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Angels in the Life of the Believer | God's Secret Agents

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
July 4, 2022 3:00 am

Angels in the Life of the Believer | God's Secret Agents

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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July 4, 2022 3:00 am

Ever wonder about angels—God’s secret agents? Are they suave and debonaire like James Bond? Are some of them a little awkward like Inspector Clouseau? Or are they intense and focused like Jack Bauer? They’re probably exactly as God needs them to be. And today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out an angel was involved in protecting Daniel in the lion’s den. It was a difficult season for the godly, and Daniel proved his mettle in the midst of political upheaval.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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Hey everybody, you're listening to A New Beginning, which is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners.

If this program has impacted you, I'd love to hear from you. So just send an email to me at greg.harvest.org. Again, it's greg.harvest.org.

You can learn more about becoming a Harvest Partner by going to harvest.org. We're often engaged in missions we never hear about. That's angels. They're not there to draw attention to themselves. They're there to do the work of God. Ever wonder about angels? God's secret agents? Are they suave and debonair like James Bond? Are some of them a little awkward like Inspector Clouseau?

Or are they intense and focused like Jack Bauer? Well, they're probably exactly as God needs them to be. And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out an angel was involved in protecting Daniel in the lion's den. It was a difficult season for the godly, and Daniel proved his mettle in the midst of political upheaval. The Babylonians have been defeated.

Belshazzar, their final king, is now dead. And Cyrus and the Medo-Persian empire has taken control of the nation, and Darius is the new king. Straight away, Darius recognizes that Daniel is the man. Even though Darius was a pagan king, he saw that Daniel was a man of integrity. He was a man of honesty.

He was a man that would get the job done, and he immediately favored him from the previous regime. And so he decided to put Daniel in charge of everything, and the others were very angry about this. They were jealous of Daniel, and they wanted to bring him down.

But there was one problem. Daniel didn't have any skeletons in his closet. Daniel didn't have any scandals or any things to expose, and they said the only way we can bring Daniel down is if we find something concerning him and his god. So they came up with a bright idea. Let's get the king to sign a decree that no one can pray to any god but the king for 30 days. So they rushed into the king's presence and said, King Darius, we came up with an idea, and we are all in on this, including Daniel. We think you should sign a decree that no one can pray to anyone but you for 30 days, king.

Very flattered by this. He said, that is a great idea. So he signed it into law. And here is the interesting thing about the law of the Medes and the Persians. Once the king signed it into law, even he could not overturn it because he was regarded as a deity.

So he did not realize it, but unwittingly he had condemned his top advisor Daniel to a certain death. So now a new law has been passed. You can no longer pray for 30 days.

And you know there is a lot of ways Daniel could have wiggled out of this. 30 days. He could have said, you know I am long overdue for a vacation. I am going to leave town for 30 days. I am going to get back.

That law will be over with. Or he could have said, you know I am pretty prayed up. I pray three times a day. I think I could just kind of not pray for 30 days.

Or he might have said, I can be subtle about my prayer. You know I don't have to close my eyes or get on my knees. Or I will go home and I will pray. But I won't open up the windows like I normally do. I will kind of do it under cover.

No. Daniel thought I am not going to change a single thing. So he went home and he prayed as he always had done.

And now if you are taking notes here is point number one. Daniel was a man of prayer. Daniel was a man of prayer.

This is a takeaway truth for us because we too should be people of prayer. Daniel's sixth sentence says, when Daniel learned the law had been signed he went home. He knelt down as usual.

You might underline that. Just as he had always done. And he prayed three times a day giving thanks to his God.

Point number two. Daniel had an attitude of gratitude. He gave thanks without any certainty of how things would turn out.

Hey I will probably be fed to lions but I am given thanks anyway because that is what I always do. Now let's see what happened. So he prayed. He was arrested. Daniel 6 verse 16. So the king gave orders for Daniel to be arrested and thrown into the den of lions. And the king said to him, may your God whom you served so faithfully rescue you. Easy for the king to say. He wasn't going to a lion's den.

And the story continues. A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den. And the king sealed the stone with his own royal seal and the seals of his nobles so no one could rescue Daniel. Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night fasting.

He refused his usual entertainment and could not sleep that night. Very early the next morning the king got up and hurried to the lion's den. When he got there he called out in anguish, Daniel servant of the living God was your God whom you served so faithfully able to rescue you from the lions?

Verse 21. Daniel answered, long live the king. My God sent his angel and shut the lion's mouths so they would not hurt me for I have been found innocent in his sight and I have not wronged you your majesty. We will stop there.

Point number three. Daniel chose to trust God no matter the circumstance. Daniel chose to trust God no matter the circumstance. It appeared that all was lost. And this would be his last night on earth. But God was at work and he dispatched one of his secret angels.

An angel of the Lord sent to deliver him. Notice that the king spent a sleepless night despite the comforts of the palace. Meanwhile Daniel slept like a baby in the peril of a bunch of hungry lions. Bringing me to this point better to be in a lion's den with God than anywhere else without Him. Right. So maybe you are in a hard time right now.

A lion's den if you will. Is God with you? Well if you are a Christian He is.

So you are good to go. I would rather be there with God than anywhere else without Him. But angels. They are involved in the life of every Christian. They are all around us.

And here is the thing with angels. They are sort of like God's secret agents. They are sort of like the special forces like the Green Berets or Delta Force or the Navy Seals. They are often engaged in missions we never hear about. But they go and do the work that they are called to do. They are deployed to take care of something and they accomplish that task in return.

And we don't even know who did what. We just know the job is getting done. That is angels. They are not there to draw attention to themselves. They are there to do the work of God. In fact if an angel of the Lord appeared on this stage right now we would be tempted to worship it.

Because they are so beautiful and majestic. In fact in the book of Revelation an angel appeared to John and revealed the future to him. And John fell down to worship at the feet of the angel. And the angel stopped him and said, don't worship me. I am your fellow servant.

Worship God. Sometimes the question is asked do we have guardian angels? I don't know the answer. But I think it may be yes. I think it may be that children have guardian angels. I don't know about adults. And I say that because in Matthew 18 10 Jesus said, don't look down on one of these little ones speaking of children for I tell you their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.

So maybe children have guardian angels. This happened first time in Peter. He was arrested. And he was going to certainly be put to death because James had already been executed by King Herod. And there he was in jail. And Acts 12 tells us the church began to pray.

Constant prayer was offered to God for him. And an angel was dispatched from heaven. And the angel walked right into that prison cell.

And out Peter walked. But the point was the Lord sent an angel to do that. So he shows up at a house where the Christians were praying no doubt for him. No doubt for his deliverance.

So they are having a prayer meeting. Oh Lord deliver Peter. Oh Lord get Peter out of jail. Oh Lord there is a knock on the door.

Someone answer that. So Rhoda a girl goes and answers the door and there stands Simon Peter. She goes, hold on one sec. It goes back to the guys praying. Oh Lord deliver Peter. Guys don't bother us. Lord get Peter out of prison.

Guys don't bother us. Peter is at the front door. And I love when one of them said, they said, it is his angel. Well first of all that would imply that Peter had his own angel. And number two if there was an angel at my front door I would let him in.

Wouldn't you? And it is a funny thing because the Bible says they all went over to see what was going on. So it is not like one went alone. They went like a little goop.

You know. They pulled the door back and there is Peter like, hey can you let me in now? Sometimes we pray for something and God answers our prayer and we are shocked to find that he answered it so quickly. But it is interesting they said it is just his angel.

So maybe we have guardian angels. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. It is such a blessing to hear from listeners who take time to express their appreciation. Pastor Greg you are my new favorite pastor to listen to. I have your video on witnessing and I also listen to you on the radio in Ohio.

One day I heard you were talking about the Jesus movement and was excited because I was actually saved in 1975 during that time. The music artist who most influenced me was Keith Green. One month before my husband and I were scheduled to help minister at a Keith Green concert, Keith was killed in a plane crash. It was a real blow to not see him perform in person because he was so passionate about Jesus.

I still play his music and I am also thankful that we will see him in Heaven one day. Thank you Pastor Greg for continuing to teach the Word of God. If your life has been impacted through the ministry of Harvest, would you let Pastor Greg know? Just drop him an email.

Craig at Harvest dot org. Again that's Greg at Harvest dot org and find out more about the Jesus music movie available through us here at Harvest dot org. Well today we're considering the role of angels in believers lives. Pastor Greg is helping us examine a specific instance in the book of Daniel.

Let's continue. We know that we have angels all around us. Psalm 91 makes a very important statement about this. It says, God will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.

They will lift you up in their hands so you will not strike your foot against a stone. So God will do His part and you need to do yours. That's from Psalm 91 and I have always thought whenever there is an emergency, dial 911.

Right? 911. Psalm 91 verse 1. He that dwells in the secret place of the Most High will abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God. In Him will I trust. Have you ever tried to walk in someone's shadow? You have to be very close don't you? So if I am in the shadow of the Most High that means that I am staying very close to the Lord bringing me to my next point.

Point number 4. Daniel stayed close to God and never stopped serving Him. Again Daniel stayed close to God and never stopped serving Him.

Look at verse 19. The king comes to the den of lions and says, was your God whom you served so faithfully able to rescue you from the lions? Your God whom you served so faithfully.

Another translation. Your God whom you served continually. So even Darius a pagan king recognized that Daniel served the Lord constantly and he had this angelic protection around him as a result.

So the objective in our life is to stay close to the Lord and trust the Lord and never test the Lord. Remember Jesus was tempted in the wilderness. And among other things the devil took Him to the high place of the temple and said jump off of here. And then the devil quotes the Bible. The devil quotes Psalm 91 and says to Jesus, for it is written that He will send His angels to protect you.

So go ahead and jump. And then Jesus says, it is also written you shall not test the Lord your God. See the devil left something out. The original passage says God will keep us in all of our ways.

The devil left that out. The point is when we are walking in the will of God we can be confident we have angelic protection. But when we go outside of the will of God. When we test the Lord. When we take unnecessary chances and risks that is another thing altogether. But here is the takeaway point for me. The Christian is indestructible until God is done with them.

You are indestructible. So stop worrying about everything. You know we worry about our diet. We worry about how old we are. We worry about this and we worry about that. Worry doesn't help anything. It makes things worse. But just understand that your days are numbered by God and you will live to the end of those days that God has set out before you and nothing will stop you from that. So rest in that truth. It is a great thing to know.

And you know what the bottom line is. We all face our lions in life. Maybe you are in a lion's den of sorts right now. Maybe it is a threat on your life like Daniel was facing. Maybe your marriage is unraveling. Maybe you are having troubles with your kids. Maybe there is a group of people who are slandering you or attacking you because of your faith.

It might be a massive trial that you are going through right now with no apparent end in sight. You know it is interesting to note that the Bible compares the devil to a lion. Over in 1 Peter 5a it says, stay alert.

Watch out for your great enemy. The devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. So the devil is active and he wants to destroy us. But the good news is that God will not give us more than we can handle.

Going back to the statement of Elisha, to his servant, those that are with us are more than those that are with them. If you are a child of God you don't have to be afraid of what the devil can do. The devil can tempt you. The devil can harass you. The devil can oppress you. But he certainly can't take control of you. And I bring that up because if you are not a Christian you are a target.

In fact you kind of have a bullseye painted on your chest. And there is nothing you can do to keep the devil away if you don't have Christ living inside of you. The only power Satan respects is the name and the power of Jesus Christ. So you say, well I will keep the devil away with a crucifix.

You think the devil is afraid of a crucifix. I will use holy water. There is no such thing as holy water.

Purified water yes. Holy water no. Well I will wear garlic around my neck. Well that may keep your friends away but it won't keep the devil away. The only power he respects is the power of Christ. But listen.

Here is the good news. Demon powers are out there. There are a lot of demons. You say, well what is a demon? A demon is a fallen angel. The Bible tells us that there was a rebellion in heaven and one third of the angels rebelled against God and these fallen angels also known as demons are under the control of Satan also once a high ranking angel known as Lucifer. That is one third of the angels. That is the bad news. The good news is two thirds of the angels are on our side.

So we are on the winning side here. But only the believer has this hope. Now what about when a Christian dies? You say, Greg you have talked about angelic protection.

How the Lord watches over us. But what about when Christians get cancer? What about when Christians die in automobile accidents?

What about when Christians face tragedy? Where do the angels end? Well like I said, your days are numbered. God knows how many days you will have.

That is decided by Him not by you. But when that work of the angels is completed, that is protecting you, they have another mission and that is to escort you to heaven. The Bible tells the story of Lazarus. Not the one who Jesus raised from the dead but another Lazarus who was a poor beggar who believed in God.

And he died. And the Bible says the angels escorted him to heaven. So when a believer dies they are escorted immediately by angels into the presence of God. Do you find that reassuring as I do?

Just knowing that. So you wonder what happens when a Christian dies. The moment you take your last breath on earth you take your first breath in heaven. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

You go immediately into God's presence and you are escorted by angels. At Harvest America back in Texas we were offered a police escort, which is very nice. So we had cops in front of us with their sirens blaring and their lights going.

We went around all the traffic. It was very cool. And I asked if I could have that all the time. They said no. Just this.

One time. But it was nice. A police escort.

We came cruising right into the stadium. Well I have something better for you than a police escort. An angelic escort into the presence of God guaranteed to every follower of Jesus.

So don't be afraid. Here is another thing the angels do and I will close with this. They rejoice every time a nonbeliever comes to Christ. The Bible tells us that Jesus said if we will confess Him before people He will confess us before His Father and who else? The angels in heaven.

But then He says if we deny Him before people He will deny us before the Father and the angels. So heaven is very aware of what is happening on earth. The angels are very aware.

They are going back and forth between heaven and earth doing the work of God. But here is what we need to focus on. Let's just follow the example of Daniel and be men and women of prayer. Be people that have an attitude of gratitude.

Be people that walk with and serve the Lord faithfully and continuously. And then we have the hope that when that day comes for us to leave this world we know that we will be welcomed in the next one by Jesus Himself escorted by angels. But let me say in closing this is only the hope for the Christian. Maybe you have come here today and you don't have this hope. You say well maybe I will go to heaven.

I am not sure. I try to live a good life. Trust me. You will never live a good enough life. You are a sinner just like the rest of us. And one sin is enough to keep you out of heaven. But the good news is God sent His Son Jesus Christ 2000 years ago to die on the cross for our sins. And then He rose again from the dead. And He is here with us right now standing at the door of our lives and He is knocking and He is saying if we will hear His voice and open the door He will come in. And I am going to close by extending an invitation for you to believe in Jesus. Because there might be someone here, someone watching right now that doesn't have this hope of an angelic escort to heaven.

They don't have that confidence that their sin is forgiven but they want it. You can have it today because this relationship with God is right here for you. It is a gift. And if I were to offer you a gift today and you wanted to receive that gift all you have to do is reach out and accept it. And the same is true of the gift of eternal life. You need to reach out and accept it from God.

And He offers it to you now. If you would like to be forgiven of your sin, if you would like to know that you will go to heaven when you die, if you would like this relationship with God respond now as we pray together. Let's all bow our heads. Father thank You for Your Word. Thank You for how powerful it is, how true it is, and how full of hope it is. And now I pray for any person here or anyone watching wherever they are. If they don't have this relationship with You, help them to come to You and believe in You today. We ask this in Your name. Amen. An important prayer from Pastor Greg Laurie. And if you'd like to make a change in your relationship with the Lord, Pastor Greg wants to help you do that.

And he'll do so in just a moment before today's edition of A New Beginning wraps up. Tell me your name and what you do in the music industry. I'm Amy Grant and I have been making music and telling stories since I was a teenager.

I don't want to make this thing negative, but at the same time I want to be honest. I can't believe I'm getting emotional. I don't know how to say this. I've never shared this with anybody. I don't want to see this. The whole thing came aloud. I don't want to see this. Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop.

This thing on paper shouldn't have worked. The Jesus movement is no longer a California fail. And we see all the intricacies and everything.

We're just going to go. The story was so massive. That's an excerpt from a brand new film called The Jesus Music produced by the Irwin Brothers. You know them best for their films like I Can Only Imagine, I Still Believe, and next year they're releasing a feature film based on my life and on the spiritual awakening called The Jesus Movement.

And the title of that film will be Jesus Revolution. Well out of this movement of God that happened in the early 70s, a whole new form of music came to be that we call contemporary Christian music today. But in the initial stage it was just called Jesus music. It became an industry with all kinds of people involved and there's some drama in this story as you'll see. But what I love is it's a story of redemption, how God has used flawed people to bring this music to us.

But listen, God always goes out of His way to use ordinary people to do extraordinary things. You're going to be surprised by, blessed by, encouraged by this movie that we're going to send you for your gift of any size on DVD, Blu-ray, and also downloadable. Again it's called The Jesus Music.

You may have seen it in the theaters or on streaming platforms. Now you can have your own copy. Now listen, whatever you send will be used to help us here at A New Beginning and Harvest Ministries to teach God's word and proclaim the gospel. So order your copy right now of The Jesus Music. You're going to love this. Yeah, it really is a terrific film.

It's a fascinating story along with plenty of surprises. We hope you'll let us send it your way. We're sending it to say thank you for your partnership. When you partner with Harvest Ministries and A New Beginning, together we can reach even more people. You know more than 220,000 have made professions of faith in the last two years and it's the investments of friends like you that help make that possible. So contact us today with your investment and let us thank you with a copy of The Jesus Music.

As Pastor Greg said, we'll send it on DVD, Blu-ray, and also give you a way to download it to your tablet, your phone, your computer. So just give us a call at 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime, again at 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514.

Or go online to harvest.org. Pastor Greg, you spoke today about having a relationship with the Lord. Someone can enter into that kind of a relationship with God right now, can't they? Yeah, they really can. That's the amazing thing. I think people are surprised that it doesn't take years to become a Christian. It doesn't take months. It doesn't take weeks. It doesn't take days.

It doesn't even take hours. You can believe on the spot. And I would like to lead you in a prayer where you can ask for His forgiveness, a prayer where you can receive Jesus Christ into your life as your Savior and Lord. So if you want Christ to come into your life, if you want Him to forgive you of your sin, if you want a second chance in life, if you want to go to heaven when you die, stop what you're doing and pray after me these words. Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and I'm sorry for my sin and I turn from it now and I choose to follow you from this moment forward as Savior and Lord, as God and friend. Thank you for loving me and calling me and forgiving me. In Jesus' name I pray, amen. Amen. And listen, if you have just prayed those words with Pastor Greg and meant them sincerely, the Bible assures us that your sins have been forgiven.

We're told the Lord is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. And we want to send some resource materials that'll help you in your new relationship with the Lord. We call it our New Believers Growth Packet and we'll send it without charge if you prayed for the first time today with Pastor Greg. Just ask for it when you call 1-800-821-3300. We're here around the clock to take your call.

That's 1-800-821-3300. Or write us at A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California 92514. Or go to harvest.org and click on Know God. Well, next time we cross over into the prophetic passages contained in Daniel. We'll get an enlightening glimpse of the future. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. Thanks for listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. Sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a Harvest Partner at harvest.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-28 00:49:48 / 2023-03-28 01:00:51 / 11

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