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. –Exodus 23:20-21
I have a guardian angel. It’s true, I do, and that’s awesome. I clearly remember this angel’s influence in one of my childhood memories. It was summer between third and fourth grade and I spent my summer days in the care of my stepmother. She really didn’t enjoy my company, and the feeling was mutual. I got fed up one afternoon and hopped on my bike and ran away. I rode my bike from my dad’s house in the Hamline Midway neighborhood of St. Paul to my mother’s house in the Frogtown neighborhood of St. Paul. Not all that far, but to far for any kid that age to be biking unsupervised. It was during the bike ride I had a very physical reaction to what I was doing. I remember my hands shaking in a way I had never seen them move before. There was a repeating thought of, “turn back-don’t do this!” These were not my thoughts, I was set-I was out of there. I was tired of being the object of her contempt. I was miserable, powerless, and no one protected me from her. I made it to my destination despite my guardian angels protests. It took my stepmother two hours to find me, and she only did when the neighbors across the alley ratted me out. I believe to this day my angel was there. It was close, and doing everything it could do to turn me around and talk some sense into my ignorant free will.
Growing up, and when I was a baby Christian, I did not put a lot of thought into Angels being actively involved in my life. I didn’t think God took an active interest in my daily life. He was up there and I’m down here and he didn’t really care about the ins and outs of my day. I assumed angels were not interested either. I mean who was I, why would they care? Surely they have better stuff to do than pay attention to me. Now that I actually believe what I always claimed to believe, my perspective is different.
After Pastor Mac’s sermon, (You can see it HERE) I’m still thinking about angels. I’ve been thinking about words. I knew they were powerful, but now there is an even more power and potential danger layered into them. My words impact the angels around me-the light and the dark ones.
I also feel like I have one of the coolest sidekicks ever hanging out, keeping me on the level. Now that I have a real connection with God, and I understand my connection to Jesus, I’m aware of these additional supernatural things. I want to be what God created me to be, and I don’t want to let God down, and I don’t want to let this angel down either. The angel’s got my back so I can do what God wants me to do here. We’re on the same team, both serving God. I look back at my religious upbringing and I can just picture my angel sitting in church with me wringing its hands. I feel kind of bad. My angels had to sit around and wait for me to wake up.
I wonder if they were as frustrated as I was with the lack of information I was given? After growing up in a mild, “progressive”, protestant church I feel like certain things were not taught. I didn’t understand how the Holy Ghost operates until five years ago. When my friend Terri pleaded the blood over me one after noon in 2008 I was completely lost. “What is this woman doing, and what does blood have to do with it?” I think a lot of science verses teachings from the Bible could be settled with one good lesson on God’s time. And don’t get me started on the lack of information taught about the book of revelations. Do we believe this or not? Why is it such a stretch to trust people’s faith? The pastors I grew up with didn’t want to rattle people’s cages, or alienate anyone. These topics were off limits and to ripe with pitfalls. What was taught was all feel good things, happy relatable stories that maybe touched on the scripture of the week. It taught me nothing. Same order of scripture being taught at a certain point in time on the calendar. I seriously can’t recall a sermon between the years of 1997-2006. It made no impact on me or my development spiritually. Basically most of my young adult life, I came away from service with nothing. If that is not a testament to my faith-because I still believed, then I don’t know what is. But I was a baby Christian. I might know a little more now, but this faith thing-and walking with God- it’s a journey. I’m still learning new stuff, and here’s a revelation, that’s okay. You don’t graduate from a confirmation class at the age of thirteen and magically arrive.
For the longest time I felt like I had this dirty secret, because the truth was I didn’t understand it all. If I did admit my secret to those around me their patent answer was, “Just read the Bible.” I think that’s terrible advice. Yes, you should read it, you should know it-but when you tell a person to read a book for the first time, usually they go read it cover to cover. With the Bible this might not always be the best approach. The stuff about who begot who, and the proper way to prepare meat is going to loose a few readers. And if they stop reading in the Old Testament they will only read about the God who was not always depicted as the most merciful. Under the old covenant you had to be chosen to have communication with God. And look out if you fell out of favor. I remember as a kid wondering why the mini Bibles only had the books from the New Testament? Now I get it. And I think it’s great advice when I hear people at my current church recommend the first book you read as being the book of John.
How did I make it through the long years of confusion? There was one truth I clung to , it carried me, and kept me afloat. I knew God had a plan for me. It’s why I’m here, it’s what this whole life thing is about. It’s not my plan either. Whenever I wasn’t sure where I was going, or what I should be doing, I prayed. God always came through to show me or help me back onto the right path.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” Says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” -Jeremiah 29:11
It’s my opinion there are a whole lot of Christians out there who don’t really know a lot about what they claim as their religion. They’re lost and confused. They’re running on the opinion the Bible is a pretty set of stories and you can pick and choose what fits into your idea of right and wrong. If you don’t believe it all “that’s okay”. People who have more faith in media and news journalists than in what has been painstakingly passed to us from ancient times. I pick on these people because I use to be one, I use to think that way. Mainly I was there because of my own naiveté, but I think I was also there because my religious upbringing was in the hands of churches that were afraid to teach what the word says. They were to afraid to get trapped talking about the supernatural in the Bible. Those churches are chicken. They are to chicken to take it, and revel in it, and get excited about life here on earth-in God’s favor, with angels, the Holy Ghost, our future in Heaven, and “gasp” the rapture.
I finally got my questions answered. God helped me land in the right church and I’m no longer a Christian in name only. I’ve been working on being more mindful of my words, and they now have even stronger meaning for me. What I speak is not just affecting the natural, it has the potential to influence and pass into the spiritual realm. I want to empower and not provoke the angel who’s been patiently watching my back.