Take charge of a situation confident that the angels are working with and for and around you.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing all right? Well, that little corny greeting establishes the fact that this is indeed your good friend, Bob Cook. And I’m back once again with you to look at the third chapter of 1 Timothy.
The last verse in that chapter, “Without controversy,” Paul says, “Great is the mystery of Godliness. God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into Glory.” There’s an interesting paraphrase that my good friend Ken Taylor has given us for that verse. Let me read it this way. “It’s quite true,” he says, “That the way to live a Godly life is not an easy matter.” See, that’s a paraphrase of the King James statement, “Without controversy, great is the mystery of Godliness.
To live a Godly life is not an easy matter. But the answer lies in Christ, Who came to Earth as a man, was proved spotless and pure in His Spirit, was served by the angels, was preached among the nations, was accepted by men everywhere, and was received up again to His Glory in Heaven.” The phrase that caught my attention as I looked at that was, “The answer lies in Christ.” The mystery of Godliness, and my Cook definition of Godliness is, “The quality of God in the ordinaries of life.”
The mystery of Godliness; how to live a life that is full of God all the time? Now, that’s an assignment, you know that. It’s not something that you accomplish easily. It can’t be done by willpower. You can’t say to yourself, “Go to now, I will be Godly.” It doesn’t work that way. It requires, as so many of you dear ones know, a dynamic relationship with a wonderful Person, the Lord Jesus Christ. Your relationship with the Savior determines whether or not you are a Godly person. And the closer you walk with Him, and the more your life is filled with the Spirit of God, the more Godly you will be. That’s how that works.
Well, we talked about God in the flesh justified in the Spirit. Now, the next phrase is “seen of angels.” And that, of course, refers us to the fact that the angels ministered to Him. One translation is “served by the angels.” Well, the idea being that our Lord Jesus was in contact with angelic beings at different times during His earthly ministry. And that being the case, it became part of what Paul calls, “the mystery of Godliness.” You see? The verb that is translated, “seen,” is the Greek root from which we get our ophthalmic words.
Ophthalmologist, for instance, is a specialist in diseases and needs of the eye. Well, that’s the word he uses. So now, how does that apply to you and to me? Justified by the Spirit, seen of angels; that is to say, the angels were involved with Him during His earthly ministry. The angels came and ministered to Him after His temptation. The angels came and ministered to Him in His agony, for example, in Gethsemane. And our Lord Jesus said to Peter, “Thinkest thou that I cannot even now command 12 legions of angels to come.” They were always available to Him.
Now what does that mean for you and for me? Well, the writer to the Hebrews says, concerning the angels, “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister to them which shall be heirs of salvation,” that’s you and to me. “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.”
Angels, ministering spirits, what does it mean? Do you pray to the angels? Oh, no, you pray to the Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit of God. You don’t pray to the angels. John, the beloved, writing about his experiences in the Book of the Revelation, says that he attempted to bow down to an angel, and the angel said, “See thou do it not. Don’t do it! Don’t bow down to me.”Angels are not the ones to whom you bow down, nor do we pray to the angels, nor indeed do we pray to anyone except to God, our wonderful God.
How do you then relate to the angels? Well, number one, if you pray to God the Father, as you and I do, Jesus said, “When ye pray say, ‘Our Father which art in Heaven,'” and you pray in the name of the Lord Jesus, “If ye shall ask anything in My Name,” Jesus said, “I will do it.” And if you pray in the Spirit-Paul spoke about praying in the Spirit, through the enablement, that is to say, of the indwelling Holy Spirit- then how does that affect your relationship with angels?
Well, I often find myself praying that God will put the angels around me as I travel, or as I enter into some situation where I need particular protection or guidance. Yes, I do, because the Bible tells me that they are ministering spirits sent forth to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation. And the Psalmist says, “He makes His angels ministering spirits.”
Angels are yours for God’s purposes in your life. They’re not yours to spoil you as a little spoiled child getting whatever he wants. No, they’re yours to accomplish God’s purposes in your life. “Because thou hast made the Lord thy habitation, He shall give His angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways.” Because He hath set His love on me. You made the Lord your habitation, you set your love on Him, “Therefore,” He says, “I’ll deliver you. I’ll put the angels around you.”
Your relationship to angelic beings is not one of self-indulgence or of acceding to your every human whim, nor indeed is it a matter of worship. You worship God, but your relationship to the angels is one of trust in your Heavenly Father Who can assign them to you. “The angel of the Lord encampeth around about them that fear Him and delivereth them,” the Bible says. Now, what do you make of all that?
You say, “Well, brother Cook, you’re going pretty far down and staying down long and coming up dry.” No, come on, wait a minute. What do you make of it for yourself? Number one, you can ask the Heavenly Father to protect your way with the angels. Yes, you can, and He will answer. Number two, in the name of the Lord Jesus, you can take charge of a situation, confident that the angels are working with and for and around you. “The angel of the Lord encampeth around about them that fear Him and delivereth them,” so you can take charge of a situation confident of angelic help, all right?
So when you read this passage, 1 Timothy 3:16, he’s talking about Godliness. And Godliness is the quality of God manifested in the ordinaries of your life and mine. Seen of angels. Are you aware then, of God’s angelic beings hovering over your life to protect, to guide, to comfort, and most importantly to enable you in your attempt to glorify God and serve His eternal purposes?
A friend of mine talks to the angels. When he’s starting out on a journey and heading for a meeting, he says, “Angels, go and check out the place where I’m going to be to make sure that everything’s going to work all right.” [chuckle] Well, I don’t know that I do that, I don’t know that I do that, but I do know that I pray to my Heavenly Father to assign His angelic protectors around my life, and I’ve lived long enough to know that He does answer that prayer; oh, yes, He does.
Beloved, have you learned to depend upon the tender, providential care of God? His direct intervention? The power of His indwelling Holy Spirit to guide you? And the power of these beautiful beings the Bible calls angels, ministering Spirits sent forth to minister for them which shall be heirs of salvation? God has assigned some angels to minister, beloved, to you.
Somebody who’s going through deep waters is saying to me right now, “Well, brother Cook, I wish they’d get around to me.” [chuckle] They’re there, beloved; God is there, He hasn’t forgotten you. For He hath said, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” And you may be going through some very deep waters just now, some of you are, I know that. And you may wonder sometimes whether God has forgotten you. Well, you’re not any different from the people who, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote the Bible.
They said, “Hath the Lord forgotten to be gracious?” That’s a human trait, I guess. But you can be assured, beloved, that God has not forgotten, and that He won’t forsake you, and that He will be faithful to you, and that He will see you through. The key word is through. “When thou passest through the waters, they shall not overflow thee.” God will see you through. You can depend upon His loving, providential care, and all of the angelic beings around you as well.
Dear Father today, may we depend upon Thee to accomplish through us Thy perfect will, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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