Ministering Spirits

Even though we can't see them, they're real. Really real.

The King who surpasses every splendid over-king
established dominions wholly subject to His will:
He made them, without bright wantonness,
as the first shape of the firmament.

  - Saltair na Rann, Irish, 9th-10th century[1]

But to which of the angels has He ever said:
“Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”?
Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?

  - Hebrews 1.13, 14

The idea of angels watching over us and caring for us during the course of our lives is a message of grace typically reserved for children. Every Christian will agree that it’s good to encourage our children with the idea of “Angels watching over me, my Lord.”

But it’s probably true that most of us as adults don’t think of ourselves as attended by powerful spiritual beings who are working hard for our good, even when we don’t know it. Celtic Christians did, however; and perhaps that’s part of the difference between the impact they made in their day, and what we’re making today.

It is true, as the Scriptures testify in many places, that angels are very much involved with us. It pleases God to send His angels – “dominions”, as our Celtic poet called them – to watch over us, to guard us in the spiritual warfare, and to attend to various of our physical and spiritual needs.

Are we always aware of this? Hardly. Are we ever aware of it? Alas, for most of us, probably not. But God dispatches these ministering spirits to aid us in a mulitiplicity of ways, and our faith is impoverished to the extent that we neither understand, perceive, nor appreciate this as we should.

From time to time we hear extraordinary stories about those who found themselves in all but impossible situations, or of missionaries whose lives were threatened, and experienced the help of angels. Sadly, these stories only serve to heighten our sense that angelic attendance and assistance is not a part of the normal Christian experience.

But the Scriptures insist otherwise.

We can’t see the angels that defend, shield, guide, and otherwise help and assist us, but they’re certainly present. It is the Lord’s pleasure to employ these powerful creatures to encourage and assist us who are the heirs of His salvation. They are “wholly subject to His will”, and His will is that we grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord, to glorify Him in all our ways.

It makes sense that angels would have a hand in this.

Perhaps if we took time to learn about the work of these ministering spirits, and to thank the Lord for them, we might begin to be more sensitive to the ways they care for us each day. And being more sensitive to their continuous care, we might be more faithful to obey the Lord, more courageous in bearing witness for Him, and more consistent in seeking His Kingdom and righteousness.

Angels are real, powerful, and continuously active in the divine economy. We cannot know, this side of glory, how many ways these dutiful spiritual beings have come to our aid. But we can know that they are present, and part of their work is to defend, embolden, and remind us of our high and holy calling.

The essence of faith is to believe that the unseen things Scripture presents and promises are real (Heb. 11.1). Thank God for the work of His angels. Know that they are attending and watching over you. Trust that the Spirit of God within you can use them to make you a bolder and more consistent disciple.

Then go forth each day confident in the Lord, that His angels are with you to serve His will for your life.

Psalm 91.11-13 (Lauda Anima – Praise My Soul the King of Heaven)
He shall give His angels charge to bear us up, lest we should fall;
They will guard and carry all who on the Savior’s mercy call.
Cobra, mighty lion, serpent: We shall tread upon them all!

Thank You, Lord, for the angels who watch over me. Give me grace to trust in Your Word and in their presence, so that I…

Angels and more
The world is more than we can see with our eyes. As Christians, we are privileged to glimpse the unseen world and even to live from within it – but only if we understand that world and know how to make our way in it. Our workbook, The Landscape of Unseen Things, provides a comprehensive introduction and guide to the world of angels, departed saints, and Christ exalted in glory. The 24 studies in this workbook are designed to take you on a tour de force of the unseen world. Here you’ll engage the unseen world in all its glorious fullness, as you learn to “practice” this realm in ways that can transform your daily life as a follower of Jesus Christ. Order your copy by clicking here.

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T. M. Moore, Principal
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All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


[1] Carey, p. 103.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore