“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.” (1 Peter 5:6-9 ESV)
When I think of Lions I go back to every documentary I have ever had the pleasure of watching and what sticks out to me is how the lion hunts. They would often pick off the young, sick, and isolated prey. The Lion would not just run into a pack of healthy prey; let’s face it they would get hurt. If we were to apply this to our Christian walk, what does this look like?
What I have noticed in pastoral ministry is that the enemy likes to isolate us by telling us lies. By telling us there is no one else with that “issue”, there is no one else with that “hurt, habit, and hang up”. That is how the enemy isolates the prey. Removing us from the pack and devouring our life. How can we defeat those thoughts and worries?
First and foremost we must soak in the grace of God! The image I like is that of the largest bathtub I can imagine, filled with God’s Grace, and there I am just soaking in it. Once I have meditated on that I move to the application which means I have to become vulnerable with someone. I have to share my innermost worries, concerns, and failures. By doing this, the enemy no longer has anything to use against me (closing his mouth).
I myself in the past have been accused of being too “transparent”. Even though I do not believe in such a thing, I do believe in appropriate transparency. However, we all need to know that we are not on an island, and that others are struggling right alongside us. By telling others about our struggles, there is suddenly nothing to use against us. By doing this, the “pack” becomes a strong unit, and the sick and lonely are no longer isolated, easy prey for the lion. Please find someone to be vulnerable with; share your hurts, habits, and hang ups with them. Allow God to show you the love of Christ by opening your life to someone else and allowing them to love you unconditionally. That is how we can “shut the lion’s mouth!”
Prayer – Give us the strength today to be vulnerable first with you Father, then with our brothers and sisters. Allow us to become a community that surrounds the young, sick, and isolated with the love of Christ and no longer allows them to be preyed upon. Let Catalyst be that church that is known for just that, a church where there is no judgment and brothers, sisters can be vulnerable with each other. AMEN