Lately, I’ve found myself talking about this alot, and not just my own personal battles, but the concept as a whole. Its probably fitting these thoughts have come to light around the feast of the ArchAngels, Gabriel (God is my Strength), Michael (Who is like God), and Raphael (God is my Healer) – Also until the new Calendar we also honored Uriel (God is my light) – He is often depicted Blind, as he is an Angel of Justice as well (I digress, there are also 3 other Chief Angels… Who I dont need to go into as they are more apocryphal then based in sacred tradition).
These Angels, and all Angels were created first. They were there to sing the praises of God for all eternity. It was generally a Job they liked, I imagine. Really, they had no choice. Where as angels have the ability to make decisions just like us, they also are made to be messengers, where as man per the Baltimore Catechism, was made “To Know God”. Those are two very different existences.
When we were first created, God made us in His Image… He also made the angels bow down and worship the first man. This is what caused the war in heaven. One Angel, ironically the brightest, most beautiful star in the Heaven, made first amongst the angels, could not bring himself to do this. Remember, angels are made with a nature to obey; Even though they can make decisions, it is in their nature to follow the divine will. This is what led to Satan/Lucifer’s corruption. Because his very nature was to obey, the moment he went contrary to this, he ceased to be the Angel of Pure Light, and instead began to reflect his own hatred, jealousy, and disobedience. Ultimately, he was still subject to God..and for an untold amount of years.. this has continually corrupted him, so much so that per scripture he was able to take a third of heaven with him.
It goes without saying, this is a serious deal. We are caught in the middle. God’s greatest achievement was Man. We are able to make a choice. We can freely choose Gods love, or we can go against that. Unfortunately, this paints a giant target on us as well. Since the very beginning, the Enemy has taken delight in our fall, for in his mind.. when he corrupts or destroys us.. he is lashing back at his old boss, a great cosmic, spiritual “gotcha”
Paul reminds us we are in spiritual warfar – Eph 6:10-20 says
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, 19 and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”
Powerful words, from someone himself who was tormented. He reminds us who is mightier. NOW, where do the angels come in? Scripture also tells us “He has given his angels charge over you, to watch you and guide you in all of your ways” – Simply put, the angels who are mighty, fight for us constantly, and yes, even against other angels.
Its fitting that Strength, likeness to God, and the Healing of God, come into play here. To Fight you need Strength, You need to Fight For/With the right person, and you need good support. All of those are perfectly represented in those angels. Those three have had direct interaction/protection of Humanity since the beginning, and as such are particularly powerful allies.
Finally, angels help remind us of our place in the cosmos – Our Place is only slightly better then their’s. But we all are under the same God, which means, we all are fighting the same battle
Years ago, I met a very wonderful Rabbi, whom Im still friends with. I attended a memorial service he presided over, and at that Service He began our prayer with a a musical arrangment of the following –
“In the name of Adonai the God of Israel:
May the angel Michael be at my right,
and the angel Gabriel be at my left;
and in front of me the angel Uriel,
and behind me the angel Raphael…
and above my head the Sh’khinah”
Pretty simple. Regardless of whats going on around us, good or bad, God (Sh’khinah, or “The Glory of God”), is always around us, and above. Nothing is mightier. As long as we remember that, then the enemy has no power, and we are powerless without calling on that name. We are stronger then the devil could ever be, when we are armed with the Power Of God, the trick is remembering that.