You have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I carried you
on eagles' wings and brought you to Myself.
Exodus 19:4 CSB
When I read that verse on Saturday I thought it was really interesting. Any time I've thought about being carried on eagles' wings I've typically thought about soaring above the problem. God's statement as related to the Exodus certainly doesn't match that idea.
I sat thinking about God's words and that His perspective of the Exodus included Him carrying out the Israelites on eagles' wings. Part of me wonders if He said that very much on purpose to get the people to understand that being carried from His point of view is not the same as we might understand it. Personally, I think of it as the way I held my kids and carried them into the house or walked around with them in my arms. I suppose that's not always the case. And if I had to guess, I would think that our impression of this idea comes from Footprints in the Sand.
But if that perception is not entirely accurate there must be something we can learn from God's words and the story of the Exodus.
To be carried on eagles' wings:
* God uses a sign or signal to protect us (blood on the doorpost)......but we have to use it
* God provides for our needs (silver, gold, clothing)......but we have to ask for it
* God will lead us by day and night.......but we have to follow Him
* God will keep us from the enemy.......but we can't wander away
* God will wipe out those who seek to harm us.....but we can't turn back in fear
* God will listen to our complaints......but we must follow specific instructions to have our needs met
Not a single aspect of this concept allows us to just sit and watch things happen, or be lifted up and watch it from a bird's eye view; instead, we are active participants.
I will say there are times God swoops in and provides a dramatic rescue. But I don't think those are the norm. I truly believe He wants us to learn to be empowered by the strength He gives us through His Spirit and to realize that we aren't as weak as we think we are. I mean, if we think we are weak, what does that say we believe about the strength of His Spirit that lives in us? The same one that rose Jesus from the grave (Romans 8:11), the same one that is stronger than the one that is in the world (1 John 4:4), and the same one that causes us to walk (again a very active thing to do) in His ways (Ezekiel 36:27)?
Personally, I think the enemy is whispering in our ears way more than we think he is. I think we see things that others are doing, believe we could never accomplish those same things, and forget to attribute what they are doing to God's ability instead of their own. Ouch, I know.
So here's the challenge for today....if we find ourselves comparing what we are doing with what someone else is doing, let's stop and remember it is God who is giving them strength to do it. Whether or not they can acknowledge that fact is not relevant in any way. We know where the power is coming from. And instead of thinking we could never, let's remember that the same God is more than capable and willing to do something equally spectacular in us. The enemy has no business keeping us in defeat because we have a God who wants to carry us on eagles' wings and just needs our cooperation to do it.