Entertaining angels… reminds you of the Newsboys song, doesn’t it? It also conjures up a series of magical thoughts – glowing men and women with wings standing over us in a translucent way.
Is there really such thing as angels here on earth? Do we encounter them?
My answer: I don’t know.
I actually have no idea, although I do have some theories. This week your Hopers were asked to share the times that they’ve encountered an angel. I wracked my brain again and again, and came up with nothing. When was a time that a stranger came seemingly unannounced just when I needed it? Has that ever happened to me?
And yet, the Bible makes it clear that it’s not just a silly saying: angels are our guardians.
“For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.” Psalm 91:11-12
“See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.” Exodus 23:20
“Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” Hebrews 1:14
Through continued research in the scriptures, we see that angels are not only protectors, but they are powerful glorifiers of Christ:
“Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and then thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise.” Revelation 5:11-12
Dang. THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF ANGELS CIRCLING THE THRONE OF CHRIST. All for the purpose of glorifying Him, and lifting His name on high.
Ultimately the angels purpose is not for us, but to glorify HIM. And if they are sent on our behalf, the end goal is to bring all glory and honor and wisdom and power to Him who sits on the throne.
Now that we’ve established the basics of an angel’s purpose, I want to dive into how to recognize them. (Not that I am necessarily the one to be preaching on this, since I can’t even say I’ve ever encountered an angel.)
In a world that seems so dark, our hearts are often grieving. This past month alone has brought so much pain. Hurricane Harvey, the events in Charlottesville, dear friends given devastating news, so much insistent controversy in the Christian church – from Joel Osteen to the Nashville statement, people are responding with hate and furthering an already widening divide.
Recognizing any of God’s gifts to us is a discipline, especially when it’s so easy to get sucked into the darkness, because the darkness is often surrounding us, pressing us, and threatening us. I would argue that recognizing angels is the same. To see with the eyes of God, we first must ASK. We were born with sinful eyes, and therefore, are always prone to focus on pain over purpose. It is when we ask for the eyes to see, that a world outside of ours is slowly revealed; a world full of abundance and grace and blessing and beauty- so much beauty. It is here that we experience the supernatural. And it is here that we get a glimpse of the angels that may just have been surrounding us the entire time.
In order to see, we must ask, and we also must recognize that we can very possibly be entertaining angels without even realizing it. At any point in time, we could be encountering the supernatural.
Just because you might not identify them, doesn’t mean they aren’t there. I’m praying for eyes to see. Will you?