TITLE: Like A Roaring Lion
DATE: February 28, 2019
TEXT: 1 Peter 5: 8-10 – ESV - Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you
Every once-in-a-while the news carries a story which makes Holy Scripture come alive. A few weeks ago there was such a story. Perhaps you saw the account which was carried in almost all papers, as well as on radio and on TV.
The story begins innocently enough with a man jogging alone on the West Ridge Trail in the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space near Fort Collins, Colorado. That’s not the part which sounds like the Bible. What happened next is.
The unnamed jogger heard an unusual sound behind him on the trail. Having taken the Apostle Peter’s advice to be sober and watchful the man stopped and turned to see if he was in any kind of danger. He was.
At that moment an adolescent mountain lion, “attacked him, biting and clawing his face and wrist.
Yes, I know a mountain lion is not the same as a lion-lion… but in North America a mountain lion is the best we can do. In truth, if you are being attacked by either, the advice of Peter to resist him is solid and not easily refuted.
Resist him is what the Colorado jogger did.
Now most people would probably put their bets on the mountain lion coming out the victor in this confrontation.. But our jogger isn’t most people. He fought that mountain lion with anything he had. Our jogger used his hands, his feet, stuff he found along the trail. That jogger did everything he could to save his life.
James 4:7 says, Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
Well when this battle was over the mountain lion didn’t run away. He couldn’t run away because he was dead. The hiker had strangled him with his bare hands.
Now the truth is this: when we resist the devil, we are not going to kill him. He is a spirit and therefore beyond our ability to do him permanent damage
But that doesn’t mean we can’t emerge from such battles victorious. While believers may not always be totally, permanently and absolutely successful in their battles with Satan and their desire to turn down his temptations, the Holy Spirit enables us to do far more than we ever thought possible or we ever could have done on our own.
Indeed, St. Paul talks about us being “more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37. Peter agrees when he says those who trust in the Lord will eventually find that the Trinity will: restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish them.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, it would seem that the odds are stacked against us when we oppose Satan. Indeed, that would be the case if it were not for the power of the Holy Spirit and the Divine redemption performed by our Savior. Grant that we may resist Satan and emerge victorious in our battles against darkness and grant that all victories are seen as battles won to glorify the Savior. In Jesus” Name I pray it. Amen.
Today’s devotion was inspired by various articles, amongst which is the one written for Newser by Arden Dier on Feb 5. 2019. Those who wish may check out this link which was, at the time of writing, fully active: http://www.newser.com/story/270882/runner-prevails-in-man-vs-mountain-lion.html
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann, one of my long-ago confirmands. He is singing with three brothers. This song comes from the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html