How to Soar in 2024

Published 1:35 pm Friday, January 26, 2024

I would like to take a moment to apologize that I have not had an opportunity to write a column in several weeks. Things have been so hectic lately in most areas of my life, and I haven’t had enough spare time unfortunately. I am so excited to start back writing the Solution Column at least every other week. I have been preaching a sermon series at Harmony since the first of January entitled: ‘To Soar in 24’. I have enjoyed preaching the messages, and they have challenged me. I would like to write a column from each of these sermons, and my hope is that each column you read will help you soar higher this year.
First, let’s define the word: soar. Soar means to ascend to a higher or more exalted level. We should all want to ascend to a higher and more exalted place in Christ Jesus! However, it seems we have difficulty leaving the ground most days. What prevents us most from soaring spiritually? The most difficult place to tame is the mind. Our minds are often filled with fear, frustration, anxiety, worry, confusion, and doubt. These items will definitely prevent us from soaring. We must transform our minds. It is imperative that we put on the mind of Christ. Paul proclaims in Romans 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” We can only be changed for the better when we allow God to renew our minds. To renew our minds, we must wait upon the Lord, and not out run Him. Many times, we get our cart in front of the horse. We try to jump in and fix our own problems without giving God time to work.
Isaiah 40:28-31 says, “Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. 29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 is one of the most recognized scriptures in the Bible and a favorite amongst many for its comforting and encouraging words. Many references to this Bible verse can be found in literature, they serve as encouragement in worship songs, and even provide comfort at funerals. 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.
In particular, the imagery of an eagle soaring with its powerful wings evokes a vivid simile that we too, as believers in Christ, can possess the strength, boldness, and serenity of this majestic, feathered raptor in our own faith walk. However, what does it specifically mean in this Bible verse to “soar on wings like eagles”? To understand God’s comparison of our faith, look to the flight of an eagle. We need to first understand some underlying characteristics of this feathered creature. Eagles are born with large, heavy wings. However, unlike other birds, who flap their wings to stay in the air, eagles stretch out their wings and hold them still for the purpose of soaring. To become airborne, an eagle waits for large atmospheric gusts of winds called wind thermals. Sometimes, an eagle will perch and wait for days to catch a wind thermal that can carry it. These birds know that the wind is necessary and will choose not to fly without it.
Storms provide excellent wind thermals; hence an eagle will deliberately seek out a storm, rather than avoid it. It knows that by enduring the temporary atmospheric adversity, it will be projected to clear, peaceful skies above. Eagles can use the wind from storms to propel themselves above the clouds. Can you ever think of a time that you sought out a storm to soar higher? We try to avoid storms at all costs. We all see storms of life as dangerous, but God can use them all. If an eagle flaps its wings unnecessarily during flight, the excessive use of energy can cause them to die. We find ourselves flapping our wings continually as we try to propel ourselves through our problems. If we choose to wait on God and rely on Him as our source of strength as the eagle relies on a wind current, we can conserve our energy by allowing Him to direct our paths, just like the eagle uses wind currents to determine the flight path.
We must change our way of thinking and realize that through the adversity we face, we will soar higher if we wait upon the Lord. We can leap into the winds of the Holy Ghost and allow God to lift us up above the clouds of doubt and fear! We must stop making the storms of life bad in our minds and choose to see them as an opportunity to soar to the next level. As we flap our wings and try to avoid the difficulties of life, we will find ourselves spiritually, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. Let’s choose to soar in 2024!
(Brandon Young is pastor of Harmony Free Will Baptist Church in Hampton.)

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