ACTIVATING THE ANGELS

KEY VERSES:

 

In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old. But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them. (Isaiah 63:9-10)

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Angels do not report to you or take orders from you.  They are servants of God, they follow His instructions, and they do His will at His bidding.  There are, however, Scriptural keys that can activate or hinder their ministries in your behalf.  That is the subject of this chapter.

 

ACTIVATING THE ANGELS

 

The Bible reveals several ways to activate the angels.  You can…

 

-Activate the angels by operating under authority.

 

Mankind has dominion over the animals and the earth (Genesis 1:26).  AsBelievers, we have authority over Satan and his evil foes (Luke 10:19).  But we do not control the good angels of God.   Angels operate under the authority of God.  They serve you, but they are not your servants to perform as dictated by your whims and desires.  They are God’s servants.  If you try to activate them by your own authority, it will not work.

 

In order to understand authority, you must understand submission:

 

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

            (James 4:7)

 

Someone who is submissive to God and resists the enemy has authority over the enemy. He is

submissive to God, honors His authority, obeys His Word, and obeys the laws of the land that do not conflict with that Word:

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.  (Romans 13:1-2)

 

You do not want the angels opposing you, which is what happened to the nation of Israel:

 

In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old. But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them. (Isaiah 63:9-10)

 

When Israel rebelled, their angel was no longer activated in their behalf:

 

And an angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you. And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this?Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you. And it came to pass, when the angel of the Lord spake these words unto all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voice, and wept. And they called the name of that place Bochim: and they sacrificed there unto the Lord.(Judges 2:1-5)

 

Rebellion is the same as witchcraft (1 Samuel 15:23).  Ask God to remove rebellion from your heart and mind and to bring your will into submission to Him.

 

-Activate the angels by speaking the Word.

 

Angels respond to the Word of God.  The Psalmist declared:

 

Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments,        hearkening unto the voice of his word.  (Psalm 103:20)

 

Angels heed the voice of God’s Word.  This means that by speaking God’s Word into your circumstances, angels are dispatched to minister in your behalf.   Negative words of fear, complaint, and unbelief do nothing to improve your situation.

 

In order to speak the Word you must know it, and that only comes by applying yourself diligently to study it:

 

            Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,     rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

 

 

God watches over His Word to perform it:

 

Then said the Lord unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it.

(Jeremiah 1:12)

 

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God’s promises that His Word will not return void:

 

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.(Isaiah 55:11)

 

-Activate the angels by prayer, praise, and worship.

 

King Hezekiah was facing an immense enemy army…

 

…And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said, O Lord God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth. Lord, bow down thine ear, and hear: open, Lord, thine eyes, and see: and hear the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent him to reproach the living God. Of a truth, Lord, the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations and their lands, And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them. Now therefore, O Lord our God, I beseech thee, save thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the Lord God, even thou only.

(2 Kings 15:15-34)

 

Hezekiah didn’t whine and complain. He stated the facts as they were and then called on God for help.  The Lord heard Hezekiah’s prayer and dispatched an angel to come to his aid:

 

And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the Lord went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.  (2 Kings 19:35)

 

One angel killed 185,000 of the enemy!

 

Abraham prayed for Lot, and the angels rescued him (Genesis 18:17-33).  Daniel prayed for revelation, and an angel was sent to bring him understanding (Daniel 9:23).  The prayers of the church resulted in an angel being dispatched to release Peter from jail (Acts 12).Jesus said that He could pray to the Father and request a legion of angels:

 

Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? (Matthew 26:53)

 

Note that Jesus prayed to the Father, not to the angels.

 

Praise and worship, which are part of prayer, also activates the angels.  In Old Testament times a mighty army had surrounded God’s people.  Jehoshaphat and the people of Israel came before the Lord…

 

And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites,           stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with a loud voice on high.  (2 Chronicles 20:19)

 

A prophet of the Lord told the people:

 

Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.  (2 Chronicles 20:17)

 

The next day, the Lord set ambushes against the enemy, most likely angelic hosts.

 

-Activate the angels by requesting their assistance. 

 

We do not pray to angels, we pray to God through Christ Jesus.  We can, however, ask God for their assistance.For example, in Old Testament times an  angel announced to Manoah’s barren wife that she would have a son (Judges 13:2-5).  The woman told her husband what had occurred, and he prayed and asked God to allow the angel to return to teach them how to raise the son that was to be born.  God granted his request and the angel returned to give further instructions (Judges 13:7-15).

 

-Activate the angels by abiding in the secret place.

 

Psalm 91 teaches that as a Believer, you are surrounded by an angelic heavenly host.  To those who abide in the secret place and live under the shadow of God it is promised,  “He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. They shall bear you up in their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone” (Psalm 91:11).

 

The beginning of this Psalm in verses 1-2 reveals that the promises contained in this chapter are made to those who abide in the shadow of the Almighty.  If you are  in someone’s shadow, it means you are walking the same way they are going. The protection promised in Psalm 91 is for when you are walking in all “your ways” –meaning the way you are traveling as you follow in the shadow of the Almighty.  God may graciously protect you when you are walking contrary to His way, but the promise here is guaranteed to those walking in God’s shadow.

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If you say that you are abiding in the secret place, you should walk as Jesus walked because “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked”  (1 John 2:6).  You should walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4) and  in the Spirit, rather than in the flesh.  Galatians 5 explains what this means and how to do it:

 

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 

(Galatians 5:16-25)

 

Angels will be activated in your behalf as you walk God’s way, remain in His shadow, and live your life in the Spirit rather than doing the works of the flesh.

 

-Activate the angels by fearing God.

 

As a Believer, the angels of God encamp around you. The Bible says, “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them” (Psalm 34:7).The fear of the Lord is loving reverence for God, His person, His Word, and His actions (Malachi 1:5-6).  When you fear God, you obey His Word (Ecclesiastes 12:13); you walk in His ways (Deuteronomy 8:6);you serve Him (Joshua 24:14; 2 Chronicles 19:9); and you depart from evil (Proverbs 3:7-8).

 

HINDERING THE ANGELS

 

Can you hinder the ministry of these supernatural agents of God in your behalf?  To answer this question, let’s examine the scriptures.

 

-Angels are hindered by negative words.

 

Angels are activated by God’s Word.  Your negative words and comments contrary to the Word of God prevent them from functioning.   God dispatched an angel to go before Israel as they traveled through the wilderness:

 

Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries. (Exodus 23:20-21)

 

God appointed the angel to keep Israelduring their travels so they could safely arrive at their destination, but Israel’s constant complaining resulted in several judgments from God (Numbers 11-12, 14, and 24).   Believing and confessing the negative reports of giants in the Promised Land and refusing to enter in resulted in the death of an entire generation (Numbers 13-14).  Rebellious words resulted in the death of Korah and his followers (Numbers 16) and a plague followed the false accusations recorded in Numbers 16:41-50.

 

So what happened to the angel who was dispatched to keep them in the way and bring them safely to the promised land?  The ministry of their angel was hindered because the people were no longer walking God’s way and confessing His Word.  They provoked and offended the angel:

 

In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old. But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them. (Isaiah 63:9-10)

 

The Word declares that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof” (Proverbs 18:21).  Each day you will either speak words of death or life into your circumstances.  Do not allowyour negative words to hinder the ministry of angels in your behalf.

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-Angels are hindered by unbelief.

 

In Luke 1:8-20, an angel appeared to Zacharias and announced the he would have a son.  Because of his advanced age and the barrenness of his wife, Zacharias did not believe the angel and he demanded a sign.

 

He got a sign all right!  He became mute until his son, John, was born (verse 20).  Only when he began to speak in faith and confirm the name given by the angel for the baby was his tongue once again loosed.

 

Unbelief affects your testimony, just as Zacharias’ speech was affected.  If Zacharias had believed the angel as Mary did when the angel gave her news of Christ’s birth, then he could have joyously proclaimed the message to his wife, family, and friends throughout Elizabeth’s pregnancy.  Don’t let unbelief hinder the ministry of angels in your life and render you mute spiritually.

 

-Angels are hindered by pride.

 

In Acts 12:21-25, King Herod appeared before the people dressed in his regal garments and sitting on his beautiful and expensive throne.  Awed by this display of power and wealth, the people began to call him god and he did nothing to stop it. Immediately, an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give glory to God.  He was eaten by worms and died (verse 23).   Angels can’t tolerate pride because pride is one of the things God hates–most likely because it was the first sin and is the root of all sin (Proverbs 6:17).  God resists the proud (James 4:6),  so it is obvious that proud people will not be assisted by angels if God is resisting them.

 

 

 

-Angels are hindered by disregarding God’s will.

 

Read the story of Balaam in Numbers 22.  He was a prophet who, in disobedience to God’s command, went with messengers from Moab at the request of evil Balak.  On the way, an angel appeared in the way to stop him.  The donkey Balaam was riding could see the angel, and stepped aside in fear.  In so doing, the donkey crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall and Balaam began beating the donkey.  The donkey actually spoke, rebuking Balaam for his disobedience and his failure to recognize the ministry of the angel in his behalf.  When you know God’s will and deliberately violate it, instead of ministering to you the angels will stand in the way tooppose you.

 

-Angels are hindered by our sin.

 

Read the story of the lame man at the pool of Bethesda in John 5:1-15.  Although an angel frequently appeared and stirred the waters for healing, this man had lain there for 38 years and never made it into the pool.  When Jesus asked him if he wanted to be healed, his answer was not a resounding “Yes!”  Instead he said, “Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me” (John 5:7).

 

This man was so busy complaining and feeling sorry for himself that he didn’t realize who was standing before him.  After Jesus healed the man, He told him, “… Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee” (John 5:14). Not all infirmity is caused by personal sin (John 9:3),  but apparently this man’s disability was related to his sin.  The angels had come many times to minister over the years, but this man needed more than an angel could give. He needed forgiveness for sin.  Get rid of your sinful complaining spirit and watch the angels begin to work in your behalf!

 

 

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