James 1:22 (NIV)
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
Among their many tasks, the Royal Northwest Mounted Police (aka: NWMP or Mounties) in Fort MacPherson, North West Territories, was also in charge of delivering mail to Dawson City, Yukon, a trek of 475 miles by dogsled. The trail was quite hazardous. The sleds often broke through the ice over the lakes and rivers, and the temperatures were often extreme.
In December 1910, Inspector F.J. Fitzgerald, along with three of his comrades, was in charge of the next mail delivery to Dawson City. They left the fort to never return.
On February 28th a search party with dogs was send out from Dawson City. (Note that three months had already gone by! Bureaucracy?) Three weeks later they discovered the bodies of the Fitzgerald patrol 35 miles from Fort MacPherson.
It seems that Fitzgerald had lost his way in the Oglivie Mountains and decided to head back to Fort MacPherson. Because of lack of supplies, bad weather, sparse game and inexperience, however, they never made it.
Shortly after this disaster, rest cabins and supply caches were set up along the route to Dawson City, and experienced First Nations guides and hunters were arranged to accompany every patrol. As a result, the Mounties learned to depend on the knowledge and generosity of the First Nations people for survival in this harsh climate. They soon realized that their issue uniforms were not the most efficient for the Yukon's weather (red is nice, but how useful is it in a snow storm?) And a decision was made to adopt the clothing of the First Nations people: fur-trimmed coats, hide mitts and mukluks. Many of these were given to the police as gifts.
Soon the First Nations people became indispensable to the Mounties as dog drivers, guides, hunters, interpreters and tailors. The designation of "Special Constable" was given to these men, and with their help, the fatal consequences suffered by the Lost Patrol were avoided by future NWMP constables.
Having a reliable guide, one who knows the way and knows how to avoid danger, is a very important thing, especially in this world of chaos and confusion! We often wonder what to do, which way to turn, what decisions to make, etc., and the advice of our fellow human beings often leave us wanting.
There is a Guide who is infallible. Not only this, but He's also available at all times! You can entrust your very life to His hands, with the assurance that you couldn't be in better hands (not even your own!)!
Who is the One willing to live in us and be our guide? "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?" (1 Cor 3:16 NIV); "But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth." (John 16:13 NIV)
He is often referred as the "Word of God", which is a very accurate description, as He is the author of the Bible, and He will never contradict His own word: "I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one." (1 John 2:14 NIV)
There are many pitfalls and dangers that sneak onto our road of life. If we are not careful and we make wrong decisions, fatal consequences can occur. We can avoid being labelled another "lost patrol', because direction and guidance are available to us, free of charge! The Holy Spirit will never mislead us! In fact, the only way to get lost is to ignore His advice! "The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." (Isa 58:11 NIV); "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." (James 1:22 NIV)
Discover for yourself how awesome and welcome His presence is in your life. Invite Him with open arms and embrace His unending love. You will experience a friendship out of this world, one that you will never regret! With the Holy Spirit you never have to lose your way through life.
Dear Lord, lead us today. Help us let You take control of all we say and do so that we may do the things You would have for us. Help us be witnesses for You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.