Take a trip out of time and space.
With the help of your imagination, let yourself be pulled from the gravity of this planet and move into the space beyond the earth's dimension—that mysterious realm where angels dwell.
It's easy to forget we live in two parallel worlds. One is our world . . . tangible and visible—a world of roads and houses and barns and trees and lakes and seas and shores and dogs and cats and days and nights and nations and politicians.
The other unseen world, just as real, is a space we cannot see or touch. It is completely unlike our world. It consists of angels and sinister forces, unseen thrones and ranks of authority. It's a spiritual world where supernatural agents move freely, where battles are fought. Somewhere in that other world are two literal places we have never been: one is heaven and the other is hell. We can't see either and we've never talked to anyone who has been to either place, but they're as real as the world we know—the one we can now touch and feel.
From the spectrum of unapproachable light, God dispatched His angelic courier Gabriel with a communication related specifically to the nation of Israel. Four times that we know of, Gabriel delivered an announcement from God: twice to the prophet Daniel about Israel's future, six earth centuries later to Zacharias about the birth of a little boy named John, and shortly thereafter to Mary to deliver the news of the conception in her womb of the baby Jesus.
Angels are at work today as well, relentlessly busy doing God's bidding in the unseen world around us. If our eyes could be opened to see the angelic forces, we would be overwhelmed! In fact, we'd be thrilled and encouraged to know their number, observe their strength, and realize firsthand their purpose, especially when we are alone and feel a separation from strength ourselves.
Adapted from Charles R. Swindoll, "Meet Gabriel . . . the Heaven-Sent Angel," in A Bethlehem Christmas, message series (2007), and from "The Day Mary Met Gabriel," in The Origination of Something Glorious, message series (1992). Copyright © 2010 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
Used with permission. All rights reserved.
In Embraced by the Spirit, we step away from the heat of theological battle that analyzes and criticizes and move quietly and closely to the One who has been sent alongside to help.