A Wilderness Experience

by | Jul 7, 2009

Joseph Herrin (07-07-09)

Some have wondered about the lack of any blog postings during the past week. I went camping in the Oconee Forest of Georgia on the banks of Lake Sinclair in order to check out some of the things I have recently repaired and added to my camper/van. Following is a picture of my van at the primitive campsite I selected which had no running water or electricity.

As you can see, I found a shady spot to park where I could still place my solar panels in the Sun. They worked well, even though they received good sunlight only about 4-5 hours during the day. This was sufficient for me to charge up my laptop battery once a day (twice on occasion), as well as keeping the van batteries charged up to use a 12 volt fan and interior lights at night (sparingly). I also listened to the Pioneer stereo system (appropriately named) for a few hours during my week long stay. The solar panels did an adequate job.

On the last day I was at the lake the sky was overcast and the efficiency of the solar panels was greatly reduced, so sunny weather is definitely a plus when any significant electrical usage is anticipated. I also was able to recharge my cell phone each night from the van batteries, and other small appliances can be similarly charged – electric beard trimmer, GPS unit, etc..

I would recommend more than one set of these panels, and a deep cycle battery (or two) with a significant capacity, if a family or individual intends to use electricity beyond a very modest extent. I never ran a fan more than a couple hours at night, as it cooled off sufficiently for me to cut it off. Wal-mart sells a 125 amp hour deep cycle marine battery for $85.00, which would be very adequate for my own needs. The solar panels pictured above cost $299.00 now at Amazon’s website.

http://www.amazon.com/Sunforce-50044-60-Watt-Solar-Charging/dp/B000CIADLG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=automotive&qid=1245861212&sr=1-1
They are a bit awkward for one person to carry around by themselves, but I managed. I also tried out the awning I had rigged up out of a tarp and some corn-cob style tarp holders on the side of my van.

As you can see, the awning is billowing upward as the wind was blowing directly off the lake. The wind was very intense the first 4 days I spent at the lake. I estimate that it gusted over 30 miles an hour at times. I found that the tarp holders on the van needed longer screws, as an intense gust of wind snatched them loose on the first day. I have since remedied this problem, though it is really not advisable to leave an awning up in very windy conditions. An awning does add a lot to a campsite, however, and provides a good sitting area out of the sun and rain.

As you might imagine, July in Georgia can be quite hot. It reached 99 degrees one day while camping, and was in the mid nineties most days. I did not have use of the camper’s air conditioner as it must be plugged into shore power (110 AC) to use it. However, I found that a combination of a very shady campsite and near constant breezes made the weather quite bearable. Some days I would wade up to my neck in the lake in the afternoons to cool off, and most all days I used a squirt bottle full of water to wash myself down with. This was very refreshing and in the evening especially it had a similar effect as air conditioning. As the water vapor evaporates off the skin it has a tremendous cooling effect.

I find that in hot weather that I have less of an appetite for food, especially hot food. A few days I would fix cream of wheat with brown sugar and raisins for breakfast, and twice I heated up a can of soup. That was the extent of my cooking. The rest of the time I ate crackers and canned fish, or snacked on roasted peanuts, or Saltines with orange marmalade. Perhaps this does not sound too appealing to some reading this blog, but I find a simple delight in eating basic things and being satisfied with them. Over the past ten years as I have known some lean times I have come to appreciate simplicity. Manna in the wilderness can be very satisfying if one can wrest their mind away from the thought of all the variety of foods they once feasted on while in Egypt. One day I treated myself to a Vidalia sweet onion on some Saltine crackers. It was an exceptional onion – very sweet. Add a tin of smoked herring and you have a wilderness meal extraordinaire. (Of course I had to have my hot sauce on the fish. I am not particular. Any hot sauce will do; Tapatio, Texas Pete, Tabasco, or the local store brand.)

In the wilderness, away from the abundance and convenience of the world, a person learns to delight in simple things. Misting oneself down after a hot day can be a positive delight that would not be so appreciated had a person spent the day in air conditioned comfort. Darkness falling and the air cooling down would not be so appreciated in the city. One learns to be thankful for a breeze blowing, for a chair to sit on, and for a roof over their head when it rains, as it did my last night camping.

Of course, the Israelites complained during their wilderness journey. What was intended to humble them, and should have elicited gratitude for that which God did provide, was met with stony hearts and murmuring about those things they deemed to be lacking. What will the Father find in the hearts of His sons and daughters in coming days? The Spirit expressly testifies that the abundance of the land will be cut off. The ease and comforts of Babylon will be removed from the land.

God provided some peculiar testimony of this while I was camping. Randy Simmons came out and joined me Saturday afternoon and stayed until Sunday afternoon. We were sitting on the banks of Lake Sinclair watching the boats and jet skis go by when what we observed to be a prophetic event took place.

A couple of jet skis came near to our location. One held a man and his son. They stopped in the water and the jet ski rolled over, belly up. It had taken on water, and his friend towed him to the bank near our campsite. They were unable to get the jet ski restarted, and ended up towing it back to their dock. The man with his son said his whole 4th of July week-end had been a disaster. The day before he had tried using a different jet ski, only to encounter a different problem. Only a few minutes after the jet ski was towed away I observed a pontoon boat towing a fishing boat past our campsite that had also broken down.

When Randy arrived at my campsite on Saturday, he informed me that the air conditioner had gone out at his grandfather’s house the night before. His grandfather had guests who came in Friday evening to spend the week-end, and the air conditioner had gone out not too long after they arrived. Being a holiday week-end he was unable to get hold of anyone to repair the unit, so they set-up fans in the house and had to make do with them.

My daughter went to Lake Blackshear on the 4th of July with a group of people from her church. When I asked her about the time spent there I heard a very similar report from her. Kristin informed me that the boat the family she was with intended to use would not run when they got to the lake, so they were unable to go boating. Some other families went boating, and one group got ticketed and another received a warning for creating a wake in a no-wake zone. They were unaware that it was a no-wake zone. And yet another person ended up backing into another person’s car, so their outing was marred with numerous mishaps.

I have concluded that the Lord has a message in these many events. The comforts and pleasures Americans have known and depended upon for so long are about to be cut-off. This is not a new message. It is what the Spirit has been proclaiming for a long season. What is different is that the time of this judgment is at hand. It will no longer delay.

I have shared many instances of the Lord directing various individuals to prepare for days of shaking when basic services will be interrupted, and it will be necessary for many to flee from the cities and find more suitable locations. I am hearing regularly from people who are out of work, or who are facing reduced employment and income. These ones are having to look to the Lord to provide what they need. I do not know of any who are doing so who are finding the Father to be anything but sufficient in these things.

It is true that the Father is causing many to lose their homes, and possessions, and to greatly simplify their lives and lower their standard of living. Yet I know of none who are not finding Him faithful to supply their daily needs when they look to Him. I recently received a very remarkable testimony from a sister in Christ. She wrote to me the following.

Greetings Joseph,

I just wanted to write and thank you for your service to the body of Christ through these blogs. Every time I receive one in my email it confirms all that the Lord has been showing our fellowship here and encourage us in remembering the different trials that the Lord has brought us through that you do not sit and rethink over every day.

Hearing about your van/camper reminds me of a period in time when we had a new Trailblazer. The Lord put us in a position to not be able to afford the things we were use to and through that taught us different lessons we knew we would need in the wilderness. He had our Trailblazer repossessed but there was special meaning in that. We purchased that vehicle on 6/6/06 and directly in the middle of the VIN number were the numbers 666. We knew the Lord was removing from us worldly possessions.

But the Lord is always faithful. We have 4 children three of which have to be in car seats so we require a larger vehicle to travel in. He replaced that trailblazer with an older conversion van that is in terrific shape inside and runs great. The back seats turn into a bed and we learned that we could live in it when we used it, instead of a camp, to go camping at a local church camp meeting!

After we had received this van the Lord began giving us a couple things here and there to pack in it for the coming wilderness. In the middle (of this period) our electricity was shut off at our home and it was the funniest thing, as we sat and talked about it being off the day they shut it off we felt a freedom that we did not expect. It rushed over us in liberty. We felt like we had been in bondage to electricity our entire lives and had been tricked into feeling it was absolutely needed to live. Now I have nothing against electricity, but it was a blessing to learn that it is just a nice extra, and we learned many creative ways to live without it. When we looked at the electric box outside we saw that when they turn it off they put a red tag on it that is numbered. Our red tag had 666 right in it. Again we knew the Lord was separating us from the things the world provides and teaching us to live on the Lord’s blessings.

Soon after that we were spending almost all of our time outside in our yard and in the van in the driveway, instead of in the house in the day times since there were no lights in there. My mother had cleaned out her hall closet and brought me a perfect wilderness gift from the Lord even though she does not know the Lord.

For 30 years she has traveled and gone on vacations and trips and she would take the little soaps and soap bottles and she kept them in her closet. She has not touched them or used them, but just kept sticking them in there for all these years. So she cleaned it all out and brought me boxes and bags of these soaps and shampoos and conditioners and lotions, thinking that they would be good for us, so we can save money on buying those things. There is more stuff there than my family could use in many, many years. Because we were not using our house much and we did not have hot water because of no electricity, we did not need that much soap in the house, so I packed it in the van and realized at that moment that the Lord had begun packing us for the wilderness on His own! Now we will be able to give the Lord’s provision of those things to whomever we come across in those days that needs it. AMEN.

When you speak of the sister who was told about the electricity being unreliable in the coming days it reminds me that the Lord began to prepare us for that already, how to live without hot water as small of a thing as that may seem etc…

After that the Lord removed our house from us and now we live with family which, while it is very comfortable, is not a life long endeavor and we know we are here temporarily until He moves us, or until the word comes from Him to go which we see is soon coming.

Thank you for inadvertently reminding me of some of the wonderful trials the Lord has put us through and prepared us with!

God bless you in Jesus name,
J…

What I found remarkable about this testimony was the attitude expressed. How many Christian families today with small children would respond so favorably to what most would consider to be adverse conditions? How many would actually find it liberating to no longer be so dependent upon electricity, or to find themselves having to spend more time outside because the house had no lights? How many would see their own adversity as an opportunity to minister to the needs of others? How many would express gratitude that the Father was preparing them for the wilderness?

I can tell you from my own experience of relating to large numbers of people that such an attitude is extremely rare, and very precious. May Yahweh bless me with such companions in the days ahead. It is people with humble and thankful hearts that will get through their wilderness experience successfully, as overcomers. The majority who murmur and complain will either seek to turn back to Egypt, looking for succor in the beast system of this world, or they will shrivel up in bitterness in the wilderness.

The Spirit is testifying that a great many professing believers will become embittered against God in the days ahead. They will be angry that He has taken away their comforts and pleasures, and they will complain noisily. These will refuse to embrace the ways of Yahweh. They will prove unwilling to humbly take up the cross appointed to them. Many will fall away from the faith.

Last night I listened to an excellent interview of Michael Boldea hosted by Nathan Leal. I highly recommend it. It testifies to many of these same things.

http://www.watchmanscry.com/audio/broadcast_135.mp3

Aside from testing out some of my wilderness provisions, I also went camping to spend time with the Lord. Since returning from my trek across the country I had fallen into a bit of a spiritual malaise. It was as if I was in the doldrums. I found it hard to focus spiritually, and the few blogs I have written in the past weeks lacked the crisp focus in the effort that I am accustomed to. I had prayed a couple weeks ago that the Father would help me to get re-focused, and He worked greatly to accomplish this during my week in the woods.

Yahweh immediately began speaking to me about ruling over the flesh. He brought me back once more to the message of the cross.

Galatians 5:24
Now those who belong to Christ Yahshua have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Matthew 16:24-25
Then Yahshua said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it.”

The body of Christ must go through a flesh cutting experience. A spiritual creation must arise from what is at present a very fleshly and self-focused body of believers. The caterpillar is referred to as the stomach with legs, for it lives to eat. Yet God has shown in the caterpillar’s metamorphosis into the butterfly the depth of transformation that must occur in His own people. They must ascend from their earth bound existence. They must place their treasures in heaven. Their appetites and desires must completely change.

Three of the first days I spent camping I had encounters with butterflies in my campsite. They would land on me, and remain, at times for lengthy periods of time. One particular fellow spent a long time perched upon my Bible with his proboscis constantly probing for some delicacy to eat. Even when I disturbed him, he would return to the same place.

In the wilderness the people of God will be removed from that which they formerly fed upon, even all the pleasures and entertainments of the world. They will eat the manna that came down from heaven, and that manna is Christ, the Living Word of God. The change of diet will have a transforming effect upon their lives.

Is it therefore not a very good thing that God will cut-off from His people the things that have been satisfying them for so long? Even as some in the church group my daughter was with were ticketed for failing to slow down in a no-wake zone, will not the church be penalized if they continue to remain asleep, pursuing worldly pleasures, when the Father would have them to set all of their affections on things above?

Ephesians 5:14-16
For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.

May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.

Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws
Parables Blog: http://www.parablesblog.blogspot.com

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

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