I was there on the 24th of June, 2015. Me and my little family of four sat all by our lonesome own some in the four seats allocated to us by the big machine in the sky and we listened to “Die Manne wat Glo”.
I do not do church to be entertained. I go to church, though not the textbook church, for the companionship it offers, for the love of God that I often experience, for a sense of belonging, in a world where I too often feel that I just do not belong, despite the two hundred plus friends on my Facebook account.
I go to church because the Bible teaches me to not be absent from the get togethers of believers, because that is where you find the support and love.
Die Manne wat Glo, are entertainers. They are, however, first and foremost, men of God, and that makes them my brothers, that makes them family, and so I did not go to a concert, I went to church on Thursday night, to be with more of my family members, who unfortunately are strangers as well.
During the evening Willie Joubert shared his testimony of how he had this out of body experience while on the theatre table, when he had a heart operation. He told of how he saw these supernatural hands (Jesus’s hands) reach down and shock his heart back to life, after the medical instruments failed to do it.
That in itself however did not touch me as much as the testimony he shared of being in the valley of death and being so aware that his life has been one selfish journey, about him, and his needs and wants. And how we tend to think the bar at the other side of this life will be far lower than it actually is.
He said, “Jesus said, ‘I am giving you a new heart, Willie.’ And I understood the concept of ‘Soek allereers die koningkryk van God.”
He also related the story of the rich young man, who could not fathom getting rid of his riches, and the comparison of the camel and the eye of the needle.
Many of you will know the story that I wrote regarding the eye of the needle. And how it is impossible for man to do anything but with God it is possible. This ties in with it. What Willie said regarding pursuing the Kingdom of God first, and everything else will be added, tied into this for me. But what is the Kingdom of God? Is it a place in the sky? A city to come? A place to be established?
In Luke 17:20-21 (Amplified Bible) we read the following: “Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He replied to them by saying, The kingdom of God does not come with signs to be observed or with visible display, Nor will people say, Look! Here [it is]! or, See, [it is] there! For behold, the kingdom of God is within you [in your hearts] and among you [surrounding you].
The kingdom of God is within you, in your hearts, and among you, surrounding you. Oh wow!!! It is within you. It is in your heart. If it is within you, you have become the kingdom of God. Your fellow believers are the kingdom of God.
That is why the thing about the new heart is so important.
I have been constantly reminded of Jeremiah 17 since the 24th. Verse nine tells us that ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severely, mortally sick! Who can know it? (Perceive it, understand, be acquainted with his own heart and mind?)’
I kept thinking of Willie Joubert. A man, who for as long as I can remember, has been serving God, has been living a life many of us would say was dedicated to God. But, in that moment, as he was in the valley of death, in that very moment, he was faced by the emptiness of his life, the futility of all the things he has done, the selfishness of his conduct. A life and conduct that would have appeared very selfless to those on the outside. And even he, to some extent, thought so. He, himself did not know his own heart. In effect, he lied to himself.
And I hear the echo of the disciples words, “ Then who can be saved?”
So, here I stand, on the Monday, after the Thursday night of the Manne wat Glo show. I am so very aware of my heart, and I ask myself whether I truly know it? I sit, behind the keyboard, and all I can say is,
“Lord, God Almighty, my heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severely, mortally sick! I can not know it, I can not perceive it, understand it or be acquainted with it. Search my mind, o God, try my heart, and give to me according to my ways, according to the fruit of my doings. O, Father, please have mercy on me, your servant.
Let your kingdom come in my heart, help me to pursue it with a passion, help me to take it by force. I am weak, please be strong. Please, o God, please have mercy on my soul.”
And the family said, Amen.