Monday, October 27, 2014

ZAMBIA IN 2064- I DARE TO DREAM


Five decades ago our fathers finally gained the independence they had bravely and boldly fought for. They had shed blood, sweat and tears in order that we may be free in our own land. Their desire was to free Zambia; free from the oppression of the colonial master, free from the racial oppression of the white man, free from the political, social and economic enslavement from the British rulers, for this they were willing to face imprisonment and even face death! Oh how they sacrificed, we indeed can only imagine what these brave men and women gave so that we can celebrate our golden jubilee. When we think of Lawrence Katilungu, Donald Siwale, Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula, Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe and Kenneth Kaunda and time and space will fail me if I was mention mama Kankasa and many gallant men and women who gave so much so that we can on 24th October 2014 hold our heads high and confidently sing:
“Stand and sing of Zambia proud and free, land of work and joy in unity, victors in the struggle for the right, we have won freedom’s fight all one strong and free.”

So we are 50 years old today, we praise the work done by our fathers, but we cannot live in the past, we look back in order that we may move forward. Our fathers gave us peace, dignity and freedom. They are the reason we are able to sing:
“One land and one nation is our cry, dignity and peace neath Zambia’s sky, like our noble eagle in its flight, Zambia praise to thee, all one strong and free”

Are we where we ought to be? Is this what our fathers dreamt of? If we got into their minds and tapped into their dream and vision for mother Zambia, would they be proud of us? Would they rejoice with us? Would they be proud to be Zambians?  Have we made the necessary progress for a nation 50 years old? If anything, birthdays are times of reflection and if we were to be honest we are a nation with so much potential and at 50 years we should be realizing that potential.  
We have enjoyed a peaceful 50 years, that is a great achievement for an African country, we are indeed a beacon of light to other countries. We have also managed to live in harmony despite the over 70 tribes in our country. One Zambia one nation is a motto that perfectly describes our beautiful country.

This country is blessed with abundant natural resources yet it is common knowledge that we are actually quite poor and many people live in poverty. We have the potential of being a bread basket for Sub Saharan Africa yet  we have hunger issues, we have the potential to supply power to the region yet millions do not have power supply, we have plenty of rivers yet many in our nation do not have access to clean and safe water, unemployment levels are immense, illiteracy levels are equally shocking, service delivery leaves a lot to be desired, and political parties are still insulting each other, and hacking each other with pangas, campaigns are not issue based and sometimes characterized by violence. Furthermore our politicians still jump from one party to another despite the obvious ideological differences. No wonder corruption is still on the rampage while infrastructure such as roads, street lighting, housing, bridges, hospitals, clinics, schools, town planning, public offices are a light years behind compared to our neighbors.

These are real issues in our country and yes there is light at the end of the tunnel, we can never lose hope. But we have to accept that things are indeed not as they should be. This is not about politics, neither is this about pointing fingers and political affiliations. This is about developing our country. My dream is that politicians from all walks of life and regardless of their affiliations should at least admit we need to improve and develop.  That means that every citizen in this beloved country gives their all. I look forward to a time when our leaders will sit at the same table and argue out their differences with respect and dignity; I look forward to a time when this country will be the bread basket of the region, when our dependence on copper will be no more. I look forward to a time when our infrastructure will be state of the art and next to none. I indeed dream of hospitals and clinics that are stocked with proper machinery, enough and qualified personal and well stocked with medicines such that we won’t need to transport people outside the country for medical attention. I dream of schools that will educate pupils and students with academic and character excellence, schools with qualified teachers, universities and colleges that will produce proper citizens for mother Zambia.

I look forward to a Zambia where the civil servants will be qualified, professional and highly motivated to work. Where the judiciary will be just and independent from the executive, a Zambia where the government and political leaders will be men and women of integrity and accountable to the people, a Zambia where every district, town and village will be lite with power, a Zambia where every house and building is supplied with clean and safe water.

A Zambia where every individual will be God fearing not because we superficially call ourselves a “Christian nation” but because everyone has humbled themselves and surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Can you imagine what a sight that would be where every individual strives to honor and obey God almighty, a nation where everyone loves the Lord with all their might, while at the same time loving their neighbor as themselves?

Some may say I am delusional, others may call this wishful thinking but I dare to dream, I dare to be different. I am not na├»ve and I know this will not and cannot happen overnight but will take long years, a lot of sacrifice and hard work. It may never happen in my lifetime but for the sake of the future generation I dare to dream and dare to be different, i will do my part but making an impact with my abilities and resources. "Blossom where you are planted" someone has said. So fifty years from now when we clock a century I pray and hope and dream that mother Zambia will not be considered a third world country but a candidate for the G8 and yes even for the United Nations Security Council.  In the meantime I can only echo the chorus of our great national anthem which says:
“Praise be to God… Praise be praise be, freemen we stand, under the flag of our land, Zambia- praise to thee, all one strong and free.”


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

GENERATIONAL CURSES


Generational curses are so huge today such that every problem, struggle or sin is blamed on your ancestors in the past generations. Hence the belief that you will behave like the person you are named after, or that certain problems or sins run in the family are quite prevalent. People fear to be cursed! Walitipwa they would say. We are so steeped into superstition as Zambians so much so that, such a teaching finds fertile soil to breed in.

What is a generational curse?
Those who are “experts” in generational curses define it as “a defilement that was passed down from one generation to another” another one says “a generational sin or curse is the natural consequence of ingrained behavioral patterns passed down from one generation to another” In other words those under generational curses are born destined to commit certain sins because there are demons that are passed on from their ancestors.

Now it is true that they are biological conditions which are hereditary and will run in the family, but it is not the same as generational curses, from what is taught generational curses have to do with behavior and the state of one’s life. And because people are bound or under a spell that runs in the family, there is need for DELIVERANCE! The chains need to be broke, hence the rise of deliverance services among our charismatic brethren, as they summon on higher powers to break the chains that were cast by ancestral spirits in the past.

This teaching has become popular because people do not want to take responsibility for their sins, but would rather blame others. After all popular psychological theories teach us that we are not blame for our actions or behavior, it is the environment or family we were born in. Furthermore the idea of a quick sensational solution is quite appealing to our quick fix mindset.

Passages that deal with generational curses
Exodus 20:5-6  You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments
Exodus 34:6-7 The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation."
Numbers 14:17-18 And now, please let the power of the Lord be great as you have promised, saying, 'The LORD is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation' And Deuteronomy 5:9- 10 which is a repeat of Exodus 20. What do we learn from what the verses say?

The first thing that jumps out is that a generational curse is God’s judgment on those who reject him and do not obey him. He is a jealous God who visits the iniquity of fathers to the fourth generation. It is therefore the consequences of sin that will affect the descendants and not that they will also continue with the same actions. I.E. the people who were taken into captivity were facing the consequences of their forefathers.

The second is that the Lord is merciful and slow to anger that he blesses to a thousand generation! Whereas he visits sin to a fourth generation his mercy is to a thousand generation. The point of the passages is to actually teach God grace and mercy.
There is nowhere in the bible were it says the devil or demons put curses on people that bind their descendants for generations to come. In fact the devil only does what the Lord allows him to do. (Job and Peter are a case in point)

Furthermore if a generational curse is God’s judgment on people, who has power to undo what the Lord, has done? If the Lord places a curse or judgment on an individual, which man of God can honestly rescue such a one from the hands of the all-powerful God?

What are the problems with this teaching?
It attacks the power and sufficiency of Christ’s work and death on the cross. Christ paid for all our sins; we therefore do not need any deliverance from some fellow sinner. Surely what can be more powerful than the work of God’s son? (Hebrews 10)

This teaching causes people not to take responsibility of their sins. If someone is immoral, the blame is placed on the late uncle who was equally immoral. People sin because they are sinners, who need the grace of God to cleanse them of their sins. (Rom 3:9-13)
As Christians there is no curse, no spell that will require us to run to another man for deliverance. The bible tells us that greater is he that is within us than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)


Friday, October 10, 2014

3 THINGS THAT WILL NEVER SATISFY YOU


No matter who you are, where you live and what you do, there is one constant among men; the pursuit of satisfaction! We all want to be satisfied in life, from the person who kills another, to the one who takes his own life. The ultimate reason we do what we do is because we want to be satisfied. The difference lies in where and how we try to fill this craving for satisfaction, some pursue it in church, others in mosques, yet others in night clubs, most in money, some in relationships and a majority in material wealth. Sadly despite the daily pursuit of satisfaction a lot of people are not satisfied, they are still empty inside and their life is one sad journey of chasing after the wind.

The bible gives us an excellent case study of a person who pursued satisfaction in every avenue that he possibly could and still come up short. This man is called Solomon king of Israel. The amount of gold he received annually is worth anything from 1.5 to 2 billion dollars and the man ruled for 40 years! If Solomon lived in our day he could easily be among the top two richest people. The richest at the moment is worth 83 billion dollars. With all the wealth at his disposal, Solomon vainly pursued satisfaction in 3 ways;

GRATIFYING HIS PLEASURES- Ecclesiastes 2:1-3
The man tried his best to fulfill any kind of pleasure that his body longed for. He indulged his sexual desires by marrying 700 wives and had 300 concubines. He tells us that he tried to cheer himself with wine and all kinds of entertainment but to no avail. Today we have all forms of entertainments movies, series, comedies, sports; some go for parties and clubbing where they expect everyone to be laughing, drink alcohol to drown their sorrows, etc. Yet we can never have enough, we always want more.

ENGAGED IN PROJECT- Ecclesiastes 2: 4-8
The second source of satisfaction he went to were projects. And he goes into great detail about what those projects involved – building houses, planting vineyards, gardens, parks and all kinds of fruit trees, making reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees, buying slaves, owning herds and flocks, amassing silver and gold, acquiring men and women singers, having “. In the light of these projects, he became greater by far than anyone who ever lived in Jerusalem before him. And he clearly was successful at his projects, but they still did not quench his pursuit of satisfaction.

THE POWER OF POSITION- Ecclesiastes 2:9-11
Solomon sought greatness and he found it. He became the greatest and most powerful person of his day; you could say he was a modern day celebrity. And as a might king had the power to get anything he wanted.  He tells us that he denied himself nothing that his eyes desired. He refused his heart no pleasure. He made sure he found joy in everything he did. So, to the outside world, his smile was a cause of no small envy. Yet, he admits that when he stood aside for some quiet meditation, it is striving after the wind. His still craved for lasting satisfaction, for the void was still there.


Is this not what has often shocked the world with our Hollywood film stars? One moment, they are smiling at us from the covers of glossy magazines, but in the next they commit suicide. What happened to those smiles we envied? The truth is God has put a void in every human soul that he alone can fill. Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in God.  Many try to fill that void with the world’s pleasures and find them to be broken cisterns. Are you still on that path? Do not waste your life. True lasting satisfaction is only found in God!

Friday, October 3, 2014

DO NOT LIMIT GOD- MY TESTIMONY


In my walk with the Lord I have noticed a cycle that I never seem to learn from and God never tires teaching me (He is indeed patient and loving father). I often turn to think that when a situation is hard for me or too difficult to deal with, then it must be hard for the Lord as well and amazingly the Lord rebukes me each and every time in ways I never forget. Now you might be thinking such a truth is an obvious one and should be straight forward for any mature Christian, but like most teachings in the bible, it is easier to confess a truth then to actually live it out in ourselves.

Recently I had the opportunity to work with the brethren in Francistown Central Baptist in Botswana. This was my second time going to that country and from my first experience I was highly persuaded that that country is HARD GROUND (whatever the term means). I however wondered on this visit what exactly we mean by “hard ground”? Do mean people are not interested in God or the gospel? Well which lost soul is interested in God or the gospel? The bible in fact says no one seeks after God, they have all gone astray (Rom 3:9-13), so we honestly do not expect dead people to love spiritual things do we? Maybe we say hard ground to suggest they persecute Christians and those who preach the gospel, which cannot be far from the truth, anyone who has been there will bear me witness. Do we say hard ground to mean it’s an Islamic nation and the powers that be are anti-Christianity? Statistics actually 70% of the country’s population is “Christian” (a in a very lose and general meaning of the word). If we however say they are not as religious as Zambia then we are correct, but yet again which country is as religious as our beloved Zambia? And whether or not that has been a blessing or curse is a topic for another discussion.

If anything the real issue in that country is that they have very few conservative evangelical churches that preach the true gospel. The traditional churches with their works salvation are well established, the charismatic churches with their hell condemning prosperity gospel are rampant and so are the cults. And God rebuked me for my shallow and unbiblical thinking. Whereas I was right to admit that I am small and unable, it was nothing short of blasphemy to think that the God who raised an army from dead, decaying, dry bones (Eze 37) is not able to quicken those who clearly seeking to make sense of life and looking for answers to life’s ultimate questions. It is insulting to the Lord of harvest to suggest that there is no hope for a people that Christ died for. It is a clear luck of faith to suggest that the gospel cannot penetrate where the hope sucking work’s salvation of the traditional churches is making headway and the frustratingly depressing prosperity gospel is equally drawing many.

As I sat meditating on the glorious and encouraging fact that nothing is impossible with God, the Lord also brought to memory the many times I have lost hope and made conclusions about people and God’s work and dwelt on the fact that it is difficult or impossible. Then I realized the importance of Christ’s last phrase in the great commission; lo I am with you always (Matt 28:18-20). The miracle working God is with us whenever we labor for His cause. It is no wonder that our labor is never in vain (1 Cor 15:58).


It is no wonder Daniel proclaimed that a people that know their God will be strong and do great exploits (Dan 11:32) and in more recent history William Carey the “father of missions” charged; “Expect great things from God, attempt great thing for God”. What we know of God must propel us to” labor for the master from morn till setting sun and talk of his wondrous love and care”.