THE LION HATH ROARED, WHO WILL NOT FEAR?

AMOS 3:8


By Yvonne S. Waite



"WHERE IS THE DWELLING OF THE LIONS,
AND THE FEEDINGPLACE OF THE YOUNG LIONS,
WHERE THE LION, EVEN THE OLD LION WALKED. . .
AND NONE MADE THEM AFRAID?" Nahum 2:11

For a dozen years or so I've been using I Peter 5:6-11 as my "life" verses. Look them up. There is so much to think about in that passage. In a letter to a friend, I began writing about the "devil, our adversary" (1 Peter 5:8). The Bible says he is as a roaring lion "seeking whom he may devour." I wrote and wrote and wrote. All the thoughts and meditations that have been on my heart for so long came out on paper to her. Let me tell you some of the things that I said that day.

THE DEVIL AS A ROARING LION
The devil is our adversary and he is like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). He is NOT a lion but he is LIKE one. If he were an actual animal with a big mane and dangerous eyes, walking on four huge paws, wed recognize him in a minute. No, he is AS' a lion. To put it bluntly that Lion-like-Devil's whole goal is to DESTROY Christians. So how does he do it? He is walking among us Christians. He looks so nice--nothing like a lion. His eyes are observing us. He knows whom he wants. He is patient. He is stalking us. He will wait for the right irresistible "temptation" to grab us--that unguarded moment when our caution is down. Maybe he uses someone whom we have trusted to get to us. Maybe he uses an attractive stranger or a close friend--or even an enemy. Maybe he is waiting for a certain weakness to be weaker. It could be sexual or a substance addiction. It could be financial, blasphemy, pride, or vain babbling, or our own anger. Sad to say, the Lion watches us and he knows our weaknesses! No matter, he uses someone or something among us to attempt to destroy us. If we are not careful, he will "eat us up" and our testimony will be destroyed.

RESIST WITHIN THE PARAMETERS OF THE WORDS OF GOD
What are we to? The Bible tells us that we ARE TO RESIST HIM, not in our own strength, but "steadfast
in the faith" (1 Peter 5:9). How do we go about doing that? I asked my husband what "in the faith" meant. When we know that, we will know HOW we resist the Devil? Dr. Waite told me that "in the faith" means "within the parameters of the Words of God." He said that any other kind of resisting is wrong. That affirms my thinking that we can't resist with the power of our own wisdom or understanding--not by our logic, or by our own strength. In other words, we can't win by our human ways of resisting others. This resisting against the Devil must be in a steadfast, firm, and strong manner. How can we do this when we are so weak and ill ourselves?

HE WALKS AMONG US, LURKING & STALKING
The Roaring Lion stalks us right here where you and I live ( 1 Peter 5:8). He walks among us as we are happy, doing our daily tasks, and thinking all is well in our world. He could be lurking in another room of your house without your knowledge. He could be out in the play-yard with the children. He could be at your husband's work or at the grocery store. He could be comforting you on your sick-bed. He could be in the church choir or be someone on the missionary committee. That wise and unscrupulous "animal" is walking about "SEEKING whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8). That is his full-time job. He is watching for some weakness of character, some flaw, some look of the eye, some unseemly word. It is scary. Mother Eve knew this "up-front and personal." Suffering Job felt the Devil's wrath in despair. Missionary Paul had an encounter that was so awful that he was left with a "thorn in the flesh" (2 Corinthians 12:7). It must have been a horrible struggle. He wrote to his friend, Pastor Timothy, "I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion" (2 Timothy 4:17). I have seen his work up-close, too, haven't you?

A LION IN YOUR HOUSE
The other day on the news, I heard of some wild cat that got loose from its cage and walked into a house close-by. The animal was trapped in those rooms. It was frantic. It wanted out! Did the owner of the house stay within its walls watching? Did he try to cozy up to the cat? Did he try to persuade the visitor by words or kindness? Did he give him a cup of tea? No. The owner got out of the house as quickly as he could. He fled in fear. Soon, I heard, the frightened animal jumped out a window, breaking it in pieces, and ran out in the street, wild with rage, until stopped. What a relief to the homeowner. This frightful pouncing-devil was gone.

WE THINK THAT WE ARE IN CONTROL
Isn't that how we should act when we detect the presence of Satan in our midst? Yet we don't always run out of the place of danger. We don't recognize the situation as peril. We think we are in control. We think we can help. Sometimes we are so blinded by the beauty of the beast that we cozy-up to it. We love it, enjoying the euphoria of the evil situation--all the while denying it is evil. Before we know it, the "lion" has pounced on us. We are caught within its paws. It is only afterwards that we realize that we had experienced the "wiles" of the Devil first-hand. The enemy had struck and we were caught red-handed in sin!

A WEED ON YOUR TREE
Looking out my office window, I can see a vine-weed growing on the old chestnut tree. Somehow, the wind had blown one of the seeds of an unwanted vine from our overgrown trellis up on a tree branch. Now the weed has taken hold! If my husband does not cut it down, the whole tree will be taken over by that greedy weed. How like sin in the life of a believer! It comes gently with the wind of the day, and soon has taken over with a hurricane of sadness. This is the insidious scheme of the Devil. He does not roar until the Christian falls into his purloining paws.

THE DEVIL ATTACKS WHEN LEAST EXPECTED
The sad fact is that while we are "humbling ourselves" and "casting our care" on Jesus, the lion is stalking us (1 Peter 5:6-7). While we are comforted by God the Father's "care" for us, the Devil is preparing to pounce. It's insidious! It's secretive! It is an action that we don't expect. Why? Because we are contented and happy in trusting our God with our "care." While we are "humbling ourselves under His Mighty Hand," the "lion" is licking his chops in anticipation, waiting for a bite of our flesh. While we are "underneath" the "everlasting arms" (Deuteronomy 33:27) and trusting God with our every "care," this beast is lustfully "eyeing" us. He is waiting for the attack. He is patient. He has all the time in the world to get us. In the midst of all this "humbling" and our "casting" of our "care" on God (1 Peter 5:6-7), the Evil One attacks. We did not expect it. The roar from his huge mouth deafens our ears. Too late to save us from his clutches! It is the roar of a conqueror in victory. What an awful concept to be conquered by Satan! Other Christians have been conquered by him--this monster. There have been times when we've almost been eaten ourselves. We must continue in our "vigilance" (1 Peter 5:8). Don't let it happen to us. We must "resist" (1 Peter 5:9)!

SUFFERING PRECEDES PERFECTION
Praise God that He is the God of ALL grace (1 Peter 5:10)! He has called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus" (1 Peter 5:10). That is the "perfect" call! We have the promise that after we "suffer," we will be perfect (complete) (1 Peter 5:10). How very incomplete we are now--our illnesses, our disappointments, our sorrows, our hurts make us so imperfect. Yes, we understand the "suffer" part, but what about the perfection--the completeness? We are so incomplete, so imperfect, so lacking in true yieldness to Jesus Christ. It is not unusual for us to "kick against the pricks" (Acts 9:5).

RESISTING STRENGTHENS
Then we see that we'll be "stablished" (1 Peter 5:10). This means "made stable, firm, strengthened, settled." Oh, how unsettled we are at times We have upsets, "reproaches," and "persecutions"
(2 Corinthians 12:10). Our good has been "evil spoken of" (Romans 14:16). How can that "settle" us? How can Satan's growling in our face "strengthen" us? How can all this emotional flack make us stable? How can our hurts make us firm? Is it possible that resisting the Devil is one of the building blocks for the perfection and establishment of a mature Christian?? It is true when people do physical exercise, they are stronger. When an athlete does "resisting" exercises, the very act of doing so "strengthens" his muscles. If he stops his "resisting" training, he will succumb to weakness and fail in his athletic goals. Can this be true in the Christian's spiritual race? My answer is, "Yes!" Now I am beginning to understand this passage of Scripture. Resisting brings strength! "Resisting" the EVIL ONE is a life-long job of alertness and caution. Once we begin to let up on such resistance, we will fail in the fight of Faith (1 Timothy 6:12). That "lion" is watching our every move. Beware! "He that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall (1 Corinthians 10:12). The Devil is a master trap-setter.

GOD'S PROMISES RESULTS
GOD HAS PROMISED THAT AFTER WE HAVE SUFFERED, WE WILL BE PERFECT AND STABLISHED (ESTABLISHED). I don't really know how it works, but God works this "together" (Romans 8:28) in our lives; and, as we age and live through these emotional and physical trials, we find that we are "stablished." Then we are able to give God the glory, recognizing His sovereign power and hand in our lives. But never should we sit back on our laurels and think we have won over this sneaky, crafty, stalking "lion." He is always "seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8).

BEWARE THAT HE OR SHE WHO THINKETH HE STANDETH
TAKE HEED LEST HE OR SHE FALL (1 Corinthians 10:12).
 

 

This is a test of the web page Under God's Care DOT org