On Monday September 3 the National Planning Minister, Trevor Manuel addressed the opening session of the ‘Strategies to Overcome Poverty and Inequality’ conference at the University of Cape Town. In his address he made some interesting statements that I would like to pick up on and use for this week’s discussion.
Minister Manuel’s main theme was that ‘the constitution cannot be blamed for the slow pace of change in South Africa and that government was not solely responsible for the transformation of South Africa’. He further went on to say that “The constitution empowers and enables, but beyond that, actual change requires human actions,”
‘Actual change requires human actions’
‘Actual change requires human actions’ is such a critical point that we as the Body of Christ need to grasp and realise that this is the domain that Jesus has given us the mandate to influence the most. At the foundation of every government constitution, economic policy or governance structure is people. The health of a government, business or any institution is a sum total of the condition of the people within it.
Broken people will build broken marriages, families, businesses, governments, countries…….
It doesn’t matter what political party is in government – it can be the ANC or DA in South Africa, the Democrats or Republicans in the USA or ZANU PF or MDC in Zimbabwe – the truth of the matter is if the political party is composed of broken people it will deliver broken results.
We as the Body of Christ need to stop criticizing the government and instead be obedient to God and pray for government members and become a solution provider to the problems being faced. The Lord challenged me in this area last year because I used to sit on the sidelines and join in the whining, complaining and criticizing. The stinging question God asked me was – “in my word have you ever seen me move when my people murmur and complain; has that strategy ever brought my presence into a situation?” This made me realise that I was actually fuelling the problem and that the murmuring and complaining I was partaking in was only lengthening the time in the wilderness and ‘chasing’ God away from the situation. I had to change my attitude and realise that Jesus has made us (every believer) the channel of healing to the brokenness in our government and a source of heavenly solutions to the problems being faced by nations.
Holy Spirit inspired strategies
Why are we not giving the government Holy Spirit inspired strategies to solve the poverty and inequality problems this country faces? That’s exactly what Daniel and Joseph did in their time. Despite going through the most gruesome personal challenges in their own lives, they brought heavenly solutions to the troubles in the countries that God had placed them in and ultimately turned around unbelieving kings to elevate them to positions of authority and to know God. (Genesis 41:37-40 – Joseph’s suggestions were well received by Pharaoh and his officials. So Pharaoh asked his officials, “Can we find anyone else like this man so obviously filled with the spirit of God?” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has revealed the meaning of the dreams to you, clearly no one else is as intelligent or wise as you are. You will be in charge of my court, and all my people will take orders from you. Only I, sitting on my throne, will have a rank higher than yours”). (Daniel 2:47 – The king said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is the greatest of gods, the Lord over kings, a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this secret.” May the Joseph’s and Daniel’s in this nation rise up because God will give them the solutions to poverty and inequality!
Jesus’ first words in the temple
I truly believe that Jesus’ first statement when He entered into the temple at the start of His ministry pointed to economic transformation. Jesus himself says “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favour has come.” (Luke 4:18).
The economic transformation blueprint for this country is in God’s hands and we need to ask Him for it so that we can boldly take it to those in natural authority over this nation because that is how they will see the glory of God. I pray that we will be the generation that will deliver economic growth and nation building strategies to our government so that through that they will see the God behind the wisdom.