Monday, July 18, 2011

Heavenly Obedience

We have been considering the Lord’s Prayer in Mathew 6.  While I was preparing the sermon on God’s will being done on earth as it is in Heaven I thought of a couple of places where we might get a glimpse of his will being done in Heaven.  We have all heard messages on how God’s will is done in Heaven and how our obedience should mirror the obedience of the angels in glory.  His will is no doubt done immediately, it is done totally, it is done by all, etc.  And these are certainly important things to consider as we examine our lives.

I believe a case could be made that it is also done eagerly.  If our God is perfect in his wisdom and goodness then any commands he gives must be for the most glorious purposes and we should be eager and joyful in our response or we are demonstrating a lack of faith in his perfectly glorious person.

So where are these examples?  How about the first chapter in Ezekiel?  Here the Cherubim are described for us.  In verse 9 we read, “Their wings touched one another. Each one of them went straight forward, without turning as they went.”  As we read through the chapter we see that this is mentioned quite a bit and seems somewhat obvious as to why.  Here are the verses:

Eze 1:12  And each went straight forward. Wherever the spirit would go, they went, without turning as they went.
Eze 1:14  And the living creatures darted to and fro, like the appearance of a flash of lightning.
Eze 1:17  When they went, they went in any of their four directions without turning as they went.
Eze 1:25  And there came a voice from above the expanse over their heads. When they stood still, they let down their wings.

The text seems to emphasize their quickness in obeying the Lord and at least one advantage of having four sides was that they didn’t even have to take the time to turn in another direction.  There was absolutely no delay in doing the Lord’s will!  To me this speaks of eagerness; anything that would cause delay should be removed so we are unencumbered.  This is pretty much what Hebrews 12:1 is teaching when it says lay aside every weight that would slow us down in serving the Lord.  It all goes back to what our most pressing desires are. 

In Ezekiel 1:25 it says that when God spoke they stopped moving, let down their wings and listened to him.  They were never to forget that the important thing was not what they were doing but who they were doing it for. 

This verse made me think of Matthew 18:10, "See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.”  I thought it was interesting that these “guardian” angels were described as always looking at the face of the God in the discharge of their duty to protect their charges.  (Let’s assume anyway that this is what guardian angels do.  I can’t say that I have a handle on guardian angels.) 

If we asked someone to babysit our children and they were occupied with a boyfriend or the TV while they were babysitting we would assume they were not doing their job very well.  But remember that God does not need angels to look after us; it is his ordained way of caring for us to some degree.  Their first duty is not to care for us as they see best but to do so in accordance to the will of God.  Thus the glorious truth of what Jesus is saying besides the fact that even children have the attention and care of the Lord is that nothing happens to us that is outside of God’s will for us because the angels have one concern only; to care for us as the Lord would have it.  So their focus is not on us but on hearing from God. 

When we pray that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven, let’s be careful that we aren’t only concerned with governments and others.  It is first a prayer that in our lives God’s will is honored above all else and may God help us to do so eagerly and joyfully.  Any delay or complaining or souring of our attitudes is not the obedience his nature deserves.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome man. So good. Would to God my response to doing His will would be like this.