Angels on a Midnight Clear

by Christina Rose

“And I saw another angel flying through the sky, carrying the eternal Good News to proclaim to the people who belong to this world—to every nation, tribe, language, and people.  “Fear God,” he shouted. “Give glory to him. For the time has come when he will sit as judge. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all the springs of water.” Revelation 14:6-7 NLT

Yet another sleepless night, tossing and turning over the unrest in our nation amid the pandemic, which continues to steal lives and our peace.  I, along with countless others, wake up in the middle of the night to check my phone, social media, and the news for the latest updates. Never has our nation been so divided that riots, destruction, and hate are filling our streets. For those of us walking in faith, we continue to pray and trust in a faithful God.

The Christmas carol, “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”, was written in 1849 by Edmund Sears, pastor of the Unitarian Church in Wayland, Massachusetts. This Christmas, millions of people throughout the world will be singing this carol as they have for many years. The song describes how, in the middle of the night, angels bending near the earth to touch their harps of gold, singing God’s blessings of peace and goodwill to earth. The carol describes the angels flying over the weary world with peaceful wings singing their heavenly song to take away the suffering that comes from not knowing our Savior. 

The song calls for all of us to silence the battles among us and to rest beside the weary road of life to hear the angels sing. It tells us that the golden age is coming where all people will gather to sing the songs the angels now sing to us.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could see with our physical eyes the angels swooping down over cities with their giant wings and hear their heavenly songs? Imagine the riots and hate in the streets being halted by looking up to the sky to see these heavenly messengers flying overhead. 

Angels are mentioned over 200 times in the Bible and were created by God to serve him.  They are described as intelligent spiritual beings with an instant, unquestioning obedience to God’s commands. In these uncertain times, we are called to be like the angels in their obedience. We are to share our faith and stand firm, knowing that God is in control and has the final say.

King David was on his death bed when his son Adonijah began boasting that he would make himself king. He recruited fifty men with chariots and charioteers to parade before him, announcing that he was king. He put on a huge feast for many officials to celebrate his self-proclaimed victory. David’s wife, Bathsheba, and Nathan the prophet shared what was happening with David, who declared that Solomon was anointed to be the true king.

And the king repeated his vow: ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who has rescued me from every danger, your son Solomon will be the next king and will sit on my throne this very day, just as I vowed to you before the Lord, the God of Israel.’” 1 Kings 1:19-30 NLT

Adonijah was drinking and feasting with many celebrants when he was admonished for his lie.  He was told that he did not have the authority to name himself king; Solomon was anointed to be king. 

In our current waiting time, like Adonijah, people are boastfully claiming what does not belong to them. Those who walk in faith are peaceful and confident, knowing that God will decide the outcome of every battle. He calls us to be stand firm in prayer to honor His will.

I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown.” Revelation 3:11 NLT

As we approach Christmas, it is a comfort to think of the angels who are singing over the earth. Rather than toss and turn, let’s sing praises knowing that they will bring us the peace we are seeking. Let’s rejoice with one another and celebrate the Kingdom of heaven.

“May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10 NLT

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

christina rose

About the author: Christina Rose is an author, trainer, and speaker certified by the John Maxwell Team of Leadership.  She is a DAR (Daughter of the American Revolution) whose ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War. She is a world traveler, surfer, foodie, cappuccino- loving chocoholic and a devoted mom to kids and dogs, as well as auntie to many nieces and nephews who live around the world.

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Christina’s book, My Appeal to Heaven, is her story.  With her young family on the verge of falling apart, Christina finds herself in a desperate situation with no resources other than herself.  After appealing to heaven, the Lord takes her on a journey of awakening, redemption and restoration. Christina hopes her story will encourage others who are in need of hope and freedom.

Join the conversation: What is giving you hope this Christmas?

The Wings of God

by Sheri Schofield

It’s nesting time in the wetland meadow near our house. The other morning when I walked down there, a red-winged blackbird was sitting high up on a power pole singing to his mate. A thrill of lovely notes would fill the air then he would wait. A shorter song would come back from his mate who was sitting on their eggs. Again, he would sing his little song and listen for her response. It was delightful to hear him checking up on her, letting her know he was there, watching over her.

Then he spotted me and his song turned to the danger warning: “Churp! Churp! Churp!” He followed me as I walked down the winding road, keeping me in sight at all times. Apparently, he saw me as a threat, for he sent out a shrill call to the other male birds in the meadow, and they all flew over to hop along the fence and follow me. The blackbird even began hovering over me as I walked! I could see its shadow following me, making sure that I did not attempt to go near its nest.

I put my hood up so I wouldn’t be taken by a surprise attack, and kept walking. The way that bird loved and protected his mate and family reminded me of God. “Like birds hovering overhead, the LORD Almighty will shield Jerusalem; he will shield it and deliver it, he will ‘pass over’ it and will rescue it” (Isaiah 31:5, NIV).

Though Isaiah is specifically speaking of God’s protection of Jerusalem, King David also speaks of the Lord’s protective action over all who trust in him. “For the angel of the LORD is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him” (Psalm 34:7 NLT). I picture more angels hovering over God’s children, as well, protecting them from harm.

King Asa of Judah knew that he should rely on the Lord to defend and protect him. When the Cushites and Libyans brought a great army against him, he called on the Lord for help, and God gave him great victory. Asa had experienced the miracle that comes when one depends upon God. But then, when Asa had been king for thirty-six years, King Baasha of Israel went up to fight against him. Instead of again turning to the Lord for help, Asa made an agreement with Ben-Hadad, king of Aram, and asked for his aid. The ploy was successful.

But God was not happy that Asa had turned to someone else. God sent the prophet Hanani to Asa with the message that God was displeased. He reminded Asa of the victory over the Cushites and Libyans: “…when you relied on the LORD, he delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2 Chronicles 16:8-9 NIV).

God’s angels hover over us, eager to help! When we need support, we can call out to God, and He will direct them to come to our aid. When we are ill, our first call should be to God, asking for His help and healing. He has given us the blessing of medicine, but He wants us to call on him first. When we are sad, we can run to the Lord, and He will wrap us in His loving arms and shelter us there. What a wonderful Father – hovering over us always, protecting us from harm! He longs for us to call out to Him!

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea. Psalm 46:1-2 NIV

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The Wings of God – insight from SheriSchofield on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

sheri schofield

About the author: Sheri Schofield is an award-winning children’s author-illustrator and children’s ministry veteran of 40 years. Sheri was named Writer of the Year in 2018 at the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids, can be followed on her blog at her website, http://www.sherischofield.com. Questions welcomed!

Read Sheri and her husband’s amazing story in One Step Ahead of the Devil: A Powerful Love Story. Thrust into national politics because of her husband’s work, Lissa McCloud struggles to save the life of the man she loves from those who are bent on his destruction. Based on true events, the reader is taken deep into the heart of national politics –all the way to Congress and the President of the United States.

Join the Conversation: Has God ever demonstrated His protection to you?

Safe and Secure from All Alarms

by Lilian Elizabeth De Silva             

 “For He shall give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways.  Psalm 91: 11 NASB 

It’s not always obvious when angels are present, as they can appear in human form. Hebrews 13:2 (NASB) warns us, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.”  I’ve personally experienced instances when a stranger turned up to assist me at a time when only God could help.

In June 2019, I was recovering from heart surgery in the ICU. At dawn, as I was waking up, I saw four angels attending me. Smartly dressed in pure white trousers and shirts, they were swift and agile in performing their tasks. I remembered Scripture which spoke of angels: “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1: 14 NSAB). Later, as I went to sleep that night, I saw another angel drawing a net over me, and still another watching over me.

There are many accounts in the Bible of angel visitation. While sitting at the door of his tent in the heat of the day, Abraham saw three men standing opposite him. He rushed to provide for their needs (hospitality—even to strangers—was important in his culture) and received word from them that the son promised by the Lord would arrive in the following year. The strangers then moved on to nearby Sodom.

Joshua, on the eve of the attack on Jericho, saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword. Joshua wasn’t sure why he was there, so he asked: “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” The man explained that he was the captain of the host of the Lord. He had come to assure Joshua that the Lord and His army would go before the Israelites in the battle, just as He had promised before they ever entered the land.

There are many other examples of angelic interaction, both in the Old and New Testaments. Jacob was given a vision of angels on a stairway to heaven before leaving the land that he loved. Gideon was visited with a message from God. Samson’s mother was given instructions on how to raise her son by an angel. David encountered an angel just after a plague had been released on his people. Zechariah, Mary, and Joseph heard the news of the coming Messiah through an angel. At the beginning of the Church, angels visited Cornelius with instructions and brought Peter out of prison.

Hebrews 13:2 assures us that God is still using His messengers today.

As I was regaining my normal health, my younger son’s family, who were in Melbourne, invited me to their home for a stay. I did not know much about travelling overseas. I was travelling alone, so I asked my children to describe, step by step, what would happen on the journey. Upon arrival, my son would pick me up. He assured me he would see me as soon as I emerged from baggage claim.  

After collecting my bags, a steward helped me push my trolley. She walked with me from one end of the terminal to the other several times – but we could not spot my son. Finally, a man overheard our conversation and asked: “Do you need to make a call to someone?” I gave him my son’s number.  He called and my son answered. I looked back and I saw my son, and we waved from a distance. A connection had been made. But when I turned to thank the helpful man, he was gone.

Psalm 34: 7 (NASB) tells us, “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him and rescues them.” We may not always recognize or even see them, but God’s messengers continue to minister among us.  

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Safe and Secure from All Alarms – encouragement from Lilian DeSilva on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

About the author: Lilian DeSilva is the founder of several women’s ministries, including a Pastors’ Wives Fellowship, which represents over twelve denomination is Sri Lanka. She is known for singing praise songs while engaged in whatever work the Lord has given her to do.

She is the author of three books: The Promised Messiah, Be An Overcomer, and Sing with Me. She also has a Song CD, A Ray of Hope, available on Amazon. 

Join the conversation: Have you experienced an angelic visitation? Please share!

Seeing Through The Veil

by Sheri Schofield

The other day I saw a beautiful red fox running across the road and into the forest. Though we are surrounded by wildlife, we seldom see some of the animals. When they hear someone approaching, they stand perfectly still and hope you won’t see them.

That works for most animals, but not for the fox because it is such a colorful creature. Other animals don’t see the fox when it stands still because they are colorblind.

Though some people also struggle with colorblindness, every one of us struggles with another kind of blindness: we are angel-blind. Angels have spirit bodies, and we cannot see spirits unless God lets us. I think we would be greatly frightened if we could actually see what goes on in the spirit realm, where God’s angels do battle with the spiritual forces of darkness.

The prophet Daniel spoke of such a battle in Daniel 10. God had given him a frightening dream about a future war, and Daniel was greatly distressed over it. What did it mean? When would it happen? He needed an answer from God in order to be at rest in his spirit.

Daniel knew things about the spiritual battle surrounding the inhabitants of earth. He knew that fasting and prayer somehow helped God communicate with humanity. So he chose to give up meat dishes and wine – luxuries provided by Babylon – while he prayed.

For three weeks Daniel mourned, fasted and prayed. Finally, he received an answer that went way beyond his expectations! An angel appeared. It terrified Daniel! The angel was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of fine gold around his waist. His body was like topaz, a transparent stone that can be gold or blue or green. His face was like lightning. His eyes were like flaming torches. His arms and legs were like polished bronze, gleaming in the light. His voice was like the sound of a multitude of people, strong and loud. The vision of this angel overwhelmed Daniel at first.

The angel told him that the moment Daniel had asked for an answer to the vision, God had sent the angel with the interpretation. “But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days,” the angel explained. “Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the King of Persia.” (Daniel 10:13, NIV) After the angel delivered the message from God, he told Daniel, “Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come.” (Daniel 10:20, NIV)

Imagine what a battle that must have been – the angel of God fighting the satanic ruler over Persia! The spiritual realm must have roared with the conflict!

Those spiritual battles continue, and are happening all around us. Though we cannot see the spirits doing battle, it is real. It is constant. And somehow our devoted prayers aid God’s angels in breaking through the ranks of our enemy to bring us God’s supplies for our needs, helping us to overcome the evils of this world and bring new believers into the kingdom of Jesus.

Prayer matters! It clears the path for God’s angels to reach us, to help us, to restore our hearts when we are overwhelmed, like the angel restored Daniel’s heart. Through prayer, we enter into the light and presence of God. We find grace for each day. We receive wisdom to reach our neighbors with the good news of Jesus.

Take heart! Your prayers are not in vain! They are necessary for victory.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand . . . And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  Ephesians 6:12-13, 18 NIV

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Seeing Through The Veil – encouragement from Sheri Scholfield on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

sheri schofieldAbout the author: Sheri Schofield is an award-winning children’s author-illustrator and children’s ministry veteran of 40 years. Sheri was named Writer of the Year in 2018 at the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids, can be followed on her blog at her website, http://www.sherischofield.com. Questions welcomed!

Sheri’s book, The Prince And The Plan, is a beautifully illustrated, interactive picture book, written for children ages 4-8, that helps parents lead their children into a lasting, saving relationship with Jesus. It explains abstract concepts through words and interactive, multi-sensory activities. Useful for children’s ministry as well.

Join the Conversation: Have you sensed a spiritual battle was raging in your life at times?