Greetings, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has shared many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. Brothers and sisters, this morning we discuss how we sometimes handicap the guardian angels in their mission to us.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Role of the Guardian Angels
"Then the high priest rose up, and all that they were with him and were filled with indignation. And laid their hands on the Apostles, and put them in the common prison. But the angel of the lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, Go stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life." Acts, Chapter 5, Verses 17-20
Scriptures indicate that angels are functioning here on earth. And most of us believe we have guardian angels. We shall define what the guardian angels are, their assignment to mortals, their functions and purpose, and how we may handicap them in their work on our behalf.
The angels are spirit beings. Sometimes they serve as messengers; other times they serve as guardians. The Scriptures relate incidents when some of the Apostles were locked in prison and then freed by an angel. Derived from this account, most of us have arrived at an understanding that we all have guardian angels. Consequently we have developed a similar concept of the role that guardian angels play in our lives. We have come to believe that they protect us from material dangers. We cite numerous examples where people have been saved from all sorts of harm, ranging from accidents, physical illness, to being delayed from getting on an airplane that later crashed, killing all on board. Recently a child was pulled from a mudslide that killed all of his family but left him unscathed.
As we view this concept within the realm our general experience, we are forced to acknowledge that our experiences overwhelmingly tell us that protection from material harm and danger is not the angels’’ primary purpose in our lives. We arrive at this deduction by realizing that God loves all of his children equally and does not show favoritism to any of his children. Therefore, we must rethink our understanding of the role that the angels play in our lives. Let’’s consider this: Though Peter and Paul may have been delivered from jail by spiritual beings, their life still ended tragically. Both were executed. So it would seem that if the primary role of the guardian angels was to protect them from harm and danger, why would Peter and Paul have died in this manner?
Let’’s again consider this explanation, keeping in mind the pair’’s execution and that the Father does not show favoritism. At the time that Peter and Paul were freed from prison they were in the process of helping to establish the new Gospel of Salvation. They were essential to this process. Had they been executed at the time they were imprisoned, the Gospel would have been significantly delayed. The role Paul and Peter played allowed the guardian angels to release them from prison. The function of the individual and not the individual himself qualifies one for divine intervention critical junctures. After Peter and Paul had carried out their function, they returned to the natural outworking of their lives.
We do have guardian angels, but not everyone has a personal one. To understand how this works, let us consider this material analogy to help us grasp how angels are assigned. Usually in a classroom, the teacher may have about 30 students to teach at a particular grade level. These students are pursuing identical information. Thus one teacher can serve all of them. In some cases, the student may take advanced courses, such as college courses for advanced placement. In such a classroom there may not be any more than 10 students. These students require more of the teacher’’s time, therefore the classroom is smaller. In some rare cases, a student may be so advanced that he receives a teacher devoted to helping him master the advance course. In this way resources are used efficiently.
And so it is with guardian angels. Those mortals who are pursuing the spiritual path in an average way will be grouped together. And since their work is average, one guardian angel can take care of their spiritual needs. Still further along in the path of spiritual growth, a smaller group may advance beyond that of the larger group. In this case, one guardian will supervise a smaller group, say a group of 10. Still further along the path may be found that rare student whose progress justifies having a personal guardian angels to assist him in mastering the spiritual path that he is on.
We may further group these mortals into three classes. The first class may be those who do not know God. They have a capacity to know God and have a will to believe. Most of the people on the planet may fall into this category. They may be indeed religious, but have not made those faith conquests that lead to Father-discovery. The next group is smaller than the first group. This group has begun the process of believing in God. They are beginning to know him but have not made an unqualified decision to do his will. The final group may be designated as the group that not only recognizes and knows the Father but has made an unequivocal decision to do his will. Those in this group have consecrated and dedicated their wills to doing the Father’’s will. There are further subdivisions in these categories. But this gives us an idea of how we are grouped under the supervision of the guardian angels.
And now having described the concept of guardian angels and how they group themselves according to their supervisory function, we now are able to detail the function and purpose of the guardian angels. Since the guardian angels are spiritual beings, it is apparent that their primary function is spiritual, their sometimes interference in the material realm notwithstanding. Let us consider why they are necessary in the scheme of things.
The heavenly Father has commanded mortal man to be perfect even as he is perfect. In order to obey this command we must look at the ideal example that has been set for us, and that is in the life of Jesus, where we find God taking on the form of a mortal and demonstrating obedience to this command in perfection. The human Jesus was not intellectually perfect. As the son of man his intellectual knowledge was limited. His intellect was average. But what we observed in Jesus was the perfection of his moral and spiritual character. The human Jesus was absolutely like God in character. This is the perfection we are called upon to achieve in this life.
How do we achieve this perfection of moral and spiritual character? We do so by doing the Father’’s will; that is, in any given moral or spiritual situation, we choose the Father’’s will rather than our own. And each time we choose the Father’’s will, we become a little bit more like the Father. Thus it is seen that to become perfect even as the heavenly Father is perfect, we must make moral and spiritual decisions when confronted with moral and spiritual stimuli. If this process was left to chance, it would take considerably longer to make moral and spiritual progress. The guardian angels accelerate this process by manipulating the social and ethical and sometimes the material environment so that mortals are presented with increasingly difficult moral and spiritual stimuli. And as mortals choose the higher moral and spiritual choice, they become more and more Godlike.
Sometimes we may handicap them in their work. To understand this, we can deliberate on how we cooperate with them. First, it is important to understand that we are here to develop our moral and spiritual characters. We are not here for a joyride. As we proceed in our lives, we must make moral and spiritual decisions when we are confronted with an opportunity to decide. We must take advantage of opportunities for growth that are presented to us. And we should be where we are supposed to be. This facilitates the guardian angels as they manipulate the social and ethical environment.
By contrast we can see how we handicap the guardian angels: by being unreliable, by "……procrastination, equivocation, insincerity, problem avoidance, unfairness, and ease seeking." These practices make it difficult for the guardian angels to be effective in carrying out their work on our behalf. This lack of cooperation ultimately delays our acquirement of God consciousness since it is by making these moral and spiritual decisions it becomes possible for us to become God consciousness. Making moral and spiritual decisions is how we become perfect even as He is perfect as demonstrated by His Son, Jesus.
This concludes today's message on the role of the guardian angels in our lives. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry