The dominant wildebeest bull keeps to his defined territory. He finds a high point in this territory, and stands waiting for a herd of cows to enter his territory.  I always feel so sorry for this poor animal standing lofty and alone, waiting and waiting…

A young woman once told me that before she started her own business, she used to wait for money to appear in her bank account.

Lions however have a completely different strategy. When hunger strikes, they start to hunt.  They deliberately walk around looking for possible prey.  They test the wind, they stalk, they ambush, they charge and very often, they fail.  But this does not deter them. To the contrary, they do it again and again, and try even harder.  Hungry lions keep on hunting days on end until they have success.  And then, when they have achieved success, they will bask in the sun with a full belly.

BIG Change is more like a “lion strategy”

BIG Change is a self-help, bottom-up strategy facilitated by the local church, where we rely on the Holy Spirit to give us plans, and make us willing and able to do His will.  And because we want to honour Him and do what He wants, we keep on doing, even if at first we are not successful.  It is His Spirit that urges us on.  It is also a strategy that acknowledges God’s concern for our whole existence including our financial well-being.

The challenges in South Africa should not overwhelm us and make us passive.  We should rather understand that it is actually an ideal situation for a revival of God’s people.

Examples of people, who in faith, chose to be active rather that passive

Joseph, when he interpreted Pharaoh’s dream, ends with an interesting strategy, namely: he ventures to advise Pharaoh on what to do.  According to the culture of that time he was totally out of line.  As a prisoner he had no right to speak without being ordered by Pharaoh to do so, let alone offer advice to the all-knowing ruler of Egypt.  Yet, he took a chance: “Now therefore let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt…” (Genesis 41:33). I am convinced that he hoped and prayed that Pharaoh would see in him, a wise and discerning man.

He had already tried on a previous occasion to get the goodwill of Pharaoh but without apparent success.  He told the chief cup-bearer after he interpreted his dream: “Only remember me, when it is well with you, and please do me the kindness to mention me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this house.” (Genesis 40:14). For two whole years the cup-bearer forgot about Joseph’s plea. 

In Matthew 15 we get a second example: a Canaanite woman whose daughter was severely oppressed by a demon, repeatedly asking Jesus for help.  Jesus however ignored her, until his disciples pleaded with Him to send her way.  I can imagine that the disciples themselves might have tried to get her to stop and when she kept on ignoring them, they turned to Jesus. (They have done something similar when the mothers brought their children to Jesus). Jesus told her that the time has not yet come for Him to help her.  He was there for Israel first, and you cannot take the bread of the children and give it to the dogs.  For many of us this would have been too much of a setback and we would have given up but she did not, and because of that Jesus said to her: “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire…” (Matthew 15:28)

A lion’s strategy implies that even if it seems that Jesus is ignoring us or that we are forgotten, to keep on believing in His unfailing love and omnipotence. To put ourselves in his hands and his hands alone, and to listen to the urging of the Holy Spirit and act accordingly. The Holy Spirit helps us to become co-workers in the coming of God’s Kingdom.  It is He who makes us willing and able to do God’s will (see Philippians 2:13).