Eagle Saints: An Endangered Species
Eagle Saints: An Endangered Species
The Source of Strength
Outline of Sermon #1
The Eagle Perceives what Is Best.
- The Eagle Pursues what is Best. Job 9:26
- The Eagle Partakes Of what Is Best.
Since the beginning of recorded history the eagle has served as a symbol of power, freedom, and immortality. The Egyptians used eagle masks in religious ceremonies. North American Indian tribes considered the eagle sacred. They carved the figure of an eagle on their totem poles to represent relationship between their families and the majestic predator.
On January 20, 1782, the Continental Congress adopted the Bald Eagle as the central figure of the great seal of the U.S.A. Several states also use the eagle in their state seal. The eagle is truly one of the most majestic creatures God ever created. We use the eagle as a symbol of achievement, for example, for a young man to earn the eagle merit in the Boy Scouts is considered one of the highest honors he can attain.
Much to the regret of our nation, the eagle is an endangered species. Until recent years it was almost extent but by the careful management of wildlife officials, the species has been somewhat revived.
Like the Boy Scout, eagle sainthood is the highest achievement a Christian can attain. But much to the regret Christendom, eagle saints have also become an endangered species. I believe that through careful concern and cultivation of God’s people, the eagle saint can be revived. This series of messages is designed to do just that. If we will but hear and heed it’s teaching. My primary purpose in this message is to introduce you to the eagle and the eagle saint. Let’s see what the eagle perceives, pursues, and partakes of.
I. The Eagle Perceives what is best.
The eagle is a meat eater from the day he is born. But he is a finicky eater as well. Unlike his cousin the vulture, he will not eat rotten meat. He has a built-in perception that tells him to seek out that which is best for him because his diet affects his ability as the majestic creature he is. So he seeks out that which is alive in order that he might retain his strength for his diet is his source of strength.
Likewise the eagle saint has a built-in perception that tells him what is best for him. It was built-in at his/her regeneration and it is called the divine nature. And it takes precedence over the old nature. He too gains his spiritual strength from his diet. What he takes into his mind affects his ability to function as the creature he was regenerated to be. Therefore he must seek that which is alive.
When Jesus was tempted of Satan in the wilderness, he said, “Man does not live by bread alone but by the very word of God.” And Hebrews 4:12 tells us why. “The word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, joints and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” To the eagle saint, the word of God is that live meat which sustains him in his daily walk with God.
It only stands to reason that if our strength lies in what we feed on then we ought to be feeding on those things that enhance our diet for that is what gives us strength to soar. We should be involved in Sunday School, Discipleship Training, Christian fellowship, and we need to let go of those things that keep us pulled down. Even that eagle knows to turn loose of anything that keeps him from flying. So we need to be selective in the things that fill our minds. Not only does the eagle perceive what is best:
II. The Eagle Pursues what is Best. Job 9:26
That eagle sits high on that lofty ledge and surveys the valley floor for what he wants to eat that day. But while he is sitting there, there are three things he is doing.
- Preparation. He prepares for flight. The eagle’s wings are his only means of transportation to get him to his food. His wings must be prepared for flight. He will spend at least one hour each morning preparing his feathers through a process called “preening.”
Preening is the process of running each feather through his beak as he exhales hot air. By doing this, he actually steam cleans each feather like we would seal a zip-lock bag. By this a chemical that is excreted through what is known as the preening bland waterproofs the feathers. This is extremely important because the eagle can’t swim. And if he chooses fish as his meal for the day he needs the assurance that he will not get bogged down by wet wings.
The eagle saint also needs that time of spiritual preparation and preening each day. He too needs the assurance of knowing that the weight of the world will not bog him down.
- Investigation. He investigates the sight. Job 39:28-29
Here Job tells us that the eagle “dwelleth and abideth on the rock… from thence she seeketh out her prey.” That eagle sits high on that rock and investigates his/her territory. Through those sharp eyes they can see every movement on the valley floor. She has already decided what she wants to eat and now she is investigating the floor to find it. She will not settle for anything else.
Now what is the analogy here? While the eagle always looks before she leaps, more often than not, we leap before we look. We haven’t investigated things, as we should before we jump into them with both feet. Then we find ourselves over our heads in things we have no business in the first place asking God to bless the mess we got ourselves into. But if we take the time to investigate the bible for direction and guidance then we can spread our wings and fly. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thy own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.” That is exactly what the eagle does and that’s what the eagle saint ought to do.
- Initiation. He initiates the flight.
Once that eagle has prepared and investigated and found what it wants to eat, he/she will spread those 71/2 – 12 feet wings and mount the wind and pursue their goal. She doesn’t have to worry about falling or flapping, she is flying.
One thing she has learned through her preparation and investigation is that she can’t do anything under her own power. She has to rely on the things God has provided her. Did you know that an eagle can’t fly without the wind? God provided that wind.
Well the wind in scripture represents the Holy Spirit. God provided us with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost to guide us as the wind does the eagle. John said that when the comforter is come he would guide you into all truth. The eagle saint can’t soar without the Holy Spirit. All we can do is flap, flutter and fall. We too must rely on what God has provided to enable us to fly.
III. The Eagle Partakes Of What Is Best. Isaiah 40:31
This verse contains some truths that will help us to soar as eagles if we will partake of them.
- Patience. “They that wait upon the Lord.”
That eagle sits patiently for the right moment to proceed and gain the maximum results. When we learn to patiently wait on God and do things in His timing we too will, like the eagle, experience greater results.
- Power. “Shall renew their strength.”
Just as God gives the eagle the power to pursue those things that are best for him, He also gives the eagle saint the power to pursue those things that are best for him.
- Perseverance. “They shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.”
Even the perseverance of the eagle comes from God it’s creator for only in Him can he have the power to keep on going. The eagle saint is the same way for it is only by the power and grace of God that we keep on going even when the days are the darkest.
I told you in the introduction that I believe eagle saints can be removed from the endangered species through concern and cultivation. In order for that to happen there must be two things; Spiritual Reproduction and Spiritual Revitalization.