MANY OF US THINK THAT GOD SENDS ANGELS ONLY TO CERTAIN PEOPLE AND ON SPECIAL OCCASIONS. BUT ANGELS HAVE A MINISTRY TO ALL THE SAINTS.

Have you ever wondered about the part angels play in your daily life? Many Christians believe God sends them only to "special" people, such as those with large ministries, or on "special" occasions, such as when a person is in danger. The truth is that angels have a ministry to all the saints of God--including you and me--to strengthen, comfort and help us in our ministries.

Throughout the Bible--Old and New Testaments--there are accounts of the involvement of angels in the lives of God's people. In fact, angel appearances were so common among the early Christians that it was easier for Jesus' disciples to believe that Peter's angel was knocking at the door of the place where they were praying than that Peter had been released from prison! (See Acts 12:12-17.) Here are just a few examples of angelic activity recorded in Scripture:

OLD TESTAMENT

When Sarah first sent her maid Hagar away, an angel found Hagar, comforted her, gave her a promise concerning her son and told her to return to Sarah (see Gen. 16:6-12). When she was cast out a second time, an angel spoke to her, comforted her and provided water (see Gen. 21:14-19).

When Abraham was going to sacrifice his son, Isaac, the angel of the Lord stayed his hand (see Gen. 22:10-12).

When Abraham sent his servant to find a wife for Isaac, an angel went with him (see Gen. 24:7).

An angel was sent to carry out God's punishment on Israel for David's sin of numbering the people (see 2 Sam. 24:16-17).

An angel was sent to the children of Israel to lead them out of Egypt (see Num. 20:16).

The angel of the Lord ministered to the prophets Isaiah, Ezekiel and Daniel.

NEW TESTAMENT

The angel Gabriel prophesied the birth of the Savior to Mary (see Luke 1:26-35).

An angel directed Joseph to take Mary as his wife (see Matt. 1:20) and later to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt (see Matt. 2:13).

An angel prophesied the birth of John the Baptist to Zacharias (see Luke 1:13).

An angel went to the shepherds in the field to announce the birth of Jesus (see Luke 2:8-12).

After Jesus had been tempted by the devil in the wilderness, angels came and ministered to Him (see Matt. 4:11).

An angel came and rolled back the stone from the tomb for the two Marys and told them of Jesus' resurrection, then instructed them to go and tell the disciples (see Matt. 28:2, 5-7).

And these are only some of the biblical accounts! But perhaps even more exciting are the stories we hear and read today about the activities of angels in contemporary life. I have many such stories from my own experience.

PERSONAL TESTIMONIES

One time last year when I was entertaining a missionary friend of mine in my home, an angel came into the room where we were talking. My friend was ironing, and I was sitting on the sofa. Suddenly I saw a bright light out of the corner of my eye.

Next I saw a huge angel carrying a small jug walk toward me and then go behind me. I smelled a sweet aroma and felt oil pour over my head and run down my face, shoulders and arms. The next minute I found myself slipping off the sofa onto the floor.

My friend looked astonished.

"What are you doing?" she asked.

"Didn't you see that angel?" I asked.

"No, but I smelled a wonderful perfume," she replied.

The angel stayed in my house for over two weeks. He poured oil on everyone who came to the house and sat on the same seat I had been on.

Why? I think he was anointing them in preparation for what was to come. Shortly after, many of the people who visited received prophetic words pertaining to their personal lives and to our area. I believe the angel prepared the way for the releasing of the Lord's words to them.

Another time when I was ministering in Kenya with my husband, an angel came to help me deal with some things in my life that were standing in the way of my receiving a healing from the Lord.

Once an angel took over the wheel of my car when I was driving to Orlando, Florida, from Macon, Georgia, where I live. Just after I drove past Gainesville, Florida, I ran into a heavy storm. There was a lot of traffic, and the rain was so hard I could barely see the lights of the car in front of me.

Big red barrels were lined up along the left-hand side of the road. I wasn't able to see well enough to pull off on the right-hand side. Suddenly my steering wheel was jerked very sharply to the right. "Whoa," I yelled, but just as suddenly as the car had turned to the right, it jerked back again to the left and then went straight ahead.

When the car turned back to the left, I saw in my rearview mirror that one of those big red barrels had fallen over into the middle of the road. I know that if I had hit it I would have reacted by slamming on my brake, undoubtedly causing the car behind me to hit mine and the car behind that to hit the car behind me, and so on. We would have had a serious pile up.

But an angel had helped me to avoid an accident by causing my car to swerve around the obstacle. The driver behind me was also spared because he saw my car swerving, sensed that something was wrong and pulled over to the side.

The rest of the way to Orlando, I had no control over the steering wheel. I kept one finger on it but was not exerting any pressure. Still, the wheel remained tight as a drum through the bad storm. When I reached the outskirts of Orlando I felt a nudge, and the angel gave the wheel back into my hands.

On another occasion when I was nearing a railroad crossing, an angel spoke to me and told me to stop. There was no light flashing or bell sounding a warning, so I hesitated. Again the angel said, "Stop." I did.

Immediately a train flashed by right in front of me. I had not heard it make a sound. The barrier had not come down nor had the warning light flashed. I was reminded of the promise in Psalm 91, "He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways" (v. 11, NKJV).

The first time I visited Israel to attend some Kathryn Kuhlman meetings, I went sightseeing with a group during the day. We went to look at the various places where Jesus had been. At each new site, I would feel a tap on the shoulder, and an angelic voice would speak in my ear, "He isn't here." I would always laugh.

The last place we went before we left Israel was Jesus' tomb. When it was my turn to enter, a voice boomed behind me, "He certainly isn't here!" I laughed and laughed.

Another time a man with a strong Pharisaical spirit began to yell at me for dancing and laughing in church. His face got redder and redder, and I wondered how I was to answer him.

Suddenly I felt fingertips around my ribs, tickling me. I tried to stop the tickling by putting my arms over my ribs, but the unseen angel continued.

Naturally, I started giggling. The man responded by yelling louder. He made one final shout and stormed away from me. "So much for the religious spirit," I thought. I believe God was trying to show me that some of the things people consider serious--such as the supposed "crime" of dancing in church--God doesn't take seriously at all.

ANGELS WATCHING OVER YOU

Angels are a part of your life just as they are a part of mine. The Bible says they are "ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation" (Heb. 1:14). Sometimes they sing the songs of Zion to us.

Have you ever waked up and heard a song in your ears? Maybe you haven't sung that song in a long time, and you wonder, Where on earth did that come from?

It probably didn't come from earth at all. The angels sometimes sing to you to remind you who Jesus is and encourage you to worship Him. Sometimes they speak Scriptures to you.

How can you tell when an angel is speaking rather than the Holy Spirit? It's simple. The Spirit is within you, and when He speaks it comes from inside you; when the angels speak or sing to you it comes from outside into your ears.

Why does God send angels? What are they for? If you study the scriptural accounts that include angels, you will see there are various purposes.

Angels act as messengers to give you the word of the Lord.

Angels minister God's comfort.

Angels give God's direction.

Angels protect you. God gives them charge over you.

When God sends you out, His angels go with you to help you accomplish His purposes.

Sometimes when you pray for your wayward loved ones the Lord sends an angel to protect them from themselves.

God's angels come to remind you who you are in Christ and strengthen you.

Angels "encamp" around those who fear the Lord (see Ps. 34:7) and chase away their enemies (see Ps. 35:5).

Angels help to minister in healing meetings.

Sometimes people express the concern that acknowledging angels is akin to worshiping them. If you share this concern, put it to rest right away.

God's angels will not let you worship them! They would be off in a second if you started doing that. Any "angel" who accepts your worship is not from God.

In the book of Revelation we see that there was a chief angel appointed over every church. It is the same today. There is an angel over the life of every believer, every church and every God-called ministry. Just as there are demonic forces over various towns, cities and nations, so there are angels of God over towns, cities and nations.

God has called us to live the kind of supernatural life that Jesus lived, and the angels are to be a part of it. Lay aside your doubts and fears, and walk in faith to receive all He has for you.

Read a companion devotional.


Kathie Walters is also the author of several books, including Celtic Flames and Angels Watching Over You.

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