Vultures and the Christian Walk

20160913-hawks-above-ridgeMost people observe some kind of vulture and they usually see them in two ways. First, they are seen circling at altitude. The image shows a picture of the small mountain top near my home and the sky above it. Even with digital photography, the resolution was not good enough to see the vultures, but they were there. I could hardly see them. The second way people see them is when they are eating dead things on the ground. While both types of sightings are common, neither type of sighting includes the most important features this bird’s abilities.

The key ability of the vulture is to soar by using the thermals that occur over the earth. They sense the slightest uplift on their wings; they respond by slightly changing the position of the wings and feathers. This changes their lift characteristics, so they ride the thermal higher in a slow circle. Once high aloft, they can glide from one thermal to the next. In short, they are masters of low speed aerodynamics, acutely sense uplifting air, and show much greater capability then the most advanced designs of low speed vehicles we have invented so far.

The second ability of the vulture is something most people never watch, which is the work they do over a period of time to find a thermal. If you watch some of these birds at low altitude long enough, you will find they seek a thermal by activcly making an effort to find one. They will search an area, briefly soar to see if they can detect an uplift, try to catch a little help if they can, then resume searching by flying to another location. In short, they are poised to grab an uplift, but they work and position themselves to find one.

So it is with the Christian walk. Are you doing nothing but expecting opportunity to come to you? Why not copy the vulture? Be in position to catch the wind of the Spirit by testing situations that present themselves. Be ready to investigate any opportunity with people with need within your sphere of influence, where you might be the answer to encourage, exhort, or help. Do you have none of those situations around you? Move to another location, another time, another group of people, or another situation. Try again. Vultures keep an eye on each other because if one catches the wind the others might catch it, too. Are you still not doing anything? Then aim to assist another believer, which requires some effort on your part. This is all part of working out your salvation. If you intend to be a disciple, sitting around waiting for ministry to materialize is kind of dumb…if you are seriously interested in following the Spirit of God. You have to do something!

And once you have the wind of the Spirit, be prepared to change your posture to go with Him. Don’t insist on your direction but go in God’s direction. Quite often our direction does not agree with God’s. Once those vultures have uplift, they change those wing positions and begin to circle to stay in the uplift…and then they soar. Do likewise, believer. Stay in the uplift of the Spirit, which means you choose to do His bidding rather than yours. The Spirit moves to exhort, encourage, and help people. That can be messy business. Welcome to being a disciple, but it sure beats sitting around doing nothing except serving your own interests, which produces no fruit at all.

Be like the flying vulture.

If you don’t believe me, believe the Scripture. Paul aimed to help the churches. It took several parts of a trip to finally catch the Spirit in the right place to do what God intended. See Acts 15:36-16:1.  Look at Peter in Acts 10, where it took some repeated prompting from the Holy Spirit to be ready to go down to “unclean” people, travel to Cornelius’s house, and find that the Spirit had already prepared people to receive and move forward. It required effort and going in God’s direction to catch the wind of the Spirit. Only then could his actions be a blessing. Do likewise. Sitting in church or at home minding your own business and affairs rarely provides the kind of obedience necessary to begin to have much spiritual fruit. Be like the vulture. Get up, flap those wings, fly a bit, find a thermal, and go with it.

There are some pretty serious spiritual and practical needs out there among hurting people. Are you willing to be part of the answer? What if a whole church takes this attitude and posture? Wouldn’t that be good?

Be like the flying vulture.


If you are not a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, consider Him. He is able, because He is the Creator and the Savior and the Risen Lord, to make your life fruitful, which is what this parable talks about. He died for us to set us free and give us peace from the inside out. He seeks to mature us as we follow His guidance. His guidance is real, biblical, and active, because He loves those who call upon Him. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to send a message using the “contact us” page.

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