Nature accurately expresses so many of the rhythms we need to capture in our daily Christian walk. Let's look at the eagle.
The eagle is at rest in his nest high above. When it is time for an appointed task, he prepares to fly. He stands. He stretches his legs and claws to make sure of his footing. Then he extends his wings upward to where the tips are close together. This is the first position the eagle takes as he prepares to fly. I call it the Praise Position.
As a believer, praise is where every journey needs to begin because it keeps our stance strong. It is where we acknowledge God is with us and He is also in control. Praise is power and sends the enemy fleeing in the opposite direction from where we are headed. Praise propels our focus upward and not on the past down below.
As the eagle brings his wings downward, he assumes the second position, the Crucified Position. The eagle's wings are straight across where he is completely exposed for all to see. However, it is also a position where the wind can carry him in whatever direction he chooses. In this position, the eagle has the advantage of being able to lock his wings at the shoulders and soar for hours. If a windy storm comes, it will hit his breastplate and the eagle can soar up above the turbulence. From this new vantage point, the eagle can maintain his confidence in fight. When the windy storm is over, the eagle can return to his nest of rest until he is ready to venture out again.
This is the position Jesus took when he died on the cross to gain victory for us over the power of the enemy. In our Christian walk, crucifixion means coming to a place of total surrender of our will for His so the wind of the Spirit can carry us in whatever direction He chooses. It is also a place where we focus on experiencing His principles as absolute Truth. When the winds of life hit, our breastplate of righteousness propels us up to a higher place where the enemy cannot touch us. We can be totally confident and firm in our stance. When the storm is over, we can return to a place of rest and thankfulness because of the God’s faithfulness on our behalf.
The third position is the Service Position. This is when the eagle’s wings go all the way down underneath him. Only after the eagle has gone completely through the first two positions, is he ready to enter this last position. If his wings are in the downward position when he leaves the nest, then he will only propel himself downward until he can bring his wings back up to the highest position again.
When we stretch out our hands in service to others, it must be after we have already spent time in praise and worship as well as time in God's Presence to make sure our wills line up with His. If we try to serve others without doing these first, then we will head downward. We may be doing something good but we experience burnout or resentment because the task was not in His plan for us in the first place. Our direction will only be made right when we come back with our hands raised high and our hearts crucified with Jesus.
Go ahead... Put your hands up high in the air. Flap your wings up and down. Capture the rhythm of flight. Think about how this order of motion can strengthen your walk with Christ and allow you to soar. I pray this mental picture of the eagle will help you to fly higher than you ever have before.