…….in the vision, I heard the voice of the Lord saying: “I want you to build me a Temple”
The testimony of a sinner that was saved by His Grace and Love!
I would like to give a short description of my life and to especially focus on the times that I heard the voice of the Lord.
I was born in Phalaborwa and was raised in a house where hand-me-down clothing wasn’t something to be ashamed of and what we might have shorted in money was made up for in love. I grew up in the Reformed church and we were regular church goers. For as long as I can remember I have had an utmost adoration for God’s creation, and have always been blessed to spend a lot of time in nature.
At the age of sixteen, a friend invited me to attend a church service at his church on a Sunday evening. I can’t remember the name of the church, but when the pastor walked on to the stage and screamed from the top of his lungs “Do you feel free?” I realised that there was something seriously wrong with this church! To make matters worse the whole congregation replied from the top of their lungs “YES!” The pastor then hit the ball out of the park when he replied, “Well then, stand on your chair and fly like an eagle!” Sure enough, the whole congregation started mounting their chairs and flying like eagles! I realised that this wasn’t the reformed church and felt the urge to get out of there build up in my body! My friend got hold of my collar from the chair that he was standing on, as I was on my way out. I made it very clear to him that I will not be taking part in any mockery of God’s church. I still don’t know how he convinced me to get back inside the church, but once inside I saw that it was still not the end of it. Everybody is talking simultaneously and I can’t make out a word that the pastor is saying! ‘Just listen to the pastor’, my friend said, having sensed my uneasiness.
Suddenly a peaceful, calmness came over me, and I heard this voice that was talking to me only and all the other noises disappeared. “Do you confess that you are a sinner? Do you confess that you can’t be saved by yourself or any works of yourself? Do you confess that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God? Do you confess that Jesus died for your sins on the cross, that He was raised from the dead, and that He now gives eternal life to whoever believes in Him? I have listened to these words for so many years, but heard them that day for the first time! I realised that I wanted to choose Jesus, but have never done it! The pastor made an altar call, and I stood up in front of all those people and declared that I have chosen Jesus Christ as my saviour! It was only after the third time that I heard that same voice, that I realised that this was God speaking to me!
I realise today that I chose Jesus with my whole heart and all the right intentions that day, but that a lack of knowledge would steal the following 15 years of my life! I walked out of that church that evening with a new heart, straight into my old sinful life. It was as if the devil was cross at losing me and he intended to get my life as rotten as he could possibly get it.
My wife and I met at a party in 1994. I think one should actually call it a drunkenness. This starts 9 years of moving in together without getting married, to a shotgun wedding, addiction, rehabilitation centres, suicide attempts, priests, doctors, psychologist, psychiatrist; ending at the lawyers, but nothing wants to work!
One Monday morning in 1998 my wife, (we were not married then), stopped at my office. I was busy writing my resignation letter. We decided the relationship was not going to work, but that we would go our separate ways peacefully. She applied to be an Aupair in England and would be flying off to Europe on Wednesday. We actually had her farewell function over the weekend. We decided that I will drop her at the airport and that if we were to get together again it would mean that we were destined to be together. I got a piece of irrigation land in Botswana and was going to do what I wanted to do all along: I was going to farm.
We have been living together for 4 years so the moment I saw my wife’s face I knew that something was seriously wrong! She was a few weeks pregnant, the words shattered the silence and broke my heart. (I have always wanted to be a father, but not like this!) I needn’t worry she continued, there was something wrong with the baby and needed to be removed immediately! In one instant my whole world was falling apart, and in the middle of this rollercoaster ride, it happened. Suddenly a calm, peacefulness came over me and then I heard THAT voice: “She will be fine, but you will have to fight for her!” After two second opinions, I had to sign a form taking full responsibility for my wife's life, because according to the doctor the journey to the next town could be enough to burst the tubes in which the baby has started to develop and that my wife could bleed to death internally. At this stage of my life, I am so far from God that it never crossed my mind to pray, but He was there all the way even though I didn’t even care to search for Him. The end of the story is the most beautiful little girl, and what a blessing has she proven to be! When I look at her I know that God has an amazing plan for her life, and I get chills when I realize how close the devil got to steal her! This was the second time that God spoke to me, but in the moment I didn’t recognise it to be the voice of Jesus.
A few months later my wife and I were at a joined church service at my own congregation one Sunday evening. It has been such a long time since we were in church previously that my wife and I actually talked about it on our way to church.
Then in the middle of the service, it happened! I heard THAT voice again! This time, however, I immediately recognised it as the voice that spoke to me in the church, and when I heard about my unborn baby girl. The voice was so loud and clear that I looked around and was wondering why nobody else heard it. I was still wondering whether I imagined the voice when the voice spoke again. The Lord told me to stand to my feet and to tell the people that they should love one another, because they didn’t and that they should change because the end has come near!
One feels small when you realize that the King of kings is talking to you. You struggle to breathe, tears of joy just start falling from your eyes and you have no control over it. I heard the voice again and this time it was more serious, ‘Stand up or betray Me.” You know without a doubt that the Lord sends you when you stand up in a capacity crowd in a reformed church, to quiet the priest and the elders to tell them that the Lord has just given you a message for them. There is a definite understanding of higher authority when God gives the message and you are the messenger.
I didn’t get to give the message, unfortunately, but I had peace in my heart that I stood up and tried for as far as was in my capability.
After the incident at the church, things just seemed to get worse and worse. We got tempted in more and more ways and the ability to resist any temptation seemed to just fade away in the distance.
At 29 years of age, I tried to get away from it all one afternoon and went to the cemetery for some quiet time. Six-pack under one arm, cigarette in the mouth I was walking amongst the graves, wondering if those people also felt as worthless as I did before they went. I have received my divorce papers, the date was set for January and it was October. My wife and kids moved away to another city six months ago already, and my whole life was falling apart, again! I threw the last can on the back of the truck and was just walking blindly between the graves. At one stage I fell to my knees and was weeping and prayed to Jesus about my failed life and my marriage that was going down the drain!
When I looked up, I saw right in front of me, the grave of a husband and wife that died on the same day. It must have been a motorcar accident I figured. What was different was that a picture of their faces was engraved on the tombstone, and you could actually see what they looked like! As my eyes went down the side of the tombstone, I saw the scripture written on the stone. Mark 10:9. ‘What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate,” As I was reading it, I felt the same soft voice speaking into my soul. “You didn’t find your wife by chance, I gave her to you!” The day that you realise this in your marriage, you will see the strongholds of the devil coming down!
Time went by, and I could sense a big change coming on, when and how it would happen, I just didn’t know.
One afternoon my boss phoned me and asked that I join him after work in order to discuss some plans for the business in the coming year. I started out with the company without any qualifications as a storeman, and 10 years later I was the manager of a medium sized, very dynamic business. I liked my job a lot and I also had a very energetic team which was exciting. I also had a very attractive package which made this job all the more worthwhile.
Halfway into my first drink, something happened that changed my whole life.
THAT voice again! I sat looking at my boss, whilst he was talking away about the upcoming year, without hearing a word that he said. There were so many things that I rather would have given, but He was asking for my job! A voice so hard and clear that you can’t confuse it with something else! You struggle to breathe and you feel a warm tear running over your face, as the voice says “You need to resign here and now.” A million questions flashed through your mind in a millisecond. Where do I go? Where will I work? Where will I stay? How will I pay? Then you realise that the Lord is talking to you, and that He will never leave or forsake you! Then with a shaking, uncertain voice, I resigned, because I knew that the Lord has spoken to me!
I worked a 6 month notice period because I wanted to! I had several going-away functions, and when all of this was done, I moved back to my wife and kids!
In the following 18 months, I only managed to take home a salary cheque 5 times, if you could call it that! The balance of the time I was at the feet of Jesus trying to get my life in order again! I realized that when you have chosen for Jesus once, He engraves your name in the palm of His hand, and He will do everything to help you to get your life in order again. You see He wants your story to end with Him in heaven one day!
Make sure that you have chosen Jesus today. Don’t fall into the devil's trap that says you first have to stop doing this or that, or that you must change this or that before Jesus will accept you. He came for the sinners, so if you have sinned, it is YOU He came for!!! Give your heart to Jesus, and then start the journey with Him to get rid of the things that don’t belong in your life!
Six months after I resigned, the Lord spoke to me one evening in a dream and asked me to build a stadium to His honour. The question I now most frequently has to answer is “How can you be certain that it is God that wants you to build the stadium?’
It is a good question and one that needs to be answered. I thought long and hard about how to answer this question, and in the end decided to do it like this………….