“He gives power to
the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths
shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who
wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like
eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint”
Some years ago, Pastor Davie Copp
introduced us to the wonderful world of “eaglets”
and I’d like to share my version of his “eaglet”
imagery with you. A portion of today’s Scripture is Isaiah 40:31, which says, if
we “wait on the Lord, He (will)
renew (our) strength;
(we) shall mount up with wings like eagles, (we)
shall run and not be weary, (we)
shall walk and not faint.” Well, the fact is, most
don’t feel strong in the Lord much of the time. We don’t "run"
in the Spirit as well as we should; we do get "weary"
in this fast-paced world, and when we attempt to “walk”
in the Lord, we often “faint.” But let’s be “eaglets”
for a few minutes. The little hatchlings in the nest are more like us than we
know, and it will help us to catch a glimpse of the Lord’s way of dealing with His
beloved children, through the person of “Mom.”
Let’s pretend we’re an eaglet named
“Beaky.” There’s a sibling up here in the nest with us named “Flappy.” We’re
talking to each other right now. You’re asking, “Hey Flappy, What’s wrong with
Mom?” “Whadd’ya mean?” replies Flappy. “Well,” you continue, “we had this great
nest, full of feathers and rabbit fur, and now most of the soft stuff is gone.
There’s nothing left but sticks. And yesterday, I saw Mom throwing the last of
the feathers over the edge.” Flappy nods, bobs up-and-down and agrees
emphatically: there’s something wrong with Mom! Just at that moment, Mom swoops
into the nest – Beaky and Flappy glance at each other, but don’t say a thing.
Suddenly, Mom takes Beaky up by the scruff
of his feathery neck and --- throws him over the edge! Down goes Beaky. He
squawks, “Helllllppp, Mommmma,” as he falls; little wings flapping all the time.
Down, down into the abyss, 1000 feet and more. He longs for the discomfort of
the nest of sticks and regrets criticizing Mom. Just then, Mom swoops down under
him and Beaky lands secure on her shoulders. They rise high on a thermal draft
and with another swoop, little Beaky is suddenly in the nest once more. Then
it’s Flappy’s turn to be thrown over the edge and this keeps happening often,
until one day, Beaky cautiously stretches out his little wings and catches the
wind. He can fly!
There is maturity for us through the Holy
Spirit of God, and yet like the prophets, disciples, apostles and ordinary
people who have preceded us, we often need to be thrown out of our comfortable
“nests” before that maturity happens. We've been studying the ministry of
Jonah the Prophet, who ran from the will of God, and he was not unlike those in
the church today. All too often we try to handle life ourselves instead of
embracing the will of God. The fishermen, tax collectors, housewives and
reformed prostitutes who were called “disciples” of Jesus, followed Him for
three years and listened to Him, but often they did not understand. After the
death and resurrection of Jesus, there came the wonder of the Holy Spirit of
God, given to ordinary people like you and me, but after 2000 years of
opportunity, very few have exhibited much in the way of “maturity” in their walk
with the Lord.
God is not unlike that Momma eagle in
relation to her eaglets. He, “the Creator of the ends of
the earth, neither faints nor is weary” (Isaiah 40:28). He has none of
our limitations. He has all power, and “He gives
(that) power to the weak;” people like you, people
like me. When He said through the prophet Isaiah, “to
those who have no might He increases strength” (Isaiah 40:29), He is speaking
to us. Physically, we have been given a little strength; some more than
others. Most can talk and walk to some degree, though not all can do those
things. But the “strength” we need is not merely
expressed through our physical bodies. We are to “mount up
with wings like eagles,” which is not about our ability to build
airplanes. We are to “fly” and soar in the Spirit,
a feat only attainable through the Holy Spirit of God.
Most are given a “life verse” that is especially ours. If I had to choose a verse or verses from the Bible that
would express God’s choice for me, it would be this: “Come
to Me, all you who labor and are heaven laden, and I will give you rest. Take My
yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you
will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light”
(Matthew 11:28-30). Immediately before those words, Jesus spoke of those who had
seen the works of the Holy Spirit in and through Him. They beheld His “mighty
works” (Matthew 11:23), but they were not changed by what they saw.
Jesus suddenly began to pray, which was
typical of Him for He was always in prayer, and His kind of prayer is the
key to maturity for you and me. When Jesus came to us, He “made
Himself of no reputation;” He “took the form of a
servant… He humbled Himself and became obedient to
the point of death” (Philippians 2:5-8). He showed us how to pray and how to live. The
sense of Matthew 11:28-30 is also expressed in Isaiah Chapter 40, where it
says, “He gives power to the weak” (verse 29). Such
things are “revealed… to
babes” (Matthew 11:25). When Jesus said, “Come unto
Me” (Matthew 11:28), it is the same as Isaiah’s statement that God “gives
power to the weak” (Isaiah 40:29). We need the Lord utterly and we need Him now.
If you were to say to your spouse on your
wedding day, “I give intellectual assent to our new relationship,” your new
marriage would already be in trouble. You need to LOVE that person; to BELIEVE
in them, and to TRUST in their character. Marriage is wonderful, but most regard
it as entering into some kind of business relationship. Many enter marriage with
the idea that it will not last. And that is the way that far too many have come
to our Lord. They enter the deepest relationship possible with the shallowest of
Beaky and Flappy, our eaglets at the
beginning of this sermon, wanted to be comfortable; to have a soft nest of
feathers and rabbit fur. They had wings, but they had no thought of using them.
Very few in the animal kingdom or in humanity would leave their feathery nests
unless they had to. God wants us to grow up, and especially He wants us to grow
in our relationship with Him. But unlike eaglets and other little ones, who need
to learn to develop themselves physically, we must grow spiritually, which
involves not only EVENTS of growth, but also a process of learning to trust and
rely upon – the Lord. That’s what growing up is all about.
Be "independent" the world insists! Don’t
depend on anybody! But Jesus says, “Come unto Me”
as the antidote to being “heavy laden.” He
promises, “I will give you rest” (Matthew
11:28-30). You ”shall mount up with wings like eagles,
(you) shall run and not be weary, (you)
shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:29-31). Trust
in the Lord and you will soar – in Him.
Lord, I trust in You now. Fill me with
Your Spirit. Let me know Your rest. In Jesus Name. Amen.