Isaiah 40:28-31

After I’d witnessed an eagle in flight, I understood why God used this bird to describe a relationship with Him. The eagle—which simply opens its wings and soars—is wholly dependent upon air currents to keep it aloft.

In contrast, we often beat our wings trying to be better Christians. We resolve to read the Bible more or to improve at keeping our temper. We strive to escape old habits and temptations. But instead of flying to the mountaintops, we remain on the valley floor with tired wings. This is because believers sometimes get confused about what a spiritually mature person looks like. The godly believer isn’t someone who tries and tries to do well. I’ve been a believer long enough to know that I can’t live the Christian life. This flesh of mine isn’t a bit better today than it was the day I was saved.

Spiritual maturity means recognizing that we do not change ourselves. Flesh is corrupt, and its vices cannot be suppressed by any human means. But our omnipotent Father subdues believers’ human impulses through His Spirit. For example, God’s  indwelling Spirit calms anger and wields His strength to weaken the lure of old temptations. While others tire from trying to be good, the mature believer relies upon God and will “mount up with wings like eagles” (Is. 40:31).

Isaiah reminds us that even young men stumble and grow weak. Anyone trying to change himself into a model Christian will burn out beating his wings against the world system and his own flesh. God didn’t make these human bodies, minds, or spirits to fly solo. He created us to soar on His strength.

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