Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels.
Today, there is widespread interest in the subject of angels. One poll suggests that nearly 8 in 10 Americans believe in angels. “Time” magazine reported that 46 percent of Americans believe they have a guardian angel, and 32 percent say they have felt an angelic presence at some point.
Years ago, Billy Graham said he found “practically nothing” about angels in his library. “I soon discovered that little had been written on the subject in this century,” Graham wrote. What a difference a generation makes! Today you can walk into any bookstore and find not just one or two books on angels, but you will find an entire section devoted to the subject of angelology.
Clearly people today are interested in angels. But does our desire to know about angels mean we are becoming more spiritually alive? Or does it represent something else? Dr. David Jeremiah warns that “the syrupy-sweet spirit-tingling taste of a little angelism can ruin people’s attitude and appetite for the good solid food and truth of God’s Word and His gospel of grace and truth.”
Even “Time” magazine agrees. Nancy Gibbs observed, “For those who choke too easily on God and his rules, angels are the handy compromise, all fluff and meringue, kind, nonjudgmental. And they’re available to everyone, like aspirin.” I am afraid that our current fascination with angels has become a substitute for the worship of the true God.
People have always been interested in angels and have tended to replace the worship of God with the worship of angels. That is what happened in the church of Colossae. In the Colossian church, there was a group called the mystics who wanted to worship angels. Filled with false humility, they said something like this: “We are unworthy to worship God ourselves. So instead of trying to approach God, we will just talk to angels instead.”
In his letter to the Colossians, the Apostle Paul had a scathing indictment for the mystics who were doing that: “Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the head [Christ], from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God” (2:18-20). The Apostle Paul made it clear: we are not to worship angels.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Angels And You” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2018.
Sources: Associated Press, “Poll: Nearly 8 In 10 Americans Believe In Angels,” CBS News, December 23, 2011; Nancy Gibbs, “Angels Among Us,” Time, December 27, 1993; Billy Graham, “Angels: God’s Secret Agents,” 2nd ed. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995), xv; David Jeremiah, “Angels: Who They Are And How They Help” (Colorado Springs: Multnomah, 2009), 16.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.