Posts Tagged angels

God of the Sword

Psalm 35: 1 – 3                 God’s Word

O Lord, attack those who attack me. Fight against those who fight against me. Use your shields, both small and large. Arise to help me. Hold your spear to block the way of those who pursue me. Say to my soul, “I am your savior.”

How many facets of Yahweh do you know personally? He has many titles He connects to people through. Whole books have been written on the “Names of God” though I would argue those aren’t His names as much as they are positions or titles. For example, your name may be Mary, but you may also be known as a CEO, a musician, mother, daughter, grandmother, etc. We all hold many positions in life and in the lives of others. God is the same. His name is Yahweh but He is God, Father, Lord, Master, King, Provider, etc. He is warm and comforting in His role as Father but He is also a proud and bold warrior, one unparalleled and He dons His armor and weapons on your behalf.

It may sometimes be hard to see God in this way if you have been relating to Him as a loving parent. It is important that we realize He is our advocate and more than that, He is our defender. If someone threatens us, then they have to deal with Him. When I have been in stressful situations before, I have thought, “My Dad is bigger than your Dad.” It is, perhaps, a childish idea but one which reframes problem situations very quickly for me. In verse 3 the Passion Translation reads, “Stand for me when they stand against me!” The essence of that idea is not only comforting but empowering also. We need not cower. We have a very strong general at the head of the column leading the way but one who will also stand shoulder to shoulder with us in the time of trouble.

These verses reveal that He has shields with which He is able to block the way. He will not allow the enemy to get to us. Surely, that is comforting. The NASB reads, “Draw also the spear and the battle-axe to meet those who pursue me.” While the spear and battle axe can be used to fend off attacks, don’t you also get the impression that He has them for offensive tactics as well? He has a buckler and a shield. We see that from verse two so why does He also draw the battle axe and the spear. I think His defensive posture with these weapons at the ready is a clear message to the enemy that should they breach the boundary, Yahweh God is ready and willing to defend His kid.

Lastly, I know we are supposed to pray for our enemies, and do, but isn’t it good to know that you have a well-armed giant at your side should those enemies not hearken to the voice of prayer and intercession? And, if you turn your eyes to the left and right, spiritually, you will see that He has legion upon legion of warrior angels arrayed in their battle armor too. Fear not my beloved. The army is at your side.

Angels Sing

You know the lyrics to the famous Christmas Carol, “Hark the herald, angels sing, glory to the new born King!”  A herald is a bringer of news, an official messenger.  Hearken to the voice of the messenger, in other words, for he is bringing you good news of a great joy, so joyous, in fact, that the angels sing, “Glory, Glory!  The King is born!”  Think of that, angels celebrating with uplifted voices because the savior has arrived.  I guarantee you they are singing, “Glory, glory,” even until today.

There are many images of Christmas and we have many demands placed on us at this time of year.  People who are essentially loners are forced into more social gatherings than they can bear.  The social creatures must restrain themselves so they have time for the necessary to do’s.  Amidst all the holiday furor, where is there time for Christ?  Even going to church on Christmas Eve becomes one more thing we have to do.  Even as outgoing as I am, there are moments when I, too, want to run away to Christmas Island with Jesus.

The images of boxes and bows, of Santa and the reindeer begin to crowd out the image of angels crying out with loud voices about the coming of the Christ child.  Our own voices are muted by the stress of the season and our hears fail to hear the Angelic chorus.  Maybe, though, you can sneak away for a few moments.  Maybe you can find solitude in the shower or perhaps you need to take a drive in the country.  A long walk might be the best medicine you can take.  In any event, I pray that you can take some moments, steal some time out of a busy schedule to celebrate Jesus’ birth and what that birth means in your life.  Maybe you can put a Christmas CD in the player of your car and crank the volume so loud that it drowns out your own voice.  Then, perhaps, you can sing with abandon.  This I will promise you, the angels will join your joyous, vocal celebration.  You don’t even have to sing on key because all they hear is the beauty of praise lifted up to the king.  All that is important is that your heart sings.  Believe me, if you will let the joy and the love of the Lord radiate from your spirit, you will stir up the heavenly host.  Isn’t that exciting?  They will join their voices with yours to celebrate the king.

I pray, in the name of our Lord and King, that you have a very blessed Christmas.  I pray that the image of that little child, born 2000 years ago, touches the tender parts of your heart and brings you great joy.  I am going to take off the rest of 2018 and heed the advice I give you.  Until next year, be blessed!

 

Angel Up

Matthew 4: 11

Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.

In yesterday’s Word of the Day, I referred to temptation Jesus faced in the wilderness after the Spirit impelled him to sojourn in the wilderness. As you well know, no temptation ever overcame Jesus’ resilience and faith. Obviously, though, he was tempted. He vanquished the foe with his absolute reliance on the Word of God and in so doing, paved the way for our victory in every situation.

There is an interesting note, however, after he defeated the devil. The devil fled and in came angels, plural. Angels went to Jesus and ministered to him. Ask yourself how they ministered to him. What were his needs after being alone in the desert in excess of forty days. Surely he was hungry and thirsty. Perhaps his skin was parched and he was probably filthy. So now imagine how the angels met Jesus’ needs.

We so easily and quickly read over these passages, giving them little thoughtful consideration. What does an angel look like? From this text we perceive they are not just cloud like, ethereal images which cross our minds’ eye. They must have real substance if they met Jesus’ physical needs. I don’t think they just hovered over him like a vapor speaking words of encouragement.

Satan understood about angels, afterall, he used to be one. In Matthew 4: 6 we see him quoting Psalm 91: 11 – 12, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will command His angels concerning You’; and ‘On their hands they will bear You up, So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’” He knows what the Word says and he understood the angels role and power in this tableau. The word which strikes me in this passage is “hands.” You may have thought about what angels look like. Do they have substance or are they nebulous cloud like figures? In this passage we see they have hands. It was with their hands that they ministered to Jesus’ needs. They didn’t just blow a cool breeze across his face. They carried in their hands the substance of his recovery, probably food and water. Maybe one of the angels washed his face with cool water. Maybe another made a foot bath for him. The point is that they are not inconsequential, tenuous beings. They are not figures of one’s imagination and most importantly, they are not floating around in heaven doing nothing other than singing. They are real beings with real purpose.

Segue to what this means to us. “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1: 14). We are comfortable with the idea of guardian angels for children. I am not sure where we get that idea unless it from the aforementioned Psalm 91 or Matthew 18: 10, but then doesn’t it beg the question, “Where does one’s angel go upon adulthood? And at what age does that happen?” It seems a little silly to me if I take the time to think about it. Why would Father ever recall an angel He assigned to one of us? My friend, Dr. Charity Kayembe, would argue strongly and convincingly that our angels are still with us. In fact, she has written a very enlightening piece on angels. Visit her ministry website at www.glorywaves.org and see her article, Everyday Angels www.glorywaves.org/angels-101.

I just read an interesting booklet by Kenneth E. Hagin in which he gave his angels specific tasks. It inspired me even as I realized that mine were probably really bored. Angels are spirits which help us. You can communicate with them. They are not fat little cherubs floating around on clouds. They are effective employees of the Almighty sent here to earth to help us. As we broaden our understanding of all things spiritual, we should include a deep knowledge of the angels and their role in the earth, as well as their role in our lives. We have a major resource at our hands that we have largely ignored. Today is a good day for us to begin to rectify that egregious oversight. Amen.

Beautiful

Psalm 27: 2 – 3

When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, my adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell. Though a host encamp against me, my heart will not fear; though war arise against me, in spite of this I shall be confident.

This is one of those passages where we really need to slow down and savor every word. How amazing these statements are! David wrote this about the actual challenges he faced. His enemy tripped and fell when they arranged themselves against him. Where would your heart be; how strong your confidence if a host quite literally surrounded you? Why David’s immense confidence?

David had experience with God’s power; specifically His power to protect and rescue him. In verse two David tells us very clearly that his enemies, who were evildoers, pursued him meaning to devour him. These were angry, violent men who meant to destroy David physically and even to wipe the memory of him off of the face of the earth. David stood and beheld the glory of the Lord though. He watched as his adversaries “stumbled”. Do you know who the stumbling block is? Jesus is the stumbling block. David was saved many times by the mighty hand of the Lord.

Why were David’s enemies unable to defeat him? I believe the answer is in verse 4 of this same chapter. David writes, “One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple.” There is David’s secret weapon. He adored God. He thought the Lord beautiful, so beautiful, in fact, that all he wanted to do was to be in the Lord’s presence and admire Him. Wow! No wonder his enemies stumbled. How could they even get to David? Well, they couldn’t and I imagine part of the reason is because an angelic host camped around him. I believe they were drawn to David’s adoration of the Lord. God inhabits the praise of His people. That makes a pretty amazing shield but I just think that all sorts of heavenly beings are attracted to an atmosphere of adulation. I can believe they want to soak in those genuine and sincere feelings. They must have flocked to David’s side to join in the worship David offered our God. In a very real sense, though this is a spiritual reality, David’s enemies couldn’t get to him through the heavenly host. They stumbled over angels.

The spiritual things of the world are quite real. Angels are real. We do not interact with them very well because we are very anchored in the three dimensions of the physical world. There is a fourth dimension, though and believe me, spiritual beings can interact with the physical world. Angels actually are ministering spirits that our Father has provided to us. So, just because you do not see them easily, doesn’t mean they aren’t there. You usually cannot see air either but I bet you depend on its presence. I believe that David’s praise, worship, admiration and adoration of the Lord, brought heaven to earth in a very real sense and he gained very real, tangible and substantive help because of it. His desire was to spend his days admiring the one true love of his life, the Father, and it brought the power of God to bear in the earth.

Angels

Psalm 103: 20

Bless the LORD, you His angels, Mighty in strength, who perform His word, Obeying the voice of His word!

We often limit our mental pictures of angels to those little cherubs we see around St. Valentine’s Day. It is good to realize that angels are mighty in strength.

We each have guardian angels, and those angels accompany us everywhere we go. How beneficial would it be if your angel is a fat little baby? We need mighty spirits guarding us and that is exactly what the Father has provided. We read here that these spirit beings are mighty in strength but I believe they are mighty in size as well. People who have seen angels report them as large beings. In addition, you are not limited to one angel. There may be ten standing around you at this moment. Can you picture that? What would you say to them? They can hear you. Feel free to talk with them. I have a friend who even knows her three angels’ names. What are the names of your angels?

I want you to notice the last phrase of today’s verse too. Besides protecting us, angels also bring God’s Word to pass. They listen for the Word of God. When they hear it, they go into action fulfilling it. It does not matter if the Word is spoken by God, or by you. When they hear God’s Word spoken, they leap into action.

It is in our best interest to learn how to cooperate with our angels. It begins by simply acknowledging their presence. Be aware of their presence with you. Recreate the angelic image you hold in your mind. See them as mighty warriors, full of strength and the Word. Then begin to utilize them to bring God’s Word to pass in your life. Speak the Word and give the angels something to do. They are magnetized to the Word of God so surround yourself with the Word and you will be surrounded by angels. Get to know your angels. Befriend them and then give them missions to accomplish by speaking God’s Word over your life.

Right Guard

Exodus 23: 20

Behold, I am going to send an angel before you to guard you along the way, and to bring you into the place which I have prepared.

God has a plan for you. He has planned for your welfare and he has prepared a good place for you. He has good plans for your life. And he is leading you into that good place. What’s more, he has sent his angel to guard you along the way even as he, himself, leads you. His angel goes in front of you, preparing the path before you. When you get to a segment of the path that was damaged or bumpy, the angel has already been there and smoothed it out for you. God has not only prepared good things for you, but he is also at work to see that you arrive at that good place. He has made preparations for bringing you into the place that he has planned for you. Just keep following him. He is marking the trail for you and leading you along the best course for you to arrive at your destination.

Live in the Light

John 8: 12

Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Recently another minister and I were to teach on the spiritual realm and believers’ participation therein. We discussed many aspects of the integration of our lives beyond the physical realm. Of course a part of that conversation dealt with communion with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The scripture says that God is spirit (John 4: 24). Therefore, if we are to commune with God we must engage the spiritual realm. That’s pretty simple logic isn’t it?

The next part of the discussion had to do with angels. Do you know that angels are real beings? They, of course, are spiritual beings, i.e. they are spirits. Well, no big deal there, we are too. Our essential self and that which will never perish is our spirit. The conclusion was that we should certainly be able to recognize angels and the role they play in our everyday life.

Invariably a discussion about angels leads to a discussion about demons. Demons are very real also. They interact with human beings and have throughout human history. Some people deny their existence, some people are afraid of them. Both are inappropriate responses and I imagine that the truth is that those who deny the existence of demons are in truth just afraid and too overcome to admit it. There is no reason for us to fear though. Jesus has overcome all of the powers of darkness. That is part of the good news of the gospel. Fear not!

There is another group of Christians though. These are the ones that obsess on demons and demonology. They see demons everywhere and behind everything. We know by now that balance is always supposed to be a key factor. Any time we are overly involved in any one aspect of life there is probably a balance issue. Here is what this other minister and I discovered as we dialogued. We decided not to discuss demons at all in the soon to follow talk. The reason is that we have discovered that hanging out in the light means that we won’t have to deal as much with the darkness. In other words, when we focus our attention and intention on the light, i.e. Jesus, we do not have to spend as much time fighting demons. They flee from us because they cannot bear the light. If we abide in Christ and he abides in us then we become like a sun storm in the darkness. 

Satan’s forces recognize Jesus. That was evident in the New Testament gospels. When, therefore, we don Jesus as I have been encouraging you to do, you will find that there are fewer issues with pestering demons. I do want to say, though, that there are times when demons have to be dealt with and we are well able to do that. The gospels show us the way. Also, there are people whose ministries specialize in demonology. They have an anointing and calling for that service and we are glad to have them in the body of Christ. For most of us though, we just need to bathe in the light. Jesus’ brother, James, gave us the key to living in a world populated with evil, “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4: 7). Resist evil and it will flee but don’t ignore the first part of the prescription, submit to God. If we pitch our tents in the throne room of God and spend time communing with our father, then we will have little worry or trouble from the pawns of evil.