Our dear friend and Lifechangers’ board member Pieter Van Niekerk from South Africa shares some thoughts with us this month.
All of us understand that the world we are faced with today, is not the one we used to know. No degree of nostalgia, outrage or wishful thinking can bring it back. For some, this process of relentless change represents undeniable evidence of impending doom. For others, it is a welcome sign of progress, a relief from the pretentious paradigm of religion and “herd mentality” that has made Christianity the laughing stock of late-night talk show hosts. In this bewildering sea of voices, a legitimate question may be asked “What does a Kingdom response to a hurting world look like?” Perhaps, if mixed with a little humor, these ideas may serve you in the days to come.
Number one: Stop Screaming. I heard this one from an air steward during a “slightly alternative” emergency drill. She said, and I paraphrase: “In the unlikely event of an emergency, stop screaming, pull down the oxygen mask, actually put it on, breathe normally, or hold your breath if you want, but before you faint, help the person next to you.” As citizens of an eternal, unshakable Kingdom, the first thing we should bring into the room, into the discussion, into every business meeting, into our marriage, and into every other relationship is a sense of self-control, calm, and confidence. Nothing causes more confusion among unbelievers than to watch Christians who profess to have set aside “every encumbrance”, run around with their hair on fire from one perceived crisis to the next.
Number two: Change your diet, exercise regularly, and get some rest. Christianity is “a way”: a life-long journey and not a quick fix. It never promised immediate gratification but purpose, direction, discipline, and the spirit of an overcomer. If you hope to complete this journey without fainting, feed yourself on that which edifies; govern your appetites; work hard at the life-purpose God has put before you. Take time to simply sit quietly at rest in the presence of the Almighty without quoting scriptures, talking, complaining, or claiming. Intentionally enter into His rest.
Number three: Produce something worth leaving behind. Generational impact is inescapable. The question is not if you will leave something behind but if that which you do leave behind, will cause others to hunger and thirst for more of Christ. Everything God requires from you, God has already given to you in Christ. When you lose yourself into Him He will not only finish what He started in you, He will cause you to produce more than you consume. One way of doing this is to set aside (even if only for a moment) those grand visions of “God told me to build the next 20 thousand seater tabernacle.” Try this one instead: find someone to mentor; pray for them; love them; encourage them to watch you fail and rise up again; walk with them; comfort their hearts.
Grateful to make this Kingdom journey with you,
Pieter van Niekerk