Awareness of Angels
The following is an excerpt from my latest book, Submerged Into the Presence of God, pages 165-182. This is a partial account of the miraculous way that God encouraged Rick and me through angels. You can pick up your own copy of Submerged Into the Presence of God to read more.
Christmas is a glorious celebration for the church and one way God foretold the birth of our Savior was through angels. If you would like to read related post about angels and the birth of Christ, check out these other blogs:
Awareness of Angels
But to which of the angels has he ever said, ‘Sit at my right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for your feet?’ Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation!” (Hebrews 1:13–14 MSG).
Initially, I questioned whether or not I should include the word angel in the title of this section. As far as I know, all my Christian friends believe in angels, the devil, and his demon, spirit-beings. However, few refer to how God uses his angels. Fewer still have seen God’s glory displayed through one of his heavenly creations.
Hebrews says the angels are servants to the children of God. “The angels perform the word of God that is proclaimed by the voice of the Lord. God’s angels become the agents of change whenever prophecies require events to be altered, things to be accomplished or wars to be won. The angels are the ones who are commissioned to carry out this type of prophecy” (Vallotton, 2007).
Years ago, I had a conversation with a coworker and she told me that she does not believe hell is eternal, but heaven is. “Hell is a metaphor for the devil’s existence, but not a place,” she said. What we agreed upon is the devil and his demons are real, just like God and his angels. I could not convince her the definition of the words eternity and eternal are the same for heaven and for hell. Matthew 25:46 states, “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life” (NIV).
I found the same to be true when defining angels and demons. There was a definite difference among the Christian community of how we view the devil and his army of demons and God’s angels. I have noticed that the body of Christ frequently gives warnings to be aware of the devil, his demons, and unseen evil forces in the world. However, there is a peculiar silence in the Church when it comes to conversations about angels. What I find more interesting is the majority of Bible verses quoted in Christian circles pertain to the devil, not God’s angels. Upon honest reflection, I found I am guilty of the same.
I want to discern when the devil is near, but I prefer to have my spirit quickened to God’s angelic spirit-beings. I want to understand the goodness of his army and how he sends them to do his will and intervene in the affairs of men.
The Bible records numerous accounts where people were confronted by an angel to bring God’s words of encouragement, warning, or direction. When Jesus was praying at the Mount of Olives, “an angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him” (John 22:43, NIV).
Having an awareness of angels isn’t to put them above God, but it is to recognize they are from God. Angels are sent from God’s Holy Throne and it is no wonder when one stands in the presence of angels they are fearful. Revelation 4:8
How could one not be overwhelmed when a spiritual being is sent directly from the throne of God Almighty! If we are willing to accept that we can discern an evil presence, should we not be more attuned to God’s heavenly presence?
The Bible tells us to pray for discernment (Philippians 1:9–10) and this is not only to know when the enemy is lurking, but for us to understand how God is working supernaturally in our lives with his heavenly messengers (Psalm. 119:125).
The Bible cautions us not to worship angels (created), instead of the Creator (God himself). It is unbiblical to do so and I would not call on angels to do my bidding. However, I am open for God to send his angels to do my bidding on my behalf if he so chooses.
Unfortunately, discussing angels comes with controversy in the church. I think this may stem from a fear that people will worship angels and not God. I also believe that because the world is so fixated on the supernatural, the paranormal, that Christians abandon the thought that a holy presence might actually be God sending an angel to comfort us.
For me, when I say I want all of God and for God to choose how he speaks to me, I hope he uses all his creation (i.e., friends, family, even angels).
Though controversy may arise on the subject of angels, to omit this topic would be to ignore God’s creation and glory in all things. God’s Word promises to teach us what is true and this may also come through his messengers. I really don’t find an answer in scripture that would steer me away from acknowledging and accepting God’s help through angels.
“For the Spirit teaches you all things, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So continue in what he has taught you, and continue to live in Christ” (1 John 2:27b, NLT).
Once again, God reminded me to raise awareness about the beauty of his character, the fact that he is love, and to know what is in heaven is available on earth.
Our family had another prayer request. After three years of living overseas, we decided we would no longer lease our home. Before the tenant moved, we made provisions to sell our home.
We tired of the challenges of leasing a home while living so far away. I had given up my career when we moved overseas and our income had become far more limited than what we had always been used to.
Daily, I would go to God in prayer asking him to immediately bring a buyer and close the sale. I often think, “I’m the most annoying child of God there is,” asking for too much, too often. On the other hand, I love it when my children come to me, so our Father must love it when we come to him. It is the same with God. “... How much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him” (Matthew 7:10, NKJV).
While we waited each day, week, month, for our home to sell, the Lord guided me step-by-step on how to pray. I can’t reiterate enough how God loves to be involved in the daily affairs of life. I had lovely mornings talking to God where he has told me, “I can and I will.”
One morning, without previous experience and understanding of how God uses angels, the Lord sketched into my mind how his presence was over me. Once more God asked me to stand in silence and wait upon him. It reminded me of Ezekiel, “It [an angel] said, ‘Son of man, stand up. I have something to say to you’” (Ezekiel 2:1, MSG). I wanted to hear what God had to say.
I stood in silence with my eyes closed and within seconds I had an image before me of two angels standing on both sides of me. High and mighty, lifted far above my head, their wings gently swaying. This image was beautiful and beyond description. I consider this to also be an “open heaven” encounter with God.