Several years ago, I took a train from Manhattan to White Plains, New York. Unfortunately, the conductor told me to get off at the wrong stop. As the train roared away, I discovered I was in Harlem – with a backpack and a 45-pound suitcase.
I grew up outside the city, and all I ever heard about Harlem were stories of violent crime. Fear struck my heart. I looked up at the two flights of outdoor metal stairs ascending to the platform above. I didn’t know how to get back on the train, and I cried.
“You can get tickets at the station,” a kind voice said. I looked up to see a tall, handsome black man, wearing a tweed jacket and matching hat, pointing behind me. I glanced around at the station, and peace calmed my mind as the solution became apparent. Buy a ticket and ask where to board the train.
I immediately turned back to thank him, and he was gone. I had only looked away for a second. How could I not spot such a tall man wearing tweed, of all things? He was nowhere in sight.
Was he an angel? Could have been. He immediately calmed my fears and pointed me toward the solution to my dilemma.
Unknown Angel Encounters
Hebrews 13:2 says, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.” Who knows how many times we’ve encountered angels unawares?
We learn more about angels in Hebrews 1:14: “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?” What a comfort to know that God sends out His angels – ministering spirits – to serve those who are saved and who will be saved through Jesus Christ!
How Does God Protect Us?
Psalm 91:11-12 explains why no evil will overtake us and no plague will come near our dwelling.
“For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, that you do not strike your foot against a stone.”
My church taught me that I had one guardian angel as a child. As a young adult, Bible teachers said that it was now God in Christ within me after being born again, and I no longer needed a guardian angel. I went from having one angel to none.
How silly! Before salvation, a person is enslaved in sin and poses no threat to the adversary. But when someone believes on the Lord Jesus and understands the Scriptures about his authority in Christ, who will the adversary try to silence? His slaves or those who are Christ’s and no longer under his authority? I finally let go of tradition and wrong teaching and read the words. Psalm 91:11 says, “He will give His angels charge concerning you,” not “angel.” And it says nothing about a “cease and desist” order to His angels guarding you.
This verse gives us a wonderful visual image. When you proclaim that God is your refuge and fortress in whom you trust, you can imagine God’s angels guarding you in all your ways. You can picture them all around you, carrying you through perils to safety, so you don’t even strike your foot against a stone. Imagining the promises of God will build our trust in Him far more effectively than fearful imaginations of what might go wrong.
In All Our Ways
How amazing is our God to command His angels to guard us in all our ways! Is the believer described in Psalm 91 perfect? Not at all. Like everyone, he makes mistakes. He sins. He needs to be delivered. But instead of condemning himself, he has godly sorrow, repents, and faithfully comes home to God, his shelter.
God knows we’re going to mess up from time to time. And there He stands as the forgiving father, watching and waiting for his child to return home. As soon as we repent and turn back to God, He compassionately runs to embrace and kiss us.
God loves us unconditionally at all times and commands His angels to guard us in all our ways. He is the Most High God with the highest love for His people.
What Are We Looking At?
In 2 Kings 6:15-17, Elisha’s servant was terrified when he saw the king’s army surrounding them. Elisha told him, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
Look closely at what Elisha spoke. He didn’t say, “Those who are with us are more than them.” He boldly spoke God’s spiritual truth and reality in the situation. “Those who are with us [God’s angels] are more than those who are with them [demons].”
The servant looked at the king’s army and trembled with fear. But Elisha looked at God’s army and was steady as a rock.
“Then Elisha prayed and said, ‘O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.’ And the LORD opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”
More With Us
Sure, demons are working under the devil’s command. But there are many more angels under God’s greater authority, commanded to guard us in all our ways!
We need to expect God to keep His promises. His angelic host stands ready to obey His command regarding us. Instead of trembling in fear under seemingly helpless circumstances, we can have the peaceful assurance of God’s protection and deliverance. God is faithful, and that’s a promise we can bank on!
Image: Angel played by Lonyo Engele in A.D. The Bible Continues