Eagles are beautiful and powerful and majestic: the King of the Birds. Rev. Singleton told us this morning that we can be Eagle Christians! I know that I personally identify more with a chicken, but the sermon focused on two different verses which give us an idea of what an Eagle Christian can have and can be.
The first verse comes from Psalm 103:5. It says to praise the LORD, "who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s." The second is Isaiah 40:31. "but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
So the eagle holds a promise for us, as well as a way to obtain it. Taken together, these verses paint a picture of what a Christian life should be. We do not need to be weak and tired. We should not be worn out. We shouldn't be running around like chickens (me!). We have access to beauty and power and majesty: the King of Kings!
We are going to look at some things about eagles that tell us what we, as Eagle Christians, have, and are meant to be. The first one is where eagles build their nests. Did you ever see an eagle's nest? They are absolutely huge, and they are absolutely high up! Eagles built their nests on rock ledges, higher than most animals care to climb. Just like the eagles put their babies on a high cliff to keep them safe, God promises to set us on high places, where we can be safe and secure in the Rock of Ages.
Second, eagles fly up above the storm. Too often, when storms come, we give up (chicken!), but God wants us to persevere, and to soar above the storm. We need to get out, above the noise, into the quietness of God so that we can hear what he is saying to us. When storms are raging in our lives, we can find strength in the LORD God. He will raise us up on eagle's wings so that we can soar above all of the difficulties that come our way.
Third, eagles don't wait for enemies to get them. They soar up, straight into the sun, so that they are out of reach and invisible. The Holy Spirit will lift us up to the Son of Righteousness, high above our enemies. We sometimes give too much credit to the devil, and that gives him power over our lives. But we were not made to be under the power of the devil. He only has as much power as you allow him to have. We are Eagle Christians, and we have power from God, which is infinitely stronger than any power that evil could have over our lives.
Fourth, eagles are selective. They have only one mate, and they remain devoted to each other for life. The parents take care of their babies. In the same way, God cares for us. But sometimes it seems like we're being pushed out of the nest. Well, guess what? Eagle parents do this to teach their chicks to fly! They push them out, and then soar down and spread out their wings to catch them. They do this over and over until the baby eaglet can fly on its own. Sometimes we need to let go. We need to learn to fly. We can't stay in the nest all of our lives! God has plans for us. There are things we are supposed to do. But God is always there. He will not let us hit the rocks, but will always pick us up and help us to try again.
Fifth, eagles have an amazing sense of sight. They can see much farther than we can; they can even see a rabbit 3 miles away! Our eyesight may not be that good, but God gives us a different kind of vision with which we can view the things of God. When we see with God's vision, we have no fear. We can see the next step ahead. We can also see the needs that are around us, and we can see ways to help in the strength we have from God.
Lastly, eagles are solitary. They aren't caught up in "group think" (chickens again!) We need to spend time alone with God. We need to surrender to him, and let him teach us to fly. We need to let go of the fears that keep us close to the ground, and learn to soar into the Son. Our strength is renewed through contact with our Heavenly Father. We can be trying oh-so-hard to do all the right things, but if we are doing them in our own strength, we could be going farther and farther off course, and getting weaker and weaker. Our human strength is finite. But God will lift us up with wings like the eagle's. He will renew our strength.
Do you have something in your life that is keeping you from soaring? Something that's keeping you grounded, and sapping your strength? Is there danger? A storm? A bad habit or recurring sin? Fear of "flying?" Lack of vision? Pressure from the crowd? I'm going to leave you with a final Bible passage: Hebrews 12:1-3
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Jesus really is the answer. We can be renewed and not grow weary. We can be lifted up on eagle's wings. We can run the race marked out for us, and even be able to see the track ahead! We are Eagle Christians. Let's live like we were meant to.