By Pastor Lee Hemen
April 10, 2008
But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. (Acts 27:22-25)
While I am not one of those that succumbs to the notion of hanging a plastic angel from the mirror of my vehicle or placing statues of angels in my house, because it is paganism to do so and we are commanded not to, I do believe we have guardians the Lord has sent to watch over us. And isn’t it interesting to note that the word “angel” means messenger. As believers we have the chief architect of our souls as our guide, the Holy Spirit, and we are not to depend upon heavenly messengers to get us out of life’s jams we get ourselves in. However, Scripture does make it plain that God has also provided messengers sent from His throne room to guide us or to give us a message that we may not have heard in simply listening to the still quiet voice of the Holy Spirit. Why? Why would God do this sometimes? I believe in His wisdom He knows that just like Paul needed a message sent special delivery by one of God’s attendants, we sometimes do as well.
These messengers are not always sent and we dare not depend upon them, worship them, or give them more respect than we should. When we fall into the trap of angel “worship” we have crossed the line into giving glory to a created being instead of the Creator.
We find angels being sent ahead of Abraham, finding wives for his children, in burning bushes and protecting the Israelites while bringing them to the promised land. We find God’s messengers warning a dumb prophet by speaking to a smart donkey, bringing judges to Israel from life’s pits and with great hair; we find them disciplining Israel because of an undisciplined David, bringing bird food to Elijah the Tishbite, keeping the cool of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, sating lions, wrestling with men and demons, and telling prophets what to proclaim; we hear them speaking kindly to a pregnant unmarried virgin and telling her betrothed in a dream of the wonder she carried; ministering to the Messiah, guarding an empty tomb, and telling the good news to frightened women; rescuing Paul, a prisoner, on a ship bound for Rome, and giving us the finishing touches to the ending of it all! How wonderful and amazing of the Lord of all Creation to do this!
Notice what the heavenly messenger said to Paul: “keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost.” It is a message of hope and a future. It is the message sent to us every day from the throne of grace. “Do not be afraid…. God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you!” God is with you just as He was with Paul and those sailors. The pagan sailors needed a heavenly message from an angel, spoken by one of His messengers, Paul. And this is a beautiful truth as well: Angels, the messengers God uses, sent by Him, can also be fellow believers to bring you a message of hope and certainty! Today, dear child of the Lord, keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost, God has graciously given us all we need as we sail with Him. This is the message given to you today by this one messenger of the Lord…
NOTE: This article is copyrighted by Pastor Lee Hemen © 2008 and the property of Pastor Lee Hemen. You are welcome to copy it, email it, or use it but please if you copy it, email it, or use it you must do so in its entirety.