09 September 2016

Psalm 37: Part 6 - Soar Like an Eagle

Psalms-37--Part-6Lately, God has been talking to me about eagles, their characteristics and how they live.  I find it very fascinating to learn all of this.  I mean, when you apply it to scripture where an eagle is referenced, it is super cool!

I know I will not cover it all, honestly I am typing this from memory, but I will share what I currently recall as led by Holy Spirit.  Blame Him not me!  :)

Soars High

Picture this: you hear a loud cry, a unique screech!  SCREECH!!! You look up, shielding your eyes from the sun.  As your eyes water, you see a small dot in the sky.  It’s not a plane because it’s soaring or maybe even circling (if it is a plane RUN FOR COVER AND PLEAD THE BLOOD!! LOL).  Before you know it, like nothing you’ve ever seen, you witness this dot suddenly come lower with a zest and speed that you are completely blown away; wow such skill.  As it comes lower, oh…it’s an eagle.  Duh!  What else could fly so high, change direction with such skill, swoop down with such speed, and be back in the air before you can say LORD HELP ME! 

What’s that in the eagle’s mouth!  Wiggling around.  By the time you figure it’s a snake, it looks more like a worm I’m sure.  But sure enough, it’s a snake, trying its hardest to attack the great bird as it soars higher. 

Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle.  It cannot get its venomous mouth up to snap upon the animal that has grabbed it.  And the eagle is just flying higher.  Not a care in the world!  Soaring higher above the ground. 

Suddenly, the snake stops moving!  What happened?  It’s dead!  Yep!  The snake is still!  Kaput!  No more! Finito! Gone! Suffocated! 

Wait!  Suffocated?!  The air where the eagle flies is not the same as the air on the ground where the snake slithers and has its strength.  The higher the eagle rose, the thinner the air became and the snake couldn’t bear it. The eagle soared too high and therefore, the snack, while “trying” to fight, suffocated and died!  

On the ground, the snake could easily subdue and kill a chicken.  The chicken, on the ground, unaware of the snake’s stillness in the grass, is easy prey.  The chicken, who can’t fly higher than a few yards, is an easy target. 

The eagle, however, saw the snake before the snake could even lift its head to “look” for it.  The snake, on the ground, may consider himself dominant, was prey and dead before he knew it.  No matter how it tried to wiggle free, the snake was no match for the eagle soaring above the clouds, in heights unimaginable to the snake! 

Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.Isaiah 40:31 (NASB)

Stirring the Nest

Honestly, at first this characteristic of an eagle seemed cruel.  The eagle has built her nest HIGH in the hills.  I mean steep on the side of the hill.  Among the rocky, sharp edges, her young ones are protected from almost EVERY known prey to it.  They are safe, tucked away, in a soft cozy nest. 

Here comes momma bird, stomping around in the nest, waking up her sleeping chicks.  She nudges them with her beak as if to say “MOVE”.  How rude!  They, obediently, scoot over and immediately open their mouth for food.  “Feed me, mommy, feed me!”

“Nope.”  Mommy is too busy roughing up the nest, exposing points sharper than a scissors edge. I mean who would give their child scissors?  Like really dude!

She head butts another. “MOVE!”  She adds twigs with thorns.  Scratching at the nests covering, she rouses the comfortable flooring as the chicks look at her in confusion. 

She head butts them again. “GO OVER THERE!”  Well, now the chicks have no choice but to carefully tread into the new uncomfortable, sharper than ever space mommy bird has just created. 

“How dare she mess up the bed and not fix it back!  I mean, didn’t her mommy teach her to make up her bed before she left her room?!?!  Seriously, Mommy, what are you teaching us!  WAIT!!! What are you doing mommy!  I can’t…flllllyyyyyyyyy!!!!”

She scoops in and catches her young one as he looks at her puzzled as if to ask, ‘How dare she push me out of the nest!’ 

Back in the uncomfortable nest, I can imagine the others are hovering in the corner of the nest cause mommy bird has plumb lost her mind!  I mean, she’s trying to murder her young ones and she gave them sharp ‘scissors’ AND made them walk on a ‘glassed floor’. 

"Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, That hovers over its young, He spread His wings and caught them, He carried them on His pinions. Deuteronomy 32:11 (NASB)

Eagles Wings

The wingspan of an adult bald eagle is between 1.8 and 2.3 meter or 5.9 and 7.5 feet (I had to look this up.  You didn’t want me to just huge, did you?).  Can you image looking at a wingspan as great as a tall NBA player?!?  Isn’t that massive! 

When the eagle soars, it moves stealthily.  There’s nothing to worry about with wings that wide.  There’s not a care in the world with a span that massive and strong. 

But picture this (you know this means I am about to be descriptive right?): you have a suitor.  He looks handsome.  He appears to be strong.  But can he handle you?!?  All of the greatness that God has placed in you!  Let’s test him!

You scoop down, pick up a stick and quickly lift back up.  You fly up (ok, I looked this up too - eagles can fly as high as 10,000 to 15,000 feet above the ground!), and drop the stick and tell your suitor, “Catch that BEFORE it hits the ground if you want me!” 

He scoops down at speeds as high as 200mph (saw this when I looked up the height), and grabs the stick and returns it to you. 

Impressive…let’s try again, a little lower.  He succeeds.  You drop it again, this time closer to the ground.  Yep, he got it.  Again and again you test him, ensuring that he can all that greatness God has embodied in you.  Is he worthy?  And time and time again, those wide, fine wings make it and succeed!  Ok…he is worthy!

'You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings, and brought you to Myself. Exodus 19:4 (NASB)

Second Life

Did you know that an eagle can live as long as 80 years!  You’ve heard of ‘midlife crisis’ haven’t you?  If not, it’s the time when, supposedly and most often, men have a sudden desire to do things they haven’t done yet when they turn 40.  Suddenly, life seems short and they want to fit it all in before they die. 

An eagle, on the other hand, has only two choices when they turn 40: live or die.   When they reach 40 (mid-life), they must choose death or life! 

By this time, an eagle’s beak will have grown out to the point they are unable to eat (picture toenails so long you can’t walk…).  The powerful beak, has become nothing but a nuisance.  It’s in the way and if the eagle doesn’t do something, he will starve to death!

His down (is this what the body hair is called?) and feathers are so thick, he is unable to soar.  Who cares that his wingspan is seven feet?  Who cares that they are strong.  At this point in his life, he is just too heavy to fly (ahem…).  He’s almost a waste of a bird.  All that greatness is too ‘fat’ to be the same majestic creature it once was.  Fly high?  Fly where!  This heavy being will fall like a rock!  Swoop in and catch what?  No swooping happening here.  Instead, you get a ball of fur stumbling at you. 

And those massive talons that could skin a cat!  Oh, really now.  Picture toenails that are too long for shoes.  Curving over the front of the open toed show.  How in the world could these too long toenails ever grab anything?  How can it skin its prey to get to the meat?  The snake it was once able to grab will devour this massive flying being! 

His life is over!  Or is it?  If the eagle chooses life over death, he will stow away high in the mountain for as long as six months (don’t bite my head off if this is not correct…let’s just say for months…).  Without a visitor.  No mating.  This eagle who has chosen life has work to do.  It wants to live again!!!  Its mid-life crisis has just begun. 

In this cave or shelter, behind closed curtains, the eagle will pluck itself free of the feathers that has weighed it down. It sacrifices it all through pain and pulls out each ‘hair’ weighing it down.   Naked and uncovered, it proceeds to cut his toenails.  He wants new shoes (OK not really but this is how I see it, ok!).  Barefooted it proceeds to correct his mouth.  It begins to beat his beak against the rocks and other hard surfaces. 

Free all of this, it begins the healing process.  New feathers will grow.  Stronger and sharper talons will begin.  He scraps them across the surfaces making them sharper than ever before!  And his beak (mouth), is renewed!  He has new tongues.  New words.  A new mouth.  Stronger and more powerful!  He is a new creation!!!!

He emerges, more majestic than before.  What a sight to see!!!

who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle. Psalm 103:5 (NASB)

Now, how does this apply to our next portion of Psalm 37. 

Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.  For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land. Psalm 37:8-9 (NASB)

Really, all I could see was rise above the mess.  When I saw that, immediately I thought of an eagle and I immediately begin to compare a person who does not anger easily and who trusts in the Lord and doesn’t fret with an eagle.  And naturally, those that wait for the Lord…immediately reminded me of Isaiah 40:31 (see the first characteristic of an eagle).  And WOW!  What a message. 

When you cease from anger and don’t fret, you have soared higher above the chickens pecking around the place looking for any little thing to put in its mouth (talk about!).  You spot the snakes before anyone but fret now for He has promised this:

"Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.  Luke 10:19 (NASB)

The snakes and every evil fowl will rear its ugly head, but place your feet upon its head and it will become your footstool.  Rule in the midst of your enemies.  (Psalm 110) If you peck with the chickens, that snake will surely jump out and get you (it leads only to evil doing). 

But instead, wait on the Lord.  It won’t be easy. The nest must be disturbed to prepare us for greater tribulations.  But rest in knowing that He has already won! 

These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33 (NASB)

Open your massive wings and soar.  Haven’t gotten your wings yet (maturity in Christ), depend on his wings.  He is your refuge and your fortress.  Declare Psalm 91 over yourself!  In Him, there is not only Liberty, but there is Refuge!  He will cover you will feathers.  Under His wings you will be SAFE! (Psalm 91)

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Psalm 91:4

Don’t lean on yourself.  He will build you up, but he will stir the nest and you must fly!  And soar you shall!  But if you wait for Him!!!! Wait for His direction!!  Wait on His instruction!!!! What a majestic creature you shall become.  Go through the pruning.  Prepare for new shoes!!  Receive a new mouth.  Come out of this on top!!!! Claim your inheritance!!!  It’s yours and this is an awesome thing to know!

Soaring high is not easy.  Your flesh wants to fight back, but you are being prepared for a glorious second life in Christ.  Go through it.  I guarantee it, it will be worth it!!

Grace, grace,

Keiyia JOYet George

Wow!  I felt this one.  I thank Holy Spirit for his grace and patience with me as I go through the pruning process.  But I decree and declare, I shall mount up on wings like eagles, I shall run and not get tired, I shall walk and not become weary.  How about you?  Leave a comment and decree your victory.  Don’t peck with the chicken.  It will only lead to evil. 

Psalms 37 Series

Part 1 -  Evildoers

Part 2 - Do Good

Part 3 - Heart's Desire

Part 4 - The Son Will Rise and Shine For You

Part 5 - REST


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