Choosing the High Life

Eagles are birds who live high above the fray. They can fly 2 miles above the earth and choose the build their nest high in the trees. Unlike the chicken, they decide to live the high life with the heads up.  

Eagles also choose their nest high above the ground on a giant tree, cleft, or rock outpost on the mountainside. They reside where other birds can not get to them, above the fray of others. 

The news and social media covered a nesting eagle couple in Rome, Georgia, on the campus of Berry College. A webcam recorded their every move like fortifying their nest and nesting their eggs. As they brought food to their hatchlings, one could have a front-row seat to the feeding. 

I traveled up there to see the nest for myself. Berry College is about an hour and a half from Atlanta, where I reside. I should have saved my time and gas. When I arrived, you could see high on the tall Georgia pine where they had built their nest. From the ground, there was not that much to see. High on top of that pine tree, life was being born, and a family was expanding.

Rising High Above the Storms

Eagles have a built-in doppler system to detect coming storms. Because of their long, precise vision, they can see storms from miles and miles away. Other animals seek shelter and burrows themselves when bad weather arrives. The eagle rises and awaits the coming wind. He is unafraid of the storms. He is powerless to stop it, so he embraces it. 

As soon as the winds blow in which accompany the storm, the eagle remains unafraid. The clouds begin to roll in, and as the first of many raindrops start to fall, the eagle takes to flight. He locks his wings in an ascending position. He spirals round and round, using the strong winds to take him higher and higher. He ascends until he sees the sun above and the storm below. 

Desiring to fly high as well, mother eagle remains with the chicks. In the nest, she will expand her wingspan, usually six to 10 feet, cover her brood from the droplets, wind, and debris. The eaglets find safety and refuge under the wings.

Other birds hide in the coops. Eagles embrace the storms. As eagle Christians, we are to face them as well. They are hard, challenging, painful, and sometimes fast. We, like the eagle, are to rise to the heights to discover the Son. Each storm in life designed to promote you to your destiny, teach you unforgettable lessons, and better eagle out of you. 

And like the mother eagle, God protects us as children through the storm. He does not take us out of the storm. He assures us the debris and wind will not take us out. For the Bible says:

“He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings shall you trust and find refuge.” Psalms 91:4

Children of the Most High

And Isaiah 40:29-31 declares:

He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they 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.

Mounting up like the eagle should be the lifestyle of the believer. We are eagle Christians and not eagle chickens. Pecking around in the dirt of life is not our purpose. God has called us to the high life as His children. He has brought us into the house!

The Bible declares:

God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. Ephesians 1:5 NLT

Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co‑heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:14-17

The Bible continues and declares we are no longer a slave or servant, but sons and daughters:

Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Galatians 4:7

We are not servants but sons. As an adopted father to seven kids, adoptions finalize with papers in courts, yet fatherhood is in the heart. I have to remind myself my children are not blood. My children, though adopted, have my characteristics, likes, dislikes, and humor.  

What is the difference between a son and a servant? Sons act like their father. Now we know God is our Father, we need to understand how He works and moves so we can act like Him. One way we know how He moves is by the name El Elyon, the Most High God.

You have read it many times before, yet you may not have seen the original name. Throughout the Bible, when it uses the term, Most High God, it’s original usage is El Elyon. El means ‘God.’ Elyon comes from the Hebrew verb meaning ‘to go up.’ Elyon is identical to the adjective used as a noun meaning ‘Highest’ or ‘Most High.’

The name identifies God as the sovereign ruler of the universe. There is nothing nor no one higher than God, the Most High God. Nothing. No one, including cancer, disease, lack, poverty, fear, abandonment, and pain. The list can go on and one.  

In Genesis 14, we find El Elyon used four times in the story of Melchizedek. Abram’s nephew, Lot, had been taken captive amid a war between nine Canaanite kings. Abram went out to rescue Lot, and as he was returning home, he met Melchizedek, who introduced himself as the king of Salem (Jerusalem) and priest of God Most High (El Elyon). Unlike Melchizedek, all the other kings with whom Abram had come in contact were worshippers of the Canaanite gods. His words made it clear he represented the Most High God, El Elyon when he spoke to Abram in verses 19-20:

Blessed be Abram of God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” Genesis 14:19-20 NKJV

 At that moment, Melchizedek reminded Abram that what had seemed like an impossibility—rescuing Lot from hundreds of military men—was accomplished because Abram had El Elyon on his side.

 In the book of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar meets El Elyon. Nebuchadnezzar was, as my grandmother used to say, quite full of himself and had done a spectacular job of exalting himself all over the pagan kingdom. One day, God decided He had heard enough of Nebuchadnezzar’s boasting and made him like a wild animal that lived outdoors. Nebuchadnezzar went from the palace to the pasture in almost the blink of an eye because of pride! Eventually, he came to his senses and realized he was nothing compared to the sovereign God. 

 In Daniel 4: 34 (NKJV), Nebuchadnezzar says,

“At the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever.” NKJV

Nebuchadnezzar thought he was high and mighty until He met the Most High!

The prophet Isaiah recounts for us in chapter 14 the fall of Lucifer, or Satan, from heaven. Satan, ever seeking to be like God, declares five ‘I will’ statements. The final ‘I will’ in Isaiah 14:14 is Satan saying he will “be like the Most High.” Out of Satan’s mouth comes what I believe to be one of the most significant testimonies of the sovereignty of God ever uttered when he called God “the Most High.” Even Satan himself admitted there is none greater than El Elyon:

“How you are fallen from heaven,

  O shining star, son of the morning!

You have been thrown down to the earth,

  you who destroyed the nations of the world.

For you said to yourself,

  ‘I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars.

I will preside on the mountain of the gods

  far away in the north.

I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.’ Isaiah 14:12-14 NLT

Kay Arthur, in her Devotion study, I Want to Know You, shares this beautiful name of God: 

“..if God is not sovereign, if He is not in control, if all things are not under His dominion, then He is not the Most High, and you and I are either in the hands of fate (whatever that is), in the hands of man, or in the hands of the devil.”

God is sovereign, and He is in absolute control. Our world may feel like no one is in control, but please know El Elyon has perfect control of all that happens in this world. Nothing happens, which He does not permit. Do you acknowledge Him as the Most High? Rest assured that you will bend your knee to Him one day, either by compulsion or conviction. 

The Bible declares the name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe. (Proverbs 18:10 ESV) His name symbolizes the essence of His nature – His attributes, characteristics, power, and glory. Moses said to God:

“Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” Moreover, God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.’ Exodus 3:13-15 NKJV

God was saying, ‘I am My Name. Whatever I am, that’s what I am called.’ When you translate this concept into English, it goes something like this: 

“My name is whatever I am at that time, and my children need me at that moment.’ 

God declares He is all-sufficient, and His name differs depending on what our need is at a particular time.  

If you need rent, He is your rent maker.

If you need to make your mortgage payment, He is your mortgage payment. 

If you need a car payment, He is your car payment maker. 

Are your lights about be turned off? He is your light payment maker.

If you need healing, He is your Healer.

If you need peace, He is your peace. 

If you need strength, He is your strength. 

Take the High Road

My pastor, Doug Brown, and I were having lunch one day at a local restaurant. We were discussing fresh dislikes and varying opinions people were sharing among the church about recent leadership decisions. He peered out the window as he shared a story with me from his days as a missionary in South America. 

He was in Mexico City in his hotel room, which overlooked the city’s public grounds. There, a great military guard would march out on their horses to demonstrate Mexico’s power around a colossal Mexican flag pole. As those soldiers would conclude their march, a man in an orange jumpsuit with a wheelbarrow and a shovel would follow carefully behind. With his tools, he would shovel up the dung left from the parade.

He turned to me with all seriousness and slowly said, “Many days as a pastor, I feel like that man in the orange jumpsuit.” He then got a big smile on his face and began to laugh. 

I inquired why he did not fight back. Why did he not stand his ground when wrong accusations were thrown at him? He gave me a lesson that has lasted since that day, “You have to learn to take the high road.”

Over the years, I had the opportunity to serve with him. I saw him time and time again take the high road. He had every reason to fight back, to share the ideas why he was right, and to seek justice for his cause, yet he took the high road time and time again.

Like eagles, we need to learn the art of taking the high road and live the high life. The high life exists above the noise, the confusion, the fighting and bickering, and prideful. That life chooses not only to fly high but live and reside high. Eagles don’t take dirt baths as chickens. They bathe in the rain of the storms high above the ground.

Refuse to take a dirt bath like chickens. Fly high above the clouds like the eagle and use the winds of your storm to carry you higher. Fly above your situation. Reign beside Daddy God, who is El Elyon, the Most High God, and with Him, look down on your situation. Doing that, you will notice your problem is not as big as you believe it to be.  

Like the eagle, we can fly high. Why and how can we mount up and go high? Because we are sons and daughters of the Most High God. He will take us higher above our situation and allow us to fly. That is why we can say the enemy is under our feet! 

The chicken spends its life looking down, pecking each other, and always skittish running from fear. The eagle, alone, flies high, faces the storms, and uses the same wind from the storm to fly higher.  

Choose the be like the eagle. Whatever storm you are facing, use its wind to make you go higher and get stronger. Rise above it. Fly high above. Let the wind of El Elyon’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit, make you soar! 

Going Higher During a Pandemic

COVID-19 rocked 2020. Statistics on my blog began to rise in January. One blog post was being visited more than all other posts by about 98 percent. The post entitled “Declare and Decree Psalm 91.” Before I post it here, I want to share the first line of the Psalm:

He who abides in the Most High God. . . Psalm 91:1

The original translation would be “He who lives and resides in El Elyon, the Highest God.”

What follows is rich promises line after line. Those promises are for you and me. They are for us who choose to live the high life in the Most High God. They are for those who decide to take the high road above the low streets of this world.

Declare and Decree Psalm 91 over your life today and soar! 

I dwell in the secret place of the Most High, so I abide under Almighty’s shadow. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him, I will trust.” Surely He shall deliver me from the snare of the fowler and the perilous pestilence. 

He shall cover me with His feathers, and under His wings, I shall take refuge; His truth shall be my shield and buckler. I shall not be afraid of the terror by night nor of the arrow that flies by day. Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. 

A thousand may fall at my side, and ten thousand at my right hand; but it shall not come near me. Only with my eyes shall I look, and see the reward of the wicked. 

Because I have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, my habitation, No evil shall befall me, nor shall any plague come near my dwelling. 

He shall give His angels charge over me to keep me in all my ways. They shall bear me up in their hands, lest I dash my foot against a stone. I shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, the young lion and the serpent I shall trample underfoot. 

Because I have set my love upon Him, He will deliver me; He will set me on high because I have known His name. I shall call upon Him, and He will answer me; He will be with me in trouble; He will deliver me and honor me. With long life, He will satisfy me and show me His salvation.

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