The Lion’s Den
This past week my family and I went to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. While at the lion enclosure a docent gave an informative and interesting lecture. During the question and answer period I asked the docent if the zoo keeper entered the enclosure with the lions. To be honest I expected to her to say yes. To my surprise she said that the zoo keeper never interacted with the lions without a barrier between them.
The truth is lions are too powerful and unpredictable for a human being to engage without an abundance of caution. One swipe of their paw or bite from their razor sharp teeth would mean certain death. So what if I told you that everyday you are in danger of being viciously attacked by a rabid lion who hunts for your soul? Would you believe me or shout “nonsense?” Please reserve judgement and continue reading.
Behind Enemy Lines
Peter writes in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
You live in the domain of your enemy. This enemy is referred to in the Bible as lucifer, satan and the devil. He has the opportunity and intent to inflict as much pain and anguish upon you as possible. He delights in tormenting your soul and is the inventor of all evil. He uses your very own desires against you and if you let him he will destroy you mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically.
He knows where you live, who you love and who loves you. He knows your route to work, your boss and co-workers. He knows your weaknesses and will relentlessly tempt you where you’re most vulnerable. He will flatter you and give you a false sense of security and when you let your guard down he will slam you to the ground and then taunt you for being so gullible. And just so you know you’re no match for his cunning and power. He will reduce your life to a living hell. If you try to engage him on his turf without a barrier you will certainly lose.
These past several months I have witnessed the carnage of the enemy in peoples lives first hand whether it be chemical dependency, unhealthy relationships, lying, cheating, cutting, depression etc.
For example, yesterday while enjoying an afternoon stroll with my family I met a man named Jose. He asked me to buy him a soda so I asked him if he wanted lunch instead to which he replied, “Sure.” Jose and I proceeded to a local convenience store where I bought him lunch. He was so spacey that he was either heavily drugged or just had a lobotomy. I surveyed the tattos on his arms and asked him if he was in a gang to which he replied “What’s a gang?” Hmm.
Then just before we walked out of the convenience store I looked down to see a dozen fine red lines running from the interior of his forearm to his wrist. I asked him if he did this to himself to which he replied, with no emotion, “Yes.” So sad, just so sad.
The truth is that millions of people all around the world are hurting. Yes much of it is because of their own poor choices but how many of us have also made poor choices. Moreover, these people are your neighbor whom you and I have a responsibility to help during their time of need.
Loving Your Neighbor
When Jesus was asked who is our neighbor he told a story of a man lying beside the road having been senselessly beaten and robbed. Two religious men walked right passed him but it was another man who was supposed to be his enemy who carried him to a hospital and paid his medical bills.
I wonder what would be the social impact if we spent less money on making ourselves happy and more on helping those in need. Maybe instead of keeping an abundance of money in worldly banks we would make deposits into the treasury in heaven.
You Can Overcome
You might be reading this and say to yourself I’m not being devoured by the roaring lion. Really? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I depressed?
- Do I live with guilt?
- Do I expect bad things to happen?
- Do I self medicate or seek an escape from reality whether that be food, alcohol, unhealthy relationships, prescription pills, illegal drugs etc.?
If you said yes to any of these then you are not living the life for which you were created. First acknowledge the enemy exists and that without a barrier you will eventually be destroyed. The only barrier that will adequately protect you from the enemy is Jesus Christ the savior of the world. He alone has gained victory over the enemy and is therefore able to give the same victory to you and me.
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. – 2 Corinthians 2:14
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:37–39
Do You See What I See
Do you see the evidence of the roaring lion all around? Are you even looking for it or are you living in a virtual utopia blind to the needs of your fellow man? Get on your knees my brothers and sisters. Pray that the Lord would give you His eyes for His people that you would be a part of the solution and no longer stuck in your own apathy. Jesus always helped His fellow man so why wouldn’t I, why wouldn’t you!