Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
We found him sleeping in the grass. Sound asleep. A while back I had the privilege of going to Uganda and visiting with Watoto ministries. The trip allowed me to see the incredible work of Watoto up front and personal. They work with orphaned babies and children as well as single mothers. They raise the kids to become Christian leaders and help the mothers provide for their families.
Part of the trip involved us going to Northern Uganda to see the work there. It also gave us the opportunity to take a one-day safari. A safari gives you the opportunity to see animals in the wild. You are on their turf and their terms. We saw a large variety of animals but there was one we all wanted to see. The lion. It is like the holy grail of safaris–to see the “king of the jungle.”
Our guide that day just happened to be one of park rangers, so he had access to areas others did not. So off we went. Before long there was a report of a lion sleeping in a tree. We went cross country and before long, bam, there was a lion…sound asleep. Well, it was pretty incredible–asleep or not. We snapped about a hundred pictures of our sleeping friend and moved on.
We drove for about 30 minutes and another report came of a group of lions about 50 yards off the road. Our guide, the ranger, told the driver to drive though the ditch and he did. Sure enough, there were the lions. There were about five or six of these magnificent beasts–all sound asleep. What is up with lions and sleeping?
Well, it turns out that lions sleep 20 hours a day. They hunt, eat and sleep. That’s about it. Our driver gets to within five or six feet of the sleeping feline. Our guide shouts, the driver honks the horn and nothing. And then he does something totally unexpected. He throws water on the lion.
What? Excuse me? Well, the king of the jungle, who turned out to be a queen, sits up, yawns and looks at us. Hmmm…this lion thing is not what it is cracked up to be. You would be tempted to think that every lion was like this lion. That would be a mistake.
You see, there are some nasty lions out there and they would like to invite you to lunch. Lions are vicious predators and will eat you. I’ve watched enough National Geographic shows to know that not all lions are created equal. I also know this. Not all lions live in Africa. In fact, there is one who lives close–very close. He doesn’t have a mane or a tail, but he does have an appetite. His name isn’t Mufasa or Simba. It is Satan.
The Bible, in 1 Peter 5:8, says this, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” On the safari we stayed alert looking for a lion. In this case we need to stay alert because the lion is looking for us. And guess what? He’s looking for lunch.
Peter said Satan is like a roaring lion. If you’ve studied lions a bit, you know that a lion doesn’t roar when its stalking prey. A lion roars for two different reasons. One, he is declaring his dominance. He is claiming his territory. This is mine. He also roars to invite others to join his pride. The devil does both.
Satan is always roaring saying “this is mine and that is mine” but nothing is truly his. Nothing. It belongs to a much larger, much stronger Lion–the Lion of Judea. Satan is a liar–remember that. He wouldn’t know the truth if it stared him in the face. No pun intended.
He is also looking for others to join his pride. He is looking for people who are discouraged and disheartened with life and with God and inviting them to join him. Joining him is a big mistake. He is a loser, and he knows it. That is why he is roaring so loudly. His time is limited and he wants to take as many with him as he can.
Now if you are a believer, Satan can’t steal your salvation, but he can steal your peace, your character, your witness, your family, your integrity–well the list goes on and on. That is why Peter said, “Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.” Peter knew from experience just how good Satan is at taking what is not rightfully his.
Jesus said in John 10:10 “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy.” That’s the enemy but Jesus isn’t done speaking. He goes on to say, “I have come to give you life and life more abundantly.” He is saying, “if you trust Me, the Lion of Judah, you can rest in Me. I’m never asleep and I’m never out-gunned. I’ve got this.” And, He does. Bro. Dewayne