President’s Challenge – The 2009-2010 School Theme

R. Barry Beebe, President of NBBI

The 2009-10 school theme has been “Learning to Walk, to Run and to Fly” from Isaiah 40:31, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

I spoke on this theme in our chapels and illustrated it with video, decorative objects, songs, etc. I challenged our students and have been challenged myself to incorporate this truth in my daily life.

Isaiah 40 speaks of a mighty, mighty God who is very, very strong. He is called Jehovah nine times, Elohim seven times and Adonai once. In verses 1-2 He is the Comforter; in verses 3-5 He comes to reveal His glory; in verses 9-11 He is the caring Shepherd; in verses 12-28 He is the Creator; in verse 25 He is the Holy One; and in verse 28 He is incomprehensible.

Isaiah 40 also speaks of the frailty of man. We humans are very, very weak. Mankind is described as being flesh, corrupting, frail flesh verses 5-6; weak, worthless grass and fading flowers verses 6-8; little wobbly lambs verse 11; a drop in the bucket verse 15; small dust verse 15; nothing less than nothing and vanity, verse 17; grasshoppers verse 22; stubble verse 24; and faint, with no might, weary and falling verses 29 and 31. These dramatic descriptions are given to prepare us for the final verse of the chapter, verse 31. Man has no hope of being able to spiritually proceed unless he waits on the Lord.

(1) Walking refers to the pattern of a consistent Christian life. Walking in faith, love, truth, etc. and not by sight or feelings.

(2) Running refers to energy and passion in rising to the opportunities and tasks that God places before us – running the race, pressing toward the mark, striving to accomplish the will of God.

(3) Flying refers to a spiritual ability to rise above and to live above the problems of life, the issues of life and the trials of life; to soar like an eagle in heights of God, not to be pulled down by the enemies below.

There is only one hope on earth for mankind and that is to seek the Lord, wait on the Lord and to continuously rely on the Lord for the renewal of our strength. Our God is like a great eagle soaring over His creation, Exodus 19:3-4; Deuteronomy 32:9-14. God calls us, His eaglets, to wait on Him, grow in strength and learn the disciplined life of walking, running and soaring in the Spirit.

This article appears in the April 2010 Open Bible Bulletin.

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