posted in: Experiences | 46

Somebody said it is a war for the mind. In my experience it may be very true.

I am nobody special. I am just one of the 167,047,817 human beings that have contracted Covid-19 up to now, and by God’s grace I survived it. I was supposed to travel to Cameroon on the 11th of May and before boarding, as a normal routine, show a negative Covid-19 test. I am used to this and didn’t give it much thought, until I received my results on Monday morning, showing that I tested positive. I most probably contracted it in the weeks before, as I slept very poorly and was very tired.

But it was only from Monday night the 10th of May and the week that followed that I learned to know the reality of Covid-19. I could not sleep at all and was plagued all through the nights with nightmares. Senseless thoughts flashed over and over through my mind, making me feel like a zombie, utterly empty and so tired that I wished I could die. There is a kind of malaria, where you at first fear that you will die, until the horror of the sickness takes hold of you, and you then fear that you may not die! This is how I felt. The sickness took every possible grain of energy out of me, and left me horrible, with pointless thoughts going around and around in never-ending circles with no meaning. And worst of all, it was as if I could not get one meaningful prayer through to Jesus. I felt God-forsaken, with every cell in my body feeling dead, dry and horrible!

This carried on for about a week. On the 16th of May I could not bear it any longer. In my despair I wrote to my spiritual leaders, to ask if there possibly is a messenger of God, “an angel, an interpreter, one in a thousand who can proclaim to me my error and deliver my from the pit and show me the way I must go?” (Job.33:23-24.) And with great compassion they interceded for me in prayer. At first there was just a dim knowledge in my bewildered mind, that many of my dear and precious friends and even small children prayed for me! But in me everything was still so dead, so dry and so horrible.



Then the thought penetrated into my mind: It is YOU that have to decide what you want to believe! You can’t just let your dead, dry, dreadful and horrible feelings take the lead and decide for you, you have to decide for yourself with your will and mind what you believe! I then decided to believe! Right against all my dead and dry and horrible feelings! And I decided to sing it out, to tell others what I believe. I wrote to several: ”I choose to believe! I choose to believe in the Almighty God, He who makes the dead alive and calls the things that do not exist as if they do! I believe Him who raised our dear Lord Jesus from the dead! This virus shall no longer have any power or dominion over me and steer my life and thoughts! The prayers of the saints, the prayers of the righteous have great power, as it is written in James! And righteous men of God have prayed for me, why shall I doubt? So, I choose to believe!  I CHOOSE TO BELIEVE!!!! I I’m a believer! I am standing up in faith and will walk in faith till my last breath!” (This faith that entered my heart and mind was indeed a gift from God, a lifeline He had thrown to me from heaven!) Immediately rest and strength came into my mind, and my thoughts became clear and calm.

Up to this point my prayer (and faith) was: Dear Jesus, save me and heal me, restore me, bring back life in me! Although I felt power coming into my body since I decided to believe and to proclaim what I believe, I still could not sleep well and felt very, very tired. Then some thoughts penetrated my mind, sober, scary, well-calculated thoughts: Will you be prepared to serve Jesus for the rest of your life, with your whole life, your whole being, even if your body remains in this horrible state? I was fully aware what was asked, and had tasted the reality of this horrible state for more than a week. Then I decided, I made a calculated choice, no matter how my feelings protested, and I said to Jesus: “Yes!” Even if I have to remain in this state for the rest of my life, I will serve You, no matter how horrible and tired I feel! And if You consider using me, please show me Your will, and give me the strength and wisdom and power to do whatever You expect me to do, for in myself there is nothing.

After this prayer, life came back into my mind and body. I was no longer a zombie staring into nothingness. And the opposite happened. Jesus overwhelmed me with heavenly, good and positive thoughts. Everything around me became so beautiful, the people, the plants, everything. I could see into the noble hearts of those around me, and I feel so rich and blessed! God restored me and overwhelmed me with a goodness beyond what I can describe with words.



Then Jesus started showing me my own absolute nothingness, that I am absolutely nothing without Him, if God doesn’t give me His words, His Spirit and His breath. I believe this was an answer to my desperate cry, for God to send me an angel, an interpreter, to show me my duty (Job 33:23,24).  I have never seen the emptiness in man, in myself, so clearly portrayed. I realise that without the Spirit of Jesus, without His thoughts, without His breath, I am less than the dust of the earth, a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes if He turns His face from me. (I actually have no words to describe it). This impression, this “X-ray” of my utter incompetence and nothingness without Him, I want to burn in my heart and mind forever, till my last breath, so that whenever the least thought that I (by myself) am something would rise from my corrupt human nature, it can be destroyed right there on the spot with this knowledge from God engraved in me!

I then saw the mindset of Jesus, His thought-life and the depths of what He said about Himself: “I can of Myself do nothing!” (John5:30.) And what He said in John 5:19 “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.” In Philippians 2, it is written so clearly that He emptied Himself, making Himself of no reputation. Think who He was, and how God used Him to heal the sick and raise the dead (all the books in the world cannot contain all the good God has done through Him). But never He came as this expert, or reputational healer! To see the depths of His humility and His being-nothing-in-Himself left me with an understanding that I never had before!

And then He took the form of a bondservant, a simple servant of no significance, with no “air” and smell of “if you would only know who I am” around Him, only to serve His fellowman according to God’s will and the power God supplied. And, being found in the appearance of a man (maybe when He was pushed aside and treated as worthless and nothing by people who thought they were competent in themselves), He did not protest, but He humbled Himself even further, yes, to the death on the cross. Everything in Him that wanted to exalt itself was nullified and put to death, was destroyed on the cross.

It is not strange at all that the Father gave Him a Name above all names in the universe! Who else on earth was so faithful that he could be entrusted with God’s will and plans? And therefore, God also gave Him all His authority and power and dominion and insight and wisdom! There is nobody in the whole universe who could take better care of God’s interests, His plans and purposes. And it is so safe with all authority and power and wisdom in the hands of Jesus. And that God gave Him as the Head of His Church, His body on earth, makes it so secure and safe. The forces of hell will never prevail against Him! To understand this, makes His Church the safest place on earth! And we can rest assured that Jesus NEVER will give any power and wisdom to those who seek their own, but He will richly give it to those who in lowliness of mind only want to do His will and carry out His commands, those who truly care for His interests! And under such leading His Church will grow and flourish and develop! And all those who long for this heavenly kingdom are allowed to drink of this Spirit freely and grow up to Jesus themselves!



I am so glad that Jesus allowed this illness to come over me, so that He could confine me to a space where He could speak to me and reveal to me His mindset. And this is the life I have chosen for the rest of my existence on earth, for as long as Jesus gives me grace to live and is willing to work His will in my life. So, my prayer is to serve Jesus, in whatever state He deems fit for me, in whatever place He has prepared, whoever He brings on my way. I have no right, no demand, I only want to serve like the Son of Man, who has not come to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many. I long for this life I have seen in Him! Like Him, I want to help and serve my fellowman, young and old, with all the strength and thoughts and wisdom I received from my dear Lord and Master, all the days of my life.


46 Responses

  1. Cobus van Niekerk

    Amen Brother! Amen! I rejoice with you in this gladness and wish to also partake of this life as His servant in more detail! Job 42:2 “I know that You can do everything. And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from you.” We serve a living Almighty God! There is none who rewards like He does! May God strengthen my faith that I also may endure in life’s tribulations, unwavering and completely surrendered to Him! Nothing in this life will remain, only what was gained in the spirit. And with this spirit I will one day see my Savior in heaven! What a future and hope do we have!

  2. Dina Maria du Preez

    I want to thank and praise God that what you went through is now to learn from and to ponder on! That you are busy regaining strength in your body …. I am extremely thankful that the previous week is behind us all. Especially also for the family close at home. It is almost unbearable to think about the suffering you went through Tielman. Thank you for this testimony. Thank you for your FAITH!!! It was extremely “terrifying” to realize only from the outside what God allowed you to suffer through Tielman. I have no words but I had to tell myself … there must be even more gold to come forth. It made no sense for me and I was scared to think about everything. Your first message that we could hear from you and see you on the video really broke my heart and I was crying about your tribulation but also about my own life. Thank you for this testimony Tielman. I also CHOOSE to BELIEVE!!! Even for my wretched self! I also BELIEVE God is going to make you physically as strong as a lion….. and also on all spheres of life. Thank you for your care for all of us. I remember so well many years ago when I was in ICU busy dying … you came and pray for me and that very same night my situation changed and I could start a long journey of recovery. I still thank God for all your prayers and for your life that means the world to me. You are loved and honored and respected. We love you so much Tielman, I am so thankful for Gertrude and that God protected her. May God bless you more than human understanding can comprehend….

  3. josephine

    Wow, profound. Indeed, I also believe that it is a war for the mind.
    Thank God, he gave you wisdom to make up your mind and strengthens you . Glory be to him for this great miracle.
    Thanks for sharing and may God continue to bless you.

  4. Ekeocha Sochima

    This testimony has gripped me that I must choose to believe and listen to what God speaks to my heart no matter the challenges.God be praised

  5. Nyangoto

    Lord Jesus . you are alive.All your children have the same experience throughout the world Deeply thankful for all your dealings with us . only love. love, love comes from you . Thank you Lord, .our everything is in your hands Thanks for the testimony of this brother Am revived greatly.Amen.

  6. Bruce Thoma

    So good to hear what God is working in you! It is the same in my heart. In this marvelous light I can see where I am seeking my own and cleanse myself. Psalm 119:67,71

  7. Katie Melnyk

    Thank you dear brother for sharing this experience so openly. It has confirmed in my own mind and heart the utter worthlessness of my will and opinions and the true greatness of Jesus and the work that he accomplished while on earth. I am nothing, can do nothing good, mean nothing, without Christ as my life. I am a blade of grass that easily withers in the sun. As a believer, I too, am only here to serve and there is much to learn and put on the cross so that the life of Christ is manifested in my body. Again, thank you for sharing and for fellowship.
    God has used this year of COVID19 for the good in many ways.

  8. Lucas Steyn

    Dankie Tielman, dit was baie opbouend om te lees! Ek het nie geweet van jou geval tot vandag, ek is baie dankbaar dat God jou gespaar het en so versterk het dat jy ander kan opbou met jou ervaaring. Dit het my inspereer om my lewe ook in daai beeld te beskou dat ek is niks sonder God en kan ook niks bereik sonder dat dit van hom kom nie.
    Dankie vir die geskrewe!
    Groete Lucas

  9. Lothar W. Dreger

    Dear bother Tielman! Thank you for sharing your experience with Jesus our Savior. May God continue to strengthen, and heal you, and giv e you grace to be blessing in His service.
    Heartfelt greetings and wishing you a speedy recoery,
    Lothar W. Dreger

  10. Hildegard Reed

    Thank you for your testimony, I also what to do God’s will, and do what He ask of me!

  11. Elisabeth de Jong

    What a powerful and deliberating message. That I can become completely free from my own meanings and understanding to serve in the way god wants me to serve – that is also my desire. Thank you for your faithful example Tielman!

  12. Clive Mandiwona

    Hallelujah!!! What a glorious tremendous testimony.I too choose to believe in Jesus Christ’s Humble mindedness .To be a bondservant and obedient do God’s Will in whatever state I am.May His Spirit empty all of me and fill me too and fulfill His purpose in me.
    I am nothing without Jesus Christ,and can do nothing except His Will.

  13. Placide

    I’m very thankful to god and i also want to always decide to believe in a living god and never let Satan deceive me with unbeliev thought when iam passing through many situations. But i always want to remind myself that it’s god who is sending the situations and he only want to test my faith ,and want to believe with whole my heart.

  14. Judith Bosma

    Thank you so much, that you have written it down for us! It is a deep desire in me to follow this example!

  15. Reina Westermann

    Dankjewel Tielman Slabbert, voor je mededeelzaamheid, vanuit de ingrijpende omstandigheid waar je doorheen gegaan bent, en je gebogen hebt onder Gods machtige hand en vast in het geloof in Hem bent blijven staan! Hebr.11 Het heeft diepe indruk op mij gemaakt, en een innig verlangen gewekt om me dieper te laten omvormen door Gods Vaderhand, die in en onder alles alleen het goede met me voorheeft! Rom.8:28

  16. jean marie Nkon Maneng

    God be praised for this miracle
    Thank you for sharing this personal experience with god that you had during this period
    it is very uplifting for me (in considering the choice that every man must make in his life relative to the gift of life that God has given to us).

  17. Tim McNutt

    Thank you for sharing this. This is Something I also experienced (during these COVID-19 times over the earth) about being completely depending on God Mercy, Grace and Love for one who sees themselves in this way.

  18. Riekie de Boer

    Wat is dit goed om te lezen. Wat een versterking voor mijn geloof in God. Dank u wel voor het delen

  19. Michael Allen

    Thank you so much for your fellowship and I rejoice in following my Jesus in understanding my own incompetance, nothingness leading to total bankruptcy so only his works can come forth. It seems this is the foundation on which an unshakeable kingdom can be built.

  20. William Goxo

    “Then the thought penetrated into my mind: It is YOU that have to decide what you want to believe! You can’t just let your dead, dry, dreadful and horrible feelings take the lead and decide for you, you have to decide for yourself with your will and mind what you believe! I then decided to believe! Right against all my dead and dry and horrible feelings! And I decided to sing it out, to tell others what I believe. I wrote to several: ”I choose to believe! I choose to believe in the Almighty God, He who makes the dead alive and calls the things that do not exist as if they do!”

    This part here☝️ really hit home and this is also my testimony. I choose to believe in the Almighty God! I will continue to learn from Him how to live and surrender all to Him.

  21. Emmanuel Baliaba

    Merci de partager avec nous cette expérience,cela fortifie ma foi et me rappelle à quel point je suis pauvre et fragile.cella me rappelle également le témoignage de JOB:(mon oreille avait entendu parler de toi,mais,maintenant mes yeux t’ont vu). Oh que DIEU m’aide à conserver une pleine assurance et une foie vivante jusqu’à la fin.

  22. Evodie Fidjo

    Jesus said about Himself “I can of Myself do nothing”, then who am I to think I can?

    Praise be to God for this miracle and thank you so much for sharing your experience. It is a tremendous help for me and from now on I want to be reminded of my nothingness and that I am absolutely nothing without Him.

  23. Johanna Harmse

    “I have no right, no demand, I only want to serve like the Son of Man, who has not come to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many.”

    This is the mindset I need everyday. Thanks Tielman for this article. What became clear for me these last days is that God’s full power can only come in me once I have completely become NOTHING in my own eyes. Once I am completely emptied from all human strength .

  24. Tom Choat

    Thankful that you received grace to take the right choice, thankful you are still here to watch over my friends.
    God has given us the right of mastery over sin and the evil (Gen 4:6-7). Even when we are weakened in body, we have the God given right to turn away from the “door”, and go in to the Holy of Holies right up to the Throne of grace: the choice is ours. It is those who have given up their own works, who have access. Heb 4:10-16

  25. Jette Zimakoff

    THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing this dear br Tielman. It strengthened me immencely! God used this infection-which can attack all organs even the brain-to give you this spiritual experience. And I am deeply thankful for you, your testimony and service for God and all the friends. I will pray, that you fully recover and regain strength! THANK YOU from Jette Zimakoff, DK

  26. Gry Neema Hanken

    Thank you so much! What a special testimony! God is great and his ways are always good ways. I also want to be small in my own eyes. Thank you so much 😊

  27. Thobias Silas

    God,You have shown us that through you when we are weak is when we become stronger and stronger,I have experienced and it has come alive and clear to me that time spending praying ,battling and giving our life submissively serving you has been a “store ” ,thank you so much for revealing us this stock.

  28. Gibson Mzumazi

    I was not well known that you are covid-19 positive until on the day of the meeting for the opening feast for Cameron. It was then I see a weak man but speaking the words of life from God then before the end of meeting I started felt that you are sick but not really known what a sick. Then after meeting I ask some friends and that now they told me everything. I was felt to pray to God that if I am to learn more about you Jesus and God then I must ask God to give brother Tielman a second breath as I am learning a lot from God through Tielman as for myself I am weak and stupid, but this brother Tielman is keeping reminding me and keep me a wake of this calling. Then I felt Jesus has helped you a lot and I will again see you here on earth, I was extremely happy to see that and I am too now to see you in meetings

    For sure it is very good to read this testimony from you brother Tielman. It is testimony that has given me more interest to seek God first in every circumstances, to remember him every now and then, not trying even a single second to think I am something and I can do this for myself, ” NEVER ” but always call upon Him who raised our master the Jesus Christ that He can also raise me up from old man into new man no matter how bad I was but now I chose to believe in Him and to stay in Him for the least of my life. I thank and praise God for His merciful, He is so much God of Care and love that He will never leave His sons with emptiness

  29. Lara Terblanche

    Thank you for your testimony dear Tielman. It’s was greatly encouraging and awakened in my heart to hear Gods ministering for myself and He’s will in my life. Thank you for faithfully and openenly sharing with us. May God continue to work in you and shine through you in the beautiful way He does and as other hear He’s word from you may we stand up and be encouraged to do the same!

  30. Friso Metz

    Thanks for this post. God can overcome all darkness that can come in our thoughts. May this experience help you to help others that are in great need.

  31. Edison Agaba

    I praise and thank the Living God for the wonderful and living testimony from our dearest Beloved Brother in Christ. For life and through him God has proved it to everyone of us that WHEN YOU BELIEVE IN HIM,He will never leave you alone and it is my longing that i can have a strong believe than ever and stand in true faith leaving all my own i to death and do His Will leaving all my own will death. I have come to totally believe that Jesus Christ Lives and He can always stand with whoever believes in Him and does His Will. I WILL NEVER NEVER LEAVE JESUS CHRIST IN MY ENTIRE LIFE BECAUSE HE IS MY MOST HIGHER MASTER AND HE LIVES. I praise and thank Him for healing our beloved Brother Tielman and may God bless whoever stood with him and the family in the difficult moments where everyone was helpless and the only way was to seek Gods wisdom.

  32. glen david owens

    So good to hear the unity in the brotherhood concerning our awakenings to the fact that “without him–we can do nothing”, and that our Father’s mercies over our lives deserve constant praise and thankfulness. I again am reminded of the verse “To Whom much is Given–Much is Required”. It’s easy to pay that price, once one has tasted God allowing me to go from Glory to Glory. Thank you brother for your testimony.

  33. Stephen G MCNUTT

    I had Covid, myself. I didn’t have that same experience. But, I did experience God’s presence on a level that I never had before.
    Thanks for sharing your experience.

  34. Ruth Evangelisti

    Thank you for sharing this testimony!! I believe people who suffer from depression can experience similar thoughts and feeling as you experienced with COVID-19. My prayer is that your testimony could help many such ones! You made it is so clear how we can choose to believe in spite of how we feel, or the thoughts that can come. It makes me personally more determined to always, always choose to believe.

  35. Peter Braun

    Thank you for your testimony , dear brother, It has inspired me to always trust God whatever He sends my way is the very best for my salvation. I want to be awake to use the operatunitys . May God continue to Bless you.

  36. Dubravko Vukmirovic

    Amen. When sickness comes in that way, but also traumatic events like loved ones depart it is same situation.

    ” took every possible grain of energy out of me, and left me horrible, with pointless thoughts going around and around in never-ending circles with no meaning. And worst of all, it was as if I could not get one meaningful prayer through to Jesus. I felt God-forsaken, with every cell in my body feeling dead, dry and horrible!”


  37. Christian Bell

    I have a God of miracle…
    That’s a huge testimony of yours, many thanks. I can understand from this that God has always an open way for me throught any situation in life I’m coming across, and he’s aware of anything that happens to his disciple. It’s really my longing to stick to his words and commands and rely on him in every single situation in my life. Thank you Br Tielman for this, Praise be God.

  38. Hanna Kook-Visser

    Tielman, thanks a lot for sharing this trial of faith and this victory of faith!! It really touched me as I exactly needed what you wrote. I hope you will recover completely from this illness, and that God will give you the strength and power you need to do His will. What especially has spoken to me is how the mindset of Jesus became so clear for you: he came as a servant, in lowliness of mind and had just one desire: here I am to do your will, o God. We really need to stay in humiliation, every day. I will be there!!

  39. Ndounla ALEXANDRE

    Merci cher frère pour ce puissant témoignage, je comprends une autre dimension de la foie et j’aspire à cette vie d’être un serviteur inutile, je décide tout de suite de croire pour tout le reste de ma vie . Je remercie notre seigneur de nous avoir remis notre très cher frère et ami sincères.

  40. Grace Naare

    I don’t know what to say but I am very thankful for everything I read, may God help to be humble and know and remember I am nothing without him.

  41. JENNY

    So staan ek toe ook voor daar die verskriklike COVID vrees bevange Maar ek kyk na bo en Jesus vat my hand en ‘n kalmte kom oor my en ek weet dis waar ek moet wees.By my Heiland se voete Ek prys sy naam Dankie ek het oorwin

  42. Leah Hannah

    I’m nothing and only through God can something be made in me. God help me to be faithful and do your will. Help me to recover fully from Covid and serve you in every single way.

  43. Marli

    SPREUKE 3:5
    Vertrou op die Here met jou hele hart en steun nie op jou eie insig nie.

    Al raak dinge moeilik en voel of daar geen verandering plaasvind nie, wil ek aanhou vertrou. Ek wil nie moedeloos raak nie. Die Here is met my en ek moet net Hom vertrou en gehoorsaam wees en luister as Hy met my praat.

    Dankie Br Tielman vir die boodskap

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