What is the will of God? A question on many saint’s hearts, as we all desire to please the Father in our lives and run for Him to obtain that prize Paul speaks about in Romans. It seems a tricky thing though sometimes, we have the desire to do ‘His will’ but don’t always know what His will for our lives actually is.
I got saved into Joshua Generation Church (JoshGen) 2002 during my high school years. I was a very messed up young man, lost without Christ, not knowing what the Lord had in store for me and with no obvious great talent or gifting. Despite that, God started speaking to me about serving Him in any and every way. I had this same desire to be in His will and “give” my life to Him, whatever that meant. I had heard people say that the best place for me to be was in God’s will, but I didn’t know what God’s will was for me! Thankfully I had also heard Andrew Selley’s words to the church “fill a gap wherever there is a gap in the church if it is something you like to do or not”. He said to do what the Kingdom needs at that point and naturally, you will start to walk in the things that God has called you to as you are obedient to Him.
I took those words to heart and did anything at church that was needed. I was there making coffee, cleaning toilets, greeting visitors and even stretching myself to learn new instruments (we needed many different instruments planting the JoshGen Durbanville AM congregation). The thing was that whenever I started doing something new or even something I didn’t like, a peace seemed to follow, a knowing that “this is what God wants me to do right now”. I still had a desire to serve God full time and even be an elder someday. Fast forward a couple of years and I met my wife Erica and we got married in 2008. Erica always had a desire to marry an elder and be in fulltime ministry (her parents, Volker and Esther Backhaus, lead All Nations Christian Church in Windhoek, Namibia), but with no real prospect of that in my life, she had to lay down that dream for the reality of a marrying a young surfer with long curly hair and a heart for God. By God’s grace He continued to shape me into someone who knew how to obey His voice and a while later I stepped into the role of elder in JoshGen Durbanville AM with Russell Fraser and the team of elders in 2014 (when we were expecting our first baby, Hayley). I loved supporting Russell and the team and never really had a desire to lead a congregation (honestly it was totally outside of my comfort zone).
In February 2016 (now expecting our second child, Levi) together with Kevin and Lizeldi Samuel we planted JoshGen Durbanville PM congregation. We thought that it would be an outreach congregation, but God had other plans. After a few months, the leadership felt that myself and Erica should lead the congregation. With the same eagerness as always to obey and to advance His Kingdom we said yes to the task and started leading the congregation part-time. Leading the church whilst having a full-time job, travelling every 3 months overseas for my work, whilst raising kids was honestly not easy. However, a sense of peace supported our circumstances and we continued to live out our desire to please the Lord with everything. In October 2016, I came on full-time staff with JoshGen and Erica, who initially had the dream of working for the Lord had to lay down the desire once again and continue as a working mom.
I want to quickly backtrack 9 years, to when we got married. Erica used to say she would love to move to Namibia someday and my answer was, “God would have to write it on the wall for me to move to Namibia”. Well God didn’t write on the wall per se but He did reveal His vision for Namibia to me and my heart was powerfully changed.
God has tested my heart throughout my life, testing to see if I’m here to build His Kingdom or secure my comfort? When Andrew approached us in mid-2017 to ask us to pray about moving from Durbanville PM to take over leading My Family Church in Keetmanshoop Namibia, God had already been speaking to Erica about it. We were ready for what God had in store for our family wherever God would take us, we wanted to keep passing the test.
Seeking God’s will is an interesting thing and it does not always include our idealistic views of serving Him. But when you find yourself in His will, there is a joy, peace and boldness that follows as we find complete satisfaction and fulfilment in His purpose. In His will, you also find a love for His people, no matter what their culture or their language. We now have the awesome privilege of leading a congregation of precious saints that was started by Andries-Louis and Linda Botes in Keetmanshoop, Namibia. We are so excited for what God is doing here and to know we are in His will for our lives. We have a vision of living waters flowing from the south to the north of Namibia, that will change this nation and will never be the same. God is on the move in Namibia and we are blessed to be here and a part of it, here in God’s will for our lives for right now.