For he will command his angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. - Psalm 91: 11-12 (NIV) Ignorance to the spirit realm does not exempt us from the war we are in as believers. Unfortunately today there is little taught on true spiritual warfare in the modern church. The theories of church growth emphasize what people want to hear not what they need to hear. The Apostle Paul teaches us: For weare not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. – Ephesians 6: 12 (NLT) There are mighty powers in this dark world we live in. There are unseen authorities and evil rulers. There are evil spirits in heavenly places warring against the children of God. Christianity is not a veggie-tale beloved. Realize that the eternal destination for everyone you love and know hangs in the balance if they stand on the outside of salvation looking in. Even some who are in the church will find out on the last day that they never even knew the God they proclaimed. Who we follow and what we believe is vitally important and not the afterthought the modern church has turned it into. Sitting in a pew doesn’t make us a Christian any more than sitting in a garage makes us a car. It is only through a regenerate heart and relationship with Jesus Christ that we will enter the kingdom of heaven. We will not get there on the weight of our parents relationship with God. We will not get there under the power of our spouse’s relationship with God. We will not get there because of our great works for the Lord either. It doesn’t matter how many ministries we lead, devotionals we write, or Bibles we own. Only a relationship with Jesus Christ will get us in. For those of us who are living the eternal life now there are so many promises we can rely upon in the Word of God. Some of them are very popular and we probably can recite them. One that may be more obscure however is found in the key verses today and it deals with the subject of angels. The world has watered down what God meant to be holy and set apart of course. Angels are not fluffy caricatures living in the clouds. They are created beings of God who possess great power. It was a death angel of the Lord who killed all of the first born in Egypt on the first Passover. It was an angel with a drawn sword that would have killed Balaam if not for his more observant donkey. Yet in verse 11 of the key verses today we see an extraordinary promise from God for us – He will actually command His angels to watch over us! Verse 12 actually says they will get physically involved if necessary to ensure our safety! Can you imagine? Have you ever had an experience in your life where you narrowly avoided some catastrophe? A situation where you swore you were done for only to escape through what must have been divine intervention? It just may have been beloved. Remember the wars in the spirit realm remain unseen by us and are experienced through our faith alone. One of the most famous angel visitations in the Bible is the story of Daniel and the lion’s den. The King of Babylon, Darius, had been tricked by people who sought to do Daniel harm. Those that were jealous of Daniel had to resort to trickery because Daniel always behaved in an upright manner. Using his devotion to his God, they tricked King Darius and as a result of a sealed decree, Darius had no choice but to place Daniel into the lion’s den. But even Darius knew deep down what Daniel’s God could do and when he went to the mouth of the den the following morning and called Daniel’s name he was greeted with this: Daniel answered, "O king, live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O king." - Daniel 6: 21-22 (NIV) God gave His angels charge over Daniel, they physically intervened, and no harm befell God’s servant. Daniel did not fear, he prayed. He did not compromise his beliefs. If we have had times in our lives where the lions of this world should have had us for lunch only to escape miraculously we too may have been visited by angels doing the bidding of the Lord. Psalm 27:1 declares, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread?" Psalm 92:8-9 reaffirms, “But You, O Lord, are on high forever. For, behold, Your enemies, O Lord, for, behold, Your enemies will perish; all who do iniquity will be scattered." Daniel’s accusers who tried to visit iniquity upon God’s servant were indeed scattered as King Darius threw them and their families into the lion’s den where they did not fare as well as Daniel did. The key to these two verses in Psalm 91 however, is not in the promise of God’s deliverance, but rather in the state of the believer. “To guard you in all your ways” is often overlooked but when we look at these verses in the Amplified Bible, we begin to see the caveat God expects. For He will give His angels [especial] charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways [of obedience and service]. The amplified Bible shines some light on the phrase “in all your ways” and clarifies it to mean God will give His angels charge over you, to protect you, in your service and obedience to Him. Once again we see these matters glossed over too often in the modern church. Blessing is preached over obedience. Abundance is preached over service. Instead of singing songs to God about how much we love Him we see false worship about how much He loves us. This concept about “in all your ways” is highlighted in the temptation of Christ found in the Gospels. In the account in Luke 3: 9-11 we see how deceitful the enemy is, The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down from here. For it is written: He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” Do you notice what is missing? The qualifying portion of the scripture! Satan purposefully misinterpreted the scripture and left out “in all your ways”, which we know, is a reference to living in obedience and service. God will protect us if we are in alignment with His will, not just “because”. Jesus responded to the devil with scripture in correct context, “'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”. Jesus could have thrown himself off the pinnacle and had God’s angels protect Him, but that was not the will of the Father. The world has a way of bringing us down. It can convince us that we are insignificant, meaningless, or even inconsequential. We have external forces always speaking such into our lives. Teachers who are too critical. Parents who can be verbally abusive. Peer pressure insisting we are worthless, powerless, or pointless in our existence. These lies are exactly what the enemy uses to come against us, to accuse us, to make us powerless. But what does God say about our value? How much does God consider our value? He values us so much that He has commanded His angels to guard and protect us! We do not have a guardian angel – we have a whole host of angels dispatched by God to accompany, defend and preserve us in all of our ways of obedience and service unto God. Hallelujah! Rev. Anthony.