I heard Bill Johnson say recently;
“Instead of emphasizing our inability or our weakness in hearing God’s voice, it would be wiser for us to emphasize His ability to be heard.”
I just experienced God’s amazing ability to be heard despite my reluctance to listen.
I was just minutes from home, returning from a trip to the farm. Calvin and I were enjoying the peaceful Saturday drive while listening to Revelations on CD.
Suddenly a huge bird slammed into the corner of my windshield with such force, I thought that certainly it must have killed itself. I saw it only for a split second before it fell and disappeared, but it looked like a hawk.
I felt shaken. I felt sad and guilty and wondered why this had happened. You see, I had been searching the landscape for hawks lately. I longed to catch sight of this bird of prey, hoping to unlock some mystery. Now I had just encountered a hawk much closer than I ever expected, and it wasn’t a good experience. Just a moment after the sickening, “WHACK!”, a voice on the CD said…”I saw an eagle flying overhead…” (Revelation 8:13)
It had all started over a year ago when I remembered that God had told me that I was an eagle and I was to raise my children as eagles. I wrote an article about it. My interest in eagles became an obsession as this majestic bird kept showing up in my God encounters. (See my some of my other articles, The Sky and the Ocean, Maleficent .)
I was never much of a bird watcher, but lately I had been watching the skies constantly, trying to spot an eagle. Whenever I took a drive in the country, I would see huge, dark birds. They looked so beautiful and so free, soaring high above me.
Chris was with me one day when I spotted some of my “eagles.” I was so excited to show him.
“Those are buzzards. You know, turkey vultures,” he informed me.
“What! How can you tell? They are so far away?” I said. I was so disappointed! Had I really been looking to the vulture for spiritual inspiration?
“Trust me, those are buzzards!”
“But I want to see an eagle! How will I know when I see one?” I wondered.
“I don’t think eagles circle like that, and they are usually alone. They don’t spend as much time in the sky circling like the vulture does. Like the hawk I saw today, sitting in a tree. ” Chris answered.
Google had told me that there were two eagles that lived in Pennsylvania, the Bald Eagle and the Golden Eagle, but they didn’t seem very common. I decided that spotting a hawk was a much more realistic expectation. I could learn what I needed to know from the hawk, which was very much like the eagle, just smaller, I reasoned.
I concluded that I would look for a hawk from now on. They were smaller and lighter colored, such as the Cooper’s Hawk or the Red Tailed Hawk that Cadin had seen close to our home. I wouldn’t get them confused with a buzzard.
I told Chris about my violent hawk sighting. He said jokingly, “God is trying to tell you something. He wants you to get the message so badly, that He had to smack that poor bird into your van!”
Perhaps God wanted to discourage me from looking to the hawk. He had spoken to me about an eagle. He had told me that I was supposed to be an eagle. Perhaps I should believe that He would show me a real eagle.
Immediately my mind reeled.
“How ridiculous! There probably aren’t any eagles living around here! Even if there were, how could I see them up in a tree somewhere. If they were flying, how could I ever tell them apart from the vulture…and I don’t want to make that embarrassing mistake again.”
The fear of disappointment came to me with such force when I even considered believing God for a real eagle sighting. The many disappointments of the past few years had conditioned that response.
The thought that I was destined to actually BE an eagle – lifted by God’s presence, seeing from a higher perspective, speaking with a prophetic voice – seemed even more farfetched and foolish to me. Me, the one who had been admiring the VULTURE, for goodness sake. All my recent shortcoming flooded my mind. I didn’t feel at all like the person I was meant to be. I didn’t feel like I would ever learn to fly.
There it was! The point God was trying to get across! I had given up on being an eagle because it seemed impossible. I had downgraded my vision to the hawk.
Then He began to show me that my thoughts and attitudes recently had been very self-loathing, full of my own failures and weaknesses. I was reminded of a conversation I had with Chris just a week before. I had been investigating avenues for publishing my first book. It seemed that every possibility turned into a dead end. The only option I found was to pay what I considered to be an exorbitant sum for assisted publishing. And what if we spent all that money (which we didn’t have) to publish my book and no one bought it? I was afraid to even ask friends to look over my manuscript and give feedback. What if they thought it was too long and too boring?
Chris couldn’t understand my fears.
“Do you believe in your writing? Do you think God Gave it to you? Do you think He will use it to impact other people? You have to believe in it. The way you are talking, you sound like the vultures in Rick Joyner’s vision.” Chris said.
I was very familiar with this vision from the book, The Final Quest. It meant a lot to me because I used to be a prisoner in that camp of fear. I used to have those vultures of depression vomiting their condemnation all over me on a regular basis. But I had found the freedom to live in the love and joy of the Kingdom of God…or so I thought.
Chris continued, “It sounds like you are speaking the words of the vultures, vomiting lies all over yourself and your writing. You need to stop!” Chris sounded mad. At the time I felt that he just didn’t understand, that my insecurity and fear were justified.
Yet now, I was realizing that I had been living under this cloud of depression, thinking that it was normal. God brought to my mind another bird sighting that had happened back in November. God had stretched me beyond what I thought I was capable of, and I felt my authority increasing. I had prayed crazy, unrealistic prayers. I had received unbelievable answers to those prayers. An amazing victory had been won! I felt elated! Still on an emotional high, I began to read a prophetic word posted on Facebook by Veronika West. In essence it said:
The enemy had endured a devastating wound, but we should be on guard because a backlash was coming. The enemy wasn’t going down without a fight.
As I pondered what that meant, I looked out the kitchen window and saw a huge vulture sitting on the roof of the church right across the street. It was looking straight at me, and it gave me the creeps. Perhaps it was a physical manifestation of an evil spirit, so I prayed that God would hide me, and I told it to leave. I saw the dark bird take flight, circle the church steeple, and fly away. I had never seen a vulture in my neighborhood before that day, and I have not seen one since.
Now God was reminding me of the incident. The light bulb went on in my head.
My Good Father allowed me to see the strategy of the enemy against me.
The enemy knew that if I would submit to fear and allow those vultures to vomit their lies on me, I would live under that cloud of depression. I wouldn’t be able to see clearly. I wouldn’t trust God to flow through me. I wouldn’t believe in Him or believe in myself. I wouldn’t be able to take flight and become an eagle.
“Forgive me for thinking the lies are more realistic than the words you have given me,” I prayed.
As God began to shine His light on these things, I decided to take the risk to believe again. I began to ask Him to let me see an eagle, a real live eagle. I wanted to see one close enough so I wouldn’t mistake it for a vulture.
I also began to ask Him to make ME into an eagle, as unrealistic as that seemed. The dark cloud began to lift and I began to hope again.
While all of this was taking place in my heart, I was hard at work planning a family vacation. The first three days in October we would be staying in a cabin up north, enjoying the outdoors. It had been three years since we had been able to get away. This was so special, so important for our family, that I wanted everything to be perfect. I began to worry.
“What if I put in all this effort to plan and pack, and it is all for nothing?”
A thousand little details began to transform into a thousand things that could go wrong. The fear of disappointment reared its ugly head again. I began to think back to the last time I had tried to plan a family vacation, the last time I had prayed that God would give us a family vacation. It was two years ago. We had just endured 4 years of the toil and stress of business ownership. We faced the heartbreak of having to close our business. We were in the process of selling our sign shop. I was praying for enough money to break even, and just a little extra to take the family camping for a week. A week to reconnect and to heal.
My heart’s desire was deferred. The sale fell through. Bills, debts, and bankruptcy ensued…but no family vacation. Why did I think that it would work out for us this time?
“I am doing it again! I will not live under that cloud of fear and lies! I need to believe that my Good Father is working everything out for us. I need to just trust Him! This will be a wonderful vacation! It will be a blessing to each child and bring us all closer together,” I thought to myself.
My faith began to rise again. I watched my Good Father work out every detail. He gave us a cabin to stay in for free! He worked out the schedules of all the children and gave us everything that we needed.
I was getting the feeling that my Father was orchestrating this vacation to be a redemption of the one that we had lost. I was beginning to expect Him to speak to me in wonderful ways while we were away.
“And perhaps I will even see an eagle!” I began to think.
To Be Continued…