While I’ve never been in the wild and heard a lion roar, I know I couldn’t sleep through it – unmistakable and terrifying, I would be wide-eyed with my heart pounding. The scriptures warn us, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” 1 Peter 5:8.
A lion usually does not roar when stalking because that would warn the unsuspecting prey of its whereabouts. (“Does a lion roar in the forest when he has no prey?” Amos 3:4). Lions roar to communicate a message – especially at night – to intimidate and lay claim over their territory and their victims.
Satan is no different. He seeks to drive us into the darkness of doubt by fear and intimidation – fear of missing out, fear of not getting what we want or think we deserve, fear that God is holding out on us, fear of loss or pain or unhappiness, fear of the future, fear of rejection, fear of ________. These fears exploit “the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and the pride of life” 1 John 2:16. And like a lion, “sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you” Genesis 4:7.
I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t want to be eaten by a lion – especially if he ate me one bite at a time. But that’s how I think the devil feeds on most of us. It’s usually not one big bite and it’s over – it’s more like one bite at a time as he comes to devour our hearts and minds. Slowly, but surely, we are consumed. So, when we retreat into these fears, we lose life, joy and relationship one bite at a time as we are pulled into the grip of our adversary.
But there is another Lion in the jungle who has “overcome.” He is the Lamb who bore our sin on the cross, triumphed over Satan, conquered death, and rose in victory as the “Lion of the tribe of Judah” (Revelation 5:5). And this Lion is greater than the one who is prowling around seeking to devour you (1 John 4:4).
The question is not which lion is greater; the question is whose roar do you hear?
The devil roars to drive you into sin – to steal, kill and destroy. The Lion of the tribe of Judah roars to proclaim His victory over sin and call you to walk with Him by faith in strength, security and fullness of joy. And as the Lover of our soul, His mighty roar drives the enemy of our soul back into the darkness of defeat empty-handed.
Straying from Jesus’ side, we are vulnerable, but staying near Him, we are invincible – for He is both the Lamb of God and the Lion King.
“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
– Isaiah 41:10
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© 2017 Tim McKenzie
On Every Word Ministries