Updated: Oct 20, 2020
I was lying in bed, talking to the Lord about some friends who were battling cancer, and in the midst of that, in my mind’s eye, a vivid and odd picture of a bald eagle appeared. Its head was that of a mature eagle, with that determined, ferocious look that bald eagles have. But its body was that of a baby eagle. Not a tiny newborn, but still very young and small and with gray feathers that looked soft and downy. It was a very strange picture. The Lord didn’t say anything to me about it, but I knew He was trying to tell me something, so I began to pray about and research it over the next several weeks.
One of the first things I read was that eagles represent strong spirituality, and that seeing or dreaming about a baby eagle is symbolic of an inner personality that is not fully developed. So I tucked that away to think about.
The Lord began to reveal to me that this eagle with the head of a full-grown eagle but the body of a baby eagle with wings that had not yet developed, was grounded. In some ways it was mature, as evidenced by the mature, knowing look of its head. Nevertheless, it couldn’t fly because its wings were not developed. I knew that He was speaking to me, a personal application of where I was, but I also began to feel that He was also speaking to me about the Body of Christ.
Two weeks after seeing the strange picture, my Sunday School teacher, an anointed man of God whom I highly respect, called me to give me a word from the Lord. I had not yet told him or anyone else in the class about my eagle vision. He said the Lord told him to tell me to stop holding back, to stop being shy about sharing what the Lord was revealing to me. He said the Lord said to tell me to speak boldly, without hesitating. He said to embrace that He was giving me revelation to share and to speak it without apology and with authority. As he gave me this word, I realized that when I felt the Lord had something for me to say, I was sometimes hesitant and almost apologetic, just as he said. And I knew where that came from. As a child, I was not encouraged to speak boldly. As a matter of fact, speaking boldly could get you in a lot of trouble. So I learned to think ahead about what I wanted to say, trying to find just the right words that would convey my thoughts but not get me in trouble. A lot of the time, I couldn’t find the right words, so I just didn’t say anything, or cut it short. Along with this early training, I’ve never wanted to attract attention to myself. I am, at heart, an introvert. In addition to all that, the enemy has worked hard to convince me, as he has done with you, I’m sure, that God wouldn't use me. Why would God use me? I’m imperfect, I’ve made mistakes, I’m not worthy, etc., etc., etc. So, even when I had come to the place where I KNEW God was giving me what to say, I was often hesitant. I didn’t want people to think I was showing off or trying to draw attention to myself, rather than to God.
I knew that God was telling me through my Sunday School teacher to let go of all that old baggage, that it was time for me to speak boldly what He put into my heart. The Lord spoke to my heart that I would never be able to soar like an eagle if I never dared to fly! My wings would never develop, and I would be stuck on the ground, never getting to the high places I so wanted to go. Spiritually, I would continue to look like that misshapen eagle in my vision.
Then in April, as I was reading Lana Vawser’s book, SELAH, for a Golden Nugget, I read that she said God had told her He was raising up eagles, not chickens, to do the work of the Kingdom. We are to transition from chickens to eagles in this time. That REALLY put it into perspective for me! Chickens spend the vast majority of their time on the ground. By the way, there is a lot of unpleasant stuff on the ground where there are chickens, just as there is a lot of nasty stuff on the ground in the "natural." There are dangers on the ground for chickens. They are easy prey for predators, because they can’t easily fly away to escape. Their only protection, some flexible claws, are usually not enough to save them. At night, they roost as high as they can for protection, but, unfortunately, they are sound sleepers and often don’t wake up in time to defend themselves.
Chickens can fly just not very far, nor very high. I read that, at best, depending on the breed, chickens can reach heights of about 10 feet and fly distances of just forty or fifty feet. The longest recorded flight of a modern chicken was for a distance of about three hundred feet and lasted only 13 seconds.
In contrast, eagles can reach altitudes of over 10,000 feet, and average flying 80 to 211 miles a day. But the really fascinating thing is that eagles use very little of their own energy when they fly so high. When they are looking for prey or migrating, they fly into thermals, upward currents of warm air, and let the wind carry them, conserving their own energy. Once inside the thermal, they stop flapping their wings, but keep them extended and locked; their tail feathers open like fans, and tapered feathers on the wing edges spread apart, enhancing airflow. They soar to these heights, and then take long glides to cover ground. When they fly out of that thermal, they find another one, then soar up again, find another thermal, and repeat the process.
The Bald eagle has excellent eyesight and quite a view from his lofty perspective. He can spot a rabbit from two miles away. If the eagle is being pursued by a predator, he just flies higher into the sun. He can do this because God gave him extra eyelids. The predator does not have this extra eye protection so he must break off the chase.
So, which would you rather be? A chicken or an eagle? God is calling His eagles forth for the work of the Kingdom of God.
The Lord is telling all of us it’s time for us to use the wings we have. They may be little and small right now, underdeveloped. But He has given us wings, and as we trust Him and are obedient to step out in faith, those wings grow and become stronger.
While the eagle rides the air currents; other birds flap their wings. As God’s eagles, we don’t have to flap our wings. We still NEED wings, but it isn’t by our own effort that we can fly high. Just as the eagle has to flap his wings until he finds a thermal, we have to search for the current of the Holy Spirit. But once we are in His flow, by faith, we can spread out our eagle wings and glide on the air current of the Holy Spirit. He can take us higher and faster than we could ever go on our own. As usual, it is all about Him, not us. If we will just surrender ourselves to Holy Spirit, He will take us to the High Places. If we lose our bearings, our Father will swoop us up and take us back to safety, just as the daddy eagle does for his eaglets. There is no doubt at all that the everlasting arms of our Father are always ready to catch us. So He is asking to be bold, trust Him, and soar on eagles wings.
Catch the wind of the Spirit and soar!