Eagle is the common name of the family Accipitridae and has been adopted by many cultures to symbolise something of prodigious significance. For example, it was chosen as the symbol of the USA in 1782 due to its majestic beauty, strength and longevity.
Mankind has been fascinated by the eagle as early as the beginning of recorded history. However, irrespective of the adoptive significance to other cultures, the eagle is God’s creation. They are mentioned in the Bible as being admired for their swiftness, great physical power, seemingly endless endurance and accomplished predatory skills.
“18 There are three things which are too wonderful for me, Yes, four which I do not understand: 19 The way of an eagle in the air…” Proverbs 30:18-19 (NKJV)
Eagles are also widespread in the Bible for symbolism. It has always been a characteristic of God’s teaching style to use specific analogies when He wants to clarify something important (Isaiah 40:28-31).
We need to adopt certain qualities of an eagle as Christians to become effective in the spirit. To prepare for the transition by association, let’s look at a few of its superior qualities first.
• It is the only bird that will fly into a storm as opposed to away from it.
• It can set the pinions in its wings so that the wings lock in a specific position, allowing the eagle to withstand strong currents found at high altitudes.
• It uses the strong currents of the storm to lift it higher, and in seconds the eagle will reach a height where it soars on top of the storm.
• By instinct, it knows that there is a place past the storm where it is quiet, peaceful and safe.
• It understands the currents of the air like no other bird.
• It does not work to stay in the air; it soars over the turbulence.
An Eagle Christian represents:
• A Prophetic Christian,
• An Intelligent Christian,
• A Strong Christian,
• A Fearless Christian,
• An Effective and Efficient Christian,
• A Christian that has gone through a process.
God is Master of processes, and in this analogy, it’s no different, but without fail, once He is done, It’s a masterpiece.
“Your Foundation Determines the Success of Your Process”
We cannot order personal evolution like Chinese takeout; we must follow spiritual protocol. With this step by step marathon in mind, let’s look at what kind of ‘bread’ we are baking.
Step 1 (Deuteronomy 32:11-12 NKJV). You will need to be birthed in a strong nest. Eagles tend to use the same nest each year. It is built so that all the sharp edges of the sticks protrude to the outside, making the inside smooth and comfortable. The spear-like edges protruding from the nest is an added security feature to protect the eaglets from dangerous predators. The nest is extremely solid with a strong foundation. As Christians, we also need a ‘nest’ where we can be kept safe with a strong foundation, and this can only be found in the local church. The success of our spiritual journey is dependent on this (Luke 6:46-49 NIV). When we go through our learning process and tests, we need the correct ‘nest’ with the proper caring structure.
Step 2, breaking through the membrane of the egg (Ezekiel 3:9 AMPC). The bold eagle incubates a small clutch of eggs. As an emergent embryo, the eaglet will develop an “egg tooth”, which it will use to break through the outer membrane of the egg when it is ready to hatch. God’s children often find themselves in a pressure cooker of sorts, but the Bible says that God has given us a forehead harder than a diamond. Our passing through various valleys and difficulties gives us muscle and toughens us up in Christ, enabling us to break through hard-hitting places.
Step 3, breaking through the outer shell. The eaglets’ uncomfortable position coerces it to start pushing against the outer shell. The emerging little one has entered its third step of progression and needs to prove that it’s ready for it. Therefore the mother will not assist with the process. To break the shell is not a one-time upshot, but a battle ram manoeuvre is necessary for the anticipated outcome. This is so inspirational because we are often tempted to give up in our breakthrough process, but we should, by all means, resist the invitation to give up. Just as nature has taught us here, you will not exert yourself to push to the next level until you are uncomfortable in your position. Frustration is your trigger.
Step 4, the stirring of the nest (Deuteronomy 32:11). The babies have broken through and received a hearty thumbs up from mom, feeding and nurturing her eaglets until they begin to get too big for the nest. It's time for the next step, so the mother eagle arrives at the nest without food; the sharp edges protruding from the nest are now pushed to pierce inwardly, the eaglets are confused as they are introduced to their next adventure. Humans also like comfortable places in their lives, the infamous “comfort zone”. But stagnation is an enemy to growth, so God comes to make our “nest” uncomfortable, shaking it up a little to wake us up, stirring the pot to make us move forward.
When God shakes your comfort zone, He is about to reveal His Might & Power to You.
Step 5, the eagle hovers over her young for protection (Deuteronomy 32:11). Eagles have an oil gland that they use to oil their body and feathers. The oil protects the eagles from heavy weather and helps to keep them dry. An eagle will also use her wings to cover and protect her young from the weather, especially rain. The eagle’s spread-out wings resemble the spiritual covering you, and I submit under, the local church and the oil speak of the anointing. (Psalm 91:4)
Step 6, the eagle hovers over the young for vision (Deuteronomy 32:11). The eagle is a master of change management. The mother eagle will spread her wings and hover over the eaglets in the air, giving her young a visual of her power, demonstrating the ability of her wings. She then throws the eaglets out of the nest; they plummet down, seemingly to their death. She is careful not to let them hit the ground, but there is a method to her madness.
Similarly, God sometimes places us in a boiling pot which seems to lead to the end of us. But this is where our faith gets activated. The treatment may seem unkind, but it is always for our ultimate good.
Step 7, the eagle spreads out its wings and carries her young on them (Deuteronomy 32:11). The eaglets have now reached the stage where they are ready for training, and it’s not what they would have expected. Eagles mate for life, but the female tests her male suitor’s level of commitment first before she engages her choice. She gives him a little exercise to establish the level of trust she can place in him. She would pick up a stick fly up into the air, then without warning, drop the stick to see if the male will catch it; if he does, she will proceed to pick up a bigger stick and perform the same ritual, each time picking up a bigger stick than the previous one. She does this to see whether the male will be capable of catching the eaglets when the time comes to kick the young out of the nest; dad must be able to catch them. In our lives, God will drop “sticks”, little responsibilities at first to see if you are faithful with the little and then gradually increase the responsibilities.
The mother eagle throws her eaglets out of the nest; her eaglets’ flap and shriek, but she doesn’t yield. Just before the eaglet plummets to its death, the male eagle will swoop down to save it. The process is repeated until the eaglet discovers its wings, getting stronger and stronger with each flap.
God will often task us with something overwhelming and seemingly impossible. We may even fail at it a few times, but eventually, we make it through being strong enough to handle more and being able to “fly” higher and higher, rising above our challenges and pain. Our struggle is not designed for survival. It is intended to educate us (Psalm 37:23-24).
Friends, to get to the next stage or chapter of our lives, careers, relationships, spiritual rank, let’s observe the eagle’s way and be willing to apply these principles to our lives. Change is possible if we commit and believe.