Now, before you misunderstand me, let me make it absolutely clear that angel chasing is a bad idea. Angels do not want our worship. They are spiritual beings who glorify God; they point us to Him. So let’s keep our focus on Him. But there are two incidents worth considering.
In the Gospels, angels proclaim the birth of Jesus and explain to Joseph and Mary what is happening. They are there at the empty tomb and after Jesus’ ascension. Jesus said they would accompany the Son of Man when He returns, and gather in the harvest. But twice we are told they ministered to Jesus. That’s interesting.
Matthew and Mark tell us that angels ministered to Jesus when the devil got tired of tempting Jesus: “Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.” (Matthew 4:11; see also Mark 1:12-13) Luke comments, “When the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time” (Luke 4:13).
Maybe that opportune time arrived in Gethsemane. It was perhaps Jesus’ most vulnerable moments. He knew what was about to happen—the betrayal, abandonment, false accusations, verbal and physical abuse, and one of the most shameful and agonizing deaths dreamt up by men. Jesus was in such agony that His sweat glands oozed blood that dripped to the ground (Luke 22:44). How tempting it must have been to call the whole thing off, to summon twelve angelic legions to prevent His arrest (Matthew 26:53). But He resisted.
“Father, if Thou art willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Thine be done.” Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. (Luke 22:42-43)
Jesus’ refusal to use His position and power to serve or preserve His own life released God’s help. For us, we might experience a wave of God’s presence, the Spirit of God lifting our spirits. Sometimes we identify it as His grace, or favor. Why did God send angels on these two occasions? Most angel behavior fits a simple pattern: they deliver God’s messages and activate His will. In these two instances the angels minister strength. Perhaps angels were the most magnificently tangible and unmistakable way to support Jesus in His choice to do the Father’s will.
The take-home lesson for us is that God supports us when we make right choices, no matter what they cost. He is looking for hearts fully devoted to Him (2 Chronicles 16:9). Whenever we resist temptation and do God’s will for His glory we can be sure of His grace, favor, joy, blessing, fruit, breakthrough, spiritual anointing, or whatever kind of strength and encouragement He might send. It’s tough and lonely facing testing times, perhaps there will seem little help in the midst of them, but once we surrender ourselves to God, His refreshment comes. It won’t matter whether it’s an angel or not—it’s from Him.
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