Posts Tagged ‘Renew Your Strength Like an Eagle’

Psalm 103:5, “Who satisfies your mouth with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s”

The verse above reveals a secret of the eagle’s power – it’s renewal. Unlike other birds, eagles molt in their old age and renew their feathers. With the renewal of feathers come a renewal of youth and energy.

Too many of us are allowing the enemy to beat us up when we feel faithless, weary and tired. But the Bible clearly states in Isaiah 40:30 in the Amplified Bible, “Even youths shall faint and be weary, and [selected] young men shall feebly stumble and fall exhausted.”

The word “weary” means to be weary physically, to get tired, to get beat down, worn down in the soul (mind, will and emotions) from the enemy repeatedly coming against you and to grow powerless in spirit (the real you) from the repeated attacks.

People who have demanding professions have a regular extended period of rest.  Soldiers have R & R, teachers have holidays, missionaries have furlough. While these periods of rest are important, they do not promise strength. True rest and strength come from the Lord. Isaiah 40:29 promises me, “He gives power to the faith and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength [causing it to multiply and making it to abound]. (AMP)

There is nothing we can do to avoid getting weary and worn out. You will get worn out on a regular basis and the only way to avoid the weariness that destroys us is to spend time in the presence of God. The Bible gives us 26 vivid examples of eagles and one of my favorites is the example of renewing our strength from Isaiah 40:31.

No one seems to know exactly how the eagle regains youth. There are different legends and theories. Eagles live to be approximately 30-50 years old and halfway in their life span they go through a mid-life crisis. From different studies and teachers I have come upon these steps an eagle will take to renew their strength (In the parenthesis I have likened the eagle’s example to us in the stage we find ourselves needing renewed strength).

  1. The eagle is not as quick as he once was. Strong eagles have been measured at traveling 150 miles per hour during a dive. (You find yourself being exhausted from a normal day’s ministry or work. You stop soaring and start running in your own strength because you could not naturally understand God. He did not answer your prayer the way you thought He would. Then you stop running and start walking slower.)
  2. He is slower in flight. The average eagle should be able to catch a current and reach speeds of over 50 miles per hour. (The joy of the Lord is gone. You begin to sit towards the back of the Church, then you miss church services more and more.)
  3. His feathers are worn and they whistle as he dives for his prey. A bald eagle can see a rabbit moving from 1 mile away and when he is at an altitude of 984 feet over open country can spot prey over an area of 3 square miles. The eagle is created by God to be able to dive after the prey and quietly come upon them without any warning. As the feathers are worn they whistle and they are unable to hunt effectively. ( You find yourself speaking negative about your situation. Instead of creating with your mouth, you are creating an atmosphere for failure.)
  4. The wings become so weak and they spend most of their time in the valley. They end up walking and acting more and more like a turkey than an eagle. (You find yourself looking at everything as it is, not as God sees it. You lose hope. You are believing things are as bad as the local news claims. You forget God’s ability and limit Him.)
  5. The talons are not sharp anymore. He has trouble picking up things and in the process the prey gets away. (The revelation knowledge is not coming like it used to and you give up your Bible reading because you are not getting anything out of it.)
  6. There is calcification formed on his beak so he is not able to pick up and eat properly. (Discouragement and defeat are on the tip of your tongue on a constant basis. You are speaking doubt and defeat without realizing what you are doing)
  7. His nostrils fill with calcium and he cannot breathe sufficiently to clean off his feathers. There is a process that is called preening that an eagle goes through daily and the entire process takes about one hour. This is where the eagle daily cleans each feather through his mouth and exhales and breathes on it. As he breathes on each feather it is equivalent to a steam cleaning. The US National Parks Service states, “Because they rely on flight for their survival, bald eagles must spend a large part of their day preening over the 7,000 feathers.” An average wing has up to 1200 feathers each and this process restores the feathers from that former day’s activities. During this process there is a gland in his mouth that secretes an oily substance that enables him to soar during storms, and fly into any water without being dragged down. What a wonderful waterproofing method the Lord has given to the eagle. (You find yourself getting counsel and help from people instead of Holy Spirit. You begin to live on the revelation from other preachers and not getting any Rhema word from God by intimate fellowship and relationship)

The process of renewal takes approximately 40 days. The number 40 in the Bible is associated with probation, trial and chastisement. This is not punishment but the chastisement of sons, and of a covenant people. The following is the process of renewal they go through. (Remember, our process is in parenthesis)

  1. He seeks a cool stream to wash the mud off.  (Purposely set aside time for the Lord. Realize He is your only hope. Remember His faithfulness to cleanse you.)
  2. The eagle goes to a cave or preferably a high place, usually a rock. (Matthew 6:6, AMP – “But when you pray, to into your [most] private room, and closing the door, pray to your Father, Who is in secret; and your Father, Who sees in secret, will reward you in the open.” This is the time only for you and God, no one else.)
  3. He gets as close to the sun as possible. (Turn your spiritual eyes upon Jesus. Focus all your energy – spirit, soul and body on Him. Call upon Him. Acknowledge Him for who He is, our Creator and our Redeemer. He is the author and the finisher of our faith.)
  4. He scratches his talons on the rock until they are nubs. (Self-denial, fasting. During times of functioning in our own strength we pick up bad habits, tendencies or mental strongholds. At this time we purposely put those down, deny them. To deny oneself is to purposely put the interest of the Kingdom of God first in every area of your life.)
  5. He breaks his beak off by hitting it on a rock. There is a new beak underneath that will not come out until the old one is gone. (Purposely setting your mouth to speak the Word of God, refusing to speak negative. Proverbs 18:21 in the Amplified Bible instructs us, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].”)
  6. He tears out his feathers one by one (full grown can have up to 7,000 feathers). He is not as concerned with this pain process as he is with the end result. He plucks the dried and useless feathers from their wings one by one until he is bald. (Forgive people who have hurt you, forgive yourself for your failures, break the power of negative words spoken by yourself or others, pulling out disappointments, acknowledging failure and putting them in the past, forgiveness for unfulfilled vows, times you have given place to the devil. Painfully pull them out one by one acknowledging each act of your sin and rebellion against God. Not only recognizing the, but immediately seek and receive forgiveness that only God can and will give.)
  7. When he is fresh, clean and naked he lies on the rock, facing the Sun “Spread Eagle” soaking up the Sun. (Rest in what He has already done for you. Meditate on who you are in Him. Let Him love you and speak to you. Let Jesus do the work, while you rest trusting Him.)
  8. Older, experienced eagles fly overhead and drop him fresh meat. Those older eagles have already gone through these tough times and know what he is going through. The younger eagles are excited to have  a chance and they hope will not come back so they can take their place. (Let someone spiritually mature know what you are going through so they can be praying for you. They have been there before and will not condemn, but pray for you.)

During this time many eagles give up and die. They are vulnerable to predators when their feathers are gone and they cannot fly. During this 40 day process the Sun is giving them renewed strength, their feathers are growing back young and strong, the new beak underneath is coming out and their talons are now strong and sharp again.

There is only so much that teaching, people, tapes, books and friends can do for us. They all have a vital role to play in our spiritual growth but can never take the place of spending time in the presence of God. Sometimes we need to just lay everything down before the Lord and be quiet.

During that time you are doing nothing, and God is doing the work that needs to be done. As He brings things to your remembrance, people you need to forgive, vows you have not fulfilled, words you have spoken out of turn, etc., pluck them out as the painful pulling out of feathers. This is the only way we will ever be able to fulfill what God has for us to do. The whistling of the feather is very much like the casualty covenants [1] we make with our words that bring disaster to our lives and cause us not soar like an eagle.

My friend Mickie Winborn was dying of cancer with no hope left. God showed her that she had made an evil agreement with the powers of the enemy’s will by the words she had spoken that had allowed disease to come upon her. Matthew 12:37 in the Amplified Bible says, “For by YOUR words you will be justified and acquitted, and by YOUR words you will be condemned and sentenced.” She was able to break the power of those words and is not a gifted author, intercessor and speaker; bringing hope and deliverance to thousands of people each year.

Those words we speak from the abundance of neglect, fear and unbelief cause us not to be able to win any victories. At this time, as we put a watch over our mouth, we will be as written in Psalm 103:5, “Who satisfies your mouth with GOOD things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” The words the Holy Spirit will bring to our remembrance will be words that bring life and not death.

As we wait upon the Lord, He will show us what to pick up and what to put down. Many of us have suffered from the results of too many ‘time wasters’ in our lives. Time wasters is a phrase that the Lord gave me when He was helping me reorganize my time to have more time for Him. Holy Spirit is to be our Guide, Teacher, Comforter, Strengthener and Helper and He is waiting for you to ask Him what to put down and what to pick up.

The majority of the time He will show you what you need to pick up is not a new hobby or something else to fill your hour, but time with your Father God. Time hearing from Him be most valuable for you and your family, your nation, your future. Time with God is never wasted. These are priceless gems that do not lay on the surface to be picked up quickly.

The following is an excerpt from a sermon given by Dr. Mark Corts: During the depression, there was a man by the name of Yates who lived in west Texas. He was not able to make enough money from his sheep ranch to pay for his mortgage. The bankers allowed him to stay on the ranch out of the goodness of their hearts. However, he was in danger of losing it. He had little or no money for food or clothing for his family. Like many others, he had to live on some kind of government subsidy. Everyday as he watched his sheep grazing he was no doubt gently troubled. How would he ever pay his bills? Was there an end in sight?

He grew very, very weary and was ready to walk away from it all. Then, a seismographic crew from an oil company came to his ranch. They told him there may be oil on his land and asked permission to drill a wildcat oil well. He signed a contract for them to do so. The first well came in at 80,000 barrels a day! Many subsequent wells were more than twice as large as that. In fact, thirty years later, one well was still producing 125,000 barrels of oil a day. His troubles were over. What was fascinating  is that he owned that oil the whole time he was weary and worried. He simply never tapped into what was rightfully his. [2]

Too many Christians are living on a limitless source of wisdom, resources, strength and energy but spend all their time running around with chickens instead of waiting to tap into the endless source of supply that comes from the Lord.

Psalm 78:41 speaks of how limited God, “Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.” They tempted God by expecting God to prove Himself constantly. Over and over the Bible tells us ‘the just shall live by faith’. It is God’s privilege to test man, but it is not man’s right to test God. (except in tithing)

Things that have been restored are generally stronger than the original.  He will use any failure, disappointment or heartache and turn it somehow to the good for you and those He puts in your path to strengthen.

Jesus knew that Peter was coming to a time that could make or break him. In Luke 22:31-32 Jesus says, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

[1} Breaking Casualty Covenants by Mickie Winborn, Harrison House Publishing

[2] Sermon by Dr. Mark Corts, July 30, 2000; Calvary Baptist Church, Winston-Salem, NC

 

Isaiah 40:31 (AMPC) “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 illustration I was taught that stuck with me the most was waiting in the doctor’s office. Sickness can cause you to lose strength, be weary and faint. The text above likens us to eagles, as it does many times in the Bible. When eagles eat something poisonous, or something that makes them sick, they go to the highest rock and lay themselves flat (spread eagle) and allow the sun to soak the bad out of them. We need to learn from the eagle and spread ourselves prostrate before God when we are sick; waiting to receive a healing touch from the Son.

One day I was waiting in the doctor’s office to have an annual physical because of a new insurance carrier. A Coast Guardsman was also waiting and struck up a conversation with me. He said, “Do you see this book? I started it this morning at another clinic and have almost finished it waiting in three doctor’s offices.” It was almost 4:00 p.m. and he had been waiting in different offices since 8:00 a.m. that morning. What a waste of time for a valuable serviceman.

Several people I know have heard from God as to what their ailment was and He also gave them the answer without seeing a physician. One friend was suffering with allergies and the Lord spoke to her quietly one day to stop dairy products. She obeyed the Spirit of God and no longer suffered from those allergies.

Another friend had gone from doctor to doctor, bought different expensive medication and did not get any better. One day she was driving and crying out to the Lord for help. He spoke so sweetly to her that she was in menopause. She went to a natural health store and bought inexpensive natural supplements and improved greatly.

These are modern-day examples of one of my favorite New Testament miracles. Luke 8:43-48 tells us, “Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not get healed by any, came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped. And Jesus said, ‘Who touched me?’ When all denied it, Peter and those with Him said, ‘Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, Who touched Me?’ But Jesus said, ‘Someone touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.’ Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately. And Jesus said to her, ‘Daughter, be of good cheer. Your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”

Mark 5:25-34 tells the same story, but speaks of the outcome of the doctors as told in verse 26, “and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and no better, but rather grew worse.” I think Luke the physician was trying to be kind to his professional colleagues.’

Most Christians prove by their actions that they have more trust in doctors than they do in the Lord Jesus. They wait for hours in a doctor’s waiting room, followed most of the time by a long wait in the examining room, after which they hang on every word the doctor says as if he had the final answer.

How do they know if the doctor did not cheat on his exams? How do they know that possibly his mind is on the fight he just had with his wife or the malpractice suit he is involved in? No, they do what he says; fast when he tells them to fast, take pills that they do not know the long-term effects it will have on their body, expose themselves to hideous medical procedures, etc. Yet, if the Spirit of the Lord reveals the need to fast, they ignore His instructions and do their own thing.

God instituted a fast in the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. (Ex. 12:15-20; 13:3-10; Lev. 23:6-8; Num. 28:17-25; Deut. 16:3,4,8) They were to have no leaven (yeast) in their homes for a week. Nutritional doctors have proven that the fast of yeast in your body is good and will eliminate the cause of yeast infection and many allergies. Our Father God, who make us, knows what is best for us and knew this when He ordered the leaven fast in the first place. In the wilderness they were healthy because they ate what He said was good for them.

You will take time out of your working agenda and your employers will honor the needed time from work. But you will no schedule a space or duration to hear from God when He is your Creator. You may say, “I don’t have time to pray”, but you will take up to six hours out of your busy schedule to wait on the doctor.

One of the reasons it is hard to pray and wait on the Lord is because praying is spiritual. There is an opposite spiritual force that is doing everything possible to keep you out of the presence of God. The enemy does not care how much time or money you spend with doctors and medicine, but he gets very involved when you spend time with God because prayer is where the power comes into your life.

The scriptures show very plainly several times that the devil is your problem. Acts 10:38 tells us, “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”  In John 10:10 Jesus teaches us “The thief comes to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

In the Old Testament people always blamed good and bad on God, not knowing that they had an enemy. They believed  that everything that happened to them was consequences of what they did or what God was doing. Most of them only knew His acts, but those who knew God and spent time with Him knew His ways, what pleases Him, how He works, or His love. Psalm 103:7 tells us, “He made know His ways to Moses and His acts to the children of Israel.”

THE DOCTOR’S OFFICE

What do you do while you wait in the doctor’s office? You are aware of the need for an answer so you are listening for your name to be called and remembering all symptoms, etc. If you are having a problem with allergies, the doctor asks you to remember everything you have done, everything you have eaten and record them. Most diet plans succeed if the dieter records all he (she) has eaten, how they felt at the time, and time they ate. Remembering is a very big key to success in many areas.

Ecclesiastes 12:1 says, “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say, ‘I have no pleasure in them.'” Solomon advised us to make sure of our relationship with God while we were still young, before the evils of this life harden our hearts and we cannot hear God anymore.

Remembering God, thinking of Him and His goodness, remembering all He has done for you in the past keeps your heart soft and pliable. Then and only then can He work with you to carry out His plan in your life.

THE COURT ROOM

Several times in my prayer time, as I have gone into the time of waiting, I have sensed I have been in different waiting room or periods. One time I was in prayer after a week of neglect of quiet time with Him. In the quiet I sensed I was in a waiting room outside a court room, knowing I was guilty.

As I waited I remembered all the opportunities I had to be with the Lord, but went on doing what I thought was important or what I wanted to do. In the morning I had been rushed because of the load of the day, so I pressed into my day to get a head start on the tasks to make sure I got them all done. Then at the end of the day I was exhausted and wanted to unwind watching television.

I was remembering all these things during my waiting period of the one hour of prayer schedule. Needless to say, I was very ashamed of myself and felt great remorse. The next section of the hour is confession and I confessed this great sin of omission. Most people think that sin is only committing an act, murder, swearing, adultery, lying, cheating, etc., but the sins of omission would be not praying, not reading the Bible, not uniting with other believers, etc.

As I got into the courtroom and the Judge (God) asked “How do you plead?” All the while, the prosecutor, the accuser of the brethren (Satan) was accusing me. I turned to Jesus (my Advocate, defense attorney) and confessed my sin and asked for forgiveness according to I John 1:9.  Jesus then turned to the Judge and said, “Mary is not guilty, she pleads the Blood.”

That time of waiting and confession brought me into the realization of how our Bible is a whole book of law. God the Judge (Genesis 18:25), Satan the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10) and Jesus Christ our Advocate (I John 2:1). Covenant, testament, laws, redemption, plead, rights, privileges, adoption privileges, consequences are all legal terms. The best teaching on this subject is found in Billye Brim’s book on the Blood and the Glory. The chapter that deals with this issue is called “Pleading Our Case:Redeemed By The Blood”.

I felt secure in my forgiveness, not because of what I have done or not done, but because of what Jesus had already done for me. He has removed the curse which was attached to the Law and left the blessings.

Galatians 3:13-14 reveals our deliverance, “Christ has redeemed up from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’, that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”

THE SECRET PLACE

During another prayer time I had the sense during the waiting period of waiting for a lover. The lovers had met at that same spot every day and then for a week one did not show up. I was the neglectful lover, and when I came into the time of waiting I wondered if my lover (Jesus) would show up or would I have to search for Him with all my heart according to Jeremiah 29:13, “And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”

In the prayer segment that followed waiting, I confessed my unfaithfulness and God was so merciful to me to forgive me. I immediately felt the presence of God. Even if you are a prodigal son such as the parable in Luke 15:11-32 our Father is waiting and will rush to greet you with open arms when you turn back to Him. Instead of days of depression or hours of prayer. I confessed and immediately received the flooding of His love.

THE COUNSELOR’S OFFICE

When you need counsel in a matter, first wait on the Lord and meditate on Him being the best counselor you could ever get BEFORE you seek help from a marriage counselor, lawyer, psychiatrist, debt counselor, etc. There is nothing wrong with any of these, but as a Christian our first counsel should always be from God. Then follow directions as to what doctor or pathway of healing you should take.

Smith Wigglesworth made a bold statement, “I can see that the ministry of healing is going to get more difficult. It is always more difficult when you have to contend with unbelief. There are already too many remedies in which people put their trust. But I can see that it will get worse, until it will be hard to get people to believe at all. We have become such a drug-conscious society that, in many cases, the aspirin bottle is more important than the anointing bottle.”[1]

Isaiah 9:6 says, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulders, and His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Jesus encouraged His disciples as recorded in the gospel of John 14:6, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever.” (AMP) What a wonderful promise from Jesus!

[1] Albert Hibbert, Smith Wigglesworth, The Secret of His Power, 18th Printing (Tulsa, Harrison House) 90-91