Monday, May 26, 2014

How High Can You Fly?

Visiting Alaska allows a rare opportunity to see the majestic bald eagle up close. These magnificent birds soar beautifully as if they rule over the skies in which they fly.  Even when they are perched in the top of a tree or on a sign, they seem to radiate freedom in the open skies of Alaska.  It's as if God is speaking to us through his magnificent creature saying that he wants us to be like the eagle, to be free and soar by His grace.

Isaiah 40:31... but 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. 

Notice that we are not soaring on our own, but we are riding on the wings of the eagle, on the grace of God.  
Earlier today I was somewhat weary and discouraged after reading several articles concerning well-known evangelical pastors and religious leaders in conflict over doctrine and disagreements over methodology.  God led me to Chuck Swindoll's devotional, Grace Awakening where I was reminded by this scripture that my faith is in the one who provides me the grace to soar above the petty disagreements in which all humans fall prey.  
Swindoll writes, "Instead of being places of enthusiastic, spontaneous worship, many churches and Christian ministries have become institutions that maintain a system of religion with hired officials to guard the gates and to enforce the rules." 

Swindoll goes on to point out the men and women of faith in the Bible all were freed from religion to exhibit an adventurous, risk-taking faith that unleashed them to have a God-sized vision and the fearless pursuit of that vision.  Much like our heroes of the faith, we too can live with the same pursuit of God-sized goals when we live in God’s grace. 

"Grace scales the wall and refuses to be restricted. It lives above the demands of human opinion and breaks free from legalistic regulations. Grace dares us to take hold of the sledge of courage and break through longstanding stones. Grace invites us to chart new courses and explore ever-expanding regions, all the while delighting in the unexpected. While others care more about maintaining the wall and fearing those who guard it, grace is constantly looking for ways to freedom. Grace wants faith to fly, regardless of what grim-faced officials may say or think or do."

When we become weary, disheartened by the pettiness and constant infighting of our fellow believers, remember that God's grace frees us from all of this. Don't allow the religious gate-keepers to discourage you and hold you down! Only when we live from God's grace can we soar above the confines of this earth and the humans we must live with. Just as the eagle has the freedom to fly, so can we!

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