Monday, January 5, 2009

Do Angels Yawn?

Based on Matthew 19:16-22

Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"

"Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."

"Which ones?" the man inquired.

Jesus replied, “'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'"

"All these I have kept," the young man said.

"What do I still lack?" Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

What a waste! A young man who spoke to Jesus face-to-face, a man who had the opportunity to turn his life around. Yet he is known as the young man who went away sad, who chose his wealth and religious practices over truth and adventure.

It’s hard to believe, isn’t it? Most of us think—and some even dare to say—“if God would just make Himself known to me, if He would just tell me what to do, then I would follow Him, then I would turn my life around, then I would move forward in life with confidence and assurance.”

But the problem isn’t with God and His communication. God has not hidden Himself. His truth is abundantly available to anyone who desires to know it.

Jesus repeatedly said, “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear” (for example, in Mark 4:23).

The problem is with our hearts. We want to do rather than follow. To learn, to check tasks off our spiritual checklists, instead of taking the risk of stepping out in faith.

Which brings us back to the question “Do angels yawn?”

The question “Do angels yawn?” sounds like a deeply theological question. I confess, when I first heard it, I thought the question referred to the angels in heaven as they observed and proclaimed the glory of God in all His majesty.

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory."
At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.—Isaiah 6:1-4

Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they were saying:
"Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!"—Revelation 5:11, 12

Angels, however, do more than worship God in heaven. Angels are charged to care for God’s people, to watch over us, to serve us and act on our behalf—

"See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”—Matthew 18:10, 11

Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?—Hebrews 1:14

Angels are part of those watching us in heaven—

His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.—Ephesians 3:10, 11
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…—Hebrews 12:1
So what’s your race looking like? Are you running? Do you know where the finish line is? Are you pursuing God?

How exciting is it for the angels watching your race? Is there anything for them to cheer about? Are they on their feet cheering you on right now?

Or are you satisfied with reading about the race? Stretching out, maybe even running in place, or practicing getting out of the starting block?

Are you satisfied with checking things off your spiritual checklist? Daily Bible reading, check. Prayer, check. Gave money to church, check. Don’t lie, cheat, or steal, check. Went to church, check. Remembered my mom’s birthday, check.

What would it take for your angel to have something to do? To actually have to go to work on your behalf?

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