A desert changed into a garden

Sunday service, Erlo Stegen, 04 Mar 2018

Is 35:8

And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness;
it will be for those who walk on that Way.
The unclean will not journey on it;
wicked fools will not go about on it.

Go and read this chapter on your knees. I remember a minister from overseas. He had to oversee three congregations. He prayed what he should preach about and a word was laid on his heart and so he decided to preach the same message in all three congregations. One of the elders of the congregation asked to accompany him to all three congregations. The minister agreed that he could accompany him, but thought, “But I only have one message for all three congregations. What will this elder say?”. The minister decided that he didn’t mind and that he would just preach the message three times because he felt that that was what God had put on his heart. After the third time, the elder came to him and said,” You preached the message three times and it was only the third time that I really heard.” We like to hear things only once but sometimes it only dawns on you the third time.

We were in Namibia and it went very well. Chapter 35 is about a desert like Namibia. You should read it on your knees and ask God to speak to you. Verse 8 says “And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it.” Some whites only want to hear something once but the blacks don’t mind hearing something again. They say it’s nice to hear something again. In Namibia we were close to the sea and it was a parched desert. You can travel long distances like from here to Johannesburg and it is just sand. I invited administrators from that area to visit the mission. Namibia is far from here and nations aren’t the same. They were very hospitable and good to us. We went with someone from there who said it is difficult to get property there. It is a desert but someone has a small garden in that area and everything grows so well. So we asked for some land for agriculture but someone over 60 years doesn’t have signing rights any more. I said to the people, “I think you are living in paradise if you only knew how to utilize it.” We thought we could go in an aeroplane but the man said he wouldn’t go into an aeroplane any more but I said, “You can get into this plane because it is a plane of prayer.” So he went with us and then he told me that we could forget about getting land there but I said that I thought things could grow here. So we arranged a meeting with the regional authorities and I asked for a small piece of land to show them what they could do with it and teach them how to do it. They then said they would give us some land even though I was over 60. I said it could change into a garden like Isaiah 35. “The wilderness will rejoice and blossom.” They said what size land did I want and I asked for 500 hectares. I told them that they are sitting on a treasure and they don’t realise it. The man who lived there so long tried to get land and didn’t get it but they gave land to us and welcomed us in such a good way even though they aren’t Christians as we are. I only see God in this. So I invited them to come and visit us at the mission and Lord willing they will come soon. They would like to see what it is like where I come from and what the people are like. I thank God for His working.
I trust that you read Isaiah 35 and that God spoke to you. May it be that your desert will change into a garden. The Bible says it will be called the way of holiness and the unclean will not walk on it. Are you walking on that way?