Abe de Beer is the first person to arrive in Middelburg for the Karoo Mighty Men Conference 2016.
He arrived a month early, having started out two-and-a-half months ago from Secunda in Mpumalanga on a journey on foot through the country “in pursuit of the Father’s voice”.
Abe has walked without any human camaraderie, but he has enjoyed the companionship of his trusty dog Shiloh and relied on the Lord for provision — his journey is one of faith.
“There is no end to the Lord’s blessing; people have accommodated me in their homes and booked me into lodges. I can never deny His blessing, but I struggle with His love and with His forgiveness,” says Abe.
He loves South Africa and he loves God, which is the reason for his walk: he wants to die to self and the carnal desires of the flesh; his greatest desire is to be on fire for Jesus.
Yet, he tells me that he has backslid and wants the fire of first-love that he originally felt in his heart for Jesus to be rekindled.
Abe’s greatest fear is being a lukewarm believer as in Revelation 3:16 “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”
Renewing passion for serving Jesus
He wants to renew the deep burning desire to serve Jesus without a thought of the consequences to self; to know that his Father has called him and to go without question, to step out in faith trusting completely in the Lord.
“I’m on a personal journey through South Africa in pursuit of the Father’s voice; not seeking His voice as much as trying to get tuned-in to His voice and His Will,” says Abe.
He is challenged as in Galatians 5:16-18 to walk in the Spirit, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”
“After being lost for 32 years and having used drugs for 17 years, I was saved in 2014,” he explains.
“Then having attended Bible College in 2015, I reached a point at which I noticed that I was just not connected to God in the way that I was in the days and months immediately after I was saved,” says Abe.
He writes in his Facebook page “I attended a men’s camp several months ago and one of the speakers asked this question, ‘If you are accused in court today of being a Christian, is there enough evidence and witnesses to prove you that are a Christian’?
“That question shocked me to my core. I had a lot of reflecting to do on my inner self and my relationship with God. We all know God is the same yesterday, today and forever, so obviously I am in need of fixing.
“You come to the point where you have given your heart to Jesus and died to yourself, but slowly and surely you start to pick yourself up again, to the point where you are so full of yourself with offense, ambition, greed, being self-centred, returning to old habits, and hardening your heart back to stone.
“Although Jesus replaced my heart of stone with a heart of flesh, I feel like it started hardening again. This journey is all about getting back to the Father through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.”
Abe says his aim in the journey is to die completely to self, pick up his cross and carry it to the finish line following Jesus.
“This year is phenomenal and I have a great expectation, not just to die to self and live to Christ, but to find the purpose our Father has for my life, learning to listen to His voice and knowing His call in my heart.”
Abe has great expectations for KMMC too. He wants to know the Father’s heart, experience His unconditional love, for he has never really known the love of a father, his parents having been divorced when he was only three years old.
He wants to be a shining example of a disciple of Christ, he wants to be able to walk into a pub and drink a cold-drink without being tempted to drink alcohol, he wants to touch people’s lives for Jesus; but as he says, “I am not at that point yet, I want to be, but it is a struggle getting there – that is what my whole journey is about”.
“My aim is not to complete a walk around South Africa, but rather to walk until I die to self. That is my heart’s desire. I don’t know what my function is, what God’s purpose is for me. Sometimes I feel stupid, I want God to tell me, ‘This is what I want you to do’, so I will continue to walk around South Africa until I realise God’s purpose for me,” says Abe.
“I want to do great things for God. I want to be a new breed of servant for God, but I have to work on my commitment levels.
“This is why I have come to KMMC. I had decided to come to KMMC even before I set out on my journey. I knew that no matter where I was in South Africa I would make a way of getting here.”
Listening to Abe, then later writing this report, I thought of how many sincere men, who are deeply hungry and thirsty for the Lord, would be arriving at KMMC seeking to hear God’s voice, seeking for purpose, seeking to die to self and live to Christ.
I thought of how important it is for us all (whether we attend KMMC or not) to extend a helping prayerful hand, how important the KMMC 40 Days of Prayer is in unifying our prayers and focussing them on the Abe de Beers of South Africa, who will be arriving with great expectations of having a God-encounter, of receiving direction and purpose from the Lord to serve Him.
As Abe says, “I want to walk in the way of Jesus, I want to serve Him. I just know that I need to be here at KMMC, now, that is all I know.”
You can follow Abe’s journey on his Facebook profile at https://m.facebook.com/inpursuitofthefathersvoice/
For information on how to join the KMMC 2016 intercession team contact Ruthi van der Merwe at (M) 082 857 7839, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.karoommc.co.za