Here is a guiding rule in all experiences of angels: angels that do not lead us to Jesus as King, Lord, and Savior are not spirits on God’s mission but false spirits. Angels in the Bible lead us to Jesus. Angel experiences that do not draw us to God’s Son must be held either loosely or not at all. Angel experiences may well lead people to think there is more than meets the eye or that there is a ‘hum’ of the divine all about us – but without taking us far enough. Frankly, the vast majority of angel experiences evoke transcendence at the most, but no element of leading a person to Jesus.
The Hum of Angels: Listening for the Messengers of God Around Us by Scot McKnight (Waterbook, 2017); p.125
We learn at least four things when we permit the Lord’s prayer* to mentor our prayer life. We learn to approach God as Abba. … We learn what God really wants. … We learn to think of others. … We learn what everyone needs.
* Matthew 6.9-13 CEB.
“I suggest that we see the achievement of the cross in three expressions: Jesus dies ‘with us’ – entering into our evil and our sin and our suffering to subvert it and create a new way; Jesus dies ‘instead of us’ – he enters into our sin, our wrath, and our death; and Jesus dies ‘for us’ – his death forgives our sin, ‘declares us right,’ absorbs the wrath of God against us, and creates new life where there was once only death.
“Not only is this death saving, this same death becomes the paradigm for an entirely new existence that is shaped … by the cross. A life shaped by the cross is a life bent on dying daily to self in order to love God, self, others, and the world. And a life shaped by the cross sees in the cross God becoming the victim, identifying with the victim, suffering injustice, and shaping a cruciform pattern of life for all who would follow Jesus. The cross reshapes all of life.”
Scot McKnight, A Community Called Atonement; p.69