One of my favorite movies growing up was the Wizard of Oz. Aside from Dorothy’s beautiful voice and her gorgeous ruby slippers, the best thing in the entire film is the Cowardly Lion. The guy is HILARIOUS.
He roars through the forest trying to scare Dorothy and her friends, only to be smacked on the nose by her, and left wiping his tears with his wiry tail. Why? Because he was really afraid of them.
Sometimes we see “Cowardly Lions” in real life. They act like they’re all big and tough; yelling, pushing and bullying and inflicting fear in those who dare cross their path, when in reality, they are the ones who are afraid. They feel they need to hurt so they don’t GET hurt.
Lately I have been reminded of a certain “lion” mentioned in the Bible. This one isn’t an actual lion though… he just fancies himself as one.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” –1 Peter 5:8
He is your enemy the devil, and he is on a mission to destroy.
Why does he do this? BECAUSE HE IS AFRAID.
There are some things we need to be aware of about his character:
- He wants to BE GOD.
- He is JEALOUS of God.
- He will try to “dress up” like God (the TRUE lion), only to devour those who choose to follow his lead.
You guys, it is so important to recognize that the enemy is no match for the King of the Universe. The Author of Creation. The Lion of Judah.
Jesus Christ is the “lion of the tribe of Judah” (Revelation 5:5) which means He is the ultimate, true, and eternal King. The roaring lion speaks of strength, majesty, and royalty.
The enemy? That loud fraud in a lion suit?
He is no match for the real deal.
The enemy is afraid of the inevitable… that he will lose.
So he isn’t going to go down quietly. No, he is going to do his best to steal the glory from God; to distract God’s people from worship, to cause fighting between members of the Body of Christ, to attack marriages, to twist the truth and deceive Believers into following lies… he is intent on making mankind suffer with him if he’s going to go down.
This could be terrifying, couldn’t it? I mean, we all want to avoid pain and suffering. None of us wants to experience broken relationships or sickness or death or aching of any kind. Oftentimes those things make us feel hopeless in the moment and THAT is exactly what that snake wants us to feel. He’ll whisper, “See? I told you He wouldn’t show up for you. He doesn’t really love you. You’re all alone.”
But God says,
“In this world you WILL have trouble. But take heart. I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD.” –John 16:33
Do you see? Jesus warned us of the enemy’s tactics. And, at the same time, He lets us know that He is victorious! Friend, that is our HOPE!!!
Our good, loving, gentle Lion God, HE IS HOPE.
Whenever the enemy is on the prowl and tries to get us to dwell in despair, it is because he knows something… God is about to get glorified.
When the enemy sinks in his teeth, he wants us to focus on the pain, not the Healer. He’ll tighten his grip so it’s hard to open our eyes and look up to the One who can take the pain away.
So, beloved friend, if you are in despair and hurting more deeply than you ever thought imaginable; if your family is on the verge of falling apart; if you are struggling to think how you’ll make it through to tomorrow, cling to this: GOD IS AT WORK. He is doing something bigger that we can’t see yet. The enemy is AFRAID because your BIGGER God is going to get the glory for what He does and the enemy will be left behind again.
Fight back. Look forward. Press on. The TRUE Lion wins.
And friend, put on your armor so that when the enemy strikes, you are prepared to fight back.
“10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
My prayer for all of us is that we don’t look around at the pain and suffering and wonder where God is in all of this, but that we look UP to Him and praise Him for what He is about to do, because He has overcome this world. He WINS. And friend, if you belong to Him? So do you.