Behold, the Lion.
Fear is a crazy thing. And no one is free from the struggle. I know, newsflash, right?
But it’s a God-given emotion, meant to drive us back to Him.Fear's a God-given emotion, meant to drive us back to Him. - Mary Felkins @MaryAFelkins #faithbeyondfear Click To Tweet
Whether it’s fear of being unable to find a parking space (anyone?) or fear of facing a cloaked and armed stranger in the dark, fear trips the self-preservation switch inside us somewhere. “Help! Self feels threatened!”
A few years ago, about a week before attending a writer’s conference, I wrestled with fear. Given that it wasn’t my first conference, the rise of fear had me puzzled. My comfort level with what to expect soared to an impressive 10 on the Felkins Comfort Level scale, much unlike my first conference (which sank my comfort score to below sea-level). This time around, I’d practiced my pitch with all the flair of an Oscar-winning actress and had determined ahead of time with whom I needed to make appointments. All was good.
Fear niggled its way in, manifested by rapid heartbeats, sweaty palms, shallow breathing. Like a bad boyfriend, fear wouldn’t go away.
What gives? I thought I was that girl. You know, the laid back and well-rehearsed one.
Business cards? Check.
Slick and shiny One Sheet? Check.
Snappy casual clothing? Check.
Faculty members chosen for appointments? Check.
An unwavering faith from having spent solid time with God and memorized specific scriptures to guide me along the way?
Um. No check.
Apparently, just being saved does not a dauntless girl make. Time with the Lord–evidence of the faith I proclaim – had become buried beneath the flurry of conference prep.Apparently, just being saved does not a dauntless girl make. @MaryAFelkins Click To Tweet
“Yeah, yeah. Just a minute, Lord,” I’d said over my shoulder, tapping madly at the keyboard instead of thumbing through scripture or spending quality time in prayer.
In a moment of pondering days before the event, God gave me a powerful vision. In a word, the Lion of the tribe of Judah came to me.
Here’s how it went…
I saw the spacious and well-lit meeting room with white-linen-covered tables set in straight rows. The names of the editors and agents were clearly marked and placed neatly on each table.
And then, weaving in and around each table was a large lion. The Lion of the tribe of Judah. Think Aslan here. His eyes were as ancient stones, intense, and yet softened by compassion. After thoroughly marking the territory with his presence, He ceased his pacing, raised his large head wreathed by a thick mane, and released a ferocious roar. With a mighty breath, He effectively cleared the air of all evidence of the Evil one.
“You will not have to fight this battle…Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged. Go out and face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.” 2 Chronicles 20:17b
The place became utterly and completely safe to enter. Fear was no longer welcome.
Sayanara, bad boyfriend.
Since then, when fearful thoughts seep into my mind, I’ve wielded my faith in Jesus and envisioned the Lion of the tribe of Judah, mouth agape, bellowing fear away. My pulse slows, my rate of breathing eases back to normal.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7 (NIV)
Ah, but wouldn’t you know…the devil is known to take on the form of a lion, as well. Deceivers do this.
Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. I Peter 5:8
Only he isn’t interested in our safety. He seeks our destruction.
What’s a person to do?
Three Lion-Sized Steps to Banish the Enemy’s Attacks
1) Resist him (the devil), standing firm in the faith. I Peter 5:9a
2) No soldier goes to battle without his weapon, so it helps to memorize snippets of scripture for swift recall when fear strikes.
3) State the name of Jesus over and over. Simple, right? But in a face-off with the Lion, the devil (aka fear minion) won’t stand a chance.
Next time fear tries to shove into our thoughts, a room we’re about to enter, a difficult conversation with a spouse, a friend or a co-worker… let’s take the Lion of the tribe of Judah along. There’s a good chance He’s already scouted the area and cleared the place for us.
Please share scriptures you use to fight the lies of the enemy in the comments below.