Lessons From the Eagle

Speaker: Pastor Darin Browne

I love watching eagles. I watching one recently soaring above our property for ages. They are incredible birds, and have long symbolised power, might, courage and victory. From the Romans to Napoleon, from the the Nazis to the United States, the eagle is used as a symbol to inspire and challenge people and nations. They are the ultimate flying predator.

Even for Christians, the eagle can inspire us and teach us many things. Today I want to use eagles to inspire you to fly higher in your life, as we consider the lessons eagles can teach us about our spiritual walk.


Proverbs 30:18-19 (ESV)
Three things are too wonderful for me; four I do not understand:
the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a serpent on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a virgin.

Let’s concentrate on the eagle rather than the man with a virgin.

A mature eagle can have a wingspan of over two metres and weigh around seven kilos. It has eyesight that can spot a rabbit at over three kilometres and has excellent depth perception as well as 270 degrees peripheral vision. An eagle is equipped with razor sharp talons to grip prey, a strong beak to tear flesh and a clear membrane that covers and protects the eyes when attacking. It is strong enough to carry a whole lamb, if necessary. The eagle is the supreme hunting and fighting bird. Fast, strong, courageous, the eagle embodies much of what we as Christians should be. So, here’s nine things the eagle can teach us…


Eagles are renowned for having superior eyesight and concentration.

Job 39:27-29 (ESV)
Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up and makes his nest on high?
On the rock he dwells and makes his home, on the rocky crag and stronghold.
From there he spies out the prey; his eyes behold it from far away.

To catch their prey eagles see it up to three kilometres away.  They focus on it with laser like intensity, and set out to get it. The lesson for us is that we too should focus on the goals God has for us and devote concentration, effort and energy to achieve them.

Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

God has destiny for each and every one of you. He is already preparing works for us, and our job is to see them and focus on being obedient. Like the eagle, those who know God will have superior vision and see more in the spirit.


Unlike vultures and other scavengers, eagles do not eat dead animals. They must focus on catching live prey. So, what is the eagle teaching us here?

Don’t waste your precious time and energy doing anything that does not bring life. Stay open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Be listening, be ready, and be sure your mind is filled with life, with good, godly, honourable thoughts, not dead, rotten sin.

Philippians 4:8 (ESV)
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

To be like and eagle, get off Facebook and turn off the news. Start to be selective about what you feed your spirit on. People are so negative today, but we must make a conscious effort to feed our minds on live, wholesome, godly food, not the left-over junk they serve on the news and social media.

Colossians 3:2 (ESV)
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.


Eagles are not herd animals, following the pack, following the latest trends blindly. They either fly alone or with one or two of their own kind. The lesson we can learn from this is to not follow the herd, but to closely associate only with those who bring the best out in our lives. Here at Ignite we have people who seek the mind of Christ. Who share similar goals and dreams, and encourage others to live for Him. Paul writes,

1 Corinthians 15:33 (ESV)
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

The eagle doesn’t waste time with other kinds of birds, and we should learn not to waste our precious time with people who are negative or argumentative.

Ephesians 5:15-16 (ESV)
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

So many people, especially post COVID, are saying they don’t need to come to church. They can just watch YouTube and get better sermons online. I agree, there are far better preachers online than me. If your only criteria to attend church is to “get something out of it,” then going it alone as a Christian might work for you.

But if your desire is to serve God, win souls and grow spiritually, birds of a feather flock together. Church is God’s idea, not mine. It helps us to grow and develop into the people He wants us to be.

Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV)
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.


Job 39:27-28 (ESV)
Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up and makes his nest on high?
On the rock he dwells and makes his home, on the rocky crag and stronghold.

Eagles do not bother nesting on the ground. They choose the heights to nest and bear their young, away from any potential predators. Eagles live and raise their young in lofty places because it’s cleaner, and it’s safer, far above the mess and dirty of the world below. We want our kids and grand kids to grow up in a wholesome environment, and God also wants this for us, His kids.

A mother eagle is fiercely protective of her young, just as God is of you.

Psalms 57:1 (ESV)
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.

When the winds and rains of adversity drive against the eaglets (eaglets are baby eagles, not some cheer squad for a Manly football team), the mother covers her young with her wings, protecting them, keeping them warm and safe.

Psalms 63:7 (ESV)
for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.

Psalms 91:4 (ESV)
He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.

Today, some of you here need to know that God wants to wrap His wings around you to protect and nurture you. To shelter you from the storm, and to keep you from harm, just as the eagle does her young. The mother eagle does this only for between four and twelve weeks, but God wants to protect you for all eternity.

No matter what you’ve done or been, God loves you, wants to protect you, and has a destiny for you, so don’t reject Him, don’t walk away. Whoever you are, come and snuggle under his wings of protection today.


Isaiah 40:31 (ESV)
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.

Watch an eagle and you will notice that they rarely flap their wings. They just spread them, and soar through the sky, even in a gale. The eagle seems to barely move its wings, unlike most other birds who flap. By doing this the eagle conserves a lot of energy as it rises into the heavens.

The eagle does not fear adverse winds, it welcomes them because he knows he can harnesses them and use the force trying to destroy the eagle to empower it.

The lesson for us is clear…when difficult circumstances hit, don’t fear them, rejoice, because in the spirit we can harness the power and surge ahead.

Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)
we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

The lesson from the eagle here is to rejoice in the trials we face, because they will empower us towards out destiny.

We have nothing to fear if we are obedient to Jesus, because the trials that come to destroy us, actually makes us stronger, if we yield to the Holy Spirit.

If you are facing tough times today, don’t fear, don’t get down, don’t give up and don’t give in to them.

We need to change how we see adversity. Not as “woe is me, life is so hard,” but as, “Thank You Lord for this opportunity to shine for You, to grow more Christ like and to triumph.”

You don’t have to flap and make a scene. You don’t have to be overwhelmed and burn out trying to please God. All you have to do is simply spread your wings and allow His Spirit to empower you.

Don’t pray for the trial to be removed, rejoice in it. Pray that in and through the trial that His Spirit may shine into the world around you. People are watching you.

Matthew 5:16 (ESV)
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

When Fiona and I lost our money, and our house, in an investment collapse, apply called Storm Financial, we could have collapse ourselves.

Many did, many divorced, some suicides, but I stood and chose to say, “The Lord will restore,” and He did.

People around us watched as we proclaimed His grace and goodness, and God has faithfully done what He had promised.

Just as the eagle harnesses the power of the wind and thermals, I believe God is calling us not to frantic activity and worry, but to resting in Him and allowing the power of the Holy Spirit to lead us, guide us, empower us and take us up higher.


When attacked and annoyed by smaller birds like crows, who swoop and peck, the mighty eagle responds in a unique way. The eagle does not fight back, it does not change course, or react, it simply rises higher and higher. At some point the smaller, annoying birds cannot stand the higher altitudes, and lack of oxygen, and fall away.

We live in a highly reactive world and everyone overreacts to everything. Get on Facebook and you will see hundreds of people, sadly many of them Christians, attacking and character assassinating each other over issues that ultimately have little consequence. It seems people cannot tolerate any opinion contrary to theirs, and this include the media, social media and governments.

The lesson is clear…when you are attacked, (and if you stand for Jesus, you will be attacked), don’t fight back, don’t seek vengeance, just set your wings and fly higher. The attacks will ultimately drop away. As Paul writes,

Romans 12:19-21 (ESV)
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

I have experienced this in the past, people attacking and criticising my ministry, my decisions, my leadership, my preaching, my beliefs.

I have learned like the eagle to not react, but to step back and pray and take time to respond in a godly manner. Not to retaliate, but trust God to vindicate me ultimately. To stay the course and rest on the winds of the Spirit, and ultimately rise above the noise, the attacks, the slander!

Isaiah 54:17 (ESV)
no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed,
and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment.
This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD
and their vindication from me, declares the LORD.”

If you and under attack, learn the lesson of the eagle…don’t retaliate, rise above.


Eagles mate for life. They don’t play the field, they don’t shop around, they choose carefully and mate for life. When they commit, they stay committed. They are not commitment phobic.

Now there’s a lesson some folks could learn right off the bat. We are a commitment avoiding society, and we change jobs, banks, partners, allegiances or churches on a whim. Godly people commit. Commit to your relationships, to your service and commit to your church.

Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV)
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.


Eagles provide training for their young to help them grow into maturity. And they are not afraid to use discomfort and adversity to do it. Neither is God.

James 1:2-4 (ESV)
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete (mature), lacking in nothing.

When it is time for the eaglet to learn to fly, the mother begins to remove the comfortable, soft feathers from the nest, exposing the pricks and sticks. She doesn’t do it to hurt them, but to prepare them for their destiny.

The mother then throws the eaglets out of the nest, swooping down to catch them as they fall. She does this repeatedly until the eaglet learns to fly. To some this may seem heartless. But there is a method to the madness.

Deuteronomy 32:10-11 (ESV)
“He found him in a desert land, and in the howling waste of the wilderness;
he encircled him, he cared for him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on its pinions,

The symbol for Christianity is a cross, not a cushion. Jesus didn’t die to give you a comfortable life, He died to buy your soul back. He wants to present you to His Father as a mature, Christ like son or daughter. Paul said,

Colossians 1:28 (ESV)
Him (Jesus) we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.

We as people love the comfortable things in life, but God is more interested in character than comfort. We can only grow into the people He wants us to be if we are willing to be trained in righteousness. That involves commitment, and sometimes pain or discomfort.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV)
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Like eagles, God trains us in righteousness. So don’t despise the difficult times, rejoice in them, embrace them, and get trained.


One little know fact about the eagle is that it undergoes the painful task of renewing itself. Every year it plucks out its feathers so that new, stronger, healthier ones will grow…

Psalms 103:5 (ESV)
who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Then later in life, the bald eagle faces a decision. To die, or to go through the painful process of rebirth, extending its life. This process sees the eagle flying to a nest high up on a cliff to start the painful task of renewing its own beak, talons, and feathers. Over several months, the eagle renews itself.

The lesson is that, to grow to maturity in our Christian life, we must renew our minds, even if it is a painful process.

Romans 12:2 (ESV)
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,

You renew your mind by reading, studying and most of all, obeying God’s Word, even if it hurts. Even if it’s hard.


The eagle has so much to teach us as believers. Let me ask you today, are you on the ground, messing with the turkeys of life, or are you soaring with eagles?

God’s destiny for you is that you fly. That you rise above storms and adversity, that you reach for the sky and for your destiny in Christ.

Remember that the eagle doesn’t flap around and carry on and work itself into the ground. It spreads its wings and flies. The eagle allows the Holy Spirit to become the wind beneath its wings, and so can you.

Who is ready to spread their wings and fly in 2023? I want to open up the altar to those who want to yield fully to the Holy Spirit and be filled with the Spirit and fly above the pain and hurt of this world.

Comments are closed.