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Waiting On God--A Lesson On Prayer From The Eagle

Aug 17, 2007
I am intrigued with God's creation. God is the greatest artist and scientist ever. Psalm 14:1 says, "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God." It takes a fool to say there is no God if he can see and hear the world around him. All the way from the macrocosm to the microcosm displays ingenious creativity.

One animal that fascinates my imagination is the eagle. The Bible says in Isaiah 40:31, "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." There must be a reason an eagle is used in this analogy rather than some other creature.

Because of its very nature, an eagle is known as king of the birds. He is not much good on the ground, but was manufactured to rule the sky. Isaiah 40:31 addresses eagles and waiting.

Our age and society is one where people do not want to wait for anything or anybody. With all the modern time saving conveniences we have, it seems like we have less rather than more free time.

Automatic washers and dryers, microwave ovens, TV dinners, cell phones and numerous other technological advances are supposed to make our lives less hectic.
With all of these and other modern conveniences, we seem to have less time and more stress than ever.

Children can't wait to be teenagers. Then they can't wait to be old enough to get their driver's license. Then they can't wait to get out of school. Then they can't wait to be 21. Then they can't wait to get a job. Then they can't wait to get married. Then they can't wait to have children. Then they can't wait until the children are gone. Then they can't wait until they get their divorce. Finally they can't wait until they retire. Then they spend all their time wishing they were young.

We seem to never be satisfied with our present age and state of affairs. The apostle Paul teaches us by his example in Philippians 4:11 to be content in whatever state we find ourselves.

One of our biggest problems is that, in our society, we want everything now. The greatest successes and victories in history took time to accomplish.

Jacob loved Rachel but had to work seven years to marry her. Then at the end of the seven years, he found he had married her sister Leah. His father-in-law, Laban, told him it was the custom in their land for the oldest to marry first, but for seven more years of labor he could have Rachel too. Because of his great love for Rachel, Jacob agreed. Jacob was willing to wait.

Jacob's brother Esau was impatient and sold his birthright for a bowl of stew. That's why we need to learn to fast sometimes and get our flesh under subjection. Esau let his carnal desires cause him to lose out on his spiritual heritage. The same thing can happen to us when we value worldly pleasures above spiritual pursuits. If Esau had been patient and waited, he could have kept his birthright.

Joseph had a dream. The interpretation of his dream was that he would reign over his brothers. We must be careful in sharing our dreams with others. Everyone will not appreciate your vision. His brothers hated Joseph for his dreams and because he was favored.

Sometimes when God blesses you, people are going to hate you. When God favors you with a raise or a new car, your so-called friends are not always going to be glad for you. Your blessings can cause spirits of jealousy and envy to rise and turn into hatred.

Joseph's brothers threw him in a pit, threatened to murder him, and ultimately sold him into slavery. Because Joseph waited on God, everywhere he found himself God elevated him and blessed him. When Potiphar's wife lied about Joseph, and he was thrown into prison, he never stopped trusting God. When Pharaoh's butler forgot about him, he never stopped trusting God. And finally all his dreams came true, because Joseph knew how to wait upon the Lord.

Moses must have known as a young man that he was destined to be the emancipator of his people. Raised in the house of Pharaoh's daughter as a prince, Moses was trained and educated to be a warrior and a statesman. But his real mother, Jochebed, would not let him forget that he was a descendant of Abraham.

When he was forty years old, he saw an Egyptian mistreating an Israelite, and he killed the Egyptian. Even though he grew up in the house of the king as his daughter's adopted child, when Pharaoh found out, Moses was to be killed.

Moses fled to the wilderness where he married one of the daughters of a Midian priest. One day while watching his father-in-law's sheep, he received the mandate from God to go back to Egypt and emancipate the Israelites. This was forty years later when Moses was eighty years old.

Many people may feel that they are too old or too young to do something significant for God. They may feel that their time of effectiveness is past. But God is not as concerned about your age as He is about your availability and willingness to obey and follow Him. Moses waited on the Lord.

Years later, after the Promised Land had been occupied, the Israelites wanted a king like all the other nations. Saul was the man that was chosen. He started out performing well, but through time he became a tyrant. Saul became impatient and refused to wait for the prophet Samuel to offer the ceremonial sacrifice. Saul offered the sacrifice and God rejected him.

God then sent Samuel to Jesse's house to choose the king that would replace Saul. David was chosen. Samuel, upon God's direction, anointed David king of Israel. Even though David was anointed as king, it was fifteen years before he sat on the throne of the kingdom. "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength."

Isaiah speaks of mounting up with wings as eagles. Different animals have different characteristics and natures. Dogs bark, cats meow, snakes slither, cows moo and frogs croak.

Eagles and chickens are both birds. They both have wings, feathers, bird beaks and bird feet. But by nature they are very different. Isaiah likens the people of God to an eagle. Eagles are majestic birds known for their keen eyesight, courage, strength, and height and speed in flight.

Chickens are characterized as being good for dinner. They are the very symbol of fear. When someone is scared he is called "chicken." Chickens do not fly very high and are known for making a lot of noise.

Animals seem to know by instinct when a storm is brewing. It gets very quiet before the storm and most of the animals, including the chickens, begin running around, looking for a hiding place from the storm.

The eagle is not moved by the approaching storm. He sits upon his perch and when the storm comes, instead of flying away from the storm, he flies into it. Although he is tossed and buffeted, jerked and jolted, he keeps flying into the storm until the heavy winds lift him higher than the clouds, and he soars above the storm while the other animals are still in the storm. "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength."

I've heard it preached that waiting in this Scripture meant to stay in your place expecting God to do something for you in His own time. Then I heard it preached that waiting meant to serve God like a waiter serves those in a restaurant.

But when I researched the Hebrew word that is used in this Scripture for wait, it is the word, quavah. This word means, "to bind together with." It is used as the word describing how they bind the sheaves together in the field at harvest. When you place that definition into the text, it reads, "They that bind together with the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles."

This Scripture is talking about more than just biding time or serving. It is referring to relationship. It is talking about intimacy with God. It is talking about prayer. As the eagle's nature is characterized by his strength, vision, courage and ability to fly high, the saint's strength, vision, courage and ability to fly high spiritually are a direct result of the time spent waiting upon, or binding together with, the Lord.

God is looking for some eagle saints who are not afraid of spiritual heights. He is looking for some people who will fly into the storms of life so He can use the wind of His Holy Spirit to lift them above the storm. Some of us have been living below our privilege too long.

There is a story about a man that found an eagle egg, brought it to his chicken coop and placed it under one of his chickens to hatch. When it hatched it was not like the other little chicks. Its feathers were grayish brown and not pretty and yellow. When the chicks did their little "Peep peeps," he would let out a strange "Gawk." He was awkward and did not fit in. All the little chicks would peck on him. He just did not fit.

As he got bigger, he seemed to get clumsier. One day he looked up and saw a mighty eagle flying high in the sky and something connected in him with that bird. He began to flap his wings and flew up on the fence post. Then he got to the top of the chicken coop. Then one day he spread those wings and flew off, never to return to the chicken coop.

It is time for many of us to leave the chicken coop. Some of us have been in the barnyard too long. God wants to take us higher. You know you are made out of eagle material, but you have become comfortable with the chickens. Today is your day to mount up.

If you are a baby, it is time to grow up. If you are a soldier, it is time to stand up. If you are a non-tither, it is time to pay up. If you are a preacher, it is time to fire up. If you are a fusser, it is time to make up. If you have a testimony, it is time to speak up. If you are a gossip, it is time to shut up, and if you are an eagle saint, it is time to mount up.

Make it your priority to bind together with God through a dedicated prayer life. This is tantamount in developing a meaningful relationship with Him, and subsequently having a dynamic worship lifestyle.
About the Author
Dr. Leonard Scott is a dentist, author, recording artist, pastor and founder of Tyscot Recording Co. Visit his website at http://www.bishoplscott.com.
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