Luke 1:38 “And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.”
In previous verses, we read of the high priest, Zacharias. He saw the angel Gabriel appear to him in the holy of holies. He asked a question of the angel.
Luke 1:18 “And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.”
It seemed an innocent enough question. Yet, God perceived it as a lack of faith on Zacharias’ part. He was struck dumb, unable to speak, until the birth of his son, John the Baptist.
Mary was undoubtedly blessed. God chose her place in history. But it was her submissive obedience that stands out. She questioned, as well.
Luke 1:34 “Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?”
I believe she honestly wondered how God was going to accomplish this wondrous feat? She wasn’t yet married to Joseph. The scriptures are silent as to just how the process was going to be accomplished. It wasn’t until Gabriel came a second time to earth to deliver the news.
Luke 1:35 “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”
As I read this today, I began to wonder if angels do, in fact, still visit us.
The scriptures tell us:
Hebrews 13:2 “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
We may, by entertaining strangers, welcome angels into our presence. The Word of God tells us our position concerning these angelic creatures.
1 Corinthians 6:3 “Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?”
I do not worship angels. We are told expressly not to do so.
Colossians 2:18 “Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,”
Yet, some would desire an angel to come and tell them what they should do, where they should go, what they should say, or how to go about a task. It would seemingly make things much more manageable.
If we were to think a bit more, we could see that we have a vessel that has been saved, sanctified, and set apart for the Master’s use. All children of God have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. That very fact alone ought to cause us to rejoice.
Angels are the messengers of God. We learn in Daniel that these messengers were held up in delivering their message.
Daniel 10:12-13 “Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.”
God’s message to Daniel was held up for twenty-one days. It wasn’t until the archangel Michael came to fight for him, that the angel was freed to deliver the message.
Today, born-again, Bible-believing, children of God can have the words delivered directly from the lips of the Father right to our heart.
John 16:13 “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”
There is none more powerful than God, the Holy Spirit, in us. No angel can overtake Him. None can hinder Him. But we must be wary.
We can resist the Holy Spirit.
Acts 7:51 “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.”
We can grieve Him.
Ephesians 4:30 “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”
We quench Him.
1 Thessalonians 5:19 “Quench not the Spirit.”
We neglect one of the greatest gifts given to every believer (outside of salvation, of course). I am not saying we no longer need angels. I am saying that we have been given much more in the Holy Spirit. Angels are God’s ministers to us and to accomplish His will.
Hebrews 1:13-14 “But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?”
We would all love to hear it all spelled out for us; what to do, where to go, what it is we are called to be. Yet, God, in His infinite wisdom, has us to go to Him regularly to utterly and wholly depend on Him to lead and guide us.
In doing so, we build a relationship and a bond with the One leading. The connection is something of value to God. He sent His Son to restore the relationship that had been broken by sin. He gives us the promise of the indwelling of His Spirit. He gives us gifts and talents and calls us to use them for His glory.
All done in faith, we can please Him immensely.
Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
Faith will always be the key. I am still open to the entertaining of strangers with the possibility of entertaining angels. I trust deeply the relationship given to me by God with Himself through the Holy Spirit.
God can and will use us. Look what He did with a lowly handmaid named Mary.