Day 10: Still I will remain obedient - 12 February 2016

By Benescke Janse van Rensburg

[Last Friday I wrote about Project SOS100 during which Tygerberg 104FM in the Cape Peninsula raised money to buy feed for farmers’ animals in drought-stricken areas. Here’s how the project started.]

On Christmas Day, Adri Williams from a non-governmental organization, Khayelitsha Cookies, sat with her family and parents next to the dining table. Although a feast awaited them, she could not get rid of the thought of many farmers on the same day, struggling to feed their animals due to the drought and their accumulated debt. Some of them did not even have food in their homes. Who was going to look after them? At her suggestion that they should do something, her dad at first replied: “Adri, you can not help all people in our country. Focus on your non-governmental organization and help the people there.”

The urgency in Adri’s heart grew. She knew it was a command from God. She took the first step of faith. She contacted the organization, Boere in Nood, to determine where in South Africa the need for animal feed was the largest. She got a sponsorship of MAN Truck and Bus for the transport of animal feed. She negotiated with suppliers for a cheaper price for feed and then, the biggest step of faith, she took R17,000 of her own, small non-governmental organization’s money and paid for the feed – in  total obedience to God’s command.

With the first delivery of the animal feed, Adri and her dad stood next to the truck in Williston and watched how big, proud, hardy farmers wept with gratitude. They could also not control their own emotions. God heard the farmers’ prayers for relief. And her obedience brought hope into their hopeless situations. A week later, Tygerberg 104FM got on board and Project SOS100 was officially born. 

In Deuteronomy 5:33 we read: “Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.” Also in 2 Samuel 15:22 God reminds us that obedience is far more valuable to Him than sacrifices. He prefers ourobedience to His calling, rather than coming up with good ideas and asking Him to bless it. God-inspired missions are already blessed.

Abraham had to sacrifice Isaac. Joseph was put in prison for several years. Adri had to pay R17,000for animal feed (which she could not really afford). Because Abraham was faithful, his descendents are as many as the stars at night. Because of Joseph’s obedience during a difficult time in his life, God promoted him from prisoner to second in charge in Egypt in one day. And Adri saw how her R17,000became almost R3 million in contributions from listeners in just one week. 

In all my years as a broadcaster, I have never seen God so tangible in a project. Contributions were unprecedented and personal testimonies of how God relieved “drought conditions” in listeners own personal lives while they contributed are still pouring is. We were in unity and God commanded a blessing. What would have happened if Adri did not obey God’s voice? What does He ask you to do today? Let us remain obedient and take that first step of faith. He will take care of the rest. God bless. 

Father God, thank You that I may be an instrument in Your hand. Please help me to clearly recognize Your Holy Spirit's voice in my life - and strengthened me to obey if You ask me to do something that does not make sense to others around me. I ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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Day 9: But I will put on the armor - 11 February 2016

By Benescke Janse van Rensburg

Shortly after midnight on Saturday morning, Wicus and Adrie Scheepers’ dogs started to bark on their smallholding in Pretoria-West. Wicus rose to see what was happening. Just before leaving the house, Adrie reminded him to put on his bulletproof vest. That saved his life. Outside the robbers shot him twice in the back and tried to attack him with a knife. The bullets were blocked by the jacket and the knife got stuck in the jacket’s material. In an interview with Netwerk24 after the incident, Wicus said: “If I was not wearing the jacket, I would be gone.” He added that it was more than just the jacket that saved him. “The Lord was there and He protected me.”

In Ephesians 6:12 Paul reminds us of our daily battle: For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” He also gives advice on how we should tackle this battle in verse 13: Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.”

What is this armor Paul speaks about - and how should we put it on daily?

  • Helmet: The enemy attacks us in our minds regularly in the form of, for instance, thoughts of inferiority, a justification of that affair with someone outside your marriage, gossip stories and many others. We put the helmet of salvation on, when we ask God to keep our minds pure while stopping negative thoughts and replacing it with God-inspired thoughts (Philippians 4: 8).
  • Breastplate: We put on the breastplate when we remind ourselves that God has freed us from sin when Jesus died on the cross.
  • Belt: We put on the belt of truth when we deliberately seek the truth and live in God’s light.
  • Shield: We pick up the shield to protect ourselves from the fiery darts of the enemy when we put our eyes on God, trusting Him completely for our breakthrough – even if we don’t see any signs of it happening yet.
  • Shoes: We put on the shoes when we ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us to share of God’s goodness and mercy so people who are not yet in a relationship with Him, might be drawn to Him.
  • Sword: We take up the sword when we start to meditate on God’s promises. It is then that we can say, like Jesus when tempted in the wilderness by Satan: “It is written ...” while citing God’s unchanging promises. The Word of God is our weapon in the battle.

As believers, we are not immune to challenges. Yet, amidst the most difficult time, we should not forget our armor as that will make us an open target for the enemy. Wicus Scheepers experienced how the bulletproof vest saved his life. By putting on the armor daily in our lives, we too might say in due time, "If I had not been wearing the jacket, I would be gone, but the Lord was there and He protected me.” God bless.

Father God, thank You for Your armor. Lead me today to keep my thoughts pure and to make Your Word a priority in my life. Help me to put my faith and trust in You, to pursue truth and to be willing to share the good news of Jesus Christ where You need me today. I ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Dag 9: Nogtans sal ek die wapenrusting aantrek - 11 Februarie 2016

Deur Benescke Janse van Rensburg

Kort na middernag verlede Saterdagoggend het Wicus en Adrie Scheepers op hul kleinhoewe in Pretoria-Wes wakker geword van hul honde wat blaf. Wicus het opgestaan om te gaan kyk wat aangaan. Net voordat hy die huis verlaat het, het Adrie hom herinner om sy koeëlvaste baadjie aan te trek. Dít het sy lewe gered.

Buite die huis het inbrekers Wicus twee keer in die rug geskiet en hom met ’n mes probeer aanval. Die koeëls is egter teen die baadjie vas en die mes het aan die materiaal van die baadjie vasgehaak. In ’n onderhoud met Netwerk24 ná die voorval het Wicus gesê: “As ek die baadjie nie aangehad het nie, was ek gone.” Hy glo egter dit was meer as net die baadjie wat hom gered het. “Die Here was dáár en Hy het my beskerm.”

In Efesiërs 6:12 herinner Paulus ons dat ons daagliks in ’n stryd is: Ons stryd is nie teen vlees en bloed nie, maar teen elke mag en gesag, teen elke gees wat heers oor hierdie sondige wêreld, teen elke bose gees in die lug.” Hy gee ook aan ons raad oor hoe ons hierdie stryd moet aandurf in vers 13: “Trek daarom die volle wapenrusting aan wat God julle gee, sodat julle weerstand kan bied in die dag van onheil en, nadat julle die stryd tot die einde toe gevoer het, nog op julle pos kan bly staan.”

Wat is hierdie wapenrusting waarvan Paulus praat – en hoe moet ons dit daagliks aantrek?

  • Helm: Die vyand probeer sy uiterste bes om ons in ons gedagtewêreld aan te val in die vorm van byvoorbeeld gedagtes wat ons minderwaardig laat voel of waarmee ons ’n buite-egtelike verhouding regverdig of selfs wanneer ons onsself aan skinderstories verlekker. Ons sit egter die helm van verlossing op, wanneer ons God vra om ons gedagtewêreld rein te hou en terselfdertyd doelbewus verkeerde gedagtes vasvat en met God-geïnspireerde gedagtes vervang (Filippense 4:8).
  • Borsharnas: Ons trek die borsharnas aan wanneer ons onsself herinner dat God ons deur Jesus se kruisdood van sonde vrygemaak het.
  • Belt: Ons sit die belt om ons middel deur doelbewus die waarheid na te streef en in God se lig te leef.
  • Skild: Ons tel die skild op om die aanvalle van die Bose af te weer, wanneer ons ons geloof onverskrokke in God plaas – al sien ons nog nie ’n deurbraak in ’n bepaalde situasie nie.
  • Skoene: Ons trek die skoene aan deur God te vra om ons deur sy Heilige Gees te lei om met selfvertroue van sy goedheid te getuig en ander verlore mense na Hom te lei.
  • Swaard: Ons tel die swaard op wanneer ons God se beloftes in ons hart bêre en daarop mediteer. Wanneer die vyand ons kom aanval, kan ons, net soos Jesus eens in die woestyn toe die vyand hom probeer versoek het, sê: “Daar staan geskrywe...” terwyl ons God se onveranderde beloftes aanhaal. God se Woord is ons wapen in die stryd.

As gelowiges is ons nie gevrywaar van uitdagings wat ons pad mag kruis nie. In donker tye word dit selfs nog belangriker om die wapenrusting aan te trek omdat ons daarsonder geen weerstand kan bied nie. Wicus Scheepers het beleef hoe die koeëlvaste baadjie sy lewe gered het. Kom ons maak seker ons trek daagliks God se wapenrusting aan sodat ons ook kan sê: “As ek die baadjie nie aangehad het nie, was ek gone, maar God was dáár en Hy het my beskerm.”  Sterkte.

Vader God, baie dankie vir u wapenrusting. Lei my asseblief vandag om my gedagtes rein te hou, my geloof en vertroue in U te plaas, die waarheid na te streef, my geloof en vertroue in U te plaas en bereid te wees om as ’n instrument in u hand op te tree en U woord my wapen te maak. Ek vra dit in die Naam van Jesus Christus. Amen.

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Dag 10: Nogtans sal ek gehoorsaam bly - 12 Februarie 2016

Deur Benescke Janse van Rensburg

[Verlede Vrydag het ek vertel van Projek SOS100 waarin Tygerberg 104FM in die Kaapse Skiereiland geld ingesamel het om veevoer vir boere in droogtegeteisterde gebiede aan te koop. Hier is hoe die projek begin het.]

Op Kersdag sit Adri Williams van ’n nie-regeringsorganisasie, Khayelitsha Cookies, saam met haar gesin en ouers langs ’n etenstafel. Hoewel dit kreun onder die feesmaal daarop, kan sy nie ophou dink aan die klomp boere wat op dieselfde dag, weens die droogte en opgehoopte skuld, nie meer veevoer vir hul vee kan aankoop nie – en self ook nie meer kos in hul huise het nie. Wie gaan na hulle omsien? Op haar voorstel dat hulle iets moet doen, sê haar pa aanvanklik: “Adri, jy kan nie almal in ons land help nie. Fokus eerder op jou eie nie-regeringsorganisasie en help die mense daar.”

Die dringendheid in Adri se hart neem egter toe. Sy weet dit is ’n opdrag van God. Dan neem sy die eerste stap van geloof. Sy skakel met die organisasie, Boere in Nood, om te bepaal waar in Suid-Afrika die nood vir veevoer die grootste is. Sy kry ’n borgskap van MAN Truck and Bus vir die vervoer van die veevoer. Sy onderhandel met verskaffers vir ’n goedkoper prys vir die veevoer en dan, die grootste stap, sy neem R17,000 van haar eie, klein nie-regeringsorganisasie se geld (wat sy nie eintlik kan bekostig nie) en betaal vir die veevoer – in gehoorsaamheid aan God se opdrag.

Met die aflewering van die eerste besending veevoer, staan sy en haar pa langs die trok en kyk hoe groot, geharde boere, staan en huil van dankbaarheid. Hulle huil saam. God het hulle gebruik om te wys dat Hy die boere se gebede vir verligting gehoor het. ’n Week later kom Tygerberg 104FM aan boort en Projek SOS100 word amptelik gebore.

In Deuteronomium 33: 32-33 lees ons: “Julle moet nougeset doen wat die Here julle God julle beveel het. Julle moet nie in enige opsig daarvan afwyk nie. . . sodat julle kan bly lewe en voorspoedig kan wees . . .” Ook in 2 Samuel 15:22 lees ons dat gehoorsaamheid vir God veel meer waardevol as offerandes is. Hy verkies dat ons gehoorsaam aan Hom sal wees, eerder as om met goeie idees te kom en te hoop dat Hy dit seën. God-geïnspireerde idees is immers reeds geseën.

Abraham moes vir Isak gaan offer. Josef was in die tronk opgesluit vir ’n hele paar jaar. Adri moes R17,000 vir die veevoer betaal (wat sy nie eintlik kon bekostig nie). Omdat Abraham getrou was, het hy ’n nageslag so veel soos die sterre van die naghemel gekry. Omdat Josef getrou aan God gebly het, is hy binne ’n dag van gevangene tot onderkoning van Egipte bevorder. En Adri het gesien hoe haar R17,000 in ’n week se tyd bykans R3 miljoen se bydraes word wat soos ’n golf van hoop oor ons land spoel.

In al my jare as omroeper, het ek God nog nooit so tasbaar in enige projek beleef nie. Bydraes was ongekend en persoonlike getuienisse stroom steeds in van hoe God luisteraars se “droogtetoestande” in hul eie persoonlike lewens verlig het omdat hulle in eenheid met sy saak was. Wat sou gebeur het as Adri nie gehoorsaam was nie? Wat vra God vandag van jou? Kom ons bly gehoorsaam en neem daardie eerste stap van geloof. Hy sal sorg vir die res. Sterkte.

Vader God, baie dankie dat ek ’n instrument in u hand mag wees. Help my asseblief om duidelik u Heilige Gees se stem in my lewe te herken – en versterk my ook om gehoorsaam te wees as U my vra om iets te doen al maak dit vir niemand as vir U sin nie. Ek vra dit in die Naam van Jesus Christus. Amen.

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