Imagine getting help from heaven! Its not such a silly reality… for the Child of God. Angels came to minister to the Apostle Peter while he was in prison “…behold an angel of the Lord stood by Peter, …and said, put on your garment and follow me” (Acts 12:5-8) and the angel led Peter safely out of jail. Wow- pretty amazing, right?
Angels are Ministering Spirits:
These same kind of things are happening in the lives of believers everyday. We are told that angels are “ministering spirits sent forth to minister to those who are heirs of salvation” (Heb. 1:13-14). That’s you and I, every believer who trusts in God, becomes an heir of the blessing that Christ bought for us at the cross. Jesus even spoke of how angels watch over us from infancy through life. ”In heaven their angels always see the face of My Father” (Mt. 18:10). We call these spirits guardian angels, because they are delegated with the specific task of keeping you and I safe.
Angels are God’s Messengers:
God employs innumerable invisible ministers to help us. The supernatural power of angels; willingly and obediently responsive to the voice of the Father, actively minister to the welfare of His Children. Lets take that truth a little further.
- We read that angels will hold us up and protect us “lest we dash our foot against a stone” (Ps. 91:11-12).
These angels are concerned with even little things in our lives. Just think for a moment, who and what the angels are; how great, glorious, holy, and blessed; how high and majestic the office they fill and the assignments in which they are engaged. And then think of their stooping to such works as this… the preventing of a man from stumbling over a stone. God has given the angels charge over us, so our feet may not even come in contact with a stone! Surely that seems beneath them, but no – it is the purpose of angels to do the Lord’s bidding.
“Not a sparrow falls to the ground without our Father knowing it” (Mt. 10:29).
“The very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Mt. 10:30).
Taking Charge Over:
Holy angels have charge over the minute by minute details of our lives, as well as over great events. Why? Because for our body, the slightest stumble could have a lifetime of consequence. And for our soul, we fall little by little, not by great crimes, but by little sins… little distractions. Desires pull upon our attention and refocus our eyes upon temporary, carnal things. We need heaven’s intervention more than we even know.
- Angels Surround Us: We are told that “the angels of the Lord encamp all around those who fear Him…” (Ps. 34:7).
- Angels Cover Us: We are told that angels contend with Satan and demons on our behalf in spiritual warfare – “but the prince (evil angel) of the kingdom of Persia withstood me 21 days, and behold Michael, one of the chief princes (arch- angel), came to help me, …” (Dan. 10:13)(Eph. 6:12)(Jude 9).
These angels that God sends are responding to us and they are encamped around us for two specific reasons. First, because we fear God. We are designed to honor the same heavenly realities they do. And second, because we obey God and fight for His purposes and priorities in life. They are protecting, defending, and guarding us so that God’s will is accomplished. They are like an army that defends a country, only they are defending us.
Called Alongside The Faithful:
These angels are fellow worshipers and associates in the heavenly realm, always looking at the One whom they serve. They are willing and ready to walk alongside of those who have their eyes on God. You see, their highest priority is alignment with the will of God. One important truth however – we can make no claim on Divine Providence, if we want to live apart from God in disobedience and rebellion. The promise is for those who walk by faith… see through faith and delight in their faith. The best news of all is that when a person puts their trust in Jesus – a partnership emerges.
Jesus told Nathaniel, “you will see greater things than these… I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open and angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man” (Jn. 1:50-51).
“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (Jn. 7:37-39)
Are you seeing any signs of the River? Just how thirsty are you?
Jesus said that when we drink from Him, receive His life and become filled with the Holy Spirit; rivers of living water would begin to flow out from within our lives. The River not only flows from His Presence, as wherever He went life would spring forth… His Presence flows through us. The Glory of the Lord becomes evident through us by the Presence of the Holy Spirit. From this Holy Spirit River, flow salvation, peace, healing and transforming joy. The joy that comes from knowing and partaking of God Himself. It is “Christ in you, the hope of Glory” (Col. 1:27).
A glance through the New Testament, and especially the book of Acts; we see Jesus and His followers demonstrate the signs of Kingdom advancement (Mt. 11:4-6). Everywhere they preached the Kingdom of God broke out and healing miracles and signs of the River begin to flow (Mt. 4:23-24)(Acts 4:29-31)(Acts 5:12-16)(Acts 8:4-8)(Acts 19:11-12). Its more than just cause and effect… its the hand of God mightily impacting the world around believing people! He is wanting to break in with power, truth and compassion… and its thirst that makes His River rush in!
6 Bible Facts about the River:
1. The River flowed out of the Garden of Eden: This was the place where God communed with Adam and Eve. This river separated into four headwaters, sending out life-giving waters throughout the land (Gen 2:10-14). In this way, our Father prepared a means of life to nations and people long before they even existed.
2. The Bible begins with a River and ends with a River: In the last chapter of the Bible, we read of the River of Life flowing from the Throne of God. “On each side of the River stood the Tree of Life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the Tree are for the healing of the nations.” (Rev 22:2) Here in the final page of Scripture, we again see God’s heart for nations and people.
3. The River brings healing to the Nations: Ezekiel had a vision of a River with life-giving properties flowing out from the Temple, after God’s glorious Presence had returned there. Trees surrounding the river, bore fruit for food and leaves for healing. (Ezek 47)
4. The River of Life brings a Harvest: Where once there were no fish, fish abound and fishermen spread their nets for an abundant catch (Ezek 47:9-10). The harvest on God’s heart is souls… people from every tribe and tongue (Mt 4:19)(Rev 7:9).
5. The River of Life is a Source of Joy: The Psalmist says: “There is a river whose streams make glad the City of God, the Holy Place where the Most High dwells” (Ps 46:4). “People feast on the abundance of Your House; You give them drink from Your River of Delights” (Ps 36:8).
6. The River flows from God’s Presence: Consistently, we see that the River of Life flows from the very seat of God’s Presence, the place He inhabits and reigns (Joel 3:18).
- “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mk. 16:15-18)
‘…indeed it came to pass, when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying: “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever”, that the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.’ (2 Chron. 5:13-14)
God’s Glory is supernatural – unmanageable, unpredictable, and frequently controversial… especially when it violates our religious traditions about God. Yet the Glory of God still remains the most influential and powerful expression of our Christian experience. Throughout Scripture, God calls His people to know Him, to glorify Him and to reflect His Glory. The more intimately we know God, the more His Glory will be revealed to us and in us… from glory to glory (2 Cor 3:17-18). After all we are the Temple of the Holy Spirit!
Increasing Evidence of Glory:
In the Exodus from Egypt, God’s Glory was seen in the cloud that lead His People by day and the fire that lead them by night. In the days of King David and King Solomon, there were Tabernacle and Temple experiences that overwhelmed the leaders and challenged every religious idea of the day. As New Testament Believers, we recognize that same Glory now resides within us as the New Covenant Promise – written upon our hearts. It is the shekinah Presence of the Holy Spirit living within us that increases as we embrace it and hunger for more. The Apostle Paul said that although this Glory would be mysterious, it would be revealed to the Saints and increase in the Believer who puts their trust in Christ. We were made to know the riches, and to drink in the river of God’s Glory.
- “The mystery that has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the Glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of Glory.” (Col. 1:26-27)
- “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body… and have all been made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:13)
How Much is Enough?
Three truths I try to remember – 1st There is always more! – 2nd You can have as much of God as you want! and 3rd Your hunger will dictate your capacity to receive. The Apostle James tells us to draw near to God and He will draw near to us (Jms 4:8). There are several ways we can “go after more” of God’s Glory in our lives.
- Worship: Gives God the worth He is due and increases our awareness of His Glory.
- Thanksgiving: Offers appreciation for all He has done and will do and creates room for His Glory to be manifest in our lives.
- Meditating upon The Word of God: Releases revelation and an awareness of how God’s Glory was seen in the past.
- Fellowship: Recognizing our relationship with the Holy Spirit and soaking in His Presence shapes our hearts as places of intimacy and habitation for greater Glory.
- Prayer: Intercession and offering our petitions to God in faith draws His attention, His love and Glory encounters.
We were born to manifest God’s Glory… to embrace the challenge of carrying something so wonderful that were we to truly comprehend its power…
WE COULD CHANGE THE WORLD!
I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul will make its boast in the Lord; the humble will hear it and rejoice.
O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.
I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces will never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them.
O taste and see that the Lord is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
O fear the Lord, you His saints; for to those who fear Him there is no want.
The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; but they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.
~ BLESS THE LORD!
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:12-13)
Living the abundant life God has promised every believer, should become our ultimate experience. Yet the promise is no more than just words if there is no power to restore our past broken hearts and deliver us from the bonds of sin. In Christ all of this is possible through faith and personal relationship, where we come to see His hand upon our lives. The New Testament promise is “Christ in you the hope of glory” (Col 1:27) and “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world” (1 Jn 4:4). Fullness of joy is released in us when we have an awareness of His Presence in our lives, because nothing can defeat us and we become more than conquerors in Him.
God’s Word offers incredible principles that bring wisdom and revelation to our experiences. One such principle that is found in the life of Abraham and Sarah was that God promised to give their descendants the “gates of their enemies” (Gen 22:17). The gates were symbols of authority. Obviously then what God was offering was a promise to release favor upon Abraham’s descendants… such favor that they would have influence in their enemy’s camp. When they showed up at the enemy’s door, they could rely upon God’s promised favor to bring supernatural breakthrough. And if their enemy chose to attack, God’s hand would become the resistance the enemy would experience first… we call this a hedge of protection. Its also spoken of as an “angelic charge over us” by King David (Ps. 91:11-13). A hedge of protective security is promised to keep God’s Covenant Child in all their ways… to bear them up against stumbling and blocked vision. Notice the effect is to allow for victory against the lion and the cobra… “the young lion and the serpent you shall trample under foot”.
You might ask, so why is that important to us?
Well we are the descendants of Abraham, and heirs of this promise! Through the Blood of Jesus Christ, we can claim this promise for our own lives. When we are mistreated or have caught the enemy stealing our goods, we can call upon God to give us favor and influence in the restoration of all that has been taken. God has offered us restoration and deliverance through this wonderful promises (2 Pet. 1:2-4).
Our willingness to stand in the midst of persecution or fight for the poor, gets God’s attention because of this promise. It is a promise He has made to all of His Covenant Children. Those who believe in the God of Abraham receive the Blessings of Abraham. The Blessing of being in Christ is that we come into fellowship with the God who restores and heals all that we have seen stolen and broken in our lives. This is the meaning of abundant life, full of joy and full of glory.
The Apostle Peter said “…you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (You) “…who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” (1 Pet. 2:9-10)