“Stay alert!” the Bible says. “Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are” (1 Peter 5:8-9, emphasis mine).
Who the heck said the devil is toothless? I’ve heard this so often when this passage has used. I’ve heard pastors and teachers say something akin to, “Satan tries to make himself out to be a lion like Jesus—the Lion of Judah—but in reality he’s just a toothless lion who roars and tries to cause people to fear.”
If you have ever believed this, you’ve believed a lie. Shake yourself awake! Satan is a real threat!
Unfortunately, the majority of Christians DON’T READ THEIR BIBLES and don’t truly understand who Satan really is. They (does they include you?) have been spoon-fed and have accepted false teaching. Sometimes it’s accepted blindly, but other times it’s chosen. Why? Because the truth is scary.
Personally, I believe that many people treat their Christian walks the same way that they treat sickness and bank accounts. For example, if a person’s family is predisposed to diabetes or cancer, the individual may avoid checkups because he or she doesn’t want to hear the bad news. If an individual is riding on the financial edge, he or she may avoid looking at what bills are due or how much money is left in the checking account in an attempt to mentally avoid a possibly bad reality “check.”
It’s much the same with the thinking of many Christians. Too many of us are scared to read what the Bible has to say about how the Kingdom works and about the Enemy that wants to destroy it. If we see the reality of the situation we may become nervous at best or cowardly at worst, so we come up with our own Osteen-ish Christian principles. We cling to everything that sounds positive and downplay anything that could sound negative.
What so many who take this approach to life do not understand is that the spiritual “bills” are going to start mounting and the spiritual “cancer” is going to start eating away all that is healthy.
Have you ever heard a Christian say, “God will never give us more than we can handle?”
Is that phrase in the Bible? The answer is … no. That statement is not in Scripture. In fact, the Bible is clear that God will allow much more than we can handle on our own as human beings so that HE will have the opportunity to show Himself as both faithful and bigger than our challenges.
Sometimes weight that we do not want is placed in our lives so in order that God may accomplish two things for us: 1) To drive us to our knees in prayer, so that we will have real conversation with, and dependence on, the Lord. 2) Make us stronger in our walks so that we will become “more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
Why do we need these two things? The first should be obvious. God created us because He wants each of us to have a relationship with Him. He is a relational God. He is love. His desire is to have us loving Him back. Make sense, right? What parent doesn’t want the acknowledgement and love of his or her children? The second is specifically because we have an Enemy.
An Enemy that is not toothless.
Scripture makes it VERY clear that the Enemy’s self-made purpose is to “kill, steal, and destroy.” Those end horrible results are hardly those of a toothless lion. Wouldn’t you agree?
Here in the Otherealm we are called to suit up in armor because there are going to be, and there are supposed to be clashes. Sometimes the Enemy is going to bring it to us, and at other times we are to take it to the Enemy. “The Kingdom of God allows for violence, and the violent take it by force!” This isn’t like Islamic Jihad. No. This is a statement indicating that we Christians should be advancing the Kingdom and doing it aggressively. The Scriptures call us to be soldiers, warriors, and not just conquerors, but more than conquerors. Scripture makes it clear that there is a war going on, and we are meant to engage in this war.
Jesus said, “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword!”
No, He didn’t.
Yes, He did.
No, He couldn’t have, because that would contradict the Scripture verse that makes it clear that Jesus is the “Prince of Peace.”
YES … HE DID SAY IT!
Jesus made promises about the Kingdom. Among them are the promises about the final end position of mankind (for those who know Jesus as Savior & Lord). Revelation, chapter 21, says: Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth,for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more deathor mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
It is not until sin and death is vanquished that there will be everlasting peace — no more strife and no more pain. Until that time, we are called to fight alongside our King, the “Captain of the Host” of Heaven.
This “fight”–this “war”–is to be fought spiritually, with spiritual weaponry (as described in Ephesians 6), using our mouths with authority rolling off of our tongues (Scripture and the name of Jesus). If you are not doing this, you are in violation of God’s will for you and your household.
The lie that we have a “toothless lion” as an enemy and the lie that we are supposed to be living peaceful lives today are also causing some horrible effects within our households (let alone within society around us). You say you want your child or children to follow God, but are you warring for them? You want to fulfill your purpose, but are you willing to take up your sword and hack down the Enemy that is keeping that from happening?
Your friends, acquaintances, and relatives are going to Hell. That is the Enemy’s plan for them. You are going to Heaven (if you’re a Bible-believing, born-again Christian). With that salvation, you have a responsibility on this planet. It’s your purpose–that thing you’ve been seeking to find for your life–to reach those who are lost and fight for their freedom from the Enemy.
Here is the very real situation with which we will all one day be faced: We are going to stand before our Savior. He is going to open up the Book of Works (not the Book of Life, our names are already found in there) and we are going to be shown those things that we were supposed to have done for the Kingdom of God. (And what is the Kingdom of God if not the whole of mankind that was created to comprise it?) God gave us the responsibility of taking up His weaponry and His authority and to advance the name and salvation of Jesus Christ into the lives of those around us … with Grace, Truth, and Love … not compromising on any of the three. Don’t we all want to hear our Lord, on the day of the book’s opening, say, “Well done!”?
Now … the truth about the stalking lion. He hates the Kingdom of God. He (and his horde of demons) is doing whatever it takes to stop its advancement. He has created false religions, he has generated pride in one’s own independence and perceived lack of need for God, and he has ushered in sickness and chaos. He continues to use all of these and more, but the one thing that he is going to do with anyone who decides to make the Kingdom of God and God’s Righteousness his or her priority is strike back with personal attacks.
This war is risky. This war brings with it injuries. Those who engage will probably be wounded in some fashion. But here’s the thing to think about before shrinking back from the fight ahead…
There are lives at stake.
Name one person who does not need to know Jesus. Now, name ALL of the people that you know whom you firmly believe absolutely, definitely know Jesus, whom will never see or feel the flames of Hell. That list totals how many people? Does that tally amount to 100% of the people that you know? 100% of the people that you will meet in the future? If not, YOU ARE CALLED TO ENGAGE in this war. You have a responsibility.
There are “Private Ryans” out there for us to rescue and bring home to their families–to the Family. Private Ryan’s real name is Megan, Bob, Timothy, Jenna… The Private Ryans of the world are kids, young adults, mid-lifers, and seniors.
Don’t let the Enemy intimidate you into ineffectiveness. Grab that teeth-filled lion by the mane and put him on notice that you will not be a coward, that you will fight to snatch people from the very gates of Hell. Declare, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!”