Posts Tagged angels

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.

Body Guards

Psalm 91: 11

For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways.

After yesterday’s devotional I just couldn’t stop myself from sending this verse today. It will be very familiar to many of you but familiarity does not weaken its message nor diminish its ability to be a blessing. 

You didn’t know you were important enough to have body guards, did you? Well, God thinks you are a VIP. When Father created humanity, the earth and everything in it He had a clear idea of the complete dynamic between heaven and earth. He prepared everything for us foreseeing our every need. Angels are part of that master plan to care for us. Today’s verse should offer you great comfort. Not only has our Father given us angels to guard and keep us, but it also shows that our Father is mindful of our needs and our protection. I find that encouraging. If you have not read the entire 91st Psalm recently, then you might appreciate reading it again. This is the day to receive its reassurance.

Father God is ever mindful of your every need. There is nothing that you can imagine that He has not already considered. He also knows the pitfalls that seek to ensnare you. Therefore, He longs to guide your every step. However, we do not always listen very well so He has a backup plan, His angels. If you look back upon your life you will probably see angels’ fingerprints. You may say that you are lucky to still be alive considering some of your exploits. Thank God and thank your angels. They are standing by you to help you. Now you are learning how to empower them instead of tying their hands. This is going to be a good partnership.

Holy Helpers

Hebrews 1: 4          NIV

Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

I have been trying to learn something about angels. Charity Kayembe wrote a nice piece on angels that stimulated me into thinking about them. You can find her angel article at www.cwgministries.org.

After Jesus was tested by Satan the text reads, “Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him” (Matthew 4: 11). Isn’t that interesting? It seems that one of the jobs of angels is to minister to the children of God. To minister to means to attend to the needs or wants of another. The angels are sent to attend to our needs and wants. This definition begins to describe their role for me. Until now, though, I have largely ignored their role and I believe that to be error. Angels are sent into the earth to help us. We don’t pray to them. We only pray to the Father in Jesus’ name but that is not to say that we can’t talk to them. I usually pray to the Father about them. I ask Him to station His angels around my property and to guard me while I travel. You can do the same thing.

Another thing to note is that angels are not little babies. They are big dudes! How would a little baby minister to your needs? I need strong warriors not infants and that is exactly what God sends. Look at this description of angels from Psalm 103: 20, “Bless the Lord, you His angels, mighty in strength, which perform His word, obeying the voice of His word!” They are mighty in strength! Hallelujah! When the Roman guard went to arrest Jesus, Peter drew his sword and hacked off the ear of one of the Roman soldiers. Jesus told him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26: 52 – 53).  He certainly was not imagining the Father sending 72,000 babies and I quite imagine that the idea of a pack of cherubs would not have comforted Peter and the disciples.

We need to get an accurate portrayal in our minds and spirits of these ministering spirits. They are powerful and they are sent to help us. But there is another key which we find in Psalm 103: 20. Did you notice the phrase, “obeying His word”? This is an extremely important and potent phrase and if we understand it we can really loose some power on our behalf. It means that the angels, those big dudes who are mighty in strength, hearken to the Word. Selah! Let’s stop and ponder that thought. Can you see all of scripture and the hundreds of devotionals you’ve read in your life all coming together in that one simple phrase? There is a powerful reason why ministers of the gospel have been teaching us to meditate in the Word and to follow that up by speaking the Word. Every time you speak the Word over a situation angels hearken to it. They are attracted to the Word of God.  In fact, they love the Word of God because they have a revelation about it. Conversely, notice that the scriptures do not say that the angels hearken to our whining and crying. We can moan and groan until the cows come home but it will do us no good. The angels are warriors who fight on our behalf but they need their marching orders. It is the Word of God which empowers and directs their actions. God said, “I am watching over My word to perform it” (Jeremiah 1: 12). When we speak His Word it releases His angels into our situation. I believe if we can receive even a small understanding of this dynamic it will change our lives and habits.

The Word is the sword of the spirit and the angels are spiritual warriors. They are ministers sent to attend to the needs and wants of the children. When you speak God’s Word you give them something to work with. Get to know your angels and start expecting them to help you. And every time you read your Bible just think that you are arming yourself with might and power. Then speak that Word into your life and allow God’s ministering spirits to move mountains for you.