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Eagles Don't Fly In Flocks

Standing Alone

Eagles Don't Fly In Flocks
By Miles King

Standing Alone
By Richard Nichols

Published in
The Christian Informer
October  2007


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EAGLES DON'T FLY IN FLOCKS

 
MOST BIRDS FLY together, in numbers–in flocks, but the eagle is a proud bird and dares to fly alone.  The eagle is a fearless bird with great strength and courage.  He does not lean on others but can take independent action and chart his own course.
 
Don’t we admire the solitary flight of the “lone eagle”?  The other birds do not seem to impress us so many times. Take, for example, the starlings and the blackbirds – Don’t they sometimes just seem to get on our nerves?  We can see they are not at ease unless they fly in throngs.  We just don’t seem to admire them as we may admire an eagle.

We would like to address our young people along this line.  So many times we may come up with the weak excuse, “everybody’s doing it!” But just because friends and relatives may be weak and sinful –this does not give you a license to do that which is “low and sensual.”  In our day-and-time it may seem easy to just go with the “in crowd,” but remember, it takes strength & courage to stand alone!  Think of the noisy flights of the blackbirds and starlings... OH, HOW OBNOXIOUS AND IRRITATING! Why not show some strength and courage and soar like the eagle–DARE TO STAND ALONE!

DANIEL IS AN EXAMPLE
Sure, we remember Daniel stood alone.  He contended for truth and right, and in turn, gained a great victory!  This young man was a slave, a captive of a foreign king.  He rose to a position of honor and trust, because he dared to stand alone.  He won the favor and trust of the king.  In the first chapter of Daniel, this young man wasn’t about to take a popularity vote when he refused the king’s wine.  But he was willing to show CONVICTION – and he stood for principles which were right.
 
May we ever keep in mind – To obey God is not a sign of weakness!  It takes courage to stand for the right principles in life – contend for the truth!  Solomon said “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them” (Ecc. 12:1).  While the masses are sowing their “wild oats” it would be well to read some of Solomon’s final words, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecc. 12:13).

TO OUR DEAR YOUNG PEOPLE
You cannot afford to flock with others who would tend to jeopardize your eternal happiness!  The Lord said, “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil....” (Ex. 23:2).
 
Stand for right, even if you stand alone!  Remember, when one stands with God – that’s a winning majority!  God Will not allow you to suffer defeat when contending for right!  I do realize there might come hardships and there might be trials and tribulations in our lives.  Paul told Timothy; “Yea all that will live Godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecutions.”  But God will help you even as he did the apostle Paul.  This grand old apostle wrote “the Lord stood with me and strengthened me;” (2 Tim. 4:17).  Even in severe trial Paul was not dismayed, “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair” (2 Cor. 4:8).  With God by his side Paul could say, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phil. 4:13).
 
We are saying to our young people, “You do not have to rely on the CROWD to make your mark in life!”  We encourage you to exercise enough “faith and courage” to STAND FOR TRUTH & RIGHT!  DARE TO STAND ALONE!  EAGLES DO NO FLY IN FLOCKS!

Miles King           
8586 Wilderness Trail
Scotland, AR 72141
[Via  THE OAK LEAF published
(2/13/1977) at Winthrop, AK.]
 
= = = = = = =

STANDING ALONE

 
THOSE WHO, under ordinary circumstances would be his closest allies, for the Christian, may become his bitter enemies.  Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.  For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.  And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.  He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.  He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it” (Matt. 10:34-39).
 
It is only human to want to be liked and accepted by others.  Most young people want to look and act like their peers.  It is human to walk with the crowd, but a true Christian will stand alone.  It is a normal human feeling to want to follow the people, to blend in, to drift with the tide.  But godliness demands that we part from the crowd and stem the tide.  The Lord’s calling is “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Cor. 6:17).
 
Often we see a natural tendency to compromise conscience and follow social popularity and religious trends for the sake of personal gain or pleasure, but God calls on us to sacrifice all this on the altar of truth and duty.  The battle-scarred apostle Paul wrote, “No man stood with me, but all men forsook me... Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me” (2 Tim. 4:16,17).  This was in reference to his “standing alone” in the civil court.  He was imprisoned for his believing and teaching the Truth in opposition to the Roman world.
 
The Truth of God has been out of fashion from the very beginning when man exchanged it for the heady lie of Satan.  Although laughed at and scorned by the entire world for his strange belief, his teaching and foolish work, Noah built an ark and saved eight souls.
 
Abraham wandered and worshiped alone. The Sodomites probably sneered at the simple shepherd, continued following their passions, and finally fed a fire.  Daniel dined and prayed alone.  Elijah sacrificed and preached alone.  Jeremiah prophesied and wept alone.  Jesus loved and died alone.  And of that lonely way His disciples must walk, the Master said, “Straight is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt 7:14).
 
To the “few”, concerning their mistreatment by the “many” headed down the “broad way,” Jesus warned, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world... therefore the world hateth you” (John 15:19).
 
The children of Israel in the wilderness praised Abraham but persecuted Moses.  God’s people, in the days of the kings, praised Moses but persecuted the prophets.  The court of Caiphas, the high priest, praised the prophets but persecuted Jesus.  Sometimes the church praises the Saviour but persecutes saints.
 
Multitudes now, both in the Lord’s church and the denominational world, applaud the strength and courage of the patriarchs and prophets.  They admire the faith and dedication of the apostles and martyrs but condemn as stubbornness or foolish those of us who, by the same faith, stand for truth today.  Needed in our day, are men and women, young and old, who will obey their convictions of truth and duty at the cost of fortune and friends and even life itself.

STEPHEN
Let’s look for a few moments at Stephen, the first Christian martyr.  He was one of the seven chosen to minister to physical needs in the early church.  The Scripture says that the apostles told the brethren: “Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy ... and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus... ” (Acts 6:3-5).
 
Later in that same chapter we read of Stephen’s arrest.  The court engaged him in a hot debate. (v.8).   Stephen’s courage and wisdom shined through.  He used the sword of the Spirit, Word of God, to destroy their arguments.  He was full of faith and power.  God had taken full control of Stephen’s life.  Faith puts all things in God’s hand.  All of us must step out by faith and put our all into the hands of God.  Who is in control of your life and action, you or God?
 
The opponents of the Faith came out to argue against Stephen (v.9).  They could not defeat him in debate so they trumped-up charges against him.  They accused him of saying things against Moses and the Temple of God.  Remember, what the Devil can’t dig up, he’ll make up.  Keep in mind, you will be falsely accused by Satan’s hoard when you seek to serve God.
 
Look at the courage of Stephen “standing alone” (v.10). They were not able to resist the wisdom and power by which he spoke.  He got this wisdom from God (James 1:5), and his knowledge from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (Luke 21:15).   Friend, don’t be afraid to stand alone for God!  We are not to keep our faith a secret.  The true Christian will not really be alone since God is with him or her.

STEPHEN'S FACE
Stephen’s face looked like the face of an angel (v. 15).  There was a “heavenly glow” in his face.  Among his persecutors that day was a man called Saul of Tarsus (Paul) who heard his message and saw Stephen’s face.  When you stand alone, you never know who is watching you.  If you spend time with the Lord, people will be able to see it.  You will remind people of Jesus.  On their own Peter and John were not able to do and say what people were seeing and hearing.  But the people “took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).
 
In chapter 7, Stephen preached to his Jewish captors an overview of the history of the Jews.  He talked about Abraham and Joseph, Moses and the Prophets, David and Solomon.  Stephen charged then with rejecting the Holy Spirit in the past, and doing so even now.  Now they had rejected Jesus and had crucified Him.  They are continuing to refuse the Gospel.  When are they going to stop resisting the Holy Spirit?

STEPHEN IS ATTACKED
Stephen preached the truth to them and they became so angry that they gnashed their teeth.  Like snarling animals, they probably growled and showed their grinding teeth.  We sometimes are afraid to stand alone for Christ because of the intense hatred that some people show for Jesus, but to serve Him we must take a stand!  This is how we become valuable to the Lord.
 
Stephen looked up into heaven and saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God.  He saw Him standing rather than sitting.  Jesus is our lawyer (1 John 2:1).  When someone attacks his client, a lawyer will spring to his feet to defend his client.  It’s as though Jesus would defend Stephen!  But it was rather the time to welcome Stephen to his well-deserved “rest”.  Stephen’s view of Jesus was not blurred at all by what was going on against him.  He had his eyes on Jesus, but then he cried with a loud voice, “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep” (Acts 7:60).
We are taught, “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12).  Are we ready?  There are many forms of persecution.  We must be prepared for Satan’s attack against us regardless of the form.  Many of us have been warned of this from youth.
 
When we were young, as we headed off to school, many of us were reminded that we were the only Christian there – the only true representative of the Lord.  If you are a young Christian, our hope is that you receive that kind of encouragement.  If not, you will need to remind yourself.  We hope, too, that this message can reach young Christians who must stand alone in the world of sin – young Christians who honestly desire to please God.
 
Have you been forced to stand alone?  This can happen in many places.  It can even happen in your home.  Some have obeyed the Gospel, but no one else in their home is a true Christian.  Parents and siblings might have all refused Christ and now they refuse your new-found life in the Lord.  You might find yourself one light in the midst of darkness.  It may be that “friends” will no longer be friendly.  Don’t be discouraged!
 
“To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps."  When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.”  This is your opportunity to show to those around you what a Christian really is.  Don’t forget, the Lord is counting on you!

TAKE COURAGE – YOU ARE THE LORD’S
Christians are never alone, because God is on their side.  No matter how insignificant you may happen to feel, just remember the Lord is with you.  He promises, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).  All Christians, young and old, should encourage one another to stand, to even “stand alone” if need be, and do the right thing in any and all circumstances.  May the Lord bless us all as we strive to stand for Him!   Richard Nichols

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