What the tour has taught me...France (Tinus)

I am content…

I'm sitting at the dining room table on a leather chair in our temporary home in Palm Springs, California. It is very hot and the air-conditioner is not all that effective, but hey, I'm still Namibian…who's afraid of 35 ÂșC! And what's more, you've guessed it, my steaming cup of strong, bitter, white coffee is close at hand.

So, I'm content and would love to continue sharing what the tour has taught me. If you have not read my post on what London taught me, please do so first.



All is not as it seems, so use the right sense


Have you ever felt that God is far? Ever felt alone and dry? Has God ever been silent in your life? Have you ever felt that nobody loves you or that you are being taken advantage of?

Have you ever thought what the disciples might have felt like on the Saturday after Good Friday? Remember that to them it was NOT Good Friday! Their Rabbi had just been murdered! Treated as a criminal! He said he would build his church and that the gates of Hell will shatter and then … and then He died!

Come on! They spent the last 3 years of their life with Him and now He is dead!

Remember that that Saturday was a Sabbath. In other words they may not have done work. All they could do is sit at home and wonder. get lost in the lightless void that had engulfed and crammed their very being! Remember also that they did not know that He would be alive the next day.

That was a horrible day. A Silent Saturday.

Have you ever experienced a Silent Saturday?

I did in France and this is what God finally told me:

Look at the snow. By looking at it and seeing it is white you might deduce that it is cold. Agree? You may even remember your past experiences with snow or what someone has told you about it and so gather that it must be cold. Correct? But isn’t touching it the best way to know whether it is cold or not?

Is anyone reading that and going "huh"?

Well, the idea is that to know a specific thing, specific senses must be used. You cannot know the color of something by feeling it. Nor listen to music with your tongue. A scientist cannot measure temperature with only a ruler. (By the way, Palm Springs isn’t getting cooler!)

The bottom line is that you have to use the correct sense in a situation.

So what then is the correct sense in regard to spiritual things? Well, I believe it is faith!

Before anyone simply dismisses this reality with something like: "Oh yeah, faith, that makes sense. I believe in Jesus so I must be sorted. Next!" like I did for so many years when I heard that commonly referred to word…allow me to share my simple view on faith. (And the more I learn about it, the cooler it gets and the more I realize I can still learn about it!)

In William Young's "The Shack" (you really must read it if you haven't), the Holy Spirit says that God created things as living verbs. He calls himself "I Am," which is a form of the most basic and profound verb "To Be" or just "Be". (More on this in a while…)

We humans have taken those living verbs and turned them into lifeless nouns. (Read more on this in The Shack)

I thus thought about faith in this matter. What verb best describes faith?

To know the truth and be absolutely sure about it!

To believe God and to trust Him.

These are some undeniable truths:

The Father, Jesus and the Spirit Loves you

They all like you

Nothing you do or do not do can make Them love you more or less

They want to spend eternity with you

You are going to live forever (where you live forever is up to you)

They know what's best for you

They are Good and want what is best for you (They want you to be happy in the long run!)

They created heaven and earth

Jesus was born as a little human baby in Bethlehem

He died on a cross on Calvary in Jerusalem

His death can cleanse all your past sins (if you confess them)

His death can furthermore give you the ability to not sin again (if you let Him live through you)

The Bible is true

God promised that He will never leave you nor forsake you!

What else do you believe? I encourage you to make a list with scripture references if you can.

If it seems that God is far. Or that you are not loved. If you find that you are in a Silent Saturday. Use the sense of Faith.

There is so much more to say on both faith and the concept of a Silent Saturday, but more wil follow in another post. (The Silent Saturday was one of the topics covered at Hillsong during Easter)

Allow me to conclude this post with a story also told at Hillsong over Easter. Remember that God planted this seed about a "Silent Saturday" in my heart in France.

Well, the story happens in France, many years ago. It was the final battle of the Napoleonic war between England and the French at Waterloo. Those that know the history will know that Wellington, commander of the English army, overthrew Napoleon. After the battle, the English soldiers wanted to send word to England. They sent the message "Wellington defeated Napoleon!"

That is not what reached those anxiously awaiting word in Great Britain, however. All they could make out was "Wellington defeated"

Imagine the utter devastation and disappointment that gripped the hearts of all who heard the news. Their loved ones are dead. They themselves will soon be captured. All is lost…

But, all was not as it seemed, was it? The truth, whether they knew it or not was that they were the victors! Wellington defeated Napoleon!!!

All is not as it seems, so use the right sense.