Waiting and Leaping (by Faith!)

August 9, 2017

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”  (Isaiah 40:28-31)

Picture an eagle sitting on the side of its nest, waiting for the velocity of the wind to become strong. In the same way, we must “wait on the Lord.” We are not to go charging ahead into life without clear direction from the Lord. We are exhorted to follow the example of the eagle by waiting until the wind of the Spirit builds up to a certain velocity to direct, support and empower us.

Then we should follow the example of the eagle and take a leap of faith directly into the adversity that is challenging us. As the power of the Holy Spirit drives us into the strong winds of the storm, the energizing unction of the Holy Spirit will give us the spiritual aerodynamics needed to lift up and soar over the storm.

In the Gospels, Peter’s leap of faith illustrates this tension between waiting on the Lord and leaping. In the middle of a great storm, Jesus came to the disciples by walking on the water. Peter said, “Lord, if it really is You, invite me to walk on the water to You.” The Lord then invited Peter to walk on the water to Him. (Matthew 14:22-32)

Peter had great faith, yet he did not get out of the boat until he was sure of two things: that it was the Lord out there in the middle of the storm, and that the Lord was inviting him to walk on the water to Him.

The obvious application is that we should never take a leap of faith until we are sure the Lord is in our faith venture, and that the Lord is leading us to take that leap of faith.

Dick Woodward, from As Eagles: How to be an Eagle Disciple


As Eagles: Preening In The Morning

May 20, 2016

“Let me hear of Your steadfast love in the morning, for in You I put my trust. Teach me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul.”  (Psalm 143:8)

Early every morning the eagle preens its feathers for more than an hour. Sitting on the side of its nest, the eagle passes each feather through its mouth, something like steam cleaning while depositing a liquid that makes its feathers water repellent.

This is important because eagles fish by diving under the water. The fluid deposited on their feathers also locks them together to improve their aerodynamics.  Whether an eagle is planning to fish or not, every morning for an hour they sit on the side of their nest and preen. They are not primping, they are preening – a very prudent preparation.

Like you and me, eagles never know what challenges they may face on any given day. Therefore, they preen in preparation for every possible challenge each day may hold.

Do you wake up holy in the morning? Before you’ve had your coffee? It’s possible for spiritual people to wake up holy, but if we’re honest we will concede that most of the time we don’t wake up that way.

Oswald Chambers wrote, “With your first waking moment learn to fling the door wide back and invite God in.  Then pray in private to your Father, Who is in the secret place, and every public thing will be stamped with the presence of God.”

It is very important to make a good beginning each day. When we consider the eagle’s daily practice of early morning preening preparation, we are challenged to begin every day of our lives with spiritual preparation.

Have you preened your spirit with God’s help this morning?

Dick Woodward, (from As Eagles: How to be an Eagle Disciple)



Pentecost Power: An Eagle Perspective

May 13, 2016

“He gives power to the faint, and to them that have no might He increases strength… But they that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up up with wings as as eagles.  They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”  (Isaiah 40:31)

When the power of Pentecost came upon the apostles, there was a noise like a mighty rushing wind. As we read how the apostles received the power of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost and then began implementing the Great Commission of Jesus against great persecution, we should think of the eagle leaping off its nest directly into adverse winds to rise and soar above the storm enveloping its nest.

As you see in your mind’s eye the eagle sitting on the side of its nest, waiting for the velocity of the wind to become strong, you have a metaphor that allegorizes an important expression found many times in the Old Testament: “Wait on the Lord.”

It means we are not to go charging ahead without clear direction from the Lord.  We are to wait on the Lord. We are exhorted  to follow the example of an eagle by waiting until the wind of the Spirit is there to direct, support and empower us.

Then we should follow the eagle’s example and take the leap of faith off our nests directly into the adversity that is challenging us. As the power of the Holy Spirit drives us with a great thrust into the strong winds of a storm, the energizing unction of the Holy Spirit will give us the spiritual aerodynamics we need to lift up and soar over the storm.

Dick Woodward, from As Eagles: How to be an Eagle Disciple


Waiting on the Lord

February 19, 2016

“They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength.  They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”  Isaiah 40:31

We must learn from the eagle how to access the wind of the Holy Spirit the way the eagle trusts the wind currents. We must learn the difference between what we can do and what only God can do.  We must have faith to wait on the Lord until He empowers and enables us to do what He desires.

I have summarized waiting on the Lord in my ‘Four Spiritual Secrets’: I’m not, but He is; I can’t, but He can; I don’t want to, but He want to; and I didn’t, but He did.’  These spiritual secrets affirm that it is not a matter of who we are, but Who God is; it’s not a matter of what we can do, but what He can do; it’s not a matter of what we want, but what He wants.  If these first three secrets are in place, we will know the joy of one day looking back and affirming it was not a matter of what we did, but what God did through us.

When I first began learning these spiritual secrets, I’d say, “I can’t, but He can.” Then, as a mover and shaker, I’d look at my watch, “I’ll give Him five minutes, and if He doesn’t, I will!”  It took 40 years and a bush to teach Moses how to wait on the Lord, and it has taken 40 years for me to learn how to wait on the Lord the way and eagle waits on the wind.

I call the unique experience of Jacob, described in Genesis 32, the “Cripple Crown Blessing.” God had to cripple Jacob before He could crown him with His blessing.  After all, when a man is crippled, what else can he do but wait on the Lord?

I identify with Jacob’s experience because I received from the Lord my greatest anointing after a crippling disease put me in a wheelchair in 1983. My crippling made it possible to do what God had called me to do for 45 years.

In Romans 12, Paul says, “Let him who teaches give all that he has to his teaching.” As a pastor of a large church, I found that hard to implement.  As a consequence of my ‘cripple crown blessing,’ however, I give all to my teaching which is now nurturing believers in 24* languages all around the world.

Waiting on the Lord was not my style until my illness forced me to learn why an eagle sits on the side of its nest and waits until the wind currents are strong enough to soar over the winds of a storm.

Dick Woodward, As Eagles: How to Be an Eagle Disciple

Editor’s Note: The MBC has now been translated into 36 languages. Currently over 52,500 small groups are using solar powered audio players to study the Bible in their languages. 


As Eagles

July 15, 2014

…they shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”  (Isaiah 40:31)

The exceptional longevity of an eagle means an eagle is seldom ill.  When it does get sick, however, it goes to the highest elevation it can find.  It lies on its back and looks directly into the sun.  For this purpose, the eagle has an extra pair of thick eyelids.  When the eagle closes these eyelids, it can look directly into the sun and not suffer any damage.  This sun treatment proves to be therapeutic and often restores the health of the eagle… So that we might look directly into the Son, God has given us the Holy Spirit.

When the ultimate illness comes to an eagle, it climbs to the highest possible elevation and looks into the sun for an entire day.  When the sun goes down that evening, the eagle dies.

Have you ever seen an eagle disciple of Jesus Christ die? The first time I intellectually believed the Gospel was when I watched my mother die.  She died as an eagle follower of Jesus, looking right into the Son. The godly pastor who was with us had seen scores of saints go home, but said he had never seen anything like what he saw that night.

At the age of 49, she left behind six daughters, five sons and a husband.  The last two hours of her life were spent with her family, but she was already in Heaven, talking to Jesus.  She often said she never had any peace.  We had a little house of about 1,300 square feet with 13 people living in it, so you can understand why she had precious little peace or quiet. In those last hours she kept saying, “Oh, this peace, this peace!”

I believed intellectually at her death, but I did not become a disciple of Jesus Christ for several years because I knew believing involved a commitment.  I knew this because my mother had said to me, “If Jesus Christ is anything to you, Dick, He is everything to you. Because, until Jesus Christ is everything to you, He isn’t really anything to you.” My life was changed forever because she lived and died as an eagle disciple of Jesus Christ.

Dick Woodward, As Eagles: How to Be an Eagle Disciple