Job 22:29 When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up; and he shall save the humble person.
Global Meltdown, Financial Crash, Fall, have you heard those words lately? If you haven’t then it means you have not been watching the news or reading the dailies. It is very clear, “men are cast down”. Many have lost a lot of money, many have lost relationships, many their jobs and and many have lost their lives. It’s not affecting individuals only, gigantic corporations have liquidated, even countries have declared bankrupcy. Men are cast down!
In the midst of these stormy dissasters that have hit “men” – humanity, nations, corporations, individuals, what is the recommended strategy for staying up? What activities must we participate in at these times, to make our fates different from that which bedevils the world?
The strategy is simple, and very straight forward. In that one sentence above, I’m going to share with you a few practical strategies for rising above these times, but first let me share a story I learnt 13yrs ago with you.
“Thunderheads rolled ominously over the Western hills, as the lightning bolts streaked across the sky. In a lush green valley below, two birds together in a barnlot reacted in different ways. Appearing similar in some ways, the birds were actually as different as day and night. The chicken, with her head down and her beak busy in the trash of the barnyard, stepped up her pace as she scratched among the debris and filth searching for grubworms, scraps, and bits of corn. Knowing that time was short, and that she would soon have to take refuge in the safety of the barn, she worked frantically to get a meal before the full fury of the storm struck.
Quite strange was the appearance and actions of the other bird. He sat on a fence post, his head lifted to the sky and his sharp piercing eyes searching among the clouds. He stretched his wings lazily, and gusts of wind almost lifted him from his perch. It was a thrilling sight to see the magnificent wingspread, and it was easy to see that the feathers of his wings that had once been clipped back to prevent him flying away, had once again grown to their full length. It was obvious that this bird was not a chicken.
On a mountain peak far above the farm, the farmer had taken an egg from the nest of an Eagle. He had placed it under a sitting hen and hatched it out with a brood of little chickens. With much patience he had raised it and tried to tame it and make a domestic bird of it. But from the very first it had not fit in with the routine of the chicken lot. It walked alone, for it found no fellowship with the other little chicks nor the hen. And tho from the day it hatched out it had known no environment but the domestic life about it, yet from deep within something of the wild, free nature of the eagle cried out that this was not “home.” As it grew larger, its wings had been clipped. Unable to fly, it sat in the barnyard daily, looking upward. its body confined to earth, but its heart in the sky. Not knowing why, unable to explain, yet knowing that there was a constant call from within to rise to greater heights in heavenly places above.
The young eagle stretched the wings the farmer had failed to keep clipped, and as he did so his eyes caught sight of another great eagle riding on the wings of the wind, high above the storm clouds. At that moment his ears caught the sound of a sharp piercing cry from the eagle in the sky. Suddenly a gust of wind caught under his outstretched wings and lifted him from the post. With a shrill scream of victory and freedom, he left the barnlot forever and soared into the sky to meet those of his own kind” – Culled from the Book – Eagle Saints Arise, by Bill Britton.
Trust me when I tell you that I can never do justice to this story in less than 3 posts, but I will need your encouragement to do more in this line. If you think I should delve deeper, your feedback will help. First, let’s get cracking on the strategies for staying up in a Down world. I will juxtapose the verse I started with, with this story.
1. Change your Conversation
When men are cast down, then thou shalt say… Believe it or not but disease that claims the most lives in this world is verbal diarrhoea – a state where you don’t control what you are saying. The good book says, Life and death are the power of the tongue and he that loves it shall eat it’s fruits. It also says that a mans life will be filled with good things as a function of the fruit of his lips. In the creation process, as well as the destruction process, words are crucial. The creation story that I like is the one in the bible, and it’s records that all was made, because God said. I have practiced verbal creation, and trust me when I tell you that it works. I have said to mountains, be moved, and they have obeyed. What you say, you’ll hear. With your tongue you have the ability to program your mind and your heart. A word is an advanced thought. What you say in these season will ultimately affect you! The Eagle took off only shortly after he heard a sound of a sharp piercing cry, as soon as it released itself, it screamed as well. Shut your ears to noisy negatives, program your heart.
Changing your conversation also requires changing your associations. It’s difficult to feed with the chickens, flock with the chickens and fly like an eagle. Even if you find yourself in confinement, you must stretch your perpectives by what you read, watch and say. Go for seminars, attend meetings, build relationships with people doing abnormal things. The human soul and spirit cannot be confined.
2. Realize your Difference
When men are cast down, then thou… What this means is that you cannot afford to see yourself as “men”. You can either become different, or realize your difference. As a man thinks, so is he! A different person, is one that thinks differently. You must realize that you can chose not to be bound by the circumstances that bind all in your surrounding. You either choose to be a chicken, or choose to be an eagle. Say it to yourself until you realize it, get into the process of change. The chicken hear of a storm coming, and quickly begin to scrounge what they have, and get themselves positioned for safety (in a job, in savings, in seeming secure options). The maxim is grab what I can and stay safe before the full fury of the storm. The eagle is different, his eyes are not down, they are lifted up in the skies, he is not looking for common or earthly solutions, it feels that beyond the clouds there is unshakeable safety. It has never been there, but somehow he knows that when full fury of the storm hits, even the barn owner might not be secured. It’s eyes are lifted up to the heavens, from where comes it’s help.
You’ll also notice about the eagle, that though normal life had contrained it, it yearned for more! He was not okay with the cycle of go to school, get a job, stay with it until you are old, do nothing else, gossip with other colleagues, get married, have children and die. It didn’t feel at home in the normal world. He couldn’t explain it, but if felt a call from within, and that call seperated it.
3. Be Humble
And he shall save the humble person… I’m sure you are wondering where this connects. Let me show you. The only person that is lifted up, is the person who makes himself available to be lifted up – particularly if the lifting is by God. The proud will be abased, but he lifts up the humble. What then is humility in this regard, it’s someone that believes that he is not the ulitmate in the world, but that there is a God. It’s subtly pride, to think that we came here first, and refuse to submit ourselves to any higher authority. Don’t be too quick to judge though, even if you know there is a God and you carry on living like you can solve all your problems, you are guilty too. If you never stop to wait to seek counsel (I mean personally now… no need for any baba) from God, you are not humble. Did you look up, and wait before you took that Job, that friend, that opportunity, that… It is only they that wait upon the Lord that renew their strenghts and mount up with wings as eagles. Check out the eagle above, it surrendered itself in the winds, that was the only way he could have been lifted up. It takes humility to learn, it takes humility to soar. Soaring requires trust, requires total release and humility.
I can’t do that kind of Job, I’m not interested in that kind of service, Me, sell? I’m to senior for that… well, you might be too big for your lifting when the winds come. Those who hold on the their guard don’t get carried. It is the child that runs to the father with outstreched hands that is carried. Don’t hold on to more than is meet, let yourself go. The kingdom of God operates with the paradigm in which a man finds what is precious and lets go of all else. Wait, before you taste.
4. Time for You
He shall save…Light doesn’t shine in Light, it shines in darkeness. Meltdown, shakedown, crashdown, falldown, that’s the time for you to arrive! When the divine voted in America, it was with an economic crisis – One of the factors that influenced Obama’s victory is the economic crises that came to it’s heading during the electoral process. The people lost fate in the republicans, and the time for change had come. When the world grosses up in darkeness, it gives opportunities to those that have light. Everyone is a friend of the one that can help them. The storm that frightens the chicken is the same one that lifts up the eagle. Storms must come, and pray they do. Meltdown? You had better be looking out to the skies for what your opportunity will be. When it’s rough and tough is the timing of your life.
You might need to sight other eagles, you might need to ear their thoughts, when you begin to read articles like this, the time is near. Join in the cry, stretch out your wings and try.
I sincerely believe that if you can put these steps into practice in any down time, you will be lifted up. It has worked for me in the past, and it is working for me now. Please feel free to prove it wrong, by trying it 🙂