The first thing we can learn from angels regarding worship is that angels adore God alone. The prophet Isaiah was given to see with spiritual eyes what is going on in heaven all the time. (And I cannot deny feeling envious of Isaiah!). He says, "In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphim. Each one had six wings. With two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. One cried to another and said: 'Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory'" (Isa. 6:1-3).
Everything is done out of love for God. Whatever feelings angels may have for us, their priority is the glory of God. The angel standing over you is on God's side. He is a messenger, and he is for you, but he adores God alone. And nothing will ever divert him from that loyalty.
The second thing is that angels refuse to be worshipped. When John was given his glorious revelation on the Isle of Patmos, he fell at the feet of an angel. Revelation 19:10 says, "I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, 'See that you do not do that. I am your fellow servant, and of your brothers who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.'"
And if this were not enough, John went on to make the same mistake again in Revelation 22:8. And he got the same reaction: "But he said to me, 'See that you not do that. For I am your fellow servant and of your brothers the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God!'" (v.9).
This also teaches us not to be impatient with people who give in to idolatry or do things we don't approve of, but that the greatest service we can perform is to direct men to God. The angel did not want any recognition or worship. He pointed to Christ—and in that he was like the Holy Spirit. We must always seek to encourage others to worship God. It never does any good to let people admire us too much as sooner or later we will disillusion them.
Third, angels exist to do God's will. As we have seen, angels are God's messengers to us, and they reveal God's will to us. This is why an angel sometimes has to do something that hurts us. When Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, did not believe what the angel Gabriel told him, Gabriel said to him, "And now you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things happen, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their season" (Luke 1:20). And at once, Zechariah was unable to speak. You can't argue or bargain with an angel: they do what they are ordered to do.
Perfect worship of God consists of doing His will. The depth of our worship is not revealed by how high we raise our hands or how high we jump when we get excited. We worship perfectly when we obey God.
A fourth thing we may learn is that angels never tire of worshipping God. And we too will experience the highest joy throughout eternity in the sheer adoration and worship of God.
Fifth, we can see that angels worship the Lord Jesus Christ as part of the triune God. They worship Him although they do not know the joy of redemption. How much more ought we to worship the Lord Jesus Christ, we, who were lost, hell bound, and hell deserving, but who have been rescued because Jesus took upon Himself the punishment that we deserve and died on a cross? How much more should we fall on our faces and adore Him?
Another thing about angels is that they perceive the true essence of God's character. They know that God is holy. Moreover, even though they have been in His presence and have been worshipping Him for millions of years, the angels will still show great reverence for God, and they talk to one another about God (Isa. 6:3). Shouldn't we do the same?
The next thing we can learn is that they perceive the extent of God's glory in the universe. God's glory is everywhere. The angels can see what is there and if we could too, our worship would leave us with tremendous confidence, for in the battles we fight, "there are more with us than with them" (2 Kings 6:16-17).
Angels know how to properly resist the devil (Jude 9), and rejoice in the conversion of the lost (Luke 15:10). And so we too should rejoice.
We can learn from angels. And the more we learn, the better we will worship God and the more they will rejoice. Have you ever thought that when we meet with other Christians to worship God, our angels meet together too? The more we worship, the more they rejoice. If we could only see the expressions on their faces, we would know if we are getting our worship right. For that is what we're after—to become true worshippers so that the glory of God may be acknowledged on earth as in heaven.
Adapted from Worshipping God by R.T. Kendall, copyright 2017, published by Charisma House-Charisma Media/Charisma House Book Group. Our primary call is to worship God by the way we live and all we do. R.T. Kendall shows the true meaning of worship as a way of honoring, glorifying and loving God. To order your copy of this very insightful book, click here.
Prayer Power for the Week of May 28, 2017
This week as the nation pauses to remember and honor those who have sacrificially given their lives in service to protect and secure the freedoms of our present and future generations, remember to pray for the nation's current leaders. Pray that God's grace would be upon them and they would have godly wisdom to make the decisions that will affect our nation and the world. Pray for those affected by the recent terrorist attack in Manchester. Lift up our allies and continue to ask God for revival. Isa 6:3; Ps. 34:7; 2 Kings 6:16-17.
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