Is there such a thing as a guardian angel for each one of us as some churches teach?
Several denominations teach that each person has a guardian angel. Some traditions teach that angels are assigned to us, but only for a specific time. In Hollywood, we see several shows and movies that present a wide range of views about such beings. Perhaps the most famous include the show “Touched by an Angel”, and the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”.
While people like to ponder over issues like guardian angels, the Bible surprisingly says very little about angels at all. We don’t have a lot of details. But there are some things we can know for certain. [Editor’s note: You can find Dr Shiffer’s Back to Basics article on angels here.]
To begin with, angels are spiritual beings. They are capable of making moral judgements and decisions. This is seen throughout Scripture. We also know that when people see and interact with angels, they appear to be in a human form. We know that angels were present with God to observe the act of creation—at least the filling of the earth. This is found in Job 38. The author mentions that angels shouted for joy as God placed plants, animals, birds, fish, and humans on the earth (vs. 6-7).
Angels are not God; they are not to be worshipped. But they do remind us that the spiritual world is very real (Acts 23:8). There is much more to the world than we know and much more in existence that we can plainly observe. Angels bring glory to God (Psalm 103:20) and wage war against demonic forces (Revelation 12:7-8).
Angels seem to have a wide range of responsibilities. And we know from Scripture that one of those responsibilities is to guard human beings in all our ways. Psalm 91:11-12 makes mentions of such guardian angels.
Angels are ready to step into our reality anytime God commissions them to do so
We also see angels guarding humans at specific times in several instances throughout Scripture. One well-known story that involves the protection of angels is in Daniel 6, where the angels kept the lions from killing Daniel while he was with them in the pit. In 2 Kings 6, the King of Aram wanted to capture Elisha because the prophet had been helping the King of Israel while the two countries were at war. After Elisha prayed, his servant saw an army of angels gathered to protect the prophet. In both of these stories, multiple angels are protecting God’s servants.
And so, it is clear that angels protect and guard people—physically and spiritually. That much is certain. But we do not know whether we have our own guardian angels or whether God only sends angels when we need protecting. The Scriptural evidence seems to indicate that rather than always protecting us, angels protect us from specific circumstances at specific times in our lives in accordance with the will of God.
There is a spiritual plane of existence all around us. Angels are ready to step from this plane into our reality anytime God commissions them to do so. When angels interact with us, it is for our good, protection, spiritual growth, and the glory of God’s kingdom.
I do not think we each have our own angel. But I do believe that angels work on behalf of all of humanity. Scripture shows this to be the case—and God’s Word is trustworthy. We can rest knowing that God, in His wisdom, has chosen to use other spiritual beings to aid us when needed.
We should pray for God to send His angels in our times of need. We should also pray for Him to send angels to others in their times of need. We should also be mindful of the spiritual world around us and be keen to recognise when angels have stepped up.
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