Little is Much (3)
And of the angels He says:
“Who makes His angels spirits
And His ministers a flame of fire.”
…Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation? Hebrews 1.7, 14
Unaware of angels
Most of us cruise through our days barely conscious of any reality beyond what we experience with our senses. The world of people and things commands our focus and defines the parameters of our experience.
Christians know there is another reality, a spiritual world, populated by God and other spiritual beings. We know this world exists, but apart from occasional visits via the medium of prayer, we’re not all that conscious of the spiritual realm during the normal course of our daily lives.
At the same time, we acknowledge that we are the objects of a continuous spiritual warfare, relentlessly conducted by the devil and his cohort (Eph. 6.10-12), and specifically designed to nullify the power of faith in our lives. The devil’s objective is to debunk and dethrone the Lord Jesus Christ, and, the tactic of direct assault having proven ineffectual and disastrous (Matt. 4.1-11; Col. 2.15), he has chosen the approach of disarming and disabling those who serve the King of glory, that His reign might be confined to the heavenly realm, with only a bare minimum of earthly impact.
Daily, the devil distributes his weapons to be deployed ferociously against all who believe in Jesus: distraction, indifference to spiritual matters, discouragement, temptation, confused values, self-interest, busyness, neglect of prayer and other spiritual disciplines, compromise, complacency, the spirit of the age, and so forth. Used in combination, these prove to be effective tools for keeping the followers of Christ from realizing more of the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
We tend not to recognize the assaults mounted against us by the enemy of our souls, at least, not to recognize them as such. Likewise, we tend to be unaware of the spiritual powers arrayed for our defense. How much more debilitating would the devil’s efforts be were it not for the fact that angels from God minister to us continually?
Angels are the most misunderstood and misrepresented of all the hosts in the Lord’s army. Yet our failure to acknowledge them, and our tendency to distort their nature and role in the divine economy does not deter them from their divinely-appointed task.
Angels will not do everything for us. We might even consider that theirs is only a little help. But their help can be a powerful aid for fulfilling our calling as witnesses for Jesus Christ.
Angels are curious creatures. We scarcely understand them, and we show as much when we think of them in “angelic” terms. Angels, as we regard them, are nice spiritual beings with sweet faces and kindly dispositions. We believe in their existence, as an article of faith, at least. But do we understand their roles? Do we appreciate the power they can wield in our defense? Do we thank God for them and call on Him to send them ahead of and around us as we launch out into our day?
Angels can wield power over physical realities. They can hold back the wind (Rev. 7.1), administer physical judgments from on high (Rev. 15, 16), stagger dumb animals and arrogant men (Num. 22.22-31), bring the greatest of saints to their knees (Dan. 10.1-9), pick locks and open iron doors (Acts 5.19; 12.7-10), and even appear in the form of human beings (Heb. 13.2). Angels have some role in helping people understand the Word of God (Rev. 10.8-11) as well as in communicating the Good News (Rev. 14.6, 7; angel, after all, means messenger). They assist the saints of God in their daily walk and help to keep them from stumbling in the way (Ps. 91.11, 12). And they can guide us in worship, teaching us how we ought to comport ourselves in the presence of the living God (Rev. 5.11, 12).
At the same time, they are continuously on guard and do battle with those beings – spiritual or otherwise – who seek our undoing and want to nullify our faith and impede the progress of Christ’s Kingdom (Ps. 35.1-10).
Surely by tapping into a little of that power more consistently, we could see much more evidence of the Lord at work in our lives.
We get a little help from these friends every day of our lives, more, in fact, than we typically acknowledge. We could enlist more of their assistance by following some commonsense practices for working our Personal Mission Fields.
First, thank God daily for angels, especially for those angels who are forever in His face on your behalf (Matt. 18.10). There are plenty of angels to go around – myriads and myriads of them (Dan. 7.9, 10) – so don’t be shy about seeking their help for the day ahead. Jesus indicated that He could call down 72,000 angels if He liked (Matt. 26.23), and while that may be a bit beyond our ability or need, still, His example should encourage us. The Spirit can use angels to help you understand the Word and to be bold in initiating a conversation about the Gospel. Call upon the Lord to send His messengers to you for these specific purposes.
Second, as you reflect on your day at the end of it, consider the various ways angels may have been involved on your behalf: interceding for you, keeping you in the Lord’s path, diverting physical dangers, thwarting spiritual attacks, and so forth. Of course, we cannot see them performing these services, but we know they are often sent to do so. It is better to give thanks and to praise God for the little help we may have received throughout the day, than to have received it and take it for granted.
Finally, call on the Lord to send angels to strengthen you in the midst of spiritual struggles, or to help persevere in fulfilling your calling to His Kingdom and glory (Matt. 4.11; Lk. 22.43; 1 Thess. 2.12). Pay attention whenever the Scriptures speak about angels, and this will encourage you to make better use of their help. Remember: the Lord sends them as messengers and servants, so we must always go through Him to garner their assistance, and thank Him for all they do for us.
Our angelic friends can provide more than a little help for us each day. The better we make use of these ready and potent servants of the Lord, the more He will do in and through us.
1. What has been your experience in knowing the help of angels?
2. Why is it a good idea to give thanks for the help of angels, and to seek their help throughout the day?
3. What will you do to make better use of the help of angels from this point forward?
Next steps – Preparation: How can you incorporate the help of angels more consistently in your walk with and work for the Lord? Share your plan for doing so with a Christian friend.
T. M. Moore
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This week’s study is part 3of a 3-part series, The Small Stuff. Each part consists of seven lessons and is available as a free PDF download at the end of the study. In the tag for part 7, we’ll give you a link to download part 3, “Little is Much.” Why not line up some friends to study through all three parts of this series?
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.