I may have occasionally mentioned the name Joe Niemand here and there in my blog. For the majority of my readers, it will probably be a completely foreign name, most of my readers appearing to be native to everywhere from the USA to Ukraine, but with a surprisingly small amount of South Africans.
Joe Niemand is, in short, definitely my favourite and possibly South Africa’s favourite gospel singer. In long, this singer/songwriter has produced several albums including This Is War, Love, Revival: The Anthem of Joy, and his Afrikaans hit Ek Sal Nie Bang Wees Nie (I will not fear). He also wrote and starred in the jaw-dropping Afrikaans musical Ester, ran the record-breaking concert Night of Light and wrote songs for movies, most notably “A New Day” for Angus Buchan’s Faith Like Potatoes.
Click the link, find out more, buy the albums. You won’t regret it. Mom purchased Ek Sal Nie Bang Wees Nie a year or two ago and I liked most of it, but adored the title song. Fear is my weak point, and one Satan’s been viciously exploiting of late; but I can talk back to the devil, because Jesus is with me and has already squashed him flatter than a beetle stuck to the sole of an elephant’s foot. “Ek Sal Nie Bang Wees Nie”, based on Psalm 91 and containing many of its words, has become a major weapon in my fight against fear.
I proofread a bit of my cousin’s book and in return she most kindly sent me Night of Light: The Best of Joe Niemand as a surprise gift. It was an awesome surprise and a splendid gift.
Man. I adore that CD. From more typical love songs like the spunky “All I Have” and the deep “Sy is die Een” (She’s the One) to such powerful, moving, desperately thought-provoking titles as “Jericho” (which frankly first scares my socks off and then makes me feel brave enough to go stand on a cliff somewhere and beat my chest like an anorexic gorilla), it’s awesome. It features some other amazing artists, too. And one of the songs is called “He Won”.
“He Won” is simple and complete with a message that drives home with the sheer simplicity of the lyrics. “Jesus faced the world for you/One man against it all/And He won”.
And it’s so true and it’s so awesome. Jesus is one Man Who walked up to the world and said, “You’re no match for me.” And it wasn’t. Pardon my French, but my Lord Jesus kicked Satan’s butt and the devil went wee-wee-wee all the way home to his fire and brimstone. Oh, in his jealousy and rage and death-throes, he still tries to take as many people with him as he can. He can still tempt and march around like a roaring lion. But his roar becomes a kitten’s squeak when faced with one soft word from the lips of my Lord.
Satan bugged me all day today. Here’s a news flash for some of the pretending-to-be-Christians out here: Satan’s real too. Oh yes, very much so, and he knows your weak spots. He sure knows mine, and he was throwing fiery darts at me all day. He blindsided me today and drove straight for my vulnerable point: fear.
There were times today when it felt like the ground had been yanked out from under my feet and I was floundering in an earthless world. And you know, the harder I struggled to get rid of the devil myself, the less I could struggle. But I finally remembered how you really deal with him, and I said without my voice but with every shred of my soul, “Satan, in the Name of Jesus, get out of here. I don’t need you. Go away, in the Name of my Lord Jesus Christ!”
You know, that old serpent can’t stand up to God’s Name. He melted, and suddenly I felt awesome. It’s true: God has given us not a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind. I felt His power fill me, and I felt absolutely great. He was right there with me, as He is now, as He always has been, as He always will be. My horses thought I had gone batty as it happened at feeding time and I was singing (extraordinarily badly) a duet with poor Joe Niemand. I’m glad he couldn’t possibly have heard me as I was just playing “Will You Still be Mine?” on my cellphone; if I heard someone sing my song that badly, I’d want to go deaf. But, oh, yes, Lord, yes, yes, YES! I’ll still be yours come what may.
Satan accomplished exactly the opposite of what he was trying to achieve. Because of the fight, I’ve come out the other side believing in God even more strongly. Why? Well, Satan acted exactly as Jesus told me he would in the words of the Bible. I rededicated myself to the Lord at youth group last night, and Satan knew that I was slipping out of his clutches, so he lied to me to get me back. In hindsight, I should have seen it coming; he did just what the Bible said he would. It was real and terrifying, but when Jesus came along and beat him up in mere seconds, that was much more real, and absolutely awesome.
My God won, you see. He took Satan on and He won. Satan’s still out to get me; he’s still trying to shake me off the rock of my faith. But Satan, you’re dead, dude. I believe in God, and I’ve taken up the shield of faith, wherewith I may quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. My Lord, my God, my Shepherd, my Shield, my love the Lord Jesus Christ, make him go away in Your name. He scares me, but You strengthen me much more than he scares me.
My Lord, my God! You won!
Oh, and you remember Engele as Gaste? That won, too. And it wasn’t the 800 words of mine that did it: it was the 50 Words of God that were in it. Two Bible verses and they turned the whole story on its head. All the glory is God’s; even if a bit of talent was involved, then I can’t take the glory for that either, because I didn’t give myself talent – God did.
My Lord! My God! My Good Shepherd! How I love You! Nothing will change that! Nothing! Ever!