i write a weekly thort for the week aimed at challenging Christ followers to actively live out what they believe – longer than my normal blog posts but i think this is important reading, living.

Dear friends

This week’s thort is specifically aimed at people living in South Africa but feel free to relate it to your specific context – i just feel after this week that God is calling up people who will speak prophetically to the church in this land and this is what has been laid on my heart.

There is a story in Numbers 13 where Moses sends 12 men to explore the land of Canaan – which God had promised He was giving to the Israelites – to spy out the land. They go out and take a look around for forty days, find an amazing stash of super fruit [‘they cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes. Two of them carried it on a pole between them along with some pomegranates and figs’] and go back to make a report to Moses:

“We went into the land which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey. But the people there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.” [Numbers 13.27-29]

And it carries on, ‘Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”

But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” [13.30-33]

Then in chapter 14 the people continue to grumble and complain about how they should rather go back to Egypt (slash the UK)

‘Then Moses and Aaron fell facedown in front of the whole Israelite assembly gathered there. Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, He will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”

But the whole assembly talked about stoning them.’ [Numbers 14.5-10a]

And the rest is history. Forty years of wandering around in the desert history and Joshua and Caleb are the only two out of all the Israelites who make it into the promised land because of the punishment for their disobedience and lack of trust in God.

I am not saying that South Africa is the promised land (as much as those who live in Cape Town love to profess that it is.)

Our land doesn’t flow with milk and honey which is fine cos i am not the hugest honey fan – but we do have minerals and more importantly incredible people resources and potential – rich culture and skill and ability to survive and adapt and thrive in the most difficult of situations.

What i am going to say – and what i believe to be of God – is get up or get out. A lot of people have chosen to leave South Africa for whatever reasons, some of which may be valid, some not, but this is not addressed or aimed at them (except when it comes to applying this wherever you have moved to). What i am saying strongly to you today, what i am exhorting you to, is to choose life. If you have chosen to stay in South Africa (and it really will take an act or a strong calling of God for me to do otherwise – although i am not sure what or where next year holds so it may just be) then stop whining, stop complaining, stop pointing fingers at the government (corrupt as they may be, and a lot of them are), get over your opinions of Jacob Zuma or Julius Malema, and get positive. Be the change you want to see. Get on your knees once a day (or a 100 times) and start praying for the government, start praying for the overcoming of the giants in our land (giants of Aids and Poverty and Crime and Racism and so on…) start praying for the church to be more united and to be really known for the love they have for one another;  pray for the police and those involved in education and medicine.

And get involved. Go through your cupboards and take out all the clothes and shoes you have not worn for the last year and take it to a church or shelter or somewhere where they will pass it on to someone in need, or better yet, find someone in need and give it to them. Go and join Habitat for Humanity for a week and build a house for someone. Challenge your church leaders on how your church is involved in social justice and find a cause to support or be informed about (human trafficking on the eve of the Soccer World Cup for example). Get involved in a Soccer World Cup Outreach so you can take advantage of all the natural excitement and enthusiasm there is in that regard and there are many organisations doing many things you can get involved in. And so on – get creative – ask God to show you where and how and how much you can get involved.

Just stop whining and complaining and being pessimistic PLEASE… or please just go. You’re bringing the country down and we really don’t need that. If you’re not being part of the solution then you are part of the problem and THE CHURCH IS THE SOLUTION FOR THIS COUNTRY. Well rather God is the solution for this country but He operates largely through the body of Christ which is us. [if you are outside South Africa then get involved in whatever context you are in but by all means PRAY FOR US – we are on the edge of something that, unless God’s people take a stand and raise a collective voice and get involved – could end up looking very much like Zimbabwe]

I am not speaking in fear at all. I am speaking in hope. I love this country. And i definitely believe the God i serve is able to do immeasurably more than all i can hope or imagine (Ephesians 3.20). And i hope and imagine a LOT for this country.

‘the thief comes to steal and kill and destroy [look around] but I [Jesus] have come that you may have life, and live it to the full.’ [John 10.10]

That is the call for us as South Africans.

That is the call for us as the church of South Africa.

Do away with negative speech, have your mind transformed by the possibilities of what God can do when the church in South Africa unite and stand together for positive change.

This country can be transformed one more time.

Do you believe that?

Even if you’re struggling to believe but you want to believe that, that’s something. Give it to God, He’ll grow it.

Mother Teresa once said ‘we can do no great things, but we can do small things with great love’ and Love is going to be the key to turning this country on its head (in a good way)

“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.”  [2 Chronicles 7.14]

If you’re in, be in. Otherwise, please, just go.

God bless you

Love brett anderson