Let's Get out of the cage and onto the limb

When we know God is for us, we can take a risk.

By Dr. DAN ERICKSON

I’m still riveted by a scene from years ago.

It was an eagle, magnificent in every way. Except that it was confined to a cage.

“What would the eagle do if you removed the cage?” I asked a nearby zookeeper.

“It would stay put,” he said. “It was born in captivity and has become conditioned to and dependent on its environment.”

These cage-bound eagles could see the bars, but not beyond to the stars. The world outside of the box was one of mystery, fear and insecurity.

This is a picture of the condition in which nearly all of us live, at least some of the time. We fail to reach our potential in Christ – the “abundant life” He promised to bring – because we submit to fear. We settle for the life of mediocrity that comes from self-reliance and “safety” instead of reaching for the choice fruit that is out on the limb. We live in a cage of our own making.

But once we shinny out onto the limb, we discover that God can do astoundingly more than we could ever ask or imagine.

The Message calls this “a real and eternal life, more and better life than [we] ever dreamed of” (John 10:10).

What can coax us from the cage to the branch so that we can begin to fly? In short, it’s knowing who we are and Whose we are. This begins to happen when we understand:

  • God’s Acceptance He loves us unconditionally, just as we are, but loves us too much to leave us unchanged (John 3:16-17; Romans 5:8).
  • God’s Affirmation He cares deeply for us and is with us in the midst of our pain (Psalm 34:18; 1 Peter 5:7).
  • God’s Assurance He invites us to call upon Him and promises to give us answers for life – answers that matter now and for eternity (Jeremiah 33:3).

Remember, it’s all about the “Who.” We must count on a Who – the almighty God of the universe – and not a what (a bank account, prestige or position). If you can create it, control it and finance it, then God is not part of the plan.

With His backing, we can take risks, knowing that when we go out on a limb, He will not saw it off! Only then can we “mount up with wings like an eagle, run and not be weary, walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:21).

Let’s step outside the cage, take a risk and imagine the possibilities!

The paradox of an eagle in a cage.

The paradox of an eagle in a cage.