I received a phone call from my daughter this week sharing news about how an angel visited her home. Now, before you jump to any conclusions this angel's name is Gloria, and she arrives every December to teach my grandchildren about the real spirit of Christmas. My granddaughter adores Gloria and this year she gave her a tour of their new home.
OK. Gloria isn’t a real angel. She is a delightful alternative to the “Elf on the Shelf." Instead of an elf that reports bad behavior to Santa, Gloria comes from Heaven to share good news and to give a daily “assignment” that teaches about love, giving, faith and the real meaning of Christmas.
But, Gloria also does something else.
She reminds us that angels are
You don’t need to take my word for it … the Bible is full of references to angels.
Angels are mentioned at least 273 times throughout the entirety of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Yet, we seem to gloss over them and lessen their importance.
I'll bet some reading this right now, have their doubts about angels and may even lump them into the fairytale category. That would be a mistake as it is evident by the frequency in which the Bible speaks of angels and the importance of their role that we should take them seriously.
To believe the Bible means we must also believe in angels.
Here are a few of the more widely-known angel encounters documented in the Bible:
* Two angels helped Lot and his family escape the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:15, 16);
* The prophet Daniel was thrown into a lion’s den, but was unharmed because “God sent his angel and shut the mouth of the lions” (Daniel 6:22);
* An angel freed the Apostle Paul from prison (Acts 12:6-11);
* The angel, Gabriel visited the Virgin Mary and foretold Jesus’ birth (Luke 1:33-35);
* Angels announced the birth of Christ to the Shepherds (Luke 2:14-15); and
* Two angels appear at the empty tomb and question why Mary Magdalene is grieving (John 20:12.)
So, what are angels exactly?
Robert J. Morgan, in his book The Angel Answer Book, describes angels "as intelligent beings created by God as part of His spiritual realm. The word angel means messenger, and they were created to serve and glorify their Creator. The Bible refers to them as "ministering spirits," "heavenly hosts," and "holy ones" (Hebrews 1:14; Psalm 103:21; Jude 1:14)."
Now for clarity purposes, this article will only be discussing the "good" angels that have remained obedient to God. But, it is worthy to note that fallen angels (those who have disobeyed God and fallen from their holy position) do exist and have a nefarious purpose. I would strongly caution you to be mindful of them and their intentions.
Bottom line- they are BAD NEWS, and their agenda is in direct contradiction to the Bible.
With that said, “good” angels should be acknowledged and regarded as spiritual beings; however, they should NEVER be worshiped or prayed to- that privilege belongs exclusively to God.
Angels are created by God to protect, provide, deliver, proclaim and carry out God’s will upon the earth.
They are intelligent, eternal, holy, powerful and are not confined to the perimeters of this world.
Billy Graham once wrote: “Christians should never fail to sense the operation of angelic glory. It forever eclipses the world of demonic powers, as the sun does a candle’s light. If you are a believer, expect powerful angels to accompany you in your life experiences. And let those events dramatically illustrate the friendly presence of “the holy ones” as Daniel calls them. Certainly, the eye of faith sees many evidences of the supernatural display of God’s power and glory. God is still in business.”
I confess that I’m unaware of having a direct encounter with an angel, but that doesn’t stop me from believing. Hebrews 13:12 tells us “in showing hospitality to strangers we could be entertaining angels unaware.”
Angels have a mission, and that is to do God's will which includes ministering and protecting God's people:
“Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? “~ Hebrews 1:14
“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them.” ~Psalm 34:7
As a Christ follower, I count this as a serious blessing! Who wouldn’t want an army of angels to guard, serve and intervene on their behalf in this life?
So, the next time you hear a story about an angel encounter or a miracle happening don’t be too quick to dismiss it- the authority of the Bible proclaims their existence and their abilities.
We would do well to be mindful of the spiritual world that surrounds us: the good and the bad.
Who knows ... maybe we have been entertaining angels all along. Hopefully only the good ones!
As for me, I tip my hat to the angels that have served my family, and I thank a gracious God for always watching over me!
P.S. If you've knowingly encountered an angel I would love to hear your story!