14th June 2014

Early Warning 

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns. … The Lord will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.’”
Isaiah 52:7, 10 (NKJV UK)

I remember standing on the pile cap at the Hinkley B nuclear power station many years ago now, and feeling the power throbbing away under my feet. We then went down the stairs inside the containment building to the generator hall. It was about 90 degrees in there I remember, and then the noise of the four generators whirring away at full power using the steam coming from the heat transfer units was overwhelming and relentless.

In the background was a sound played every few seconds. It was a two-tone sound. “Working with that all day must get very tiresome,” I commented to the station controller who was taking us around the facility. “Not at all,” he said. “When that sound stops we have seconds to get out of this building before the doors seal and the place is flooded with anti-radiation gasses. I actually miss it when I go home.”

Seems to me that it’s the same with us Christians. We have the presence of God with us all the time. We don’t actually hear a sound, but when that presence stops or is frustrated (Ephesians 4:30), that’s the time when we really need to take early warning and undertake urgent action. We will have discouraged the presence of God so much that he actually has begun to withdraw his presence. The sooner we notice, the better chance we have of survival. After all, he respects our free will. There’s no coercion by God. In some ways it’s a pity we don’t have something like that two-tone sound, because when it stops we could react instantly.

The apostle Paul urged us to examine ourselves to see whether or not we are in the faith. Warning noise or not, that’s a good admonition to take seriously.

Our Father, we have been brought close to you through your mercy and the saving work of your Son, and that’s where we want to be. Through weakness, through the deceitfulness of life and the lunges at us by the devil, we need your help to keep close to you; and we ask for that help in Jesus’ name.

Study by John Stettaford


johnstettafordAbout the Author:
John Stettaford is an Elder in the Reading Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Reading
Prospect School, 6th Form Common Room
Honey End Lane
RG30 4EL

Meeting time:
Saturday 11am

Local Congregational Contact:
John Stettaford
Phone:  01923-241426
Email: pastor@wcg-reading.org.uk

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