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Summary of sermon by Erlo Stegen, 24 Nov 2013
1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
At the beginning of the revival in 1967, while we were still at Maphumulo, a young man come to me to ask for help. He was depressed thinking only of suicide.
He shared his sad story with me. He was on fire for God since he was a child, and dreamt of becoming a preacher of the Gospel ever since. His parents were poor and couldn't afford him a proper education, but he was quite bright. He obtained an opportunity to study at a theological college, and he was delighted to prepare for the ministry. At that time girls were allowed to study there too.
It then happened that he fell in love with a girl there at the College. He had a great infatuation for her. The relationship grew and things went further and further until the girl eventually told him that she was pregnant. It was a great shock to him but he told her to keep quiet and tell no one. But one day the rector of the college called him and asked him pointedly if he had been involved with one of the girls and made her pregnant. He felt dizzy. He decided to deny it, although he thought on the verse, "the truth shall set you free" (John 8:32). But the rector told him that the matter has come to light and he was expelled. He left crying, packing his bags in misery. He didn't have money. He looked for a job in vain. The family of this girl hated him, and could kill him, for he had shamed their family. He was in despair and thought the only way out was to commit suicide. Things only went from bad to worse. Eventually he couldn't sleep anymore.
As he searched for help he came to Kingscliffe, where God also worked in revival power, where some came together to pray and sing. It drew him. He was touched and spoke to the one leading the singing and shared his sad story. The man sent him to Maphumulo to speak to Rev. Stegen. He came and shared his story with me. I prayed for him that God would intervene and help him as I had no resources to help him. I gave him a room to sleep, and that night was the first night he slept properly in a long time. Early the next morning he came again to tell the matter more fully. I told him that I don't know how God will help but nothing is impossible with God.
He then shared a dream he had that night with me. He found himself on a narrow road, climbing a mountain. It was as if he was alone in the world. It was difficult. Suddenly there was a wall in front of him, that was so high and wide he couldn't see its height or width. He cried to God for help, but he realised his prayer wasn't getting to the other side. Then a voice spoke to him and told him that he couldn't cross that wall for he had built it himself. He answered that he couldn't remember building it. Then the voice told him that every sin he ever did were the bricks in that wall, when he stole, lied etc., he was building that wall brick by brick. Then he started to remember his sins and as he mentioned them, it was as if an invisible hammer knocked the bricks out of the wall. One by one he remembered his sins and confessed them and the bricks were knocked from the wall and disappeared from sight. Then he woke up.
As he awoke his whole life stood before him like a video. All his evil, fighting, lying etc. were before him. He wrote it all down, and came to me with it and we knelt and prayed that God would forgive him.
I shared many verses with him, like,
"The one who cover his sins will not prosper but the one who confesses and forsake his sin will obtain mercy" (Prov 28:13).
Other verses also, "If we say we have not sinned we lie, but if we confess and forsake our sin we will obtain mercy" (1 John 1: 8, 9).
"The Lord's arm is not shortened that it cannot save, or His ear heavy that it cannot hear, but our sins have become a wall of separation between us and Him" (Isaiah 59:1, 2).
He repented thoroughly and confessed and forsook his sin. His whole countenance changed and he shined, and his life changed completely.
Afterwards he asked for work. My brother had asked me if I knew of someone that could work in the butchery, and I thought of this young man. He earned a good salary and soon could afford the dowry and he prospered, for the Lord had saved him. My brother also told me later that of all those in his employ, none were as faithful and hard-working as this young man.
You who are in trouble and cannot see your way forward, come and dwell in the secret place of the Most High and abide under the shadow of the Almighty, for He is mighty of save.