Do we really have “Guardian Angels”? Are they biblical? And if they are real, what exactly do they do? The Bible talks a great deal about angels and some of their activities. What inspired me to write about this topic is one of my favorite passages in the Bible – – Psalm 34:7
Someone Does Watch Over You!
“The angel of the Lord encamps about around those that fear Him, and he delivers them.” NIV
So what does that mean? Well, if we put it into context with King Hezekiah, it’s pretty startling. He was having to deal with overwhelming odds. The King of Assyria had come with an army that had steamrolled the rest of the surrounding nations. They had in fact taken the Northern Territory of Israel into captivity. Hezekiah had no human army that could match this huge opposing force. So he did what all men of God should first – He prayed. But he didn’t pray by himself – he went to the prophet Isaiah and they prayed to God. God sent a message to the King by way of His prophet that basically said – I got this!
That next morning, 185,000 Assyrian soldiers were slaughtered by none other than – THE ANGEL OF THE LORD!
That is the kind of power you have with you. Not only does He promise you to have your back, God makes a special reference to our children – Jesus tells us,
“Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in Heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father.” Matthew 18:10 KJV
I know for you parents out there, this is a special passage to you. I know that it is to me.
The Bible also tells us that –
“[Referring to angels] Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minster to those who shall be heirs of salvation?” Hebrew 1:14 KJV
SO they are indeed our guardians. One last thing, while all these beautiful pictures show angels with wings and flowing garments, that may not always be the case –
“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unaware.” Hebrews 13:2
So your angel may be your friend next door that you have to help out all the time or the beggar on the street that always looks you right in the eye. You know there is something about that person …. that’s different. He may have been sent by God to test and strengthen you in your walk through service to others. There is a song that speaks of one who says – “I’ll be the angel by your side….” Maybe we need to serve others like that was our primary mission in life – just like it is for our guardians.
I love this song. What inspired this post was my morning Bible Study where I am beginning in the book of Ezra and God, speaking through the prophet called out Cyrus by name to deliver the people of Judah and rebuild the temple is Jerusalem. This Kings name was foretold in the book of Isaiah over 150 years before this man was ever born.
God knows your name and cares deeply for you. He sent His Son to bring us salvation. He gives us grace for daily living through the power of His Holy Spirit. This gives us the privilege to be called sons and daughters of the Most High! Matthew West has a video that helps put this into perspective as well.
Hello My Name is by Matthew West
Let me ask you a question –
There will be some that Jesus will have to say to –
“… I never knew you, depart from me…” Matthew 7:23
For a long time I would have told you that I was saved and I even did very religious and churchy things. Yet, it was an act. I had no hunger for His word. I lived like hell Monday through Saturday and put a mask on for Sunday. I may have fooled the people around me but I didn’t fool God. Then one day my choices brought me down to the lowest point I could ever imagine. I wanted to die – I wanted out but it took that for me to realize that I needed a Savior that was real and I turned my life over to Him.
Since that moment, a very real transformation has begun. I am not where I need to be but glory be to God I am not the man I use to be. I know the risen Christ and my name is written in His Book of Life – Is yours? If it is, great!!! I shout, “Praise God” and I know that I will see you one day in glory. For those of you who are unsure, you don’t have to be any longer. Ask Jesus to come into your life and heart today. Just say –
“Jesus Christ, I know I need You, come into my heart, forgive me of my sin and help me to become the child of God you have called me to be.”
If you truly believe and place your trust in Jesus your name is now written in the Book of Life and the Holy Spirit has sealed you! Now get involved in a good Bible teaching and Holy Spirit filled church in your area. Share your decision with the Pastor and be baptized. Then share your new found faith with those that you love. Some won’t accept it but there will those who do. And maybe one of those you share it with, will give their hearts to Christ as well! The Angels in heaven are already warming up for their shouts of victory that one more person has given their hearts to Christ.
We have choices each day and they matter greatly. When we choose the God-Centered path our lives are building for eternity. When we go off on our own, what we are building will never last.
I was reading a 2 Chronicles 36 today and it is the tragic story of the fall of Jerusalem after King Josiah went out to fight against Egypt when he was supposed to stay home – was told to stay home. This king did some great things but he got off track. When he got off track it cost him his life but that is only part of the story. The rest of the story was that Egypt took control of his country, then Babylon. Israel ceased to be a nation – millions died and almost all of the others went to prison (i.e. captivity).
Here is my question – Could the outcome have been different had he made a different decision? I believe the answer is yes. When he turned to God and did all that he did to restore his nation to the God of their fathers, a prophetess told him that because he did that he had stayed the countries destruction.
So with that being said, let’s look out our decisions. Is there something we can begin to do differently that would be Christ centered and eternity building? There are many thing in our lives that are self-centered or maybe something that is inherently good, but it is simply isn’t what we are called to do.
So my challenge for you today, just like it was for my discipleship class I teach on Sundays – Pray this little prayer –
“Lord, open my heart to what you would have for me today. Lead me, guide me, direct me, protect and correct me as I go through this day, for I long to be the Man/Woman of God that You have called me to be. AMEN”
Look out, because God will answer this prayer. But I want you to take this one step further – I want you to live in expectation that God is going to answer this prayer. Get excited about your future with Him because the plans He has for those that seek Him are beyond anything you or I could ever imagine or plan for or …… He knows what our gifts and talents are because He is the One who created us and gifted us.
One last thought – our failure to heed the word of God, can also have disastrous results. Josiah loved the Lord but didn’t listen when it mattered most. It cost his country a great leader and the men that took over after he was gone, drove it into destruction. What if your actions or inactions could have a similar result? What would you be willing to do differently now that you know that all of it really matters. I am challenged by this fact daily. I don’t get it right all the time either but I am seeking Him and He tells us when we seek Him, we will find Him. When we have found Him, we have all the answers we need – Jesus Christ! AMEN!
Can you even begin to imagine what that would have been like? What He did for us, is beyond words because He knew we would reject Him, walk away from Him, use His name for purposes that no name should ever be used. Yet, even after all that, He was able to say, “Not my will Father, but thine be done…” Thank You Jesus …. for everything.
Love is not just words but actions that indicate a real caring and compassionate heart for the other person. This is a choice – otherwise it is only a feeling that can be fleeting at best and leave nothing behind but a really big mess!
“But you don’t know how bad I am …. I have ___________________! There is no hope for me – I am doomed, helpless and hopeless.”
I have heard this many times and even said it myself. Our society can be pretty unforgiving of the mistakes of the past. A record can follow you forever.
But what is interesting is that some of the most famous, interesting and successful people have a record. They have been to the pit. I remember hearing T.D. Jakes preach one day about a Pastors conference he had attended. He was recalling the Pastors stories of faithfulness and many had only been married once and had served the church all their life. He said –
“While all those stories were great and I am very happy for them, they had nothing to say to me. You can’t help me if you have never been through anything.”
Bishop Jakes story rang really true to me. Then I recalled the story of the Maniac of Gadares. Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee just to see him and it changed everything. This man couldn’t live with the rest of the people. They tried to chain him but he was so crazy that he broke the chains. He lived in a cemetery, probably waiting to die – wanting to die. Anybody been there?
After one touch – one word from Jesus, his life was different. In fact, he was so different and the change so radical, that it scared the people of the closest town. The man wanted to leave with Jesus but Jesus knew that this man had a mission. Jesus told him –
“Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee and had compassion on thee.” Mark 5:19b
Do you know what the man did? – exactly what Jesus told him to do. Yet, not only did he go home, on the way there he…
“…and began to publish in Decapolis [Ten Cities] how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.” v. 20
Real change is possible! Jesus can take you from insanity to peace. This transformation is what Paul describes as “You are God’s Masterpiece, created anew in Christ Jesus…” (Eph.2:10 NLT). But you are not saved to sit. You are not transformed to be placed upon a pedestal and pose. You are saved to serve – transformed to testify. The Maniac of Gadares published, which means to spread the mission far and wide, and the people all marveled. His life now made a difference, where before he only wanted to die and he had to be locked away. Now that he was free on the inside, he shared it with all who would listen.
You too have a mission – Paul continues to tell us in that same verse,
“created anew in Christ Jesus for the good works ordained for you from the beginning.”
God has a plan for you and it is a good one. God had Jeremiah, the prophet, tell people in “captivity” aka -Jail, this:
“For I know the plans I have for you, saith the Lord. Plans for good, not destruction. To give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
There is more here but I want to stop and hear from you. Let me know what you think and if you want to talk more about this reach out to me. I would be honored to hear from you. Maybe you want to share your story of transformation – this is a good forum to do so. I will accept guest blog posts about this topic as well. Have a blessed day and let not just talk about – let’s be about it!
In the passage – Isaiah 61:1-3 – we all want to rush off to the “Beauty… and the oil of joy… and the garment of praise’
Before there could be an exchange for beauty – there had to be a fire to create the ashes. That means that something went horribly wrong. Yet, Christ has an answer for that to. In order to get to that we must begin with the ….
We have to
Jesus Came to Preach the Good News to the meek
To bind up the brokenhearted
To set free those that are bound
To open the prison doors and set the prisoner free
The meek are
The One’s whose lives are just not want they ought to be and they know they need a change.
Some of the Meek in Jesus day were the Tax Collector’s, the prostitutes, the people that no one else wanted to have anything to do with – because they knew they needed help.
The Meek are really you and me – He came for us! Sinners in need of a Savior. But if we miss that then we can miss the greatest gift the universe has ever seen or will ever see.
To bind up the broken hearted
Anybody here eve have their heart broken?
Anybody here ever lost anything precious to them?
Anybody here ever been lied to by the person they are supposed to be able to trust?
Christ came to deal with those hurts in a way that only He can – I call it Holy Heart Surgery.
The passage says He came to bind up the broken hearted – so that means that He is reaching inside of us, at the point where the pain is greatest, where the need for healing is the greatest and where if healing doesn’t come, all the rest will be wrecked.
He isn’t just touching it, He is binding – hearts take time to heal so He binds them so that they can.
To set free those that are bound
These things can be more oppressive than any prison.
To set the prisoner free
The Bible is full of examples of this chainbreaking freedom
To me the greatest example was the thief on the cross – He wasn’t set free from the penalty that the worlds system had imposed upon him but he was set free from a far greater eternal punishment – He was in paradise that day!
Beauty for Ashes –
Before there were ashes – there had to have been a fire.
What caused the Fire
Fill in the blank
Why didn’t the fire get put out sooner?
Why did it burn to the ground
Why did it get out of control
What was the trigger
What fueled it
What do we do with the mess?
Did anybody Notice?
Can hide it?
How do I begin again?
How can I put my life back together?
YOU CAN’T – HE CAN!
Didn’t Surprise God
Ashes can’t be restored – they blow in the wind
Jesus will take those ashes and give you something new – Beauty
The beauty is Himself
The beauty is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit
The beauty is an eternal home
The beauty is an everlasting hope
The beauty is healing
The beauty is transformative
The beauty includes the gifts of the Spirit
The beauty gives us the confidence to say “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13
The beauty tells me that I am more than a conqueror
The beauty tells me that I am not my own any longer – I am a child of the King – saved by grace – adopted into the family of God
The beauty means that I am now “ God’s Masterpiece – created anew in Christ Jesus for the Good Works that He ordained since the beginning of time.”
The beauty means that I have a job – “ the good works” “ to build, raise up & restore”
The beauty give me double for my trouble.
The beauty restores my family
YES – REAL CHANGE IS POSSIBLE! THE WORST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED IN YOUR LIFE DOESN’T HAVE TO DEFINE YOU!
Jesus Christ will perform this Great Exchange & do for you what you cannot do for yourself.
THE OIL of Joy for mourning!
If there is mourning, there is loss
Loss takes on many forms
Loss of a loved one
“ “ friend
Christ understands – He wept when he saw the mourning of the people who loved Lazarus
He promises the Oil of Joy for Mourning
Oil is thick
Oil sticks with us
Oil soaks in and goes down deep
Oil becomes a part of who we are
SINCE IT IS THE OIL OF JOY –
His joy is thick
His Joy can stick to us like glue
His Joy can sink down into our hearts and change everything
His Joy becomes a part of who we are
But we have to be willing to say – LORD, I’m hurting and I need healing – my heart is broken and only you can heal it.
Binding – Oil – And a touch from the Masters Hand – The Great Physician.
THE GARMENT OF PRAISE FOR THE SPIRIT OF HEAVINESS
Depression – The worries of the world weighing you down? This is one of the greatest problems in America today. Many have a general sense of hopelessness because there is a general decline in the morality of America, a decline in the family unity and way more problems than we have the time to go into here. The common denominator with all of them is the fact that each day, God is being taken further and further out of this society.
The answer is Jesus Christ – when we turn to Him and give Him our lives to Him, we can put on the garment of praise. Depression cannot remain when we are praising God.
I can tell you from experience that this has happened to me. I could feel depression like an 800lb guerilla on my shoulders. I gave my life to Christ at the lowest point in my life and the ugly monster of depression got up off my shoulders and walked out the door.
You need to know that sometimes depression has come back to visit to me. When it does, it sneaks in like a thief, trying to steal my joy and make me not want to praise. I find myself praying and wondering what is wrong. What I learned is that, on my own, I cannot win but if I will turn to God, depression will flee. So let’s get practical – how do you do that? What I will do is pray and then put Christian music in my ears as I go about my day. When I do this, before I know it, I am praising God and depression is no where to be found. I have put on the garment of praise and there is no room for anything else.
Where does this leave us?
Christ has a great plan for you and me. He came for us – at our worst – He came for us. He came to bring healing, to set us free and cut us loose from the pain of our past decisions. When we turn fully to Him, we get the exchange of beauty for the burned out shell of an existence that we had before – aka “Ashes”. We get the oil of joy for mourning over the past destructions of life and peace that we experienced. Then we get the garment of praise, for the weight of the world we use to carry around with us. He does all of this because He has a plan for us.
He wants to be planted by the river so that we can be examples of grace – for His glory.
Then He has a job for us –
“And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolation of many generations… For your shame ye shall receive double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion; therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.” Isaiah 61:4 & 7
You have a job – a divine mission that has a specific reward.
If our eyes remain stayed on Jesus we know perfect peace – the peace that passes understanding. What we have to realize is that this a peace that is most often found in the midst of a raging storm. The rest of the world may be going to pieces but if you will remain in Christ, He will walk you through the Valley – even the valley of the shadow of death!
2 Timothy 4:2,5