Pray when you see someone smile to rejoice in the Lord…
HE WATCHES OVER US
Psalm 91:11,“He will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.”
Scripture Insight: I have always been fascinated by stories about angels. I read the story about the large man who showed up to catch the little girl just as she tumbled from the two-story window. I loved the one about Nurse Nancy who told the dying patient she was going to live, and when the family wanted to thank the kind nurse they were told there was no one with that name on staff at the hospital.
While I collected every story I could find about these benevolent beings, I never knew anyone personally who had experienced an angel encounter—until my daughter told me this story. Whether an angel showed up to help her or some kind man demonstrated angelic kindness, I am one mother who will be forever grateful.
When my daughter turned nineteen, she announced to us she was moving from our small mountain town in central California to Pasadena. I wasn’t crazy about my youngest daughter moving to the big city, but I remembered the Beach Boys song, “The Little Old Lady from Pasadena.” So if my daughter seemed determined to relocate to southern California, that city seemed like a safer choice than most.
After a couple of years of junior college, she and her roommate, Laura, decided to transfer to the university. That meant moving away from the little old ladies in Pasadena. As starving college students they had to settle for a place that was less than advantageous—to say the least.
“We’re not living in the ghetto. We’re just living in the “ghett,” Ashley joked trying to reassure her parents she would be safe. She was right. It wasn’t completely frightening with just enough shady characters and siren sounds to keep a mother on her knees every night asking God to send angels to watch over her petite blonde beauty living in Los Angeles.
After parking her car one night, Ashley cautiously began walking to her door when she passed a group of guys who took notice of the fact she was alone. She and Laura had made a habit of calling each other as soon as they got out of the car and staying on the phone until they were safely inside, but tonight Laura wasn’t home either. Pretending to be on the phone, Ashley heard footsteps following her. With her heart in her throat, she breathed a prayer for safety.
Within minutes, she heard a voice behind her, “Sweetie, you’re being followed and I am just going to walk with you until you get to your door.”
“Normally if some guy calls me “Sweetie,” he’s the one I want to avoid,” Ashley informed. “But the minute this man opened his mouth, I felt safe.”
“He didn’t actually walk with me,” she informed. “He stayed a few steps behind. I reached my apartment, put my key in the door, and turned to thank him, but he as gone. He hadn’t had time to travel that far; still he was nowhere in sight.”
While Ashley didn’t get to express her gratitude to her benefactor that night, I haven’t stopped thanking God for answering this fretting mother’s prayers.
Think About It:
• Have you ever experienced someone’s kindness that was practically angelic in how it ministered to your need at the time?
• How can you demonstrate angelic actions toward others in your world?
• How do you feel when you rely on the Holy Spirit’s power in you to make that happen?
Don’t Wait to Obey God By Rick Warren
“I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands” (Psalm 119:60 NIV).
Today’s devotional is by Tom Holladay, teaching pastor at Saddleback Church.
This week, as we think about obedience and how to live it out, I want to look at five actions Joseph took that showed his obedience to God.
When the angel appeared to Joseph in a dream, he told Joseph, “Do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:20b NIV). So that’s what Joseph did: “When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife” (Matthew 1:24 NIV). He didn’t hesitate. He just did it!
There is a refreshing immediacy to Joseph’s relationship with God. When God said it, Joseph did it.
If you believe God loves you and you want to live a life of obedience in response to his love, then this how you should respond. Living in immediate obedience to God is a kind of life that breathes with excitement and joy.
I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of great men and women of faith from around the world. They are all different from each other, but they all have one thing in common: When they sense God saying to do something, they don’t hesitate. They step out and do it.
The Bible says in 1 John 5:3, “This is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome” (NIV). So if something God asks you to do feels like a burden, what’s wrong? Usually it’s procrastination. When we don’t act right away, it becomes harder to do the longer we wait. But when we do what God says, the most refreshing freedom will come into our lives.
Think It Over
• What is the difference between immediate obedience and delayed obedience? What are the effects of each one?
• What is God calling you to do? Is it a phone call you need to make? An action you need to take?
Whatever God is calling you to do, write it down right now, tell God you’re willing to do it, and ask him to give you the strength you need to make it happen.