Time for some good news, don’t you agree? Here it is: When you accepted Christ as your personal Savior you received: God’s grace, forgiveness of sins, hope, eternal life, adoption into the family of God, a divine inheritance, a teacher and comforter and down payment on your inheritance in the form of God’s Holy Spirit, an advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ, peace, joy, a place in the Father’s house. How are you doing? Is this perking you up a bit in these days of distress we live in? That’s quite a list, and it is by no means exhaustive.
But there’s one more provision you and I received at salvation that we don’t hear a lot about and I’d like to expound on it just a bit. We have, at our Father’s direction, an entire host of angels — heavenly bodyguards, if you will — to watch over us! Did you know this? True story!
Of God’s angels the writer of the book of Hebrews says, Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation? (1:14). If you are a member of the family of God through faith in Jesus Christ – bound for the New Jerusalem with an inheritance in waiting — this verse is talking about you!
The psalmist wrote, He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty . . . He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways . . . (91:1, 11). The word, “keep” in the last verse means, “to hedge about; i.e., guard; generally to protect, attend to.”
In his uplifting book, Angels Among Us, Dr. Ron Rhodes offers encouraging words when he writes, “A vast world of intelligent, powerful, invisible spirit beings is all around us . . . The angels are nearer than you think . . . taking care of us and ministering to us when we’re not even aware of their presence.”
Do you remember the story about Elisha and his servant? They awoke one morning and found that the Syrian army had surrounded their city. When the servant cried out, Elisha prayed and the Lord opened the servant’s eyes to a heavenly army of fire that was surrounding them to protect them. Has this kind of divine provision ceased simply because we are not living in biblical times? No way.
In his book Dr. Rhodes presents some powerful stories of present-day Christians who have been ministered to by angels of God at His direction. I’ve got to tell you just one:
Reverend John G. Paton was a missionary in the New Hebrides Islands. According to his testimony, his mission headquarters was surrounded by hostile natives one night. They apparently intended to burn the building to the ground and put John and his wife to death.
The Patons turned to God, throwing themselves on His mercy and asking Him to deliver them. They prayed throughout the night, and when the first rays of sunlight came the next morning, the Patons were utterly amazed to see the natives had left.
About a year later, the chief of that tribe became a Christian. When Paton asked the chief why the tribe had refrained from burning down the headquarters on that fateful night, the chief surprised him by inquiring, “Who were all those men you had there with you?”
Paton answered, “There were no men there – just my wife and I.”
The chief then told Paton that he and his warriors had seen hundreds of men standing guard outside the headquarters that night – all dressed in shining garments with swords drawn. These guards completely encircled the headquarters, and the tribe dared not attack.
Paton then realized that God had dispatched His angels to guard him and his wife.
Isn’t that awesome?
In a discussion with His disciples, Jesus also reflected on the ministry of angels in the life of a believer when He said, Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven (Matt. 18:10).
Dr. John MacArthur’s note on this verse in The MacArthur Study Bible is enlightening. He says, “. . . the pronoun [their] is collective and refers to the fact that believers are served by angels in general. These angels are pictured ‘always’ watching the face of God so as to hear His command to them to help a believer when needed.” I can just see this army of angels waiting before the Father’s throne. With a word from the Father – on a dime – an angel or an entire host of them are dispatched to attend to one of His children in distress. Can you picture it? Can you picture it for you?
Dr. Rhodes observes that, “Most people generally walk by sight and not by faith – that is, they live their lives and interpret reality according to what is tangibly real to their physical senses. Of course, if we limit our understanding of reality to the physical world, we remain ignorant of the vast world of invisible spirit beings around us.” And he challenges, “If we as Christians were more fully aware of God’s provision of angelic protection . . . we would most certainly be less fearful of our circumstances and enemies.”
Randy Alcorn in his book Heaven also reflects, “If we really believed angels were with us daily, here and now, wouldn’t it motivate us to make wiser choices? Wouldn’t we feel accountability to holy beings who serve us as God’s representatives?” Interesting question, because according to Ephesians 3:10 and I Corinthians 4:9 the angelic hosts learn the wisdom of God by observing Christ’s church! If we are walking by sight and not by faith (in direct contradiction to Paul’s admonition), what kind of example of wisdom are we setting for these heavenly watchers?
In fact, it is sobering to consider that in addition to providing them with an example in the here-and-now, Paul taught that in eternity the saints of God (that’s us!) will govern angels (I Corinthians 6:3). We have only been made lower than the angels for a little while (Hebrews 2:7).
There is so much more to understand about these holy, powerful, immortal beings that serve the God of the universe and, at His command, minister to and protect us. But what I want to do for you today is to encourage you that in the midst of a crashing worldwide economy; a socialist run-up to the one-world government prophesied in Scripture; numerous earthquakes and volcanic eruptions as well as the personal turmoil assaulting many of us on a daily basis, one of the ways God provides for our care is through the protection and ministration of angels.
If this whole subject is a breath of fresh air to contemplate, I encourage you to get a copy of Ron Rhodes’ book. You’ll learn a lot, and the process will be a pleasure!
As Evangelist Billy Graham once said, “Every true believer in Christ should be encouraged and strengthened! Angels are watching; they mark your path. They superintend all the events of your life and protect the interest of the Lord God, always working to promote His plans and bring about His highest will for you.”