HOW TO TRANSFORM A NATION.
Zambia is a land of great potential, but also great need. Great need of transformation. But where to start and how to do it is the question.
Some start this discussion by examining the worst problems of Africa. We all know them – the list is indeed impressive. We won’t bore you with reciting it.
But how would God go about addressing this topic? I suspect He would go about it the way Jesus started – “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” Or the way he sent out his disciples – “Go, preach the Kingdom of God, heal the sick, cast out demons…”
God’s approach to addressing the transformation of society is His passionate vision and pro-vision for that reformation – the Kingdom of God. When he looked at the ills of His world He prayed to the Father, “May your Kingdom come, and your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” God’s faith in the infectious power of the Kingdom to pervade and wash the darkest den of iniquity is so strong that He can hardly mention the obstacles.
The Kingdom of God is nothing less than a whole new social order – where harmony replaces vicious self-centeredness; where equity and justice abolish the abandonment of widows and orphans; where hope and initiative stamp out the passive spirit of poverty; where true hunger for God replaces the plastic veneer of religious observance.
I am longing for the day when the villages of Zambia are havens of the Kingdom. I have seen brief glimpses of this – in a village school run by dedicated missionaries; in a village worker who has moved there just to incarnate among his people; when Eliza asked us to pray for her to be delivered from alcohol when all the dancing and praising in her religiosity could not deliver. This is what I want to give my life for.
Jesus says, (Mk 4:10-32, my paraphrase) “The secret of the Kingdom of God is given to you. It is amazing – trust it, watch it happen, experience it’s power. You can sow my Words – don’t worry that all don’t transform – some will (v13-20). Don’t worry that it seems like only a few insignificant ones are catching it – once it takes root in the soil of a village it will have vast influence(v30-32). Just spread the Word liberally and powerfully, and you will find grace growing in yourself for even greater influence (v21-25).
So our mandate is not to rectify the problems, but to introduce Kingdom Life and Kingdom Living. When people have the values and passions of the King imprinted on their own hearts we will see reformation of the social order.
Next week we will talk about our method …