“But 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
Isaiah shares here the rather surprising steps in our spiritual progression. He tells us that those who wait on the Lord will fly, and then run, then walk. The order of these steps seems rather strange at first glance. To begin by soaring on eagle’s wings, and then to drop into run, only to descend further into a slow, steady walk. This doesn’t appear to be upward progress, but rather that of a spiritual descent.
This is the true order of the life of Christ in the believer. When Christ first comes into my life, there is a sudden soaring that takes place in my soul. I am as the apostle says, “caught up to meet the Lord in the air.” The world and its many appeals seem so distant and dreary, and its population are like grasshoppers as I’m caught up in the flight of my new faith.
After a while, I settle down to a swift run, but even then my earthly contact is only momentary like that of a seasoned, conditioned runner. The immediate exhilaration of salvation has subsided, but the steady pace of mature faith has not yet come. My faith is running, but it isn’t weary.
Finally, the race of my life slows to a steady walk, and the common world that had been so scorned while fluttering on eagle’s wings comes to rest comfortably in my life with Christ. Now my faith can face the struggles of this world and not faint because I have learned what it means to walk with God.
This is the triumph that comes to the Christian heart – to be able to walk with God. Wings and flight are what come to a young soul. It’s the romantic draw of religion. To run and not be weary belongs to a growing soul. It’s the beauty of the Christian life. But, to be able to walk through this world and not faint is an aspect that only belongs to a mature soul. It’s the power of the Christ-life in my life.
Can you walk through this world and still remain pure? Can you trod the dirty pathways of this planet and not be stained? Can you minister to the polluted people of this world and yet keep your garments unspotted? Can you come into contact with the sinful and remain free from stain? Then you have crossed the finished line with joy – you have risen past those initial eagle’s wings and settled down into a mature walk with your Lord.