Army Archives

Guidance of the Spirit

“If you want today's fire to burn brightly, begin by raking out yesterday's ashes.” by Captain Charles Smith
William Arthur Hugh Redwood

As we come into a New Year, are we as Salvationists looking to be guided by the presence of God in our everyday life? British journalist and evangelist William Arthur Hugh Redwood penned the proverb, “If you want today’s fire to burn brightly, begin by raking out yesterday’s ashes.” That is exactly what Hugh Redwood did. He desired nothing more than the very presence of Christ in each and every situation that he encountered.

It was by the Lord’s grace and guidance that Mr. Redwood went with The Salvation Army Slum Sisters* into the slums of London to serve amid conditions that exposed the depravity of humanity. There he experienced the very presence of Christ among those that were considered the last, the lost and the least.

As Hugh began to see the work that these Slum Sisters did, he saw it as “the prism of the Light and Love of God in the deepest and darkest of situations.” It was through those experiences that Mr. Redwood began to write several books concerning that work within the slums. In books such as “God in the Slums,” “God in the Shadows” and “God in the Everyday,” he showed readers that the Lord is not far away from any one of us and that He desires to guide us into new journeys.

What kind of journey are you beginning this year? Do you want to grow closer to God? Do you desire His guidance in all that you say and do? Do you desire to see the fire of the Holy Spirit burn brighter today in your life? Then begin by raking out yesterday’s ashes, those ashes of doubt, discouragement, disillusionment, destruction and denial. We as Salvationists have a great work ahead of us and a powerful foe to overcome. We need that fresh baptism of fire to qualify us for what lays ahead into this new year.

*Around the turn of the 20th century, Salvation Army “Slum Sisters” lived in the worst areas of cities like London and New York to be as useful as possible to their neighbors. They would visit homes to take care of children, nurse the sick, cook meals and do housework. They’d also visit bars, brothels and drug houses for the purpose of bringing the light of God into dark places.

Captain Charles Smith is the Corps Officer for the Army in Jonesboro, AR. Photo by The Salvation Army National Archives

ALL Articles