John Gunn - Portugal Convention - 2005

John Gunn finished the Convention with the words from Malachi 3:12, “'And all nations shall call you blessed, for ye shall be a delightsome land,' saith the Lord of hosts.”  None of us know the future but this is God’s purpose for His children is that to be like a delightsome land. This verse does not speak of being in a delightsome land, but being a delightsome land.  The land of Canaan was not like the land of Egypt where it was flat.  It is not difficult to walk when it is flat but this was to be a land of hills and valleys, not so easy to walk either going up or coming down.  It was easy to work in Egypt, they had the river Nile where they could water the land  whenever they wanted it,  but in Canaan they depended on the rain from heaven. 

What made it a delightsome land?  It was the care of God upon it and what makes our little piece of land delightsome to Him?  It is found in how we respond to His care and provision, how we respond when we receive the showers from heaven.  This is what we have received here these days and now God wants us to produce something in our lives, fruit in our lives that will make us a delightsome land for God.  God wants that His word and His will would prosper in our lives today. 

Joseph was a delightsome land in his youth.  It did not come because of where he was, he was not in delightful situation, not in a good situation, he lived amongst dishonest men, his own brothers, but God showed him to be a delightsome land for God.  Joseph’s sheaf was able to stand upright when every other sheaf was bending over.  We will not be a delightsome land unless we stand firm and not be moved by the winds of this world or by what others have, people who are dishonest and are deceitful.  Joseph’s sheaf remained upright and all nations were able to call him blessed, a delightsome land for God produces truth and honesty and this is what is missing in a dishonest and crooked world. 

Amongst the people of this world there is a lack of honesty, if there is honesty amongst men, then we do not need policemen or inspectors, controllers, or even cashiers in the supermarket if men were 100% honest. Amongst us as God’s people we also need honesty as we are so inclined to lie to be able to make a good appearance before others but we read in the bible that we are not to lie to one another.  This would not be in the mouth’s of God’s people if truth is in the heart and this is what makes us a delightsome land for God. 

2 Corinthians 7:1,
“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”  Where there is a mixture there has to be a purification to be pure.  God sees the impurity and sees that it is so easy to become contaminated, a mixture of when we say we think this or that, that it is not pure.  We need to purify ourselves, to separate ourselves from what is within us so that we can become a delightsome land for God.  There is no one here that has not felt the working of the Spirit of God these days and no one that has not been touched.

The Spirit of God does not reveal to us what it cannot cleanse. The Spirit of God will not lead us where it cannot prosper us. The Spirit led Jesus to the desert and then He returned in the power of the Spirit.  He prospered according to the will of God and it is this power working in our lives that will enable us to become a delightsome land for Him.  A life that is 100% given to God, not keeping any part back then God can do according to what He wants to do in that life.  God can then work without limit and He will see the perfection of His work and this will be a delightsome land for God.  It is not easy to live lives 100% for God but it is what we aim for, we want to be a delightsome land for God. 

One time at a convention far from Europe, I went for a walk to meditate and met a dog who became friendly and walked with me.  I was quite happy with my friend and then something happened.  Ahead of us two elderly ladies came out of the house.  The dog who was behind me went across the road to bark at the two ladies who yelled at me to look after my dog, so I was not so happy with my dog now.  Then a bit further a car backed out of a driveway.  The dog barked at the car so the driver wound down the window and called for me to look after my dog.  This dog was happy to be associated with me but he did not want to be under my control so he became an embarrassment to me.  We can only be a delightsome land for God when we are 100% under His control, association with God will not save us, we need to be brought under control.  This friendly dog gave a bad impression of me to others.  This is what happens when we do our own will, we make a bad impression of our God to others.

David asked God that the meditations of his heart would be acceptable to God. David wanted to be a delightsome land for God.  When we are away from the meetings, when we call on a brother or sister or just alone, what are our meditations like for when we are meditating on the Lamb of God it makes us a delightsome land for God.  All this culminates not in what others think of us or say of us but what I am for God, a delightsome land. 

Cain had a good desire, he wanted to make an offering for God, he came to the right place, the presence of God, but in the wrong condition. He came with one intention to have his way and he left God’s presence without any power in his life because he was unwilling to be changed and cleansed of his wrong attitude to his brother.  What is in the heart no one else sees but God.

Sarah laughed in her heart… Abraham did not see, nor anyone else but God saw. He sees and knows when we are 100% willing.  We want perfection in our hearts.  We have all experienced the provision from God and now the question is how do we respond.  We have had the richness of heaven, the fruit of the earth, all received from God and how we respond will determine whether we will be a delightsome land or not for God.

We ended the convention in singing “A Life of Overcoming, A Life of Ceaseless Praise, Be This Thy Blessed Portion Throughout the Coming Days,”  which was so appropriate.