I have yet to see a more majestic and graceful bird in the sky than the Bald Eagle. With outstretched wings it catches the high rising thermals and peacefully glides through the air as it hunts for prey. This imagery of an eagle is used often in the Bible to give us a picture of believers and their relationship with Jesus. Over the years, our understanding of this picture has changed. In our podcast today we hope to explain what it means to be ‘flying as eagles.’
Weary from running
Long ago my grandmother gave our family a plaque for our wedding. On this plaque was the verse from Isaiah 40:31.
“But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.“
I will be the first to admit that when I lived in Sherwood Park, Alberta I was tired. Tired of all the work I was doing and not getting anywhere. My soul was tired as well as my body and spirit. Can we agree that Egypt, the church, business and life in general just makes us tired? We are tired because we have to rely on ‘self’ to get things done. Because we are finite humans; our reservoir is small and easily dried up. I could not grasp the truth of what this ‘run and not be weary, walk and not faint’ business meant?
Aren’t you tired of all the sweat, labor and hardship in Egypt?
Longing to be flying as eagles
When I read that plaque on our wall I longed, as I am sure many do, to be flying as eagles on the thermals of God without the whip and lash of Egypt against my back. That was but a dream those days as I did not understand how God could achieve my desire. Even when Wanda and I attended prophetic conferences, we would hear references to eagles but were no further ahead in becoming one.
Then one day a change in our world took us east to a new life. There, in the bucolic pastureland of P.E.I., we saw eagles frequently. We would watch in awe when they perched in nearby trees and hunted over the adjacent fields. Once again I was mesmerized by their majesty. Their freedom of movement was a stark contrast to our ever increasing captivity.
How I longed to be flying, as eagles do.
Thrown from the nest
Suddenly God threw us out of the nest. Literally. Our world was turned upside down and all four of us were homeless and living outside. We had fallen through the cracks into, what seemed like, a never ending abyss of hardship. We kept falling and falling and thought we were going to die but didn’t.
When you are living under a tarp in the woods in some forsaken backwater where nobody knows you and everyone hates strangers it is easy to think that your life will end. Ours didn’t. This was puzzling. How could we be so alone and without any support yet still be sustained? This was a mystery that lay like an unopened present in the back of my mind as the daily grind of survival bullied its way to the front.
A hard choice
What our family did not understand then was that we had been growing up as eagles ever since our revival in 1996. Each act of obedience to Jesus’ lead brought us further to maturity. As we grew in spirit our nest became too small even though we were not aware of what was going on. Then, like any good eagle parent, when it was time God pushed out of the comfort of the nest and let us fall.
When the eaglet is too big to live in the nest with all of it’s comfort there comes a time when it must leave. The parents don’t need to feed the chick for it can hunt on it’s own. It just doesn’t know how and does not have incentive to do so. By kicking the eaglet out the juvenile bird has a hard choice. Do nothing and die or use what is already formed to fly and hunt for itself. This isn’t cruelty, it is recognition that the bird has matured and ready to fly for itself.
Flying in faith isn’t a luxury, it is a necessity.
Spreading our wings
God isn’t being cruel when He shakes our world and throws us out of the nest. He knows when our faith has grown to a point where we do not need to be fed anymore but can feed ourselves. Although we cannot see this growth it happens under the expert tutelage of the Holy Spirit, who continually attends to our spiritual needs. Once we have reached the time for love He punts us from our nest so that we may learn to fly with Jesus, the Great Eagle.
In that place of falling, spinning and twisting in the wind, we have a choice too. We can do nothing and die or use the faith God has already formed in us to fly with Him. This is the dilemma so many are facing today. God has turned your world upside down and let you fall. Are you going to spread your wings and catch the thermals of His love, to fly with Jesus?
Growing intimacy with Jesus
Our understanding of the eagle has morphed since our early days in Sherwood Park. From wistfully longing to be flying as eagles to growing up into one. We have learned that becoming an eagle means accepting the lead of the Holy Spirit and following Him in obedience. As our obedience grows, so does our uncompromising faith. When we are fully walking in faith, we are growing into intimacy with Jesus and flying with Him in the spirit.
The essence of flying as eagles is intimacy with Jesus.
Will you be flying as eagles do?
Are you tired of the sweat and labor of Egypt that never ends? Do you long to be free to rest in God, running without getting weary or walking and not fainting? Is it your heart’s cry to be so intimate with Jesus that nothing else matters? If this is your passion, then yield your will to God. Let Him lead and grow you into maturity. When the time comes to go into the wilderness, spread your wings of faith and fly with Him. You will never regret it.
In our podcast today we offer you a glimpse into the world of the eagle and what this means for believers. Won’t you join us?
Homer and Wanda