“Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind” (Colossians 2:18).
There is an old maxim that states, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” The passage quoted above illustrates the ageless nature of that expression in referencing those who delight “…in false humility and the worship of angels…” (NIV). In addition to the angelic worship mentioned here, we might expand this reference to include modern-day interactions with so-called “spiritual advocates” such as guardian angels, ancestral spirits, patron saints, spirit guides, and the like.
This passage tells us that those who promote such ideas defraud those who follow their teachings. In the words of Romans 1:25, those who pursue or advocate these practices “…have exchanged the truth of God for falsehood, by worshipping and serving created things, rather than the Creator…” (CJB). Here in Colossians 2:18, that specific form of exchange involved the worship of angelic beings as a substitute for the God who created them.
We can find a similar example in the teachings of others who suggest that we must first approach a spiritual intermediary in order to find favor with God. Much like the list of spiritual entities given above, there are some who affirm the need to ave an angelic being, an ancestor, a designated saint, or other spiritual entity act on our behalf in interceding for us before God. In our first example, these spiritual entities served as objects of human worship. In the second instance, they form the pathway that supposedly leads to approval with God.
However, Paul the Apostle identified the only mediator needed to approach God in a well-known passage from the New Testament book of 1 Timothy: “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5 NIV). A “mediator” is someone who arbitrates, reconciles, and works out the differences between two parties. Through His sacrificial death, Jesus paid the charges held against us (Colossians 2:14) and mediated the way through which we may approach God and have a relationship with Him.
If we seek to be accepted by God, then it is essential to know how we must approach Him- and as as Jesus Himself said in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).