Eagle Saints: An Endangered Species MESSAGE #3
THE GOD OF THE MOUNTAIN IS THE GOD OF THE VALLEY
Isaiah 40:31, Psalm 103:5
God has used mountaintop experiences throughout history to strengthen his people as they walked through the valleys of life. It was from a mountaintop that God instructed Moses to go and bring his people out of bondage. It was from a mountaintop that God gave Moses the Ten Commandments. Afterwards he returned to the valleys of depression to find that the people had made a golden image.
It was on a mountaintop that God told Elijah to kill 450 false prophets after He had consumed the sacrifice and the water that had been placed in the trench. Afterwards he went out into a desert and crawled under a Juniper tree and experienced a time of depression because of a threat on his life by Jezebel.
Years later, Jesus carried Peter, James, and John unto the mountain of Transfiguration to pray where they saw Moses and Elijah. They heard God the Father speak saying, ‘this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him.’ They learned that the Law and the Prophets were all wrapped up in Jesus who was full of grace and truth.
Through the experiences of these men they all learned that God’s greatest grace is experienced and his greatest work is accomplished in the valleys.
The eagle stays on the mountain for most of his life. During this time he experiences the glory of being one of the most majestic of God’s creatures. But there are three times during his life when he is down in the valley. And all three times he follows the same procedure for getting out of the valley for he is a overcomer.
Eagle saints also go through valleys in their lives. And amazingly enough, they are basically the same experiences as the eagle’s. Let’s see what they are.
I. The eagle in sickness: the valley of disease. Psalm 103:5
By nature the eagle is a very healthy bird and lives an exceptionally long life. One of the main reasons for this is his source of strength – his diet. He may go through this valley more than once but the symptoms and the results are the same. You see, sometimes he gets a deceased animal for his meal and he may get a case of salmonella or food poisoning. When this happens he becomes very weak and unable to function as he normally would. He has a built in instinct that takes him back to his rock. That rock is a very special place to him. When he gets there, he will prostrate himself with his wings spread open wide. He will turn his head upward and fix his eyes directly into the sun. The warmth of the sun and the natural processes of his body will restore his strength. But how does this relate to the eagle saint?
You remember that the eagle saint’s source of strength also comes from his diet, which is the Word of God. Sometimes there are those who try to introduce false concepts and doctrines into their diet of eagle saints. When this happens, the eagle saint is weakened by spiritual salmonella. Like the eagle, the eagle saint has two things built in that help him to regain his strength.
1. He has a divine spirit. 2 Peter 1:4
Simon Peter said that, as Christians, we are partakers of a divine nature. God has put his spirit into us at regeneration in order that we might be victorious over the things that will weaken us spiritually and keep us from soaring as the eagle saints he wants us to be. The vultures do not have this ability. The only thing they can do is ingest whatever looks good and sounds religious. Notice the second thing the eagle saint has.
2. He has a discerning spirit. 1 John 4:1
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they be of God; because many false prophets are gone into the world.”
We learn from Paul’s writing that God has not only given us a Divine Spirit, he has also given us a discerning spirit through the gift of discernment at regeneration. When these concepts and doctrines that cause spiritual salmonella are injected into our diet, we can overcome them if we do like the eagle and go the Rock of our Salvation, Jesus Christ, and prostrate ourselves before him and turn our eyes toward him. It is only when we take our eyes off of Him that we get ourselves into trouble. In order to avoid the valley of disease we have to maintain that prescribed diet. Now lets take a look at a second valley the eagle visits.
II. The eagle in sadness: the valley of depression.
The eagle will go through the valley of depression during the middle years of his life. Usually he will go through one of his molting processes during this time. This is the mid-life crisis for the eagle. It is called the ‘moping period.’ He becomes inactive in his normal function. He can barely fly 25 mph. He doesn’t eat right because he is unable to hunt and provide for himself, during this time if it were not for the other eagles he would surely die. The other eagles will kill fresh meat and carry it and drop it in front of him. He will begin to eat these morsels and his strength begins to come back. Before long he is able to soar once again.
Humans go through mid-life crisis also but did you know that eagle saints go through spiritual mid-life crisis also? They become inactive in the functions God has called them to do. And they get on pity parties and feel unappreciated or unwanted. Do you know where the most inactive Christians are today? It is not the ones who never come to church. To the contrary; it is the ones who DO come to church, but that’s about all they do. Once they get there they won’t do anything else. The messages and the Sunday School lessons that are taught here week after week are designed to keep us strong and healthy Christians and keep us from the valley of depression until we come to that final valley which is inevitable.
III. The eagle in separation: the valley of death.
The eagle knows that even though his years may be long there comes a time when he must prepare to die. And when that time comes he makes one last trip to his rock; that place that has meant so much to him all of his life. And again he will prostrate himself on that rock with his wings open wide and he will fix his eyes on the sun. Just as the sun sinks out of sight, he will close his eyes in death and separation.
Glory to God! What a way to go? The eagle saint knows that it is appointed unto man once to die but after this the judgment. He too will prostrate himself on the Rock of Ages – the God of our Salvation and fix his eyes on the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Just as the sun of his last day sinks out of sight he closes his eyes only to open them in glory because death has no victory over the eagle saint. John 5:24
I wonder if you are in one of those valleys; the valley of disease, the valley of depression or even the valley of death. The remedy for all is the same. And that is to come to the God of our Salvation, fix your eyes on the Son of God and trust him as Lord and Savior.