A few weeks ago during a trip to the zoo, something incredible happened. Incredible and frightening, I should say. It was truly one of the most adrenaline packed moments I have ever experienced.
We were standing at the glass at the lion exhibit watching the lioness as she laid there looking from side to side at all her admirers. I was holding my youngest daughter in my arms and the lioness did a double take and locked eyes with us. Her ears perked up and in an instant she was attacking the glass that separated her from us. I’m not sure what it was that attracted her to Sydnee or me. Maybe we looked like an easy target, a mama and her young. I’m not an animal expert so I have no idea why, but apparently she thought one or both of us might make a good lunch.
Having a 300 pound wild animal with very large teeth pounce toward you with glass being the only thing that separates you is a scary thing. For a moment I think I forgot the glass was there. In instinct, we all jumped back, and my legs continued to tremble for at least 30 minutes afterward. But I wondered if I wasn’t the only one who forgot the glass was there. I wonder if the lion thought for a moment that she had a foot in. That maybe there was an opportunity that she could catch us unprotected.
The Bible warns us in 1 Peter 5:8-9 that the devil is like a roaring lion. I love the way Eugene Peterson translates it in the Message Version,
“Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith.”
The glass that separated us from the lion is a lot like our faith. And the devil, like the lion, would love nothing more to see that guard let down for a moment. If nothing else, he would love to see us forget the glass was there and at least get a rise or some fear out of us.
In reflecting on this verse I have been thinking about how sometimes the devil gets a little foothold in my life. He doesn’t devour me because I belong to Jesus Christ, but he does like to shake me up from time to time and try to make me think the glass isn’t there.
But the glass is still in place, our God is still on His throne, and victory is ours in Christ Jesus, so stand guard and keep a firm grip on the faith.
Here’s how this verse calls us to stand guard against the roaring lion:
- Keep a cool head. In other words, when difficulties come, stay calm. Don’t let fear have the reigns. Rest in the sovereignty and protection of the Most High God.
- Stay alert. Stay in the word. Be prepared for whatever comes your way by walking closely with God each and every day. Be prayerful and watchful, and test everything against the word of God. Just because culture agrees doesn’t mean God does.
- Keep your guard up. Raise high that shield of faith, and don’t forget that it’s there.
- Remember you are not alone. Christians all over the world are experiencing hard times too. Reach out to a friend who can walk through this time with you and speak truth when you need it most. And don’t forget also to be that friend to someone else. We need each other now more than ever.
Keep a firm grip on your faith, dear friend!