The Bible is full of metaphors and parables that help people understand the message… and themselves! In the New Testament, Jesus often used parables to illustrate what He was teaching.
For example, He compared the believers to:
- Sheep — “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.” (John 10:14)
- Salt — “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.” (Matthew 5:13)
- Light — “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:14)
- Branches — “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
The Apostle James also used metaphors. He compared life to a vapour — “You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (James 4:14)
The Apostle Paul compared the believers to soldiers — “Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” (Ephesians 6:11)
In Isaiah 40:28-31 , the true believer in God is compared to the greatest bird of the air : the eagle . The eagle has been used as a symbol of power, courage, and freedom. T he Romans used a golden figure of an eagle to represent strength, skills and bravery. German emperors also chose the eagle as a symbol . A double-headed eagle was on the imperial Russian and Austrian coats of arms. The United States took as its emblem a b a ld eagle with outspread wings.
The Eagle Is Strong
A true believer in Christ is — or should be — strong in the Lord . In 1 Corinthians 15:58 we read: “Therefore my brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you . ” A true Christian should also never grow “weary in doing good” (Galatians 6:9). Getting tired is normal, physically speaking, but we must never give up doing good to others .
A true believer is not a wimp or a weak person but , on the contrary , has all the spiritual strength he or she needs in the Lord .
The eagle is not like a hummingbird that flaps its wings up to 70 times per second but gets nowhere. All th at flapping is just to counteract gravity . S ometimes we are like hummingbirds : a lot of flapping for nothing .
The Eagle Rises Above the World
Eagles soar above the earth, which is trapped and enveloped by gases, smoke, dust and all kinds of other pollutants .
Similarly, a butterfly does not return to its old way of existing as a caterpillar but flies from one beautiful flower to another , avoiding dirty and filthy things . T he Christian believer should also rise above the dirty and filthy thing s of this corrupt world system . I f a believer is soiled by sin , he or she must deal with it by asking God for cleansing. In Colossians 32:1-3 , we read: “ Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. ”
The true Christian walks on this earth, but his or her head is far above the clouds . In 1 Thessalonians 4:17 , we read: “ After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. ”
The Eagle Lives Long
The Christian whose name is written in the Book of Life will live forever. King David said in Psalm 23:6 , “Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever .”
How strong are you in the Lord, dear believer? How far-sighted are you? And how high have you risen above the world and its corrupt system? I f not high enough , why not ? Is it because you can’t or because you don’t want to ?
Your answers to these questions will help you determine what kind of a Christian you are! If your answer is “I wish I could be like an eagle spiritually, but I am not strong enough , ” t hen, please take another look at what Isaiah said: “ He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak . Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall ; b ut those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. ”
The Bible says that “ t hose who hope in the Lord” — that is, those who b elieve and trust Jesus as their Lord and Saviour — will be renewed and strengthened and soar on wings like eagles .
The question is, “When do we stop flapping like a hummingbird going nowhere and start soaring on wings like eagles and experienc ing the spiritual heights God will help us reach? ” I believe the answer is : w hen we let go of what we are holding on to and look up to greater things God has prepared for us .
A trapped or chained eagle cannot fly away unless someone sets it free . Unless a person is set free by Christ , that person will remain earthbound, a slave to the things that he or she does not let go.
In John 8:36, Jesus said: “If the Son (Jesus) sets you free, you will be free indeed . ”
Pastor Joseph Hovsepian