Posted by: Heather | August 5, 2010

Lion on the Loose!

I Peter 5:8-9a (NIV) Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith…

Masterful, regal, and stately…these are three words that accurately describe the animal that is also called the ‘king of beasts’.  The proud lion is a symbol of strength and power among its fellow animals.  Weighing in at an average of 500 pounds in adulthood, the lion is one of the largest wild cats in creation.  Lions living in their habitat can be a beautiful sight.  They live in groups, called prides, where many females will usually live with 2-3 males.  Although the females do most of the hunting for the pride, the males fill the job of keeping the pride safe by marking their territory, fending off enemies, and helping bring down larger prey when more strength is needed to make the kill.    When a lion lets out a real roar, it can be heard up to 5 miles away, nailing down its reputation as a threat to any enemy that would dare venture nearby.

The lion is a beautiful animal…strong and unwavering, that can command its circle of influence well.    But, on the down side, although stately and capable on the outside,  it has many characteristics that are extremely unpalatable.  Although we like to think all animals will protect their young (and lions will to a degree), the tender cubs of the pride are often in great danger.   If a new group of males take over a pride, they will often kill the cubs of the females in the group, choosing instead to father their own cubs rather than take care of the former commander’s  offspring.  If food becomes scarce, mothers will selfishly keep the food for themselves, starving their cubs.  And if food isn’t soon found, these same mothers will even kill their own cubs to eat themselves.

Lions have many physical attributes that make them excellent hunters.  Sharp teeth and claws, a camouflage coat, and a great deal of strength give this cat the advantage at stalking and securing their next meal.   They accelerate very quickly, but once up to full running speed, their stamina fails just as quickly.  Because of their inability to sustain top running speed, they must be near their prey to pounce and kill.

The dark of night gives lions the advantage over their victims.  They prefer to hunt under the cover of darkness, using their incredible stalking ability.  They will patiently wait in the tall grass as if frozen.  If the prey they’re stalking turns its head away or bends down to eat, the lion will creep, without a sound, ever closer to the unsuspecting animal.  They will patiently wait and continue to creep up until they are within a reasonable striking distance.  When the time is right, they will pounce and subdue their dinner.

Although lions aren’t particularly choosy about their victims, prey that is sick, weak, old, or wounded is more vulnerable to attack than the strong, vibrant specimens.  They will work in groups when necessary to bring down their trophy, and the work is easiest on them when the prey is isolated from the rest of its group.  Then no reinforcements can be called upon to defend their comrade.  The favorite method of ending the prey’s life is to grab the muzzle and suffocate it.

What a perfect picture of the enemy of our soul!  The Hebrew word for Satan means ‘trap-setter’.  This is exactly how he executes his work.   His traps come in a variety of ways.  Circumstances can present us with a decision to make.  Thoughts may enter our head and demand a choice.  If we give in and make one bad choice, his next move is to deceive us into making another, going deeper with each trap.  Bad decision by bad decision, he creeps closer and closer, ready to pounce on his unsuspecting victim and devour the prey for his next selfish meal.    Darkness is his favorite medium, as he can stay hidden there.  Weakness and isolation make us even more vulnerable to his schemes.

In His loving mercy and kindness, Jesus waits to help us.  He’s given us not only Himself to turn to, but the company of people who love and care for us.  As the old saying goes, ‘there is safety in numbers’.  We are to lift one another up, and refuse to leave our fellow brothers and sisters alone in their weakness, unsuspecting victims to the enemy’s devices.  If you find yourself in isolation from other members of the body of Christ, do what you can to forge relationships with people you can trust.  Isolation provides more darkness for the enemy to work in, and is a prime scenario for him to set a trap to entice you with.

In our weakness, He is strong!  His Word is always nearby as a constant comfort and defense, even if we have nobody we can call on during the time of testing.  It’s important we learn to wage war with this lion, just as David did, protecting his flock from the attack of his vicious jaws.

There’s a lion on the loose!  But never fear.  Although he is stronger than we are in our humanity, “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”  (I John 4:4b).  Stand strong in Christ, and refuse to give in and be the next meal on his plate.

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Responses

  1. Heather, this blog is one of the best. The analogy is great because this is how the devil works! Keep hearing from the Lord and blessing us.

  2. that is good.
    when is the next one?

  3. That’s a good word! POWERFUL!


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