Spurgeon once said, "I'd rather be a lean bird in the woods than a fat bird in a cage."  

A caged bird beating its wings against the bars is a sad sight.  Sadder still is a fat old eagle that has given up dreaming of mountain crags, resigned to captivity. Eagles were never meant to be imprisoned.

     It is fitting that the lordly eagle should be the emblem of America. But, with moral corruption creeping into the church, society and politics, we may have to swap the eagle for a vulture. America has ceased to be a solitary eagle on a lonely peak, rather, she is a fat old bird in a gilded cage.  She no longer stretches and beats her wings in protest, rather she is dying in smug and sinful ease. Solomon said, "Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people." Prov. 14:34. Also, the Psalmist said, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord . . ." Psa. 33:12. NKJV.

     Over two centuries ago we were a band of pioneers braving countless dangers. Our Founders crossed 3000 miles of ocean and blazed a trail across still another 3000 miles of wilderness and desert to make America a young giant among the nations, admired by a startled world. No outside power could put us in fetters. Today we are forging the bonds of  our imprisonment in moral bondage and spiritual enslavement.  Our Founding Fathers risked their security to win our liberty, that was born in 1776. Today we would rather be fat birds in a cage, rather than lean birds in the woods, and are selling our liberty to win security! The brave soldiers who dared face the British army to win our liberty, did not look to Washington for a hand out, they had inner resources.

     America was youthful and vibrant and respected around the world when America was church and Christianity friendly. The church has become weak because it is cowering to the antics of a government who is becoming more and more anti church. Modern Christianity needs to get out of its cages and back to the crags. Our Lord came to set us free, and we need to stand fast in that divinely ordained liberty. We need to mount up with wings of eagles.

     Christianity will not rise higher than the leaders of the church. Ministers must choose whether to be prophets in crags or priests in cages. Someone once said, "I was born in a field, do not put me in a flowerpot!"  The ministers of the early church in America were lean birds in in the woods. The Apostle Paul was in Nero's prison, but he was not Nero's prisoner!

     The four hundred false prophets were fat birds in a cage. Martin Luther was a free bird in the woods, and so was John Wesley.  Eagles are safe in a zoo, but eagles were not made for the zoo. Ships are safe in harbors, but ships were made for the stormy sea.

     The best way to avoid a cage is to find a crag! What is your cage? Is it a bad habit? Is it spending the evening out with the boys rather than your wife and family?  Is it sex and promiscuity? Is it staying within your comfort zone and not getting out into the highways and byways, revealing the Lamb of God to the lost sinner?

     Ministering, whether it be from the pulpit, the printed page, across the air waves, the internet, etc, is not a business or a profession - it is a calling. I have crossed the Bible mark of threescore and ten and am convinced that the grace of God that brought me this far will surely lead me home. In the mean time I want to leave the cage far behind and minister in the crags.                                    

       Just a Thought Across The Garden Gate by Parson Don.




                                                                                                    Updated January 13, 2010
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        Each devotional was written by Parson Don Brown, and inspired under God's Direction

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