Do You Believe in Angels?
by Elizabeth Baker
Do you believe a guardian angel is watching over you? Recent surveys suggest eight out of ten Americans believe in angels and most of us see them as benevolent and protective. But, what does the Bible say? If we have personal angels, what do they do all day and how do they impact a Christian’s practical, daily life?
Those were some of the questions that challenged me as a professional counselor. Clients wondered if angels could read their mind. Sometimes they blamed “bad” angels for overwhelming temptations. Many believed they had physically seen an angel at least once in their life. But as a practically minded therapist and no-nonsense Bible teacher, I was skeptical. Of course, I believed angels were out there doing something. The Bible made that clear. But, angels interacting with people? That was a stretch.
So, it was a little surprising when I began a novel and found myself drawn to looking at ordinary events through angel eyes. Many writers include fantastic angels in their books but I wanted something closer to the biblical view. Was there a way to keep within the bounds of good theology while at the same time giving full vent to the richness of imagination? It was a challenge but the more I thought about these heavenly helpers, the more excited I became about the possibility of sketching their presence in the daily life of Christians in a way that would be entertaining with a hint of humor.
It helped when I considered the one and only time I thought I had, perhaps, encountered an angel. I was a young, depressed, overwhelmed mother when a woman with two children unexpectedly showed up at my door one Sunday afternoon. She said their car had broken down, and asked to use the phone and rest. Getting them back on the road took several hours. During that time, her bright smile and encouraging words lifted me from despondency to hope as one by one she pointed out the things around me that were lovely, pleasant, or full of hope. I never knew if my visitor was divine, but thinking about the possibility and remembering her words, changed my world.
A friend of mine was recently forced through a grueling court proceeding. Although she depended on God alone, she was also helped when she read 2 Kings 6:16-17 and thought of angels. She had been so emotionally distressed that her hands and voice were shaking. But, when she thought of the possibility of being surrounded by angels, the mental image helped calm her trembling. When she took the stand, there was a confidence in her tone. She did not depend on the angels or worship them, but thinking about their reality, assured her of the Savior’s love in practical terms.
From scripture we know that angels evaluate both humans and situations (Gen. 18; Zec. 1:8-11; Rev. 21:17). They protect individuals (Psa. 91:11; Luke 4:10; Dan. 3:28) to whom they have been assigned (Acts 12:15; Dan. 10:21; Mat. 18:10), administer justice (Gen. 19; Num. 22:21-35; II Sam. 24:15-25) and warn of danger (Mat. 2:13-23; Rev. 8:13). But HOW they do these things is not specified. Much room is left to color in the blanks with sanctified guesswork. As a writer, I found filling in those blanks not only enlightening but a whole lot of fun.
JaKobe’s Assignment allows the reader to imagine what it might look like if we could see invisible spirits interacting with our physical realm. The curtain separating the two is pulled back giving us a glimpse of our world through angel eyes. It’s not a fantasy world but a full view of biblical reality as ordinary events—and death—are played out with a cast of spirits and humans that feel as real and unpredictable as the characters from your own home town.
From earth’s point of view, JaKobe’s Assignment is about a discouraged pastor and his family as they live through an ordinary Sunday in the small town of Thyme, Texas. Struggling with pressured schedules, quirky church members, marriage conflict, teenage kids and sudden death, Brother Jonathan Phelps is over his head and wondering why God always seems so distant.
From heaven’s point of view, the warrior JaKobe has returned after 700 years in abstention. Working with a large cast of spirits, he will laugh, renew old acquaintances and fight an ancient enemy while evaluating the human in his charge and adapting to modern life on earth. He has a new assignment involving the unsuspecting Rev. Phelps and he’s determined to finish it before midnight.
For me, writing JaKobe’s Assignment made heaven’s activity seem a bit more real and spirit beings far more plausible. Now, there is a clear picture in my mind when I read from the book of Hebrews that angels are, “ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation.” It’s a view I trust readers will experience (and enjoy!), too.
Elizabeth Baker has been writing non-fiction for over thirty years. JaKobe’s Assignment is her first novel and book one of Angel Trilogy. It is available both as a book and ebook. You can learn more at www.ElizabethBakerBooks.com. Readers can find more about angels and how they relate to humans with a free download here.