Psalms 91:11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
Have you ever been in a situation and heard a voice that led you out of harm’s way? Or have we been helped by someone who then cannot be found when we went to thank them? Or a situation occurred beyond our control when we should have been injured but survived unscathed?
I remember being a teenager riding my bicycle up in the hills and I took a spill, sliding down a steep hill over some rough terrain holding my bicycle above me the entire way. When I finally came to a stop, I surveyed my body and my bicycle – all seemed to be in order, so off I went. Looking back on it, it seems like I should have been hurt, or scratched or worse.
I have a friend who rides motorcycles. He described a situation once where he was riding about 50 mph and had to dump his bike because of a deer in the road. He rolled and rolled then landed on his feet running. He was wearing a helmet, which got banged up, but no injuries to his body. He walked back to his bike and was able to ride off again.
The Bible makes many references to angels, Which I want to talk a little about. According to the Bible, angles serve various purposes according to the will of God. They can instruct people. In Genesis 16:9 we read: The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her.” Then in Matthew 28:5-7 we have: “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; The two Marys received an instruction.
Angels can also appear to help people. In Daniel 6:22, Daniel explains: My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.” In Luke 22:43 as Jesus was praying, we read, “And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him.”
God also uses angels to deliver messages. The word ‘angel’ means ‘messenger’, so it should be no surprise that is one of their purposes. In Luke 1:35: And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.
Throughout the Bible angels are utilized to communicate God’s truth or a message. In a number of passages in the Bible, we are told that angels were instruments of God sent to reveal His Word. In addition, there are numbers of times where angels appeared to announce an important message. At other times angels deliver words of comfort and reassurance, as well as bringing warnings, telling of judgments and even carrying out judgments. Angels have also been known to appear in dreams and visions, as in the four times they appeared to Joseph.
Angels are also sent to protect us. In Exodus 23:20 we read: “Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. In Psalm 91:11-12 we are told: “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.”
Angels are servants of God, doing God’s bidding, fulfilling God’s plans for all of humanity and for us as an individual. They will observe us and encourage us. They are sent to guide us and protect us. In Hebrews 1:14 we read: Are not all angels spirits in the divine service, sent to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?
Depending upon our receptivity, we will receive messages from God through angels as they attempt to serve us collectively and individually at God’s bidding. Some people believe that when we have good, positive, creative, useful thoughts, it is the angels communicating with us; God speaking to us through them.
There are various viewpoints about angels and what they are depending upon your religious upbringing. According to the Bibles, God created angels. They are servants to God and are entirely separate creations than human being. We cannot become an angel, nor can an angel become human. They are purely spiritual being, with no physical form. They are intelligent, but do not have limitless knowledge. A few have chosen to defy God, but they are not like God and are not Omniscient, Omnipotent or Omnipresent.
There are various classifications of angels: Cherubim, Seraphim, and a class called Living Creatures. In the Jewish tradition there are ten ranks for angels.
Much has been written outside the Bible about angels. The idea that we have guardian angels is endearing, and although I am inclined to believe it, it is not Biblical. The Bible does say that God gives his angels charge of us to guard us in all our ways. And Jesus does say in Matthew 18:10: See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. But experts do not agree on what Jesus was saying exactly.
Those that believe in the Guardian Angel theory say that we can know the guidance of our angels in four ways: 1.) Hearing; 2.) Seeing; 3.) Feeling; and 4.) Intuiting, or just knowing.
Some of us may find that there are times, especially when we are feeling depressed and down, that we can hear our angel’s voices. At first, they can be that ‘still small voice’ and difficult to hear, but if we ignore them, they can shout guidance in times of crisis. Sometimes we need to cut through our fears and ask, “What is God trying to tell me that I am afraid to hear?” Moving into the stillness we may be able to hear the answers. Sometimes we will be aware of music or songs that are meaningful to only us. All of this is guidance from our Angels.
Other people will see angels. I had a dentist friend who suffered for two years with cancer before she made her transition. Several months before she passed, she shared a vision with me. She said it was not a dream, but as physically real as anything else in her life. She saw angels in her bedroom. She told me, “Patrick, they can fly and they have wings, but they do not have feathers. Their wings are made of shell.” She described them to me and then said suddenly, “I am not afraid of death.”
Some of us will see angels around other people, just as some people see auras. But angels can appear as winged or wingless, male or female, large or small, in whatever fashion that is most acceptable to us.
Some guidance can come in the form of dreams and visions. But Angels, like God, will not interfere except for in the case of life-threatening situations. We must ask for guidance and be open, aware, receptive, and responsive to that guidance.
Other people will experience their angelic guidance as a feeling. Perhaps you have had a hunch, or a gut feeling, about someone or a situation. Maybe you’ve felt stress or tension in an area of your body that was a foreboding of something negative about to happen, or a feeling of giddiness or butterflies of joy and excitement prior to something wonderful happening. At other times people can literally feel a physical touch or brush of angels wings on their skin or wind pass by them.
Receiving these feelings and being aware of them is part of our guidance; trusting them and acting on them will complete our understanding and lead us forward into Spirit.
When we receive guidance from our angels and God, it is always surrounded with warmth and love, even if it is a warning or some corrective measure. If it is our ego stepping in, the feelings will be cold and hurtful feeling, revolving around fear, lack, destruction, and competition. It is easy to tell the difference.
And last of all, some people experience guidance from God and their angels by a sure knowingness…they just know it to be so. The concept, idea, or awareness just comes. It’s not like brainstorming, where ideas build upon each other. This is revolutionary, not evolutionary knowing. You might express aptitudes for unfamiliar situations, or know facts that you don’t recall ever learning. You might have insights, foresight, and inspirations in areas that you have not developed. This is Divine Guidance as knowing. Ultimately, we each can experience guidance in all these forms.
According to some experts, we are constantly surrounded by two angels, and can call upon them at any time for help. They respond instantly, and we just need to be aware of their guidance to benefit. But in addition, we can summon vast amounts of angels to our aid and guidance. With a simple “Angels, please surround me,” we are instantly engulfed in a ‘love cushion’ of angelic light.
We can also send them to others. Mary is quite adept at doing this and can visualize their attitudes and activities as she sends them to people in need.
The last idea I want to mention is the idea of angels walking the earth today. The Bible supports the contention that angels can appear in physical form and that they appear at God’s bidding to help us. Possibly even today there are angels among us. Hebrews 13:2tells us: Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
Certainly, in a larger context we ourselves can be angels, messengers of God, helping and serving others with our words, actions, thoughts, and attitudes. You will never know how beneficial you have been to others, but we have acted as angels for God at some point in our lives.
So, it is my prayer that we will be open to all of God’s messages and guidance and love, despite the various pathways they take to reach us: to the angels, God's messengers of Love, and to Christ, the Holy Spirit, human emissaries, and Nature, through which we receive God's peace, joy, comfort, and strength. May angel light illumine your way!