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 we don’t always know what His will for our lives actually is.
I got saved into Joshua Generation Church (JoshGen) in 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 to ‘fill a gap, wherever there is a gap in the church, whether it is something you like to do or not’. He said to just do what the kingdom needs at that point and you will naturally start to walk in the things that God has called you to, as you are obedient to Him.
He said to just do what the kingdom needs at that point…I took those words to heart and did anything the church needed.
I took those words to heart and did anything the church 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 full-time 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, joining 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 (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 Erica and I should lead the congregation. With the same eagerness to obey and to advance His Kingdom as always, we said yes to the task and started leading the congregation part-time. Leading the church with a full-time job, which involved travelling overseas every 3 months, plus raising two 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 while Erica, who initially had the dream of working for the Lord, had to lay down this 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 often tested my heart to see if I’m here to build His kingdom or to secure my own comfort.
God has often tested my heart to see if I’m here to build His kingdom or to secure my own comfort. So 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, we were ready for what God had in store for our family. He had also already been speaking to Erica about it. Wherever God chose to take us, we wanted to keep passing the tests.
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 you 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 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 also to know that we are in His will for our lives. We have a vision of living waters flowing from the south to the north of Namibia, changing this nation so that it is never 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.