastation of the country's people resources, and huge amount of orphans.

So, on the one hand we have the sickness...

On the other hand, we have the cure...

I stated on Wednesday and I state it again here, that I think it would take a stupid person to have the sickness and the cure in his hands, and not put the two together.

So, the question remains, how stupid are you?

CONCLUSIONARY REMARKS

So how do we get this done? I really don't know. I don't think I have the power to make a single other person pray. I can encourage and challenge and shout and advise and so on, but I have no power over a single other person. So I guess I mujst start with the one person I have an iota of power over. And that's me. And maybe if I look around then I will find two or three like me who have the same passion and hunger and desire to see God really break in and transform the place we stay in. And then maybe we can start praying together. Maybe more will show up, who knows. But I can start where I can start.

Ephesians 6:10-20 - the armour of God - what does it say? Put on the full armour of God so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand...and then what? Once you have the full armour on it goes on to say, "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."

"Your will to be done on earth, as it is in heaven."

Jesus, I pray that you will mobilise your church and bring us to our knees. Break our pride and selfishness and let us truly humble ourselves before you and call out to You to come and change our hearts, our city and our land. Bring revival Lord, in Jesus name we ask that. Amen.

Once off is not enuff...