Saturday, January 15, 2011

To Fear or Not to Fear by Tammy Blackburn

Some of you may have read the story in the news this week about the Florida man who has decided to live for a month in an enclosure with lions. This man owns a wildlife preservation center and needs to raise funds in order to stay open. His idea is to spend an entire month in the lion’s den and hope for people to send donations to help keep his place open. He plans to sleep when the two lions sleep, eat when they eat, and play when they play. Although he does not anticipate it, there is a concern that the lions may become too much for him to handle or that they could turn on him at some point. Because of this, there is a safety cage built within the enclosure for him to escape to. If he is inside this safety cage, the lions cannot get to him. It was built to withstand the strength of any attack.

As I think about that, I wonder how I might react if I were in that enclosure and the lions came at me to attack. I am sure I would panic and I would certainly run to the safety cage, but would I feel safe? Would I be able to relax in the assurance that the cage was lion proof or would I continue to worry and panic? I can certainly see how it would be easy to continue being afraid of two snarling lions so close to me. However, the reality of the situation would be that no matter how much they roared, snarled, and threatened, they would not be able to touch me because the cage is guaranteed to be lion proof. I could choose to relax, read a book, or even curl up and take a nap if only I would put my trust in the promise of safety within the cage.

As Christians, we live in a world where Satan seeks to devour and destroy us. The Bible compares Satan to a roaring lion.

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8” (NIV)

Satan would like to devour us with fear, shame, anger, bitterness, addictions, and many other vices. These things are too big for us to handle on our own and cause us to live defeated lives. But, that is not necessary. We have a “lion proof cage” to run to. Psalms 91 is full of promises of safety given to us by our Heavenly Father.

Psalms 91:4 tells us, “He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge.”(NIV)

2 Thessalonians 3:3 says, “The Lord is faithful and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” (NIV)

We are to rest in the promises that God has given to protect us from the evil one. When Satan attacks we can run to our Father for safety. If the attack is one of fear, remember, God does not give a spirit of fear. If the attack is shame, remember, there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ. If it is anger, God gives forgiveness; if it is anxiety, God gives rest and peace. Run to him for safety and choose to relax in it. There is no need to continue in our unrest. His promises are real and his arms are “lion proof”.

Tammy, who has three adult children, is pursuing a psychology degree and working in the children's department at her church (Crossroads, Concord, NC). Before she was widowed in 2003, she served as a pastor's wife.

1 comment:

  1. Tammy, what a great reminder of God's care for us our assured victory in that care. I also like that you took an article from the news (I hadn't seen it, by the way) and made a profound spiritual analogy. Well done! Thanks for the creatively presented spiritual truth! Kim


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