Today: Saturday, December 07, 2019

Angels: our guardians?    (4/20/2008 )

At the moment, belief in angels of all sorts seems to be popular and fashionable.

There is, perhaps, a need to believe that there is something more—more than the dreary meaninglessness of material processes going nowhere. And if we can believe that there exist mysterious, glorious beings—normally invisible, but really there—that belief can give us comfort.

Of course, hard-nosed atheists will claim that there is no more evidence for the existence of angels than there is for the existence of God, but that doesn't stop people claiming that angels really do exist, and that they are helped from time to time by these strange visitors from another dimension.

For Christians, there might seem to be something rather pagan about such beliefs, and they do seem to fit in rather well with the pick-and-mix religious attitudes of the new age. But there is, in fact, a good reason for Christians to accept that there may be angels—and that guardian angels, those with the specific task of helping individuals in their lives, may well be a reality.

Angels are mentioned in many places in the Bible, and they are usually considered to be beings who communicate the messages of God to humans. Of course, once God has come among us in person as Jesus, you might think that angels are no longer necessary. In a sense, this is true—but they are still mentioned here and there in the New Testament, and sometimes seem to be of the guardian variety.

Perhaps the best way to make sense of this is to start with the basic Christian message: we know we don't live in a meaningless series of material processes because Jesus lived among us and destroyed sin and death.

We know that, through Jesus, God loves and cares about each one of us in a unique and special way. Belief in guardian angels is not a belief in protectors who are an alternative to Jesus, or who are doing the job better , but may be a good way of reminding us of two things.

Firstly, for all we know the heavenly dimension may be filled with all sorts of created beings, whose existence we can only guess at—so why not include angels among their number? Secondly, the meaning of all this glorious existence is love: there may be guardian angels who are set apart to watch over each individual human being in a special way… but they do this because they are reflecting the glorious love of God.

So if you are willing to accept God's love, you may be willing to accept the ministry of his angels, too. But as grateful as we may be for angelic protection, we must remember that our relationship should be with God, and that it would be inappropriate to attempt to deal directly with his angels.

God's love is shown to us in Jesus, which is the source and cause of all love and protection both in the heavenly realms and here on earth.

Adrian Roberts is the author of Angels, available from Amazon.

Pray: Lord God, thank you for all the times you've placed angels around me to protect me from harm, when I didn't even know it. Please keep your angelic protection over me and those whom I love. Help me to understand that angels do this for one reason only: because you love me. And help me respond to that love. Amen.

Think about: Read Psalm 91 - one of the most comforting and protective chapters in the Bible. "For he will command his angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone," it says, among many other wonderful lines. Have there been times when you've had - quite literally - a 'miraculous escape'?

Challenge: Visit and do a keyword search on 'angel'. Read through some accounts of angelic appearances. Challenge yourself as to whether you can believe these actually happened. If so, why do you think God chose this method to reach out to the people concerned? Would you be too sceptical to recognise an angel if God ever tried to get your attention that way? Would that be a loss to you?

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