One of the highlights of my whole entire life was getting to pet lion cubs in South Africa! Yes, I got to get down on the ground with those cute little… well, chunky… big guys! They were just 6-month-old cubs and they were sleepy from the warm sun and their full bellies after lunch! I got to cradle their huge paws in my hands and stroke their ears!
They were so docile and sweet – as cuddly and compliant as a harmless stuffed animal in a baby’s crib!!
They aren’t always going to be so docile and snuggly. Nope. If I had hung out in their den for even another hour, giving them time to wake up from their naps, they would have been intimidating. And, if I gave them even a few weeks or months, they would eventually become snarly and fierce beasts that any sane adult should avoid.
But, how cool that I got to face some lions!
There were some guys in the Old Testament who faced lions —
Samson faced a lion and tore it apart with his bare hands.
These men faced and chased lions because they understood the nature of lions. If they didn’t run after the lions, the lions would run after them.
We all face “lions” in our lives — things that are scary and fierce; situations or feelings that threaten to attack.
We feel like we will be eaten alive!
What do you do when you encounter those kinds of lions?
Few of us cozy up and stick out our hands — or our hearts — to be snapped off and crushed! Most of us avoid lions and when one shows up, we run!
So, what are your lions?
Is your lion a fear for the future? Do you run from it by worrying?
The result is that your lion devours the joy of today.
Perhaps your lion is dreading failure? Do you run from it by taking no risks?
That lion is chasing you into a pit of perfectionism.
Or, is it the lion of rejection? Instead of chasing it, do you run from it by isolating yourself?
That lion is running you right into a life of loneliness.
There’s a lion for everyone! You may have a jungle full! Can you name them?
If you can’t name your lions, you won’t recognize the threat they present.
Name them so you can face them.
Once you name your lions, it’s time to face them and chase them!
Psalm 91:13 tells you how! You can “tread upon lions and cobras; the young lion and the serpent you will trample down.”
Yes, sister, that’s you! You can not only face your lions, you can chase them down and trample them!
Here are 2 ways, according to Psalm 91, to face your lions:
1. Trample them when they’re young!
The “young lions” are the fears or issues not yet full grown. What I tend to do is feed my young lions! You know, I worry and dread and feed my baby fears so they grow and grow! Instead of feeding our fears, we can squash them. Chase them down and stomp on them. I do this by proclaiming Scripture when my little lions roar. The voice of Truth is louder than any lion!
If you chase your young lion and stomp on it, you will destroy it before it can debilitate you.
2. Tread on them everyday.
You can “tread” on the lions. In other words, the big, mature adult-sized lions are the fears or issues that have grown big in your life. They’ve been with you for a while and they follow you, nibble at your contentment and growl every time you try to ignore them! You can still “tread,” or walk steadily upon them by faith.
If you tread upon and trample your lions, they are under your feet. By their mere position, they are under your authority. In other words, they obey you — you don’t obey or fear them!
There is only one lion we fear — with reverence — He is Christ, our Lion of Judah
When our fear of the Lion of Judah is greater than our fear of the lions with the little “l’s”, we can tread, we can trample and we can triumph!
P.S. Wanna see a video of the the lions I petted in South Africa? They are sooooooo cute!
“…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
(2 Timothy 1:7)
In the comments, name your lion so you can face it and chase it!