Like a Roaring Lion

ImageI was reading about the Lord’s warning to every believer, and the Holy Spirit pressed upon my heart, to look carefully at this passage; ” Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

This takes quite a bit of discernment from the Holy Spirit, but at first glance we say to ourselves, “yea, I already know that. We’re in a spiritual battle, blah, blah, blah.” But the Lord wants us to remember certain things in scripture:

We do not wage war against people, but spirits, operating through people.

The enemy, is not The Lion (of Judah), but only seeks to imitate Him.

We will know the difference, because the true Lion, is full of love and seeks to build, not destroy.

Now, knowing all of this we must first begin with, the knowledge, that this imitation of the Lion, will be in our lives, but operating through people. We must look at what the characteristics of a lion are.

A lion is a predatory animal. It seeks the weakest, to prey upon.  It is nocturnal, which means, it is most alert in darkness.It loves darkness. When its prey is normally asleep it is hunting.  It is very proficient at hiding behind obstacles and stalks its prey. When the lion feels, its prey is unsuspecting, it pounces. It has a voracious appetite. It plays with its prey first, and then it tears it apart and devours it.

Now lets compare this to people and their behaviors. It may help you to discern the Lords warning. The news is full of stories, of predators. Yes, they use this particular word to describe the behaviors of certain people. So you can use this as your starting place.

They do the exact same things as the predatory animal. They usually seek the weakest, most vulnerable victims. They stalk, by excessive calls, and visits. They may hide in positions which give them full access to their victims. They hide behind positions of authority or other children, or they may use their own injustices committed against them,  as an excuse for their behavior.

Darkness, in the spiritual world, is lying, deception, and people covering for someone else. The person with this behavior, knows that the people that keep him/her in darkness, only proliferate the plans to bait their prey. So the predator is very good at manipulating to keep his secrets.

We’ve already been told by the Lord, that “it is the truth, which sets us free.” So with so many willing to keep the predator in darkness, there is no freedom. Not for the victims, nor the predator.

The predator uses gifts, trips, etc. to bait, or play with their prey, first.To engage a level of trust.  Then when this beast is feeling secure, the attack. And next it is the devouring.Abusive in every way possible. Bringing great harm to the soul and body. The nature of this lion, is to injure to the point of helplessness,hopelessness, and sometimes, physical or spiritual death.

I have visited many people over the years, who have been victims of the predator. Many are addicts, alcoholics, and suicidal. The statistics speak for themselves.It is a sad experience for many, and only with the Lords grace, can people be set free from the deep scars, on the soul, from the predators, attack.

I have been a victim of child molestation. I didn’t speak to my mother about this until I was 18 years old. It left me devastated, and brought all kinds of behaviors with it. Things I didn’t understand, that I had internalized, until much later in life. So, for me it hasn’t been difficult to spot the predator.

Most children are molested by family members.Statistics, say about 90%.  This is a fact. Most children do not report this, until adulthood, if at all. They have no advocate, and no understanding, that they are the victim, and they have done nothing wrong. Most think, and many are told, that they are the shameful ones, and threats are made to keep them in this prison.So they are the easiest of targets. In my own circumstance, the man was a babysitter’s boyfriend. And yet, the son, knowing what happened, continued to threaten me, “that we know what you did, and you are very bad.” Bringing shame, and terror to me. This allowed the son, to continue molesting me, as I was terrified, to tell anyone. I thought, I felt I was a worthless object, meant for other’s to use and dispose of, when finished.

I was exactly the type of child the predator loves. Already quite wounded from rejection and loss in my home life, I was the perfect candidate. And to be told that It was my own fault, was an easy sell. Children automatically take on guilt in a failed marriage, death, and separation. So the predator can speak this into a child, and they buy it. And as I said, who can they speak to, when they feel the whole episode came about because of them?

Many, of these children, if victims of family members, are terrified of being the ones to destroy the family unit. Or worse, be the one responsible, for holding an adult accountable. So they continue being prey for the beast.

But when we see the predator in our lives, we must be an advocate for these lost ones. And when presented with the truth, the predator also has a chance to turn to the Lord, in the fullness of truth, and repent. Or to die in their sin. There are absolutely no acts of service, nor amount of church, we can do, to cover for this. The Lord has already made it quite clear, that, “I desire obedience above sacrifice.” Remember when Saul, tried to justify himself, by doing what the Lord asked, yet deviating a smidgen? He didn’t kill Agag, the king of the Amalekites, as the Lord had commanded him. And he still took sheep and cattle, but hey, he was going to sacrifice the best ones to God. Hoping this in itself, was enough to keep God happy. It’s exactly what men do, when they cover themselves in their sin. Yet think somehow, the Lord, is going to give a pass on their acts of darkness. The key is and always has been, obedience. Without it, there is no salvation. “For those who love me, obey my commands.” The Lord is just to forgive, but He will absolutely not turn a blind eye to acts of darkness, because we are making some kind of penance on our own, apart from repentance.

Our Lord has told us that this is particularly grievous to Him. As these are “the least of these.” He had the most dire warning of all, for those who have brought injury to these. For those who would need a word picture, I have taken one on my trip to Israel. “It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea, with a millstone  tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.” (or harm)

I pray for the little ones, as I do the perpetrators. The Lord always gives us equal love and grace for repentance. Fortunately for those who have committed such acts, the Lord gives us a better deal than, man. But it always comes with a confession and repentance. So if you are a person, who has brought harm to a child, or you have any behaviors, which threaten, or disturb a child from his or her, well-being, turn and allow the Lord to set you free. Our God, is a God, of second chances. His blood has paved the way for everyone and our sins are the same in His eyes.

“Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them whiter, than snow.” Isaiah 1:18