Growing up in South Africa and having animal-loving parents, I have been very privileged to have gone to plenty of game parks, and seen many wild animals. I have also seen various kills (where one animal kills another for food), lions, wild dogs, cheetahs and even an eagle, I have seen them all kill prey. The lion kill was very interesting. The lions split up, singled out a weak individual, separated them from the herd, and ambushed the poor impala. So what has this got to do with Christianity? Glad you asked.
The bible says that the devil roams around like a lion, 1 Peter 5:8. He ‘hunts’ in the same way as a lion does. He’ll try and separate you from the herd, single you out and then ambush. So how does he do this? Well, there are a few ways but one in particular that seems to be fairly common is to try and convince you that you are the only one who falls short. Remember, the devil has very little real power, all he really has is deceit, lies and illusions. He’ll try and convince you that you are all alone in your sin, he’ll try and tell you that everyone else is living the perfect Christian life and you get it wrong. He’ll try and convince you that you are not worthy to come before God.
This is the very time when we need the herd. This is when we should come together with our Christian friends and let them know what we are thinking. Let them come around us and reassure us, pray for us, share with us. When we realise that all have sinned, and that there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus, the devil loses his power over us! How many times have you dished out advice, and then later on have someone give you the exact same advice back? I do it all of the time. We know what is right and wrong, we know what to do, but the devil gets into our heads and confuses us. This is his number one weapon. Coming together, sharing what we are going through and helping each other out, is what takes the advantage from the devil and gives it straight back to us.
I know what some of you are thinking, yes but then people judge you. Please read the post entitled ‘Judgement Day of Golf‘ for more about this. I know sometimes people try and bring you down, but try and surround yourself with people who actually want to help, and then let them. You can always think more clearly when you are not emotionally involved in a situation, if you trust your friends, their advice for you is probably better than your own advice!
It is not only our responsibility to rely on the herd. We need to be strong, the lions are always after the weak, the strong put up too much fight. Yes, if we are strong, it makes us more of a target for the devil, but the bible says that if we resist him he will flee. We need to be strong to do this. What do I mean by strong? Another good question. I mean read your bible. Pray. Spend time with God. All of these 3 bits of advice will make you stronger. When Jesus was tempted by the devil He rebuked him using scripture, if we don’t know the scripture how can we rebuke the devil? Also, the devil used scripture to try and confuse Jesus. Reading the scripture is not good enough, the devil knows it all, the question is do we understand it? Do we know how it impacts us? We need to be able to use scripture, in context, as a weapon against evil. We also need to use our gifts (I have written a few posts about this) and call on the power of God to manifest in our lives as and when we need it. All of this will make us strong and help us to resist the devil and take ground.
Don’t be an easy target.