God's Method of Developing Eagle Christians
" But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint. "
In the scriptures, God has likened His people to many things. For example, they are described as being like branches on a vine, trees by a river, a light on a hill, sheep, salt, a racer in a race, a wrestler, a soldier and as our text in Isaiah implies -
In this teaching we are going to focus our attention on some facts that I’ve gathered about the eagles way of life, and from them discover some spiritual truths that will aid us in becoming "God’s Eagle Christians."
I’m really glad that it’s the eagle and not one of the other birds that God chose to identify us with. He could have likened us to a variety of other birds if He had so desired, and rightly so, because we display many of their characteristics. Take the chicken for example. Having been raised in Andrews South Carolina, I know something about chickens. Let me give you some chicken facts to show you why I’m glad God said we are to become like eagles and not chickens.
Chickens are crowd followers. If a chicken sees a bunch of chickens running across the chicken yard, he will take off after them. It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t know where they are going or why they are going there. He follows along because he doesn’t want to miss out on anything the majority is doing.
Chickens just naturally "squabble and fight" over things in the chicken yard. If one finds a nice juicy bug to eat, suddenly they all want it.
They will chase each other all over the chicken yard, trying to take it away from each other. They are funny that way. They can walk all around a bug or a grasshopper and not pay any attention to it, but the moment one decides he wants it, at that moment, they all decide they want it and the chase is on.
They have no interest in the heavenlies. They are content to live in the chicken yard, walking around with their eyes on the ground, scratching in the dirt looking for something to eat. Most of them will never try to fly. They are earthbound birds. I think you can see now why I’m convinced that living the chicken life can never compare to living the eagle life. Chicken living is so limited -
There is something special about the eagle and for centuries it has been recognized by nations, kingdoms and empires as the King of the birds. It’s image has been reproduced on their coins, seals, emblems and flags. And God in His Word tells us that of all the birds of the air, it is the eagle that His people are to be identified with. He is calling us to be "spiritual eagles."
With this in mind, I want to share some eagle facts you may not be aware of. As we examine the eagle’s way of life, let us think of ourselves as being the eagles of Jehovah Father Eagle, and that He desires to accomplish in our lives what the eagle parents are trying to accomplish in their offspring’s lives.
In the eagle family the female eagle is bigger and stronger than the male. They mate for life till death parts them. Both parents sit on the eggs, guard the nest, feed and also train the young. To the eagle, raising a family is a responsibility that belongs to both parents. Does God expect less from His eagle family? I don’t think so.
A description of a new born eagle is almost like describing a new born Christian. Born with its eyes and mouth wide open. It sort of looks like a mouth that’s been attached to a bunch of fuzzy feathers. The parents are kept busy keeping that mouth filled because the baby eagle has an insatiable desire for food. The eagle knows when it opens its mouth, Dad and Mom eagle are going to fill it with good things.
Now Jehovah Father eagle is like those eagle parents with His baby eagles. He tells His eagles in Psalms 81:10, " I am the Lord thy God which brought you out of the land of bondage. Open thy mouth wide and I will fill it." I’ve spent most of my Christian life going around with my mouth wide open, and I like what Jehovah Father eagle puts into it. Just as Mother and Father Eagle know what baby eagles need to eat to grow, much more does Jehovah Father eagle know what His eagles need to grow on. Matthew 7:11 says this, " If ye then being evil know how to give good things to your children, how much more shall your Father in heaven give good things to them that ask Him. "
The word eagle means one feeding with the beak. What a wonderful typology of God feeding His own by the words from His mouth.
Just as the natural eagles depend and live on the food received from the parent eagle’s mouth, so likewise, God’s eagles depend and live on the food from His mouth. Matthew 4:4 speaks of it in this way. " Man shall not live by bread alone, buy by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. " Our heavenly Father is Jehovah Father eagle who feeds His eagles from the food of a heavenly menu.
In the eagle world it’s a fact that eagles subsist only on eagle food. Nothing else will take the place of eagle food. It enables them to grow, mature and become strong. Without the proper diet, the eagles will grow weak and sickly and eventually die. So it is in the world of God’s eagles. You and I are to feast on God’s eagle food if we are to grow and become strong mature eagles of God. Anything else -
We must have the eagle diet of God’s Word.
Isaiah 55:2 asks this question " Why do you spend money on that which is not bread (eagles food)? Hearken diligently unto me and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. " Sometimes, as God’s eagles, we do not practice the serious eating of the Word of God. We become very "picky" about our food. I know some people, and no doubt you do too, that have put together their own revised version of the bible. It is comprised of only their own favorite verses that contains positive confessions and positive promises. Its void of any verses that confronts, condemns, or challenges their private theology. The ones I know like this have never grown or matured in their Christian walk. They are still diaper Christians who have refused to be weaned from the milk of the Word even though some are forty years old in the Lord. The meat of the Word chokes them.
Now I love babies, I think they are beautiful. I love little toddlers too. It’s great to watch them crawl and waddle around at 6 to 18 months of age, exploring their world. I think we all enjoy that time of their lives. But nobody thinks it’s cute when a person remains a baby for too long. If a child never learns how to walk or talk; if it never figures out how to feed itself; if it never outgrows its need for diapers -
God is no different.
He doesn’t want any of His children to remain baby-
My friends, just as it is with earthly eagles, so it is with God’s spiritual eagles. We too were made to experience heavenly heights in the spirit. To spread our wings of faith and ride the heavenly winds of the Holy Ghost. It’s inherent in us. Our new nature, as believers, demands it. It’s placed within us by Father God. As eagles of God, there is an inborn tendency in us to mount up and soar to spiritual levels we’ve never experienced before.
Ephesians 2:6, " He hath made us sit (soar?) together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. "
Have you soared lately?
That’s what eagles do and God is calling us to be His spiritual eagles.
It’s true that chickens and eagles are both birds, but a chicken is an earth bound creature. It can flop and fly a little, but it can scarcely get its feet off the ground. This is not true of the eagle.
I’m reminded of the story told of the farmer who while walking one day, found an eagle egg. He took it to the hen house and placed it under a setting hen who had several eggs under her. In time, all the eggs hatched and out of the shell of that eagle came, to her way of thinking, the oddest looking chicken she had ever seen with the oddest voice she had ever heard. When the other chicks chirped, this one would screech. When the mother hen clucked, all but this ugly one would come running. There simply seemed to be no understanding between them. They spoke two different languages. So, because he was odd, all the others picked and pecked at him.
Of course, he was odd. He was an eagle who was trying to live the chicken life.
One day while he was in the barnyard, a huge shadow passed over him. It was Father eagle soaring high above. Father eagle looked down and saw the little eagle. Seeing it was one of his own kind, Father eagle swooped down giving a loud screech. The young eaglet looked up. Father eagle said to the eagle, "What are you doing down there? You’re not a chicken, you’re an eagle. Eagles aren’t made for barnyard living. The heavens are your domain. Come up here."
Now the little fellow wondered what to do. Up to now the barnyard had been home to him, but he really hadn’t been happy there. He just didn’t seem to fit in with barnyard living. All of a sudden the truth of who he was hit him. He discovered his true identity. Father eagle had given it to him. He wasn’t a chicken, he was an eagle. Down deep inside him he felt the urge to respond to Father eagle, but when he tried, he couldn’t seem to get off the ground. Father eagle screeched again, "Just make a jump and flap your wings. You can fly if you try." The little eaglet made a feeble jump, flapped his wings and landed on top of the barnyard fence post. Father eagle screeched again, "Child, jump higher, try again. Make the jump and I’ll sweep under you and carry you on my wings." Little eagle did what Father eagle asked him to do, and Father eagle did what he said he would do. A mighty jump of faith and little eagle was riding on Father eagles wings on his first solo flight into the heavenly realm.
Saints of God, we are called to be God’s eagles Christians, but many have been content to live the chicken life, confined to barnyard limitation in their spirit. A barnyard to the believer is any attitude, any mindset, any lifestyle that restricts us from being or accomplishing all that God has purposed for us to be or do in life. Our barnyard is that comfort zone we like to live in because it makes no demands of us that will challenge us to change. Jehovah Father eagle calls to us in our barnyard and challenges us to spread our wings of faith and come up higher. Some respond and get as high as the barnyard post and settle there, feeling like they’ve really accomplished something.
But they need to make another jump of faith and set their wings in the promises of God’s Word and let the wind of the Holy Ghost lift them up.
Let me briefly share with you the parent eagles method of training their young to fly. The Mother eagle watches until the eagle’s in the nest are fully feathered. When she thinks they have matured sufficiently she begins to "Stir the nest" With her strong beak she will start tearing out everything in the nest that makes it soft and cozy for her young. She removes all the padding of rabbit fur and animal skins, making the nest so uncomfortable and miserable her little ones don’t want to stay in the nest any longer.
She then begins the process of helping them develop strength in their wings. She hovers near the nest and begins flapping her wings furiously. As they watch her do this the little eagles will begin to imitate the mother by flapping their wings also. They seem to know that this is what they are supposed to do. Just before she takes her eaglets out on their first solo flight, she will perch on the edge of the nest over her young and inspect them. Noticing that they have loose feathers sticking out all over them, she knows they must first be removed if the little eagles are ever to fly. So she begins to beat her wings, causing a mighty blast of wind to blow upon the eagles. Soon all the loose feathers have been blown from them and they are ready for their flying lesson.
Let me pause for just a moment and ask you these personal questions. Are you identifying with the little eagles "stirring of the nest" experience? Lately, have you found yourself experiencing the discomforts of the stirring of your nest? Is there an awareness that something just isn’t right, but you’re not sure what it is? Is your comfort zone being threatened and are you a person who doesn’t like changes? Are you uncomfortable and worried about it? Have you considered that just maybe -
It’s too confining -
Has God been dealing with you about the "loose feathers" in your life? Has He been speaking to you about things in your life that affects your spirituality and drags you down? Things that you know you should be taking action on, but are neglecting to do so? Look up! Be encouraged! It is your Jehovah Father eagle working in your life to help you get rid of your "loose feathers." He’s getting you ready to mount up with eagle wings. He wants you to quit fluttering around in the nest and to learn how to spread your wings of faith and fly.
Let’s return to the story.
When Mother eagle sees that the loose feathers are blown away, she then spreads her wings out and gives forth a certain scream.
Somehow the little eagles knows that it is a command for it to step out on one the Mother’s wings and firmly secure itself with its talons, and then with it’s beak -
The baby eagle has never experienced anything like this before. He’s going places he’s never gone before. He’s seeing things he’s never seen before. It’s thrilling! But just as he’s having the time of his life, Mother eagle suddenly flutters her wings and shakes him loose from her wing -
Now when Mother eagle shakes the little one loose, she doesn’t say, "Well, you’re on your own now, see you around," and fly away. No, she doesn’t do that, but she slowly begins to circle around the surprised little eagle keeping a concerned watchful eye on him as he flounders and flutters trying to fly for the first time. Furiously, he flaps his wings, he turns somersaults, he does everything to try to stay aloft, but slowly he starts to lose altitude. When Mother eagle sees her little one get dangerously close to the ground, she swiftly swoops down, snares him with a taloned claw, and carries him upward to a great height and starts the process all over again. Each day she repeats this, until finally the little eagles wings has become strong and he is able to stay aloft riding the air currents, soaring as effortlessly as the parent eagles do.
I want to point out several spiritual truths that are suggested to us by the flight training process of the little eagle. A spiritual truth is found in Mother eagle spreading her wings and commanding her eagles to step out on them and firmly grasp a feather in their beak. The two wings of the parent eagle can be likened to the Word of God; both the Old and the New Testaments. The feathers can be thought of as the individual promises found in the Word of God. Father eagle spreads His Word before us and commands us to step out on it; grasping firmly to the promises of God.
Just as little eagle experienced an unexpected shaking that caused him to lose his hold on Mother eagle’s feather, even so, God’s eagles may experience a shaking of their faith life that can cause them to lose their hold on the promises of God they have been clinging to. Don’t despair! Don’t get frustrated! Don’t throw up your hands and quit. This can happen when you’re in the process of training to be an eagle believer.
Just as the parent eagle watches over her little ones to make sure they don’t fall to the ground when they lose their hold on the feathers while in training; even so Jehovah Father eagle watches over His own to keep them from falling to the ground when they lose their hold on the promises of God while in training to be eagle believers. He lifts them up to try again. Deuteronomy 32:11, " Like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions " Just as the parent eagle continues to work with their young until they are fully trained -
He’s determined that we’re going to mount up with wings as an eagle.