Genesis 15:11 \”Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.\”
Let\’s begin with the first things! God is and has always been a Covenant making/keeping God. He has been making covenant with man since the very beginning. Adam, Noah, Abraham, the Law and now Jesus the Messiah: each of them received covenant promises and instructions from God, building on one another until we come to Jesus who sealed all other previous covenants by His Blood. And along with covenant, there have always been birds of prey seeking to devour the sacrifices that have been laid before God. It is our responsibility to drive them off before they successfully steal covenant away.
What are birds of prey?
In the natural, literally birds (lol)! I know a duh moment right? That\’s a no-brainer response to the question. In truth there the vultures that we see on the side of the road (or the middle too) that are eating on the carcasses of roadkill. Not only this, but they also eat small living rodents, fish and there have even been tall tails of them picking up larger animals and taking them off to their nests to eat on. All that to say these are large birds (not your average parakeet here) with feet-long wingspans! They seem formidable in size and scary, they take no prisoners and devour in packs if necessary. They clean carcasses til there is nothing left but DNA from bone marrow to determine what kind of animal it was they ate. Thankfully we don\’t live in the time of animal sacrifices, or we would have to fight them off in the natural all the time. In this day and age, we have to fight the spiritual ones off more than the natural so let\’s pick up our focus there…
What are the spiritual Birds of Prey you might ask? Doubt, fear, pride, self (in all its forms), there are more we could talk about, including religion. You might argue with me about the last one, but I\’m talking about the works-based mentality of earning righteousness versus the free-flowing river of God\’s love and Grace through Jesus Christ. I\’m not talking about Islam, Buddhism or any other world religion that is out there. You see the pieces that we offer on the altar in covenant with God, are faith–faithful obedience and our will. The birds of prey come along to devour those things from off the altar using the aforementioned ways. They come as antagonists in the workplace or school but are more common in attacking our minds and hearts. All it takes is one, but as others see the success they come to join in on the attack.
So how do we drive them away? Simply put…Prayer and the Word of God. It isn\’t either or, it must be BOTH! Prayer alone is usually more along the lines of begging God to remove the birds with little or no effort on our part. The Word alone may seem effective, but in the end, it may only serve to educate without faith to walk the instructions it out. You need both. Prayer becomes more powerful and authoritative when we declare the effective WORD of GOD over our situation and our minds. The Word serves as the washing detergent for our minds and prayer is the bond of faith that aids us in walking out what we have heard through the Word. Prayer also positions us for hearing the Rhema revelation of Gods Word for our lives.
I know sounds simple right? Almost too simple. We all have those human days where we don\’t \”feel\” like getting into Gods Word and praying. Too many things to do, distractions at work, kids have busy lives, sleep deprivation (lol…can I get a witness??!!!) Granted these are all fair reasons er, uh I mean excuses to have.
I mean I have a laundry list of reasons why this will never work. But wait there\’s more! The one ingredient we need to make this truly work is discipline; which really means time.
The time it takes to spend in discipline is beneficial, because it forms…wait for it…a habit! The reality is that we have the time, we just don\’t discipline ourselves to form the habit of driving off the Birds. So in the end, we become complicit and covenant becomes something I once had with the feeling I can never get back or it is too late to get back. The great thing is that God is faithful! He will let you pick it back up from where you left off and lay it all down again! Start today and begin to prioritize your life around this discipline. There are 24 hours in a day, you sleep 8 that leaves 16 hours of the day to start the habit forming discipline of prayer and the Word of God. Start out small if you have too, nobody truly starts with hours of prayer and bible study, they work up to it.
Where to start? Find a good reading schedule and as you read through the bible if there are verses that stick out to you, mark them for further contemplation and prayer. Watch the actions of the heroes of faith and devour the words that they speak place yourselves within those words and declare them if necessary. There, also, are books available that contain scriptures dealing with every area of your life. You can start with those and use them as prayerful points of the Word over your mind and life. Any bible bookstore will carry them. Find one that suits you the best and then use it as a bible study for your personal devotion times.
YOU TOO CAN HAVE THE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD THAT YOU DESIRE! YOU TOO CAN DRIVE OFF THE BIRDS OF PREY THAT SEEK YOUR COVENANT SACRIFICE!