Have you ever wondered if we, Christians, really have guardian angles? Is this something someone just made up to keep children from being afraid at night and the story got passed down like an old wives’ tale? Or was it extrapolated to explain away why some people escape perilous incidents unscathed?
The short answer is, Yes. The Bible clearly speaks in many instances about angels who guard and protect.
The passage of scripture that most clearly addresses our guardian angels is from the teaching of Jesus –
“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…” (Matthew 18:10)
Notice the plural. Each believer in Jesus not only has just one but a collection of angels looking out for them, not just children.
"Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" (Hebrews 1:14)
Isn’t this quite remarkable? When you accepted Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins God assigned a host of angels to minister to you. This explains at least some of those unexplainable events that just couldn’t be coincidental.
Are there really enough angels to have several assigned to each believer? John got 3-D, IMAX, Surround Sound vision of the spirit world. At one point the angels were saying aloud in unison, “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” (Revelation 5:12) How many were there? John said, “…I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand.” (Revelation 5:11) In Bible interpretation this is known as a rhetorical phrase for an indefinitely large number.
When Jesus was arrested on the night before the crucifixion, one of the disciples grabbed a sword and sliced off the ear of one of the perpetrators. Jesus told him to put away the sword and then said, “Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?" (Matthew 26:53) A Roman legion had 6,000 soldiers. Twelve legions would be 7200 angels for just this one event. I think it is safe to say there are enough angels to cover us all.
Jesus had angels assigned to him when he walked the earth. After Jesus, who was already weak from fasting, denied the devil’s three tempting offers, we are told "… the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.” (Matthew 4:11) We see they did the same thing for Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus was experiencing severe anguish at the thought of facing crucifixion the next day. After he prayed we are told “an angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.” (Luke 22:43) Our angels can do the same for us. They attend to our emotional and spiritual needs when we are exhausted.
In Jesus’ parable about the rich man and Lazarus, Jesus said, “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side.” (Luke 16:22) How do our spirits get to the presence of God since we have no idea where to go? It is very possible that one or more of our assigned angels carry us to him. I don’t know about you, but I find that very comforting.
Daniel was thrown into a den of hungry lions for not praying to God. The next morning when they opened up the pit and discovered Daniel still alive with the lions he reported, “My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions.” (Daniel 6:22) The lions genuinely wanted a Daniel burger for dinner but God sent Daniel’s guardian angel to shut the mouths of the lions. As I think about it, there have been times when I think God commanded my angel to shut the mouths of several proverbial lions. How about you?
Speaking of lions, Peter tells us:
"Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings." (1 Peter 5:8-9)
We must remember there are two types of angels – those for God and those for Satan. With as much intensity as our angels work to guard us, the devil’s angels seek to devour us like a lion. We are no match for the devil and his angels.
Paul reminds us that there is more going on in the world than we can see.
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 6:12)
If there was such a thing as a special spiritual strobe flashlight that we could shine it into the spaces around us, we would see a lot more spirit activity than we ever imagined.There is no other way for us to battle against these dark spiritual forces in the heavenly realm except to have our guardian angels do it for us.
While it is true from scriptures that we have not one but many guardian angels watching out over us, there are two things we must remember:
- God directs them, we do not. We can’t tell our assigned angels what to do. "For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways." (Psalm 91:11)
- We are not to worship angels. We only worship God, the creator of the angels. (see Colossians 2:18, Romans 1:25)
May your heart find great comfort and peace in knowing that the King of the angel armies is also your loving heavenly Father. Like any good earthly king and father, he has charged his army to comfort, strengthen and protect you, his child.