Bless the LORD, O you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his word,
obeying the voice of his word! Psalm 103:20
How do the holy angels do the will of God in heaven? First, their obedience is absolutely perfect; they do all that God asks and do not fail in the least obedience. They are never remiss in their service or slack in their attendance. They are continually blessing and praising God, and stand ready to receive and execute his commands and commissions. Secondly, the angels’ obedience is cheerful and not constrained from fear or suffering. It is their eternal delight. We too, need to esteem the commands of God our glory and great reward, not being dragged to do it as a burdensome task. Thirdly, God’s will in heaven is done with zeal. Do we obey coldly or indifferently? Do we bring sacrifices with no fire? Or do we offer them up with strange fire? Fourthly, they do the will of God quickly. But, alas, how dull and slow we are! Instead of obeying the will of our God and Sovereign, we dispute it. O how many delays and excuses and procrastinations we make! Yet we are so willing to stay at leisure with every vile lust. We think that there will be time enough to serve God when we have nothing else to do. Certainly, this is not doing the will of God as the angels. Upon the very first impression of God’s will we should take wings and execute it speedily. Fifthly, they do the will of God with constancy and perseverance, serving day and night (Rev. 7:15). They never weary of their work. His service is their happiness and their obedience is their glory. Let us not content ourselves with comparative obedience by looking at others we think are worse off, but let us compare ourselves with the angels. Do we obey God with the same joy, zeal, speed, and perseverance? Do we delight ourselves in God’s will as these holy spirits do?
In this classic devotional, John Calvin urges readers to apply the Christian life in a balanced way to mind, heart, and hand. Rather than focusing on contemplative otherworldliness, the book stresses the importance of a devotedly active Christian life. In style and spirit, this book is much like Augustine’s Confessions, Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, or Thomas à Kempis’s Imitation of Christ. However, its intense practicality sets it apart, making it easily accessible for any reader seeking to carry out Christian values in everyday life. Chapter themes include obedience, self-denial, the significance of the cross, and how we should live our lives today.