Monday, November 23, 2009

The Lord as the papa eagle – a vision of faithfulness, comfort and assurance

Today, I want to share about a vision I had at the end of October 2009. It was in the early hours of the morning. I was up praying for what the Lord wanted to say through me through words of knowledge for my church weekend services.

It started in a room
The vision started with me in the vision itself. In the vision I was in a room, and there were two other persons in the room. One of them I could recognize was a long time church friend, the other was a unknown young man. This long-time friend was at one corner of the room and was not involved with the rest of what happened. As to why he was in the picture I was not sure. Possibly it was to be consistent with my asking, i.e. an asking for the body of Christ - he is a Christian and is a member of my church. Also this brother had gone through much in life, especially in his career, worked for others, was in businesses for many years, been through business partners’ squabbles, had much ups and downs, and then went back to employment, and then finally out , and was on some multi-level selling late in his life.

The conversation thereof
The interesting thing was that the young man in the vision engaged me in conversation. I am a fairly old man! What would a young man converse with a much older man about? Young men are enthusiastic, and this young man talked about his plans, about “conquering the world”, how he mapped out every things, step by step how he would steer himself into positions beneficial to himself, to get into business settings, and then into business, and be successful in it. This young man was a Christian too. I could tell by his making reference to the Bible. Although not intentionally trying to dampen the young man enthusiasm about life, I said that if he had gone through as much in years that I had, he would find that things did not always worked out exactly like what he had intended. You see, I too, have had my fair share of upsets in life, career or otherwise.

Ceiling no more
Then suddenly when I have finished saying something to the effect that my setbacks, even the current one, did not necessarily spell the end of me, my eyes looked up and saw the ceiling of the room was no more there. Instead what I saw was the foliage of a tree top. The young man began to look with me, at the tree. This young man thereafter was just there watching with me. We both just watched and did nothing. The room no longer featured in the vision; the concentration was now on the tree and what happened there.

Zoom, zoom, zoom
I first saw an eagle coming into the tree top, onto a section that looked like a nest. The picture began to go on a zoom, i.e. it began to get bigger and bigger. The eagle got larger and larger. Then I saw one of its wings was placed right in front of its body. Then I could see an eaglet behind the large wing of the big eagle. This eaglet was hovering up and down behind the wing, kind of attempting to fly but was faltering. I could see the eaglet popping up and down the top of the held-up wing in front of the big eagle. Then the eaglet got hidden under the wing when the wing was brought close to the body of eagle, and the picture got into greater zoom mode. The close-up was so near that now I could see that the big eagle was really majestic, with full colors – with whites and shades of brown feathers. When I saw the body of the eagle in a close-up shot, I could see that the eagle was clothed; it had a colourful vest on, there were white as well as red stripes. Then I saw the eagle was wearing a tie (neck-tie with blue and white colours), and the impression that came with that sight, was that it was a papa eagle.

Papa, and it unzoomed
The moment the thought of the eagle was a papa eagle came, the picture went into a quick “unzoom”. This is to say that suddenly I was again looking at the spot on the tree from a further distance. I could no longer see an eagle at the spot anymore. What was there a moment ago was an eagle, now was only a coat which surprisingly still retained its form. As I was wondering where the eagle had gone, the large collar of the coat moved, and the thought that came, was that the eagle was still there, it was just that I could not see it (invisible). And with that, the vision ended.

What is the interpretation of this vision?
First, I believe this is a vision of faithfulness, comfort and assurance, and I believe it was meant for the body of Christ, in the first instance, meant for the body in my church, secondarily for the general body of Christ, and this is why I have it articled here. I have had previous dreams of assurance of similar kinds, for myself. I have one of them written up at the end of this article (see Appendix), just to encourage along the same line.

But now for the interpretation of this vision, the eaglet represented children of God. Everyone, at salvation, became a child of God. At salvation, we are adopted as children by God through the Holy Spirit. All Christians, young (represented by the young man in the vision) or old (represented by me and the old church friend of mine, in the vision) are still children, like little eaglets, to God. Some of us may have grown much older since salvation but we are really never fully grown, in the eyes of the Abba Father. I believe the young man’s referencing to the Bible in his conversation with me, was deliberately put in by God so that we know that children of God were being referenced to. And the conversation on life, the journeys and the ups and downs, and the faltering, pictured by the faltering eaglet, and the coming of the papa eagle, was to symbolize the coming of Father God to his children’s aid when they faltered in lives, regardless of whether they are young or old. When I asked the Lord for the meaning of the vision, I came to Psalm 17:8. In this portion of the psalm, King David said this: Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings. This verse is spot on for the vision.

The apple of the eye, although could generally be translated as someone’s beloved, it is actually more than just that. As my Senior Pastor rightly pointed out the apple of the eye is the pupil of the eye. The pupil of the eye is rather unique in that it has autonomy to regulate itself; when it is dark, it will open the aperture bigger to admit more light; when it is bright outside, it will reduce the size of the aperture to regulate the amount of light into the eye, all involuntarily – doing it, of itself. But when there is a danger coming to the pupil of the eye, the eyelid will come down to cover it, you might tilt your head away, hold up your hands to block the danger, or do whatever needed to dodge/ward off the danger. As the apple of God’s eye means you are given freedom (your free-will not taken from you) yet when there is any danger, God would protect you at all cost. As apple of God’s eye here in the vision, whether it is represented by the eaglet, with freedom to try to fly, or by the young man and I, with freedom in our engagements in life, when we get into trouble, afflicted or faltered, Father God comes like the papa eagle to hide us in the shadow of His wings.

Therefore the message in this vision is that as children of God, young or old, as apple of God’s eye, papa God is faithful to come to our aid, to protect us. The ending part of the vision is really showing us that God is faithful; we may not see God, we may not feel him, He is there watching over. The Lord brought to remembrance one of the trustworthy sayings of Paul in 2 Timothy 2:

if we are faithless{believe not}, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself (2 Timothy 2:13)

With much regret, I did not manage to deliver this vision to my church congregation over the weekend. As a matter of arrangement I have with the Lord, words of knowledge received prior to the first weekend service, would be for that first service, unless there was a sensation of otherwise. But I could not release this vision because of time constraint. In the first service (Saturday evening service), we were running out of time, and visions such as this one tended to take more time to be fully released to be understood. I had no choice but to skip it. It can be argued that this vision was meant for the entire church congregation and therefore should still be released on the next service which was the Sunday’s first service. Actually it turned out that this service did not suffered from the lack of time. But the session for the word of knowledge came on too soon in the service, and it caught me off guard; I ended up not releasing it, and was praying and ministering to people instead. Maybe I failed the Lord there, I am not sure. But one thing did happen though, a sister, from the congregation gave this word (in its place?) from Deuteronomy:

10 In a desert land he found him,
in a barren and howling waste.
He shielded him and cared for him;
he guarded him as the apple of his eye,
11 like an eagle that stirs up its nest
and hovers over its young,
that spreads its wings to catch them
and carries them on its pinions.
(Deuteronomy 32:10-11)

I decided that in the 3rd service, Sunday 10:30am service, I would release the vision. I stayed but no time was allotted for words of knowledge for that service.
I believe visions, words of knowledge and manifestations of the Holy Spirit can be spiritual food for us (if you want to catch a exposition on what constitute spiritual food, read this article – Spiritual food), and anyone reading this vision can claim the goodness, assurance and promises in it.

Anthony Chia – Lord, this vision has left an imprint in me of you as the PAPA, may you still use this write-up of the vision to speak to many.

Appendix – saved by the Lord’s golden sash:
This was a dream I had quite a number of months back. In this dream there was no one else in the picture. I was just me in a room, much like in a room of a posh hotel. The room, very well furnished, had glass walls. There was a low cabinet against one of the glass wall, and on top of the cabinet was a black luggage. In the dream, I reached for this luggage. Unexpectedly, I ended up giving a push to the luggage, and before I knew it, I was slipping along with the luggage over the cabinet, and into the air outside of the room! Apparently, the glass could be pushed opened, and somehow, not knowing to me, the wall was not there, the glass was pushed opened. I fell from the room, and then I realized it was a tall building, and I was in free fall. It was a long drop. Just before I hit the ground, suddenly, I went upright. My hands stretched out, and around one hand, and extending to the other hand across the chest was a golden sash, and I began to rise and rise, all the way back up to the room I fell from. I can still remember when I got back into the room, I hung the golden sash on a clothes pole.

Personal to me, as this is clearly a personal dream – no one else was in the dream; I was not particularly praying or interceding for another, and the only character in the dream was me. This dream spoke of the assurance that my God was watching over me. Even if I unwittingly stumble, God is there to save me. The moving back up through the air to the room has the connotation of restoration. So, it is not only that God saves, He will restore. How do I know it was a dream from God? We read in Isaiah 11, the sash represented faithfulness of God (Isaiah 11:5b - … and faithfulness the sash around his waist). In fact, Isaiah 11 is a prophetic description of the Messiah, Jesus. In Revelation 1:12-16, John gave a description of the one “like the son of man”. I believe Jesus was being described there. Notice that verse 13 said that He had sash around His chest. In that dream, Jesus took off His sash, wrapped it around my hands so that I could be propelled up in the air by His sash. This is how personal Jesus can get. This is how faithful Jesus can get.

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