Sami: “I want to ask God why he lets Zimbabweans be so oppressed”.
Sami: “I want to ask God why he lets Zimbabweans be so oppressed”.
Sao: “Why don’t you?”
Sami: “Because He might ask me the same thing!”
So God’s answer to our Prayers is – US. He expects US to get on with it and solve our own problems – or the problems He Himself as put in front of us to overcome.
The proof that I am right is all around us. We can see this very clearly because this world, a world which was created by God, is largely ruled by evil people – one might even say agents of the Devil. Why? Is it because God wants them to reign supreme? Of course not.
Is it then because they are cleverer than us, more talented than us, tougher than us, more ambitious than us, or get more opportunities or lucky breaks than we do? No. God makes no distinctions at all when He is doling out talents, abilities and opportunities to humankind. He does not take any account of whether we are good or evil, or whether we are followers of His or not.
Why then is it the evil people who get to the top and rule God’s earthly world? For one reason, and one reason only – evil people use the talents, abilities and opportunities God has given them to best advantage, but we Christians do not.
So in a twisted way, it is actually evil people who show real gratitude for the talents, abilities and opportunities God has given them. We Christians don’t. Of course, that’s a daft thing to say because not many evil people believe in a God to be grateful to (although they profess to).
But that doesn’t take away from the fact that the ONLY way to show real appreciation for the gifts we are given is by using them, not sticking them in a drawer. Just as the only real love that matters is the love you show, not the love you profess. Christians are great at professing their love for God, but lousy at showing how much they love Him by actually using the talents, abilities and opportunities He gives them to make His earthly world a better one. That is why I say that it is evil people who (admittedly by default) show the real appreciation for the gifts God has given them, not us Christians.
There is another reason why evil people do so well. In their path to achieving their ambitions, they do not believe there is any Divine Intervention to help them so, as far as they are concerned, their success will be entirely and 100% down to their own efforts. As a result, they pour all their determination and energy into achieving whatever they are aiming for.
Us Christians, however, have a tendency not to put all our determination and energy into accomplishing what we want because we believe or hope – even if only subconsciously – that we can make up the shortfall by praying to God to help us (“God will provide”). And because we have tried less hard, we have less success.
We can see this very clearly in Zimbabwe. Why is Zimbabwe now a ruined nation? Ask any Zimbabwean and they will blame Mugabe. But that is not true. Mugabe and ZANU PF have not been given a Divine Dispensation to act in the way they do. God did not say to Mugabe, “Go and ravage My people, abuse them, torture them, rape them, dispossess them, murder them, consign them to extreme poverty.” What Mugabe and his leaders have done is to use the gifts God gave them to do all that.
No, Mugabe is in power for one reason, and one reason only: the great mass of Zimbabwean citizens allow him to be there. That’s all. When Zimbabweans get together into a critical mass and use the gifts God has given them, instead of kneeling about praying or expecting God to do what He expects THEM to do, Mugabe and ZANU PF could disappear virtually overnight.
Christians who need to train physically for what they do (such as sportspeople, dancers, circus performers or members of the armed forces) don’t make the mistake of expecting God to make up for their lack of effort because it is obvious to anyone and everyone that if you do less physical training then you will be less successful. Everyone knows it is no good asking God to make up for lack of training. And a runner knows it wouldn’t work if they were to sit down 10 metres before the finishing line and pray for Divine Intervention to carry them over it. Yet in all other areas of our lives—at work, in business, in dealing with problems, in making decisions or in getting rid of Mugabe—we Christians routinely stop short of the finishing line and ask God for help:
We pray to God to “Guide my footsteps” or “show me what to do” and then we wait for a sign. No, God expects YOU to make the decisions and find the solutions because He has given YOU the ability to do that.
“Please help me to succeed in this endeavour” (or, as the runner would say, “Please carry me over the winning line!”). No, God expects YOU to do that yourself.
“God will find a way”. No, God expects YOU to find it.
We Christians also give up too easily, then we blame God for it. Whenever we hit an obstacle we don’t like the look of, we say “It’s God’s Will” or “this is a sign from God that this is not His Path for us”. And we think that is a good enough excuse to give up. While an evil person will just carry on regardless, finding an answer to every obstacle until they succeed. We blame God when the real problem is our lack of determination. How many times have I heard Zimbabweans say, “Mugabe is God’s Will”. REALLY?? Do you seriously believe that, when the real reason he is there is because you aren’t doing what you need to do – what God gave you the ability to do – to get rid of him?
Meanwhile, while we are busy praying to God and hanging around waiting for Him to intercede, people like Mugabe and ZANU PF just get on with consolidating their domination over us. Our misunderstanding of what Christianity really means has made us ripe for exploitation, manipulation and abuse.
We Christians have got it wrong and our Christian leaders are TOTALLY to blame for this, because it is their job to teach us how to defeat evil, and to lead the way in doing it. And they are completely failing in that. We use prayer instead of action because that is what they have taught us to do. We don’t use all the talents, abilities and opportunities God has given us because our leaders have taught us not to.
Yet you only have to look around to realise that God is far more interested in action than prayer because it is people of action who rule God’s world. And if it sounds like heresy to a Christian to say action is more important than prayer, it is because they have misunderstood:Action IS the best form of prayer, IS the best way to tap into the talents, abilities and opportunities God has Blessed us with, IS the best way to defeat evil.
By taking action, you are using all the gifts God gave you to achieve what you want, and that is the greatest prayer of all. The mistake is to see action as different to prayer instead of as the highest form of prayer.
God has answered your prayers to get rid of Mugabe, by giving YOU the ability to do it if you so wish to use those abilities.