LIONS! TIGERS! AND BEARS! OH MY!

“Lions! Tigers! And bears! Oh my!”

That is no longer just a line out of “The Wizard of Oz.” It was the headline news out of Zanesville, OH this week. See link: Lions. Tigers. Bears. Ohio.

Warnings were issued to residents to stay inside their homes. Phones were ringing off the hook at the 911 center as drivers reported sightings of bears, wolves and lions along the expressway. Not your average news day.

The apostle Peter issued a similar warning to the early church – and to believers today: Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8 ESV).

Most people would heed an order by the authorities to stay indoors if an escaped lion was prowling the neighborhood, but how many of us – as believers – take Peter’s words of warning seriously?

As a new believer in 1972, I needed no convincing that Satan existed. In my former Hippie lifestyle, the occult was all around me; I embraced a fascination and flirtation with various aspects of it. I knew there was a dark side to this life before my eyes were opened to the reality of Jesus Christ. Today, I purpose to stay aware of the reality of Satan and his tactics.

In the jacket of his book Waking the Dead, John Eldredge urges us to consider “three eternal truths: “Things are not what they seem. This is a world at war. Each of us has a crucial role to play.” He says the battle we fight is “a battle for your heart.” He goes on to say that “the hour is desperate and you are needed.”

The apostle Paul understood the battle; he wrote, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For 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 (Ephesians 6:10-12 NIV).

As Christians, we do not have to hide in our houses and lock the doors because the devil is a roaring lion, seeking to devour someone. But we also should not hide our heads in the sand – in any war, it is important to know your enemy. Satan is the enemy of our souls and looks to destroy our hearts, our homes and our families.

We have spiritual weapons – the full armor of God – to fight this spiritual battle: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:14-17). Let us put them on daily.

And let us remember to pray. William Cowper wrote, “Satan trembles when he sees the weakest Christian on his knees.”

Satan will get a lot of tongue-in-cheek treatment during this week of Halloween as little devils, ghosts and goblins take to the streets, but we should never forget that he is real. (Disclaimer: This is NOT an indictment against celebrating Halloween!)

Like Martin Luther in the hymn “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” let us acknowledge that still “our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe.” Although there are still battles to be fought, let’s remember Jesus Christ has already secured the victory to this spiritual warfare. We do not have to live in fear of things that roar or go bump in the night.

There is a roaring lion in the streets tonight, but don’t run for a high-powered rifle. Luther tells us that “One little word shall fell him.” What word? Actually, it is a name:

Jesus.

God gave Him “the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, in heaven and on earth and under earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11).

Jesus. Run to Him. Call on Him. Rest in Him. Live for Him.

2 Comments

  1. Beth
    Oct 20, 2011

    What a great connection, really makes me think!

  2. Deana Campeau
    Oct 21, 2011

    Kathy, this really hits me where I am today. I am currently reading “Waking The Dead” by John Eldredge, it is an awesome book, and as I turn the page I don’t want to put it down, but there is so much in there that really needs to be absorbed I truly am taking my time with this one. Thanks for today’s blog, I truly needed that.

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