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Just as God has placed in every eaglet the desire to fly, He's placed in every believer a vision or dream. A dream that is tightly connected to God's high calling for his or her life.
Have you ever seen an eagle that never bothered to learn to fly? Have you ever had to stop your car to allow an eagle to walk across the road in front of you? Probably not.

Eagles are born with an innate desire to fly. Their drive to soar to dizzying heights and glide on currents of wind is placed within them by their Creator.

In a sense, we're like that. God plants within every believer, a dream a lofty vision or goal that would send us soaring to heights of achievement. But for many, that dream remains just that a dream. That soaring vision seems utterly out of reach.

For some, it's a dream for a business or an idea for a new invention. For others, it's a dream for ministry. Still others cherish dreams that center around family or relationships.

The truth is, no matter what your vision for your life, God didn't place that dream within you to frustrate you. He placed it there because He wants you to fulfill it...to live it...to surpass it. And it may surprise you to discover, there's a lot you can learn from the eagle that will help you realize that God-given dream. The Bible says so.

Taking Lessons From Nature
In the first chapter of Romans, Paul tells us that much of what can be known about God can be deduced from observing His creation. According to the Word of God, nature practically shouts at us regarding God's existence and character:

"Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse..." (Romans 1:19-20).

I like the way the Amplified Bible translates the last part of that passage:

"For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiwork). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification]."

According to this verse, God's "invisible nature and attributes" are "clearly discernible" in creation. We see this principle validated in other parts of scripture.

For example, Jesus, in trying to teach His disciples about spiritual things, said, "consider the lilies of the field," and "consider the sparrows" (Matthew 6:26,28). In Proverbs, we're instructed to "consider the ant" (Proverbs 6:6).

It shouldn't come as any surprise then, that we can learn some spiritual lessons by observing the ways of the eagle.

This is especially true since the Bible repeatedly uses the eagle as a metaphor for explaining the ways of God. Look, for instance, at Deuteronomy 32:11,12:

"As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: So the LORD alone did lead him...."

Are you willing to take some lessons from the eagle in order to realize your dreams? I hope so. There's much here for us to learn.

A Universal Emblem of Majesty
I've always been fascinated by eagles. In fact, I never fail to be stirred by a picture of an eagle in flight. My interest in these wonderful creatures only intensified when I became a pilot in the Air Force.

Shortly after I began routinely flying the F-101, a high performance jet aircraft, I purchased a large painting of a flying eagle. That picture just seemed to express the freedom and joy I was getting from flying.

Apparently, I'm not the only one drawn to the symbol of the eagle. Down through the centuries, the eagle has symbolized strength, majesty and power in almost every culture and civilization.

The ancient Egyptians and Greeks revered the eagle. The eagle was the primary symbol of the Roman Empire, as well. In fact, every Roman soldier had an eagle emblazoned on his shield. And of course, the Bald Eagle is the national symbol of the United States.

Seemingly, all mankind respects the eagle.

"Sure, Mac," you may be thinking at this point, "eagles are great. But what does that have to do with achieving my dreams?"

The answer is, "plenty." Keep in mind, the Bible says we can learn about God's ways from studying nature. And what you're going to discover about the behavior of eagles could change your life and send you soaring into your dreams.

Nest Under Construction
When the Bible talks about the eagle, it's referring to the Golden Eagle which inhabits much of the Holy Land.

These remarkable birds mate for life. And when the time comes to build a nest, they usually find a place high up in a cliff, many thousands of feet above the valley floor.

Now an eagle's nest is no ordinary nest. The pair begins with large logs and branches some up to four inches in diameter and eight or nine feet in length many of which weigh as much as the birds themselves.

These large branches are usually placed upon a sturdy rock ledge or in a cleft in the rock.

Doesn't that remind you of a couple of parallels in God's Word? Jesus said those that hear His words and act upon them are like a man who builds his house upon a rock (Matthew 7:24). And God hid Moses in a cleft of a rock in order to protect Him from the awesome power of God's glory (Exodus 33:22).

The first and most important key to fulfilling your God-given dreams is making sure you're building your life on the right foundation Jesus.

Nothing else in your life is going to make sense or be right until you've surrendered everything you are and have to Him. Then, and only then, are you prepared to discover and live your God-given dreams.

After gathering enough large branches from the valley floor, the eagle pair finds progressively smaller sticks and carries them to the new nest-under-construction. The final step is to line the nest with leaves and down to make it soft.

Now, this nest is not some small, haphazardly thrown together-deal. By the time the young couple is finished, the nest will weigh between one and two tons and will be able to withstand frequent winds up to 100 miles per hour.

Once the nest is completed, it's time to begin a family. And the way the male eagle deals with the baby eagles that will soon fill that nest can show us a lot about how God deals with us.

The female eagle lays one or two eggs at a time usually in the spring. After a few weeks of incubation, the baby chicks hatch.

When those eggs are laid, the male turns into the consummate provider. He does whatever it takes to provide for all the needs of the family.

This is precisely what God does for us when we are born-again. Many promises in God's Word reflect this aspect of God's character.

For example, Philippians 4:19 says: "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."

And in Psalms 37:25: "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread."

The father eagle does more than just provide the basic necessities, however. He literally showers his young ones with gifts.

Scientists aren't quite sure why, but just prior to the time of the hatching of the babies, the father eagle will begin bringing "gifts" to the nest things that have no apparent bearing on survival and are above and beyond the necessities of life.

He'll bring a tin can, an old shoe, a golf ball or anything else he can find. The mother eagle, very much like human mothers, will scrutinize everything the father brings to the nest and throws about half of it out.

This unusual behavior beautifully illustrates a truth about God's care for us. The Word of God clearly states that He wants to do so much more than just meet our needs. According to the Bible, He wants to "bless" and "prosper" us. He "crowns" us with lovingkindness and good things.

Yes, God is interested in you doing much more than merely existing. It gives God pleasure to bring good things into your life, simply because you're His child and He loves you.

Baby Eagles/Baby Christians
On the day the eaglets hatch, everything changes. Both parents begin to work very hard to support the demands of the new arrivals. The babies are waited on hand and foot (perhaps I should say "wing and claw.") They don't have to lift a finger...er, talon, to get their needs met.

All they do is sit around in their soft comfortable nest and wait for the next meal. That's usually the way it is for baby Christians, too.

When you're first born again, it seems like all your prayers get answered right away. You see miracles all the time. It's easy to get healed or get your needs met.

But if you've been saved for any length of time, you know those days don't last forever. Why? Because, when you're a baby Christian, God provides a lot of grace because you don't know anything and you have no maturity.

Ultimately, however, God begins to hold you responsible for the Word you've heard. Then you have to start learning how to use your faith to get your needs met. In other words, you have to go to school.

The eaglets ultimately face a similar situation. One day, the mother eagle returns to the nest and instead of providing comfort and provision as she always has before, she begins to flap her wings and walk around in the nest forcing the eaglets to stand up and move around.

She'll even remove the soft down lining of the nest leaving only the prickly sticks and twigs. This makes it uncomfortable and even painful for the eaglets to lay around in the nest as they have up to that point. They are forced to stand up and walk around, thus strengthening their weak and wobbly legs.

This is precisely what the verse we previously read, Deuteronomy 32:11, was talking about when it said: As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young,...So the LORD alone did lead him...."

With young eagles, and with young Christians, there is a danger in being too comfortable for too long. You'll never grow or develop the strength to achieve your dreams if God spoon feeds you all your Christian life.

In the case of the eaglets, the mother eagle begins to move them toward the edge of the nest. Can you imagine what's going through their minds the first time they take a peek over the edge of that nest and see a 10,000 foot sheer drop off?

Whatever they feel, it's probably nothing compared to what comes next.

Flying Solo
After driving the eaglet to the edge of the nest, the parent does something our natural minds find horrifying. It gives the baby a push sending it tumbling earthward in a free-fall.

He's seen his parents fly many times, so he tries to emulate what he's observed. He flaps his wings frantically with little success.

Just before the eaglet strikes the ground, the father swoops down and catches him, carrying him back to the safety of the nest.

This process is repeated again and again. Each time the young eagle experiences more success and develops more skill in flying. His confidence grows. Eventually, he is flying with all the majesty and grace of his parents.

I've come across many believers over the years that were a lot like those eaglets. They don't want to leave the nest. They cling tenaciously to the security and comfort of the familiar and the safe. As a result, they never step out into the realm of faith. And it is only in stepping out in faith that they can ever soar on eagle's wings into their dreams.

Just as God has placed in every eaglet the desire to fly, He's placed in every believer a vision or dream. A dream that is tightly connected to God's high calling for his or her life. A desire to reach toward the lofty things He's called them to do.

Far too few Christians ever take flight in those dreams because they're afraid to leave the nest. They're afraid to risk rejection. Afraid to fail.

Back when I was in the Air Force, I started dreaming of owning an airline business. I dreamed about it for two or three years. I held on to that dream and, when I got out, it came to pass.

God prospered and blessed that business, but eventually I found myself dreaming an even bigger dream. A dream of ministry. By that time Lynne and I were comfortable, secure and financially set for life. We were in a very attractive nest and the thought of leaving it was very sobering.

Entering the ministry meant letting go of all of that. We followed the dream God placed in our hearts and have never had a moment's regret. God has blessed us in ways we never dreamed possible.

"But Mac, I don't have a dream," you may be thinking.

I believe you do. You may not be aware of it yet. But I'm convinced that God placed it down in your heart when you became His child. It simply takes time seeking Him in prayer and in His Word for it to surface.

Once you get a general idea of what that dream is, you need to let God refine it for you. Then, the only thing that stands between you and the realization of that dream is the comfort of your nest.

If you're seeking God with all your heart, He'll not let you fall to your destruction, even if you make a mistake. Psalm 91:11,12 says:

"For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone."

There's no getting around it. Living your dreams means living a life of faith.

I don't know about you, but I'm fed up with mediocre Christianity. We believers are kings and priests in this earth (Rev. 1:6; 1 Peter 2:9), and it's time we started living like it.

That level of blessing and achievement is not reserved for the millennium. We should be experiencing it now. And one of the primary reasons we don't is that we won't let go of the nest.

Don't be afraid to dream. It's the people who don't dream that never develop the motivation to step out of the nest.

Spend time with God and let Him paint big dreams on the canvas of your heart. Then, when He's refined that dream, step out of the nest with the confidence that comes from knowing He's there to catch you if you fall.

Just remember, the only thing that limits God in this earth is how big you're willing to dream and how willing you are to step out of the nest.

Do these things and you'll ultimately find yourself soaring into your dreams.

Author Biography

Mac Hammond
Web site: Mac Hammond
 
Mac Hammond is senior pastor of Living Word Christian Center, a large and growing church in Brooklyn Park (a suburb of Minneapolis), Minnesota. He is the host of the Winner’s Minute, which is seen locally in the Minneapolis area and can also be viewed at winnersminute.com. He is also the host of the Winner’s Way broadcast and author of several internationally distributed books. Mac is broadly acclaimed for his ability to apply the principles of the Bible to practical situations and the challenges of daily living.
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