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Old Meeting House Congregational Church (1643)

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The Unseen Friend

January 24, 2018

“When I look back I have no doubts that Providence guided us, not only across those snowfields, but across the storm-white sea. I know that during that long and racking march of thirty-six hours over the unnamed mountains and glaciers of South Georgia it seemed to me often that we were four not three. I said nothing to my companions, but afterwards Worsley said to me, `Boss, I had a curious feeling on that march that there was another person with us.”

- Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton (1874 – 1922), after one of his journeys.

Sadly, I meet rather a lot of people who seem to think that God either does not exist or that He left this planet years ago. I just can’t agree with this. As I look back on my life I have a very strong sense that at times I have been guided by an unseen hand. I meet the right people, I find (or was I shown?) passages in books that have inspired me, doors of opportunity have opened, the list is endless. I really love the quote by Shackleton and it is my prayer that you will love this quote too.

Every true Christian should believe that God guides. It is a fundamental doctrine found in the Bible. But how does He guide? Many people have abandoned their belief in His guidance because they asked it in a special difficulty, and so far, as they know they have received no help. Why does God seem to deny guidance sometimes? One possible reason is the condition of our own lives, the quality of our faith. God’s guidance is a question of purity of heart. “The pure in heart,” said Jesus, “shall see God.” When there is conscious sin we cannot very well to expect to get God’s guidance. If I am harbouring any evil whatsoever in my heart I cannot go to God and expect guidance because I am not following the guidance I already have, which is to cast evil out of my life. Evil not only prevents me from getting new guidance, but it throws a smoke-screen between myself and God, so that I cannot see the guidance when it is there. Before asking further guidance, I must ask myself whether I have obeyed the guidance I have already received. Have I surrendered every known sin? Have I given Christ the right to control my every thought and desire? God says, “Make yourself clean, put away the evil of your doing, cease to do evil, learn to do will.”

John.

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