Yesterday we were looking at how waiting on the Lord helps us to renew our strength. Today I want to look at another source of supernatural strengthening, the angels. In Hebrews 1 : 14 we are told that angels are ‘ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation’. They serve us and they also spend a lot of time worshipping God, and come to us from the throne at Gods Command.
If you look in a concordance at the word angels, you will be amazed as I was at the amount of angelic activity in the bible. Talking of angels can seem a little far out to our 21st Century rational minds, and often sadly we spend more time worrying about the demonic and what the devil and his angels are doing on the earth, than realising what magnificent allies and helpers we have, on our pilgrimage through life, in the angels.
I am always encouraged by the possibility, gleaned from Revelation 12, that when the devil was thrown out of heaven he only took a third of the angels with him. That means the good ones outnumber the bad two to one!!!! Apart from that, our angel helpers serve the omnipotent God, the others an already defeated devil. It’s good to realize that when we are feeling overwhelmed.
Throughout the bible angels have appeared to help people at various times and seasons. For example when Hagar was desperate Genesis 16 : 7 an angel of the Lord ‘found’ her and helped her. In numbers 22 : 24 an angel came to stop Balaam making a big mistake. Genesis 31 : 12 an angel came to Jacob in a dream to tell him it was time to leave Laban with all his family and animals. At the beginning of Lukes’ gospel we see that angelic activity was prolific around the birth of Jesus, but also in the early church as when Peter was rescued from jail. Acts 12 : 7,8.
Sometimes the angels were seen, sometimes they came in dreams, sometimes they just looked like ordinary men, and were entertained by people who were unaware of who they were Hebrews 13 : 2. In our own lives we have no way of knowing how often we have been protected by unseen angels, or stopped from doing something unwise. We often don’t know, like Elisha’s servant in 2 Kings 6 : 15-17 that ‘those who are with us are greater than those that are with them’.
We also don’t know how often we have been ministered to by angels in a positive way. I love the lines in the song ‘Blessed Assurance’ which goes ; Angels descending bring from above, echoes of mercy, whispers of love’. Of course the Holy Spirit, living within, us leads and guides us, but what about those times when some verse or card or encouragement has surfaced for you at just the right time? I believe there is probably far more angelic activity in our lives than we can imagine.
So back to our ‘thanksgiving’ theme. In the song quoted above ‘Blessed Assurance’ before the line about angels, the songwriter proclaims ‘This is my story this is my song, Praising my Saviour all the day long’. We said in an earlier blog that ‘Thanksgiving is the language of heaven’, so it follows that it is the language around which the angels feel most comfortable.
I believe, the angels will always be there at God’s bidding when we cry out for help, but I’m thinking that as we praise and thank God they delight to join us of their own accord. I don’t have chapter and verse for this, but I believe our thankful hearts and voices as we go through the day welcome angels into our world.
We can certainly spend time thanking God for them and for all the things that they have done for us that we know nothing about, and we can also be sure that being thankful to God throughout the day, brings them close and we will be the beneficiaries of all that they bring.