Are You an Eagle or a Pigeon?

David CerulloBy David Cerullo8 Minutes

As God’s son or daughter, you are not designed for failure and frustration, but rather for greatness … love … holiness … and victory.

But in order to experience the full blessings of your spiritual heritage, there’s a good chance you’ll need to have your mind renewed (Romans 12:2), recognizing who God has destined you to be as His beloved child.

Picture what might happen if a baby eagle fell off his family’s high mountain ledge and landed among a flock of pigeons. Maybe the pigeons would kindly take the baby eagle into their community and teach him how to live as one of them. But that would be far from his true, God-ordained identity, wouldn’t it?

If the young eagle flew among the pigeons, it would never get very high off the ground. Life would be incredibly boring, with no sense of adventure at all. In the same way, many Christians have become virtually earthbound, surrounded by unbelieving friends. Instead of soaring, they’re just flapping their wings.

Friend, God has called you to so much more than that! Instead of having you live the shallow, purposeless life of a pigeon, He wants you to break out of your comfort zone and soar to new heights. And if you’ve been weighted down by sins or addictions that have hindered you from gaining altitude, this can be the day God’s supernatural power sets you free.

What does it look like when you activate your spiritual DNA and reclaim your destiny as an eagle Christian? It’s an exciting, abundant life, completely different from life as a pigeon:

Those who wait on 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 40:31 NKJV).

So be honest. If you find yourself flapping like a pigeon instead of soaring like an eagle, allow God’s power to enable you to escape your frustrating circumstances. Don’t delay, my friend. Take the limits off your faith, and learn to FLY!

Peter’s Dilemma
Perhaps you’ve spent many years living like a pigeon, trying to flap your way to success. Unaware of how to tap into the supernatural life of God’s Spirit, you end up tired and frustrated, wondering what went wrong.

But when your futile self-efforts failed to bring the desired results, you probably did what any good pigeon would do: you tried flapping harder!

Few people in the Bible illustrate this principle better than the apostle Peter. As a fisherman, he had always worked hard, flapping his wings all night if necessary to catch an adequate number of fish. When Jesus told him one day where to find a huge haul of fish, Peter admitted, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing” (Luke 5:5 NKJV).

Can’t you feel the agony in Peter’s voice? His efforts that night had not just resulted in a substandard catch. No, it was worse than that. He had caught NOTHING!

Later Jesus would explain something Peter and the other fishermen hadn’t grasped yet: “The one who remains in Me, and I in him bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do NOTHING” (John 15:5 NASB).

You see, this is the difference between a pigeon and an eagle. The pigeon flaps and flaps, but in the end accomplishes nothing of lasting significance. The eagle, in contrast, is energized by the supernatural wind currents of the Spirit. In all sorts of weather, an eagle soars higher and higher because its power source is not its own.

This was a lesson Peter often learned the hard way. In his own strength, his efforts amounted to little. He was brash, impulsive, and hard-headed. But when he surrendered his life to God, he found his identity in the living Christ and lived a powerful destiny that would build the foundations of the church (Acts 2).

I’m not trying to undercut Peter’s credibility—quite the contrary. I want you to see that despite Peter’s flaws and mistakes, God used him in a mighty way. Sometimes he looked like a pigeon and at other times an eagle. But in the end, Peter quit flapping his wings. He learned to trust in the power of the Spirit instead of the strength of his own flesh. And as a result, Peter powerfully impacted the world for God’s Kingdom.

A Life Transformed
One of the fantastic things about Peter’s life is that it’s a story of transformation. In his own strength, he was arrogant and outspoken, but his actions rarely matched his bold declarations.

Luke, who wrote the book of Acts, wanted to make sure his Gospel account included an explanation for the turnaround Peter would experience between his denial of Jesus and his later restoration.

The Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.”

Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me” (Luke 22:31–34 NKJV).

Don’t miss this important point shown in Jesus’ words to Peter: Jesus knew ahead of time that Peter would FAIL … but He also knew ahead of time that Peter would be RESTORED, able to strengthen the other believers.

My friend, perhaps you feel like Satan is sifting you like wheat today. Maybe you’re dismayed that your life more closely resembles a pigeon than an eagle.

But you should take great comfort and hope from Jesus’ message here. He is at the right hand of the Father today, praying for you as He once prayed for Peter. And in the same way, the Lord is confident that your faith will ultimately prevail! No matter how many times you’ve failed in the past, He is declaring a day of restoration and resurrection for your future.

You’re an eagle, not a pigeon. Trust in His Word and spread your wings…

It’s time to soar!