HAVE YOU EVER MET AN ANGEL?

Scripture says that we could meet an angel and not know it. Missionary's have told these stories down through the ages.  Frank McCourt, who wrote Angela's Ashes, described the "Angel on the stair;" his guardian angel. 

There are ministering, messenger, and warring angels.  Ministering Angels are there for us.  They have our backs, so to speak.  Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation (Hebrews 1: 14). 

For He will give his angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways.  They will bear you up in their hands, that you do not strike your foot against a stone (Psalm 91: 11, 12). 

They are very interested in the calling and purposes related to God's great and glorious plan for mankind.  It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven - things into which angels long to look (1st Peter 1: 12).

 The name Gabriel means, "mighty one of God." Gabriel has the appearance of a man. We know this because he is referred to as, "the man Gabriel." Although he may look like a man, Luke 1: 26 refers to him very specifically as, "the angel Gabriel." Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgins name was Mary (Luke 1: 26).

As we read these words we can easily imagine this very specific command of God the Father, a command long awaited by the angels in heaven, as He chose the angelic messenger Gabriel for this most important of missions.

There is one instance in which I know, without a doubt, that I saw an angel. He was leaning over someone I had been praying for, his forehead pressed upon the forehead of this person. He turned his head as I turned mine and we looked fully into each others face. It was a glimpse of the unseen world I would so prefer outnumbered other experiences. I've heard angels speaking, most often in the form of a warning as I'm waking from sleep. I also feel their presence and sometimes know specific ways they are working on my behalf.  When I pray I ask God to bless the angels.  When facing difficult circumstances I'm grateful to God...  I have a deep and certain bedrock confidence that angels do act as guardians.

On the eve of battle Joshua met a powerful warrior angel.  He asked a very human question and received a very holy reply, which speaks volumes about who angels are.  As much as we may want to rationalize that the angels are for human causes they function exclusively for the purposes of God.  They are God's emissaries created as warriors, ministers of healing, or as messengers.  Angels ministered to Jesus Christ after he was tempted by satan.  This was recorded in the gospels of Matthew chapter 4: 1-11; Mark chapter 1: 12, 13; and Luke chapter 4: 1-13 and is a truly touching and beautiful picture of such care juxtaposed with testing and trial.  And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him (Mark 1: 13).    

Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, "Are you for us or for our adversaries?"  He said, "No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the Lord."  And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, "What has my lord to say to his servant?" (Joshua 5: 13, 14). 

Upon first meeting this angel, (the captain of an entire host; a company of other angel warriors) Joshua wasn't sure who he was or why he was there, but this was immediately clarified.  It's important to note that this angel had a material presence which Joshua saw.  Relying on his human senses Joshua, at first thought this was just another human being arrived at the field of battle.  He was prudent to ask...  to test the spirits/circumstances.  Are you for us or for our adversaries?  He didn't have long to wait.  A second later his eyes were opened.  Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it (Hebrews: 13:   

Though we can't see them angels are with us and vastly outnumber demons and evil spirit beings.  We know this because in Revelation chapter 12 we are told that a third of the angels rebelled against God and were cast to planet earth along with satan.  This tells us that the majority, two thirds of heavenly angels, fought on the side of Father God and emerged as part of the company of eternal victors.    There is nothing in scripture that says you cannot ask God to send a company of angels to stand by your side at times of need.  I have no doubt that to each believer is assigned a permanent angelic presence. 

Another powerful and revealing picture of angels is found in 2nd Kings.  The Aramean's powerful army have circled to kill and capture Elisha.  Elisha's servant wakes up and sees what has happened and is struck with fright.  The panicked question is: Alas, my master, what shall we do!  Elisha does what we should do in crisis and beleaguered states of fear when invited by others to panic.  Elisha prays and tells his servant:  "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them."  Then Elisha prayed and said, "O Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see."  And the Lord opened the servant's eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha (2nd Kings 6: 16, 17). 

This fact of our overwhelming victory in Christ is repeated in 1st John 4: 4 and is a wonderful verse to memorize.  You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 
We know from scripture that Michael is the special champion of Israel and the Jewish people. Michael is a warrior angel, who commands other angels, strong and powerful to do God's bidding. When we pray against demons we speak clear warfare language.  We send demons and fallen spirit beings to the throne of God for immediate judgement.  We ask that they be sent to the abyss never to return.  In the name of Jesus Christ we pray that all backups and replacements will be destroyed by the fire of the Holy Spirit.  We pray the blood of Jesus Christ as a canopy over us and ask for ministering and waring angels to attend our needs...  Then say, praise and thank you!! 

Some ask Jesus to send Archangel Michael for assistance. Do this if you feel so led.  An often recited prayer for those engaged in deliverance uses these or similar words: Thank you Lord Jesus, for your protection. Send your angels and especially St. Michael, the Archangel, to help us in the battle.  The fact is that there are very many powerful angels.  I have a sometimes vision of a warrior angel. I can see him with the eyes of my heart and in certain circumstances I'm very aware of this angels' presence.  He has a name, but I don't know it.  Someday we'll meet face to face in heaven and I'll say, thank you! 

Then Elisha prayed and said, "O Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see."  This reference to open his eyes... refers to the supernatural awareness of the unseen world, the eyes of the spirit or the heart.  Those who have the spiritual gift of discerning spirits sometimes also have a kind of supernatural ability... "spiritual sight." Christian believers with this ability are used in a Deliverance and Healing ministry.  To read more about this read my new book: Discerning Spirits: Visionary Gifts in Practice.  Download per Amazon or Kindle. 

It is with the eyes of the heart that we receive a spirit of wisdom and revelation which transcends our earthly capability (Ephesians 1: 17).  I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward those who believe (Ephesians 1: 18, 19). 

Gabriel, appears to be God's special messenger and especially in regard to the fulfillment of Prophecy. Luke 1: 19 lets us know that Gabriel stands in the presence of God, poised for action; ever-ready to do His bidding. Like Michael, Gabriel is a prince who commands other angels. As the special one who helps facilitate prophetic events through humans I imagine the angel Gabriel awaiting with sincere anticipation the glorious second coming of Jesus Christ. Like us he does not know the day or the hour, but only the Father.  But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone (Mark 13: 32). 

There are angels spoken of in scripture whose names are not recorded. I often wonder who was the angel that guided Gideon in the defense of his people? Who was the angel that met Joshua on the eve of battle? Who are the four angels of prophecy spoken of in revelation that will carry out God's bidding for judgement? Some day we will know it all!

Scripture says that angels long to know more about us. They serve us, ministering to our needs, standing with us in trial and suffering. Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation (Hebrews 1: 14).  That is a direct reference to believers...  those who will inherit eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. 

The angel told Daniel: "Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words (Daniel 10: 12).

Angles suffer in our defense. They engage in warfare in that realm that stretches from the heavens, over every known and unknown star system, into the breath of all creation, and especially earth. An angel messenger told Daniel the prophet: But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people in the latter days for the vision pertains to the days yet future." (Daniel 12: 13, 14).

This is an unusual and powerful glimpse into the warfare that rages around God's servants. I'm sometimes awakened in the dark of night to pray for such warfare; for those angels sent by God in answer to the prayers of children in trouble, adults in despair, political and societal conflicts. I pray that angels will swiftly defeat the satanic horde that opposes God's good and glorious purposes. This kind of prayer is called Intercession. It is a discipline and a habit of prayer that any Christian can devote themselves to.  The next time the Holy Spirit prompts you to get out of bed and pray, it is you who will be blessed as you follow that leading. 

Angels serve God. In doing the bidding of a loving Savior they serve us as well. Unlike demons (fallen angels), they never accept the worship of humans, while demons relish such false worship and are the source of power behind dead idols, including addictive life consuming behaviors. Angels know whom they serve and have already been tested in an earlier war in which they were the absolute victors. (Read Revelation 12: 7-11).

Angels who serve God are in stark contrast to satan who, in pride and arrogance proclaimed, "I will make myself like the Most High" (Isaiah 14: 14). This arrogance is the substance of the original sin which man has struggled with throughout the ages.  At the root of all sin is a compulsion to play God.  To decide that we know better and then to rationalize and project in order to self protect strongholds of control, lust, power. 

Do you have an angel story? If so don't be afraid to share it and in doing so celebrating the love of Jesus Christ. If you don't have a story I promise that if you will commit yourself to regular, sincere, and fervent prayer you will become ever more aware of the unseen world. And you may soon be blessed with an angel story all your own.

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