Echoes From the Campfire

Dull can get a man killed in these parts.  You tend to let up and get lazy with your caution.”
              –Lou Bradshaw (Hickory Jack)

    “The desire of the lazy man kills him, For his hands refuse to labor.”
              –Proverbs 21:25(NKJV)
I have never seen an angel (unless you count my wife who is continually serving, which is something that angels do).  I know that there is the chance that I have encountered an angel, for at times we entertain them unawares.  Most of the time there are hidden, as Elisha had the eyes of the servant opened to the army of angels.  They are definitely there, and I don’t know fully what their duty is but to be ready when the Lord calls them into action.  There is much wrong teaching and thinking regarding angels, they are not cute, but magnificent; they are not chubby little rascals, but tremendous warriors.  
    Peter had been shut up in prison, and not for the first time.  He was resting peacefully when the angel appeared telling him to ready himself to leave and also to take time to strap on his sandals.  Nothing could save him, but then God sent the angel and together they left the prison.

         “When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.”
                   –Acts 12:10 (NKJV)

Prison cells are no match for God.  You can shut out the world, friends, family members, but there is no power that can shut the angels out.
    The angel escorted Peter out of the prison and down a street then “departed.”  There could be many reasons for the angel to depart, but here it left because his work was accomplished.  There was no more need for the angel, Peter could find his own way now.  He did not need protection, he did not need a further miracle.  One thing that is vital to remember, that even though the angel departed God was still there.
    Often we ask for miracles when none is needed.  Sometimes we want to bask in the miracle when God wants us to be on our way down the street.  He will provide the miracles if He deems the miracle is necessary.  “It [God’s dealing] means that in extraordinary difficulties we may reasonably look for extraordinary help…  But when the claimant need goes, so does the angel.  In the open street, under the common sky, do not expect miraculous intervention.  It was better for Peter’s manhood, and it is better for yours, that only the hour of the dungeon should bring that.  The angel departs, but the law of God abides.  The angel departs, but the love of Christ remains.” (George H. Morrison)
    Peter still had work remaining for him to do, and he could not do it from the prison cell, nor could he free himself.  The angel had to help.  However, do not expect an angel at every corner or in every problem.  “And if at every turn the angel met us and the vision of a dream enchanted us, we should lose heart and nerve and power for the struggle and be like the lotos-eaters in ignoble quietude.  The angel may do, but duty still remains.  The vision may disappear, but truth abides.” (Morrison).
    When the angel departs it is time for us to continue on down the street.  When the miracle has taken place and we are whole again, it is time to fulfill our duty.  We are not to become lazy in our faith expecting an angel at each intersection of life.  We are to walk through this life in the power of the Holy Spirit and if needed, God will send an angel to help, but do not expect it to stay.
    One final word, miracles are gifts of God.  They are not performed by the majesty of an angel.  The angel is empowered by God to fulfill a duty just as we are empowered by God for duty.  Do not give too much credit to the activity of angels, yet do not discount their activity either.  The key–trust in God!  If an angel is needed He will send one.