The Way of an Eagle in the Air
PROVERBS 30:18-19. Here are four things the prophet found too wonderful for him. They astonished him and he couldn't understand them. He said they are:
"Four things I know not." When we look at them they are amazing in the purely natural sense. But all the analogies are used elsewhere in a spiritual sense also. Many of the things in the Word of God are meant to be understood at two levels, a natural and a spiritual level. Generally, when the words used are applied elsewhere to spiritual truths, there will be an underlying spiritual message. We will look at each of these wonderful things from the spiritual point of view.
The Way of An Eagle in the Air
Air is constantly in motion. It is moving in great circles because of differences in pressure. It drops down in great downdrafts, sometimes because of the contours of the ground beneath, and othertimes due to the effect of the sun and the oceans. There are huge updrafts where warm air rises at very high speeds. The air changes from hour to hour. This huge sea of air, moving in three dimensions, is where the eagle lives.
Somehow the eagle can see or sense all this. He uses the currents of air tosupport him and soars with it. He can rise thousands of feet in to the air without the slightest effort. He can look around and somehow see air currents moving in the direction he wants to go and lets them carry him along. He doesn't have to flap like a sparrow, or most other birds.
Now from the spiritual point of view, the Bible likens air and wind to the Holy Spirit, and we are likened to eagles. Look at ISAIAH 40:31,
"... they shall mount up as with wings as eagles." Turn to ACTS 2:1-4. This was the day that the disciples took off. When the Holy Spirit came, as a rushing mighty wind, they began to soar with the Spirit of God beneath their wings. We must learn to move with the Spirit of God. When the Spirit wants to lift us we rise with Him. We don't try and fly down when the Spirit is taking us up!
One magnificent thing about eagles is that when storms come they don't look to hide, but they get up into the sky. And as the storm rolls in they use the power of its air currents to rise up over it. The worse it is the higher they go. They simply soar higher and higher. And that is what we are to do. We let the Spirit of God lift us over problems. We soar by faith. We soar by the Word of God. We soar by believing that God is in control. We soar by opening our minds to the greatness of God and believing that we are one with Him.
The Serpent Upon a Rock
I'm sure we have all marvelled at the way a serpent moves without legs, hands, fins or wings. He simply moves the muscles of his body and slides over the rock or ground. In the Bible the devil is likened to a serpent, and a rock is generally a picture of Jesus and of the believer. We are called "living stones." So the underlying truth here is to be very aware of how easily the devil slides into the affairs of the church and lies in wait to destroy. He manages to "worm" his way in between the saints, and between saints and the Lord. Yet there is no trace of his coming. Somehow, he is suddenly "there".
We read in GENESIS that the serpent was more subtle or cunning than all other beasts. There is no sound to hear when he comes. You don't hear his feet or wings or voice. There are no flashing lights or warning signals. However, the Bible says we are not ignorant of his methods. Read AMOS 5:19. This house had walls of stones, and there are usually cracks between the stones. The little serpents dwelt in the cracks.
So when someone leaned on what seemed a safe wall, like the church, there was an asp waiting for him.
Where there is division, the devil finds a way in! The brethren are to gather in unity, both with God and with each other. First, we must keep close to God. Let your stone be right up to His stone. Keep very close to Jesus. The devil will get in to every little crack that we leave between us and him. Also don't stand alone. Keep close to your brothers. If there is a difference or a little separation between you and a brother or sister, try to do something about it.
The devil will slip in before you know it and the rift becomes dangerous. Don't find yourself saying: "How did that happen" after the event. The things that usually cause rifts are attitudes like bitterness, anger, lack of forgiveness, pride, jealousy and false understandings of scripture.
The Way of a Ship in the Sea
I mentioned that we had some Australian brethren here today but it would be best not to ask them about this one. The Aussie have a unique way of sailing, as they showed us in the America's Cup. Instead of tacking left and right like everyone else, they go straight down.
(NOTE: Pastor Fred is a New Zealander... all New Zealanders have an "inferiority complex" about their position alongside Australia! Pastor Fred is referring to the yacht which sank during the Cup. New Zealanders are always joking about Australians - PHQ)
Putting that aside, a sailing ship uses the wind to power it. Even when the wind is blowing exactly against you, you set off a little to one side from the direct path, and zigzag up to the destination. No matter which way the wind is blowing, you can get to where you want.
Look at JAMES 3:4-5 There is one key thing about a ship. It has to have a rudder. And Paul likens our tongue to the rudder of a ship. Our tongue directs our path. Even with the wind of the Spirit blowing over us, if we don't set the right path we will never reach the goal. Get your tongue under control. Set your course in faith, in courage. Speak the Word of God. Don't let your conversation drift off into unbelief and fault-finding. Try to lift and exhort people. I spoke about the need for a positive conversation at all times. That evening someone gave me a book with a great little quote in it. The writer claims the Lord said to him: "I have told my people they will have what they say. Instead, they are saying what they have!"
Think about it. If we only say what we have, how do we get anything else? The fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Let's be talking to God.
The Way of a Man with a Maid
This is of course one of the all-time mysteries. A nice looking well-dressed chap visits a girl with flowers, and she ignores him. Another one slouches up in torn, filthy jeans... says: "Gidday," and she thinks he's wonderful. Some girls seem to be attracted toward evil rather than good. Many young people are attracted toward the gross side of the pop world rather than toward good. Sin affects our judgment.
However, what we are interested in is the spiritual message. Jesus in scripture is likened to the groom and we are the bride-to-be. The process by which the Lord approaches us is very wonderful. First He was infinitely beyond us, like a King trying to reach a peasant girl. You may be aware that many of the old fairy stories tell This Story! The story of Cinderella is the story of a man with a maid, and a parallel with the Gospel story. So Jesus came down to be with us. He left His Heavenly Home and came to earth in search of us. He showed us infinite love and compassion. The question is, will we respond to beauty, kindness, honesty and love, or are we turned on by evil, violence, deceit and mystery? We killed Jesus and chose Barabbas. Have we learned anything today? What sort of man are we looking for? What sort of God are we looking for?
By Pastor Fred Needham (New Zealand)
Taken from HQL-9646, p. 28-29