“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith….” 1 Peter 5:8-9 (NLT)
I recently read an article of a young couple’s first visit to the Serengeti. They were staying in an economy cottage just outside the main house. To one side was the savanna, the acacias, and darkness where a lone lioness had been spotted for several nights looking for food. Their cottage was guarded by a middle-aged Massai, whose only weapon was a stick. In the middle of the night, the Massai rushed toward something that was moving in the dark. It was the hungry lioness that could have torn him to pieces but the actions of the Massai startled the lioness and she ran off. In the Serengeti what runs away usually gets eaten, but what advances aggressively is generally not prey. I like what the author, Helge Timmerberg, said in his article, A Lesson from the Serengeti, “The Massai’s confidence, purposeful air and look chased the lioness away, not his big stick. What has this experience taught me? Two things: You should always face up to a lion. And: Dominance is key.”
I think Peter may have had the same idea when he wrote his letter warning Christ followers to be alert. He called the devil our great enemy and likened him to a roaring lion prowling around looking for someone to devour. Our defense against this lion is not to run away in fear, but to stand our ground against him and be strong in our faith trusting God to deliver us. This kind of confidence comes only in knowing who we are in Christ. First John 3:8 says that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. In his commentary on this verse, Warren Wiersbe says, “Destroy does not mean ‘annihilate.’ Satan is certainly still at work today! Destroy, here, means ‘to render inoperative, to rob of power.’ Satan has not been annihilated, but his power has been reduced and his weapons have been impaired. He is still a mighty foe, but he is no match for the power of God.”
When you find yourself under attack by this roaring lion, stand firmly against him in the mighty name of Jesus and see him run!