Did you know that angels are mentioned more than 190 times in the New Testament alone?
We've read about these celestial beings opening prison doors (Acts 12:7-10), delivering messages from God (Luke 1:5-38) and showing up in people's dreams (Gen. 31:11), but are angels among us today? Right now, going unseen, there are angels on assignment for people, young and old, in various roles and jobs; some angels are actively working within specific industries, over regions and even assigned to entire countries.
It is my personal conviction that God is still deploying angels on your behalf, and that they are eager and ready to supernaturally usher in heaven's resources for your preparation, provision and protection.
I had firsthand experience working with angels in 1986 while living in Trinity County, California. My friend, Paul Schmidt, and I were ministering at our local convalescent hospital early every Sunday morning. Paul was a strong believer, a body builder and a deputy sheriff. One morning, we were standing outside the hospital praying before we went in to minister. As we prayed, I heard myself say aloud to Paul, "The Lord says that you are going to be the next sheriff of Trinity County!"
In the months that followed, Paul decided to run for sheriff, and I became his campaign manager. We campaigned hard for months. The night of the primary election all the campaign workers went down to the courthouse to watch the Lord work through the election.
We were hoping to cheer as we watched the election results come in but there would be no cheering that night, because Paul lost the primaries by a mile. Our entire team left the courthouse crushed and discouraged. I personally felt humiliated and guilty, thinking I must have gotten the prophetic word wrong.
A few days later, very early on a Saturday morning, the phone rang. Half asleep, I answered the phone and a voice on the other end said, "Hey, I am going to run for sheriff as a write-in candidate! What do you think?"
It was Paul, and I was in no mood for more humiliation. "I think you're crazy," I yelled into the phone. "You took fourth place when you were on the ballot. How would you have any kind of chance when people would have to remember to write you in? You're nuts!"
"God said I am supposed to be the next sheriff, and I need to finish this race. Will you help me?" he pressed.
Paul did end up running as a write-in candidate, and I continued being his manager. The week before the election, we commissioned Paul as the next sheriff of Trinity County at church.
I want to explain what I mean when I say that we commissioned Paul. To be commissioned means that you come into submission to the Father's mission; co-mission: a mission together with God. As a church, we gathered in agreement with the prophetic word that Paul would be the next sheriff of Trinity County, and we prayed over him, sending him out to fulfill the assignment God had placed on his life. It's common to find throughout Scripture and in our walk of faith today that physical acts of agreement often release spiritual realities.
On the day of the election, if Paul were to win, people would be required to write his name in on the ballot. We couldn't have any campaign signs anywhere within 1,000 feet of a polling place, so any last-ditch campaigning efforts weren't an option. We simply had to wait and watch. After the vote was closed and when the news report finally came in, it read, "Paul Schmidt Wins Landslide Victory as a Write-In Candidate!"
We were stunned! Over the next several weeks, strange stories began to emerge from our community. Many people who went into the booths to vote for another candidate ended up having crazy experiences. Some said they couldn't get the lever on the machine to pull down and punch the card for either of the sheriff candidates, so they decided to write Paul's name in.
Others said that when they got into the booth, a voice spoke to them and said, "Write in Paul Schmidt!" Many had dreams the night before in which they were instructed to vote for Paul. Several citizens who came out with ads in the paper in support of one of the other candidates also had these experiences and changed their minds in the voting booth. These stories continued to emerge for months. Many of these people were not Christians. Paul became our sheriff and held the office for 16 years. The question is, what really happened on that election day?
Much like the stories we read throughout the Bible, the Lord sent His angels to Trinity County to make sure the word He spoke over Paul Schmidt would come to pass. The angels were very busy that day. Some had to restrain the levers on voting machines. Others had to make sure people who insisted on voting for someone else couldn't leave their houses. There were angels who talked to people in the booths and angels who came to people in dreams. Heaven invaded earth that day!
One of the most common ways angels are commissioned is through prayer and prophecy. Angels perform the word of God that is proclaimed by the voice of the Lord. The church is His voice that declares His word on earth. God's angels become the agents of change whenever prophecies require events to be altered, things to be accomplished or wars to be won. Hebrews says the angels are servants to the children of God:
"But to which of the angels did He at any time say, 'Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies your footstool"? Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to minister to those who will inherit salvation?" (Heb. 1:13-14).
Also, consider the words of the psalmist:
"Bless the Lord, you His angels, who are mighty, and do His commands, and obey the voice of His word. Bless the Lord, all you His hosts; you servants who do His pleasure. Bless the Lord, all His works, in all places of His dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul!" (Ps. 103:20–22).
Let me be clear. I don't think this means we order angels around, telling them what to do; I simply am saying that when we pray and prophesy in the name of the Lord, the angels are co-missioned to carry out our prophecies. Meaning, they are submitted to God's mission, heeding His word being spoken on the earth and fulfilling our prophecies!
True Spiritual Authority
Paul teaches us that angels recognize true spiritual authority (1 Cor. 11:4, 10).
True spiritual authority happens when you have come into submission, and therefore you've been commissioned to have angelic help. It's not gift-based authority; it's determined by who you are in submission to.
What I'm getting at is, whether God's commissioned you to be responsible for a multi-billion dollar business or empowered you to mother the next generation in your home, once you take ownership of that assignment on your life (submission to God's mission), you will step into true spiritual authority which releases the supernatural aid and resources God has placed on that assignment for your success.
For example, The Holy Spirit commissioned the apostle Paul, and the apostles at Jerusalem sent him out (see Acts 15:22–25). Subsequently, Paul's ministry witnessed the effectiveness of being under a covering that comes from submission to true spiritual authority that angles are assigned to.
The difference between people who are under true spiritual authority and those who are not is evident! Just look at the contrast between Paul's ministry and the Jewish priest Sceva's sons in Acts 19:11-16. Paul's handkerchief had more power than the seven sons of Sceva using Jesus' name. It is hard to imagine that demons recognized Paul's handkerchief and fled people's once-possessed bodies but refused to depart when this priest's seven sons tried to cast them out using the name of Jesus. But that is what happened!
The demon's words were quite startling: "I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?" (v. 15). True spiritual authority causes not only the angels to supernaturally help us perform God's will, but even demons must obey those who are commissioned by God!
Were You Sent Out?
It's imperative that we understand that Paul was not only commissioned by God to be an apostle (apostle means "sent-out one"), but he also came into submission to God's apostolic leaders where they acknowledged the calling of God on Paul's life by "sending him out" to the Gentiles to teach and preach the Word of God.
Just like my friend Paul Schmidt, who was commissioned by God to become Trinity County's next sheriff in 1986, the church acknowledged his calling. As an act of faith, we gathered in agreement with God's word and we prayerfully "sent him out" to face what should have been an impossible election, but ultimately a victorious one because of the angelic help that God assigned to his calling.
Where have all the angels gone in the 21st-century church? The challenge is that globally the church can be like a rebel without a cause. I often see people do what they want to do, where they want to do it. Too often, they plant churches, yet no one sent them. Sadly, they aren't connected to anyone. The consequence? They compete with the guy across the street who did the same thing ... yet, it's a kingdom divided, and they wonder why they aren't seeing angelic intervention, miracles in their ministry or supernatural breakthrough in the lives of those they lead. So the question isn't where have all the angels gone; rather, my question for the rogue roamers out there is: Did you just go, or were you actually sent? And, do the angels recognize your authority? When we are under God's authority, which includes being under His appointed leaders, the angelic hosts assigned to that mission of God accompany us on our journey.
My Prayer for You
I'm sure you know what it feels like to know deep down that you are called to something great, but the pain can be crippling when you feel alone, without a tribe to support and send you out! Perhaps you're stalled out by doubt and feel your destiny has been put on hold. Regardless of how you may be feeling, God has assigned angelic help to inject your heart with radical hope, bold faith and unyielding determination.
My prayer for you today is that you'll begin to recognize what and whom accompanies your yes to God!
To the moms who are shuffling schedules and meeting the demands of a growing family; to the young ones who may feel lost navigating life; to any and all who don't feel they've been commissioned by God, I release a co-mission over you. That you would be in submission to God's mission, and you would be commissioned; that you would recognize the influence God's given you and move forward in destiny, in purpose and prosperity, and in true spiritual authority, in Jesus' name!
Lastly, to the zealous ones—those of you who may be off on your own, or know the Holy Spirit has called you but you haven't been sent out yet: God has a people group for you! When you find your people, you'll find your destiny. I believe the Holy Spirit is already working on your behalf right now to bring into your life the healthy connections that you need to accomplish your heavenly assignment. He is reconciling, restoring and reviving communities so God's people can walk in the fullness of their co-mission with God!
Have you experienced angelic intervention?
Kris Vallotton is the senior associate leader of Bethel Church in Redding, California, and co-founder of the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. He is an author, international speaker and culture leader. To understand more on the topic of angels and true spiritual authority, check out his book Heavy Rain or listen to his podcast, Working With The Angels.
For the original article, visit krisvallotton.com.
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