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
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
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
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?
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...