Are you an Eagle or a Chicken?I’d like for you to use your imagination for just pa moment….. Imagine a chicken in a chicken yard. She’s scratching in the dirt looking for something to eat. It’s hot, dusty and dirty. Now imagine an eagle. He’s sitting high on a cliff, his sharp eyes scanning the valley in search of food. Finally, imagine a storm coming. Dark clouds looming in the distance. Rolling thunder and the threat of hard wind and rain just moments away.
What do you think these two birds will do in the face of the storm? They’re both birds but they face the storm in radically different ways. They both have wings and feathers and beaks. But the main difference between an eagle and a chicken is how they think. It’s what’s inside that counts as much as what’s outside.
The chicken will immediately become worried. She’ll run in circles and flap her wings. Of course, she won’t actually fly, but she’ll flap and cluck and run for the chicken house and the company of all the other scared chickens. She’ll try to get to shelter so she can stay out of the approaching storm.
Now what about the eagle? The eagle won’t run, and he won’t cluck and make a fuss. He’ll actually turn his face into the storm, feeling the strong wind on his face. Then, when the time is right, he’ll spread his wings, leap off of his perch, and fly directly into the violence of the storm. With his wings outstretched, he’ll catch the violent updrafts caused by the storm and be immediately swept up above the clouds and into the bright sunshine. He’ll remain above the clouds until the storm blows over and the skies become calm.
Which bird do you identify with? What do you do when the storms of life gather on the horizon? Do you immediately get anxious and start to worry about all the things that might happen to you? Do you find others who are also worrying and discuss the danger of the impending storm?
Or are you like the eagle that faces the dark clouds and uses the energy of the storm to rise above the fray? God has called us to be eagles. Isaiah 40:31 says, 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 (The Amplified Bible).
God doesn’t want us to cower in the face of our storms. He doesn’t want us flapping around, causing a bunch of commotion and confusion. He wants us to be still, to face the storm, and then put our confidence in Him. He will see us through. He will give us the strength and wisdom we need to ride out the storm.
Okay, so what do you do if you really wish you were an eagle but you’re a chicken? Good news! God loves to make eagles out of chickens! A chicken becomes an eagle by the way she chooses to handle adversity in her life. When you begin to see yourself as a conqueror and not a loser, you will find yourself becoming more eagle-like.
We all love the good times, but we don’t really grow until we go through adversity. It’s the tough times that we all go through that turn us into eagles. In Paul’s letter to the church in Rome, he said, Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us (Romans 8:37, The Amplified Bible). Through God we are more than conquerors! He’s the One who gives us the faith to believe in Him. He is the One who will see us through the difficult times of life.
I love the phrase they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun] from the verse in Isaiah. Just the thought of seeing that eagle lift his wings and mount up to the sun gives me courage to face whatever storms might be bearing down on me. I might have been a chicken at one time, but God has taught me to fly like an eagle!
RADICAL FAITH!!!! DO YOU HAVE IT?
Every one of us has a race to run and we all have days that are easier than others. We cry out to God and ask Him to hear our prayers. But one thing we all need is the right “clothing” to run this race called life. There comes a time when we need to change our clothes in some way. The clothes we wore when we were first saved were right for that time, but today there may be need for our clothing to change and become new, maybe some new equipment or maybe we need to get rid of some things that are holding us back. The scripture below defines what is needed in order for us to finish the race.
Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us~ Hebrews 12:1
Some days we feel like we can conquer anything as this scripture reveals.
For by You I can run through a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.~ Psalm 18:29
Then there are days that are harder to get through which is revealed in this scripture.
And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.~ Galatians 6:9
When they shoot a movie, it is has been told that they shoot the last scene of the movie first and that they go back and make the movie in bits and pieces until it reaches that final scene. God does the same thing when He looks at us. He already knows the last scene of our lives. He sees us completed in Him. We make mistakes throughout life and there are times we spend too much time focusing on how we feel and what we see, instead of what we know. We need to see ourselves as God see us as well as seeing others as God sees them. In the scripture below Gideon did not see himself as God saw him ( A Mighty Warrior) and he even questioned God. We have all done that at one time or another and asked God are you sure this what I am supposed to do or where I am supposed to be?
Judges 6:11-15 “Now the [a]Angel of the Lord came and sat under the oak (terebinth) at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, and his son Gideon was beating wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, The Lord is with you, you mighty man of [fearless] courage. And Gideon said to him, O sir, if the Lord is with us, why is all this befallen us? And where are all His wondrous works of which our fathers told us, saying, Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt? But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian. The Lord turned to him and said, Go in this your might, and you shall save Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you? Gideon said to Him, Oh Lord, how can I deliver Israel? Behold, my clan is the poorest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”
We as Christians will never excel to the point God would like us to be as long as we just want to exist and most Christians these days are just merely existing. Some are held back by the spirit of fear. Notice what the following scripture says…
“For God did not give us a spirit of fear (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.”~ 2 Timothy 1:7
God has provided us with the POWER and LOVE as well a sound mind. No one has to live in the spirit of fear. Fear comes as a result of us not seeing ourselves as God sees us. We are afraid to step out in faith and by this I mean radical faith not just rational faith. We have to know that within each one of us is the power of God, His love and that the spirit of fear is something we need to extinguish! We need to quit leaning on how we feel and leaning what we see and start leaning on God and excel to the limits of what He wants us to become in Him!
Sometimes we have days that we are extremely tiring, but being tired is not a sin. Sometimes the most spiritual thing we can do is simply Rest! The pursuit of the promise of God is wrapped up in our cries!
“If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is.” 2 Timothy 2:13
Have you ever felt like everything was going wrong in your life? Where you started to cry and say. God I don’t feel your love, I feel like You have forsaken me. Where you are shaky and can’t even pray or read your bible. Can you relate? Low periods come into all of our lives. Does that mean that God has left us? That He’s forgotten about us? NO! Our moods may shift, but God’s doesn’t. Our minds may change, but God’s doesn’t. Our devotion may falter, but God’s never does. As this passage states. “If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is.”(2 Timothy 2:13). He is a sure God. While we go through things that are unpleasant, or seem to be devastating, we can trust that God’s goodness and love are following us. He is with us, and “He can use ALL things together for the good of those that love Him and are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28).
Let me remind you and encourage you that God’s faithfulness is everlasting. It is the same on good days as on bad days. God’s faithfulness does not depend on our feelings. Even when your heart condemns you, He remains faithful. He cannot deny who he is. Paul says in the amplified Bible, “God is faithful, reliable, trustworthy, and therefore ever true to his promise, and he can be depended on” (1 Corinthians 1:9) God says it himself in (Malachi 3:6), “I, the Lord, do not change.” That is good news! God is consistent. “What a God He is! How perfect in every way! All His promises prove true!” (Proverbs 18:30) If God says it, count on it! He’s always faithful. He’s always just the same way. So even when we are too weak to have any faith left, He remains faithful to us and will help us, for he cannot deny who He is and he will always carry out his promises to us”!
Let me encourage you today to accept each day as it comes to you as a believer, trusting that you do not walk alone and that the Holy spirit within you will help lead you and guide though your days if you allow Him to. Your assignment is to trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6). Rest in Him and pour out your heart to Him. He will give you the strength to meet every task ahead of you. He will infuse His strength into you moment by moment, giving you all that you need each day. Trust in the assurance of His Perfect Love.
Let me encourage you today that God has a plan, purpose, and time for all things in our lives. If He is allowing something to happen in your life, you can know for sure that He will use it to grow you. Remember growth does not happen on the mountain top, it happens at lowest part of the valley as you depend on God to give you wisdom, strength, and courage to move out of the valley. We grow when we are so low that God is the only one who can touch us and give us peace and guidance. No matter where God leads, know He has a plan and purpose for your life and know that He allows us to go through things to help others when they find themselves in the same valley.
The pursuit of joy is a matter of choice and perspective. It is also a matter of obedience. As Christians, one of our spiritual priorities should be joy. What is blocking the flow of God’s joy in your life? Is it a sin you need to confess? A relationship you need to make right? A step of obedience you need to take? Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what action you need to take to experience the joy of the Lord.
The Pursuit of Joy!
“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” John 10:10.
Jesus lived and died so that we can experience abundant life, a life exuding joy, a life so full that others crave to know the source of that fullness. Jesus did not come so that we can merely survive life. Pagans can survive life. Jesus came to be our joy.
Joy is the flag that flies above the castle of our hearts indicating that the King reigns within. If that is true, then why are so many people living lives with little or no joy? I’m afraid that they have bought the lies of the enemy, allowing him to steal their joy. Discouragement, weariness, disillusionment, shattered dreams and unrealized goals are some of his favorite weapons, “the truth is that the enemy can only use what we allow him to use,” let me repeat that again in case anyone missed it the truth is that “the enemy can only use what we allow him to use”
It is time for you to reclaim surrendered ground. Do you sometimes think you are fighting the same old battles you have been fighting for years? Clinging to familiar pain, you find our identity there. Consumed with your own agenda, joy is buried under a mountain of self.
Joy is not the result of outward circumstances. Joy is an inside job, a deeply rooted confidence that God is in control. Every trial or loss, every defeat or victory measured against this confidence can be counted as joy.
The Apostle Paul was a man of great joy. By human terms, he had every right to be angry and even bitter. Persecuted, imprisoned and facing His own death, Paul says, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength” Philippians 4:12-12
We cannot avoid pain but we can avoid joy. The pursuit of joy is a matter of choice. Our inward perspective does not have to reflect our outward circumstances. We can choose joy!
Set your sails for joy, my friends! Celebrate! Revel in who God is, in what He has done, is doing and will do in your life when you choose joy.
Have a wonderful day of unspeakable joy in the presence of the Lord. Love you all.
Are YOU seeking joy?
“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”~Matthew 6:10
God longs to give you a glimpse of heaven while you are here on earth. He wants to show you His plan and bring it to pass in your life. Have you ever thought about how God’s will is accomplished in heaven? In heaven, God’s will is automatic. There are no opposing forces, no doubt, no enemy or anything that would come against His will. On earth, His will is done in our lives, first, when we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior; and then, we must choose to come into agreement with His will on a daily basis through our thoughts, our words and our actions. On earth, we have to stand against the forces of doubt and darkness. We have to refuse those negative, self-defeating thoughts.
As you open your heart to the Word of God and invite His will to be done in your life, you are coming into agreement with God. And when you get in agreement with God, there is power!
Father, I come to You today and invite Your will to be done in my life. Have Your way in my heart and let everything I do bring glory to You in Jesus name. Amen
Did You Notice?
Jesus began his sermons with words that seem to contradict each other but God’s way of living usually contradicts the world. If you want to live for God you must be ready to say and do what seems to be strange to the world. You must be willing to give when others take, to love when others hate and to help when others abuse. By giving up your own rights in order to serve others, you will one day receive everything God has in store for you and it’s all His best!!!