See, I am sending an angel before you to protect you on your journey and lead you safely to the place I have prepared for you. Pay close attention to him, and obey his instructions. Do not rebel against him, for he is my representative, and he will not forgive your rebellion. Exodus 23:20-21
An angel to protect and lead on the journey. An angel to give instruction. What I find a bit confusing about this is why the angel does not play a more prominent role going forward from this point. What happens to this angel when the Israelites decide to make the golden calf? Or when they begin grumbling again? I just wonder if they ignored it so much that for all intents and purposes the angel just went away. Or is it that he is there, always instructing, and they just don’t listen? I don’t know, but I don’t think we hear much more from this angel after this point. I didn’t actually read ahead here, so I am going from memory, but it seems like an angel leading the way would be something I would remember if it were more prominent than this single mention.
When I read about the angel this morning the very first thing that came to my mind was how we have also been given someone for the journey. Someone to lead and instruct. Someone to protect and advise. We have been given the Spirit.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. John 14:16-17
The problem is that much like the angel given the Israelites we can find ourselves without an ear for this guide. We can find ourselves forgetting to give him a place of prominence.
This is my problem. I forget to listen, forget to look, forget to be led.
I forget on most days to stand still long enough and allow the Spirit to whisper within and give guidance. I forget to allow my heart the time to be set at peace or stirred to action. I forget to pay close attention.
The older I get, the longer I live life the more I am convinced that this is the secret of the Spirit-filled life. Once we accept Christ as the Son and Savior we are all given the same Spirit—God’s Spirit. So why is it that some seem so much more in step; so much more in tune with the workings of this Spirit? Could it simply be that they are paying closer attention? That they are listening more intently and intentionally?
I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. John 14:25-26
He will teach you everything. And he will remind you…of everything. This is what I choose to do today. I choose to pay attention so that I might be taught, so that I might be reminded.
If God has everything to teach and remind me, I wonder where he’ll start today?