Do you fear the devil? Are you afraid of being tormented or persecuted by him?
Saint Peter says, “Be calm and vigilant, because your enemy, the devil, is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for souls to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
Fear the devil? No. Saint Peter says “be calm,” some translations say, “be sober.” Being calm or being sober is being in control of yourself, in control of your will and your mind and directing yourself in the proper way.
Fear, by comparison, is a loss of control. Don’t give that power over to the devil. If you do, then it is he who will guide you, he who will fill your senses with temptation, lies, deceit and confusion. If you give him that small, fearful room to operate, he will approach, at first like a whisper in your ear. If we listen, he will become louder and more insistent.
Then Satan can enter to corrupt your mind and your heart. Then he can lead you where you do not choose to go. Then he indeed becomes a roaring and devouring lion threatening to render us limb from limb. Fearsome!
“Be calm and vigilant.” Picture Jesus being tempted by Satan in the desert. Jesus is not swayed or fearful but, with authority, calmly rebukes Satan with truth. (Luke 4:1-13) When you hear Satan begin to whisper in your ear, when you can calmly discern his voice, use the authority of Jesus Christ and tell him, “Get thee behind me, Satan!”
Saint Peter goes on to write, “Stand up to him, strong in faith.” (1 Peter 5:9)
In the face of the power and authority of Christ, Satan becomes not a lion, but a clawless and toothless phantasm. A false image with no power over those who belong to Christ. He is already defeated by the true lion - the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. (Revelation 5:5)
Two contrasting images of a lion.
A dangerous predator on the prowl seeking to destroy.
A strong conqueror and defender seeking to protect and save.
If you are familiar with C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, then you are familiar with the image of Aslan, the Great Lion and one true king of Narnia.
Aslan is not a tame lion, but an unconquerable ruler.
“Aslan is a lion - the Lion, the great Lion." "Ooh" said Susan. "I'd thought he was a man. Is he - quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.” "Safe?" said Mr. Beaver. "Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you.” – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
Stand firm with Him who has strength and power and authority over the darkness. Put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) and stand beside the one true King, the conquering Lion of Judah, Jesus Christ.
The darkness can never overcome the light. (John 1:5)
Christ has already won us the victory.
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