To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. (John 10:3-4, KJV)Hundreds of years ago, when men to sea at all, their boats kept always within the sight of shore. Your Greek or Roman mariner might be quite master of his galley, but he could not bear to lose sight of a head land that he knew, for he had no compass and knew little or nothing of astronomical observations.

Here and there a lighthouse might have been placed, but it would be regarded as a wonder. But at this day a ship may not sight land for a month, and yet its position on the chart will be as certain as your position in the pew. The vessel will be steered entirely by observations of the heavenly bodies and by chart and compass, and yet at the end of thirty days, it will reach a point that was never within sight, and reach it as accurately as if it had been running on a tramline instead of sailing over the pathless ocean. Its way as certain as if it had traversed a railway from port to port.

Such is the life of a Christian—the life of faith. We see not spiritual things, but yet we steer for them with absolute certainty. We are guided by the Word of God, which is our chart, and by the witness of the blessed Spirit within, which is our compass. We see him who is invisible, and we seek a heaven full of “things not seen as yet.” Glory be to God, we shall reach the harbor as sure as a bullet goes to the mark. (Charles Spurgeon, At the Master’s Feet, July 8 )