Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Lions...AGAIN.

Why is it that I can’t seem to get away from a “Lions” theme?  Maybe it’s because lions are just that awesome, , or maybe it’s because God continually has something there for me.  Well I’m on a mission to find out what the heck is up with lions and why they seem to keep coming back to me during my God time each day. First of all, let’s look at the lion as an animal.  There is a reason why the lion is labeled, so many times, as “king”. Here are some lion facts I’ve dug up. (Source: http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/GreatCats/lionfacts.cfm) Physical Description: Lions have strong, compact bodies and powerful forelegs, teeth, and jaws for pulling down and killing prey. Their coats are yellow-gold. Adult males have shaggy manes that range in color from blond to reddish-brown to black, and length. The length and color of the mane is believed to be determined by such factors as age, genetics, and hormones. Young lions have light spotting on their coats that will disappear as they grow up. Fiercely protective of his pride, or family unit, male lions patrol a vast territory normally covering about 100 square miles (260 square kilometers). Size: Male lions grow larger than females, reaching up to ten feet long (females reach up to nine feet long), plus a two- to three-foot-long tail. Male lions weigh from 330 to 550 pounds; females weigh 265 to 395 pounds. Lions stand between three and a half and four feet tall at the shoulder. Natural Diet: Lions eat primarily large animals, such as zebra and wildebeest, weighing from 100 to 1,000 pounds. In times of shortage, they also catch and eat a variety of smaller animals from rodents to reptiles. Lions steal kills from hyenas, leopards, and other predators, but may also lose their catches to hyena groups. Lions may also feed on domestic livestock, especially in areas near villages. Fun Facts: ·        Tigers are lions' closest relatives. Without their coats, lion and tiger bodies are so similar that only experts can tell them apart.
·        A lion's roar can be heard up to five miles away.
·        A male coalition rarely holds onto a pride longer than two to three years before being run off by fierce challengers
SO, After reading a little about lions, I want to pull out a few key points that make you do 1 of 2 things… 1.        Pray to the good Lord that you never have to meet a lion during one of your African desert excursions. 2.         Give you an understanding as to why the lion is such a perfect descriptor for God and who He has called us to be. Tying in to the “sound” study I’m currently working on, a lion’s roar can be heard up to FIVE MILES AWAY. The lions roar is used to declare its sovereignty over its territory, so it needs to be a powerful and terrifying sound!  I would imagine that, while holding its respect, the sound of the male lions roar, to his pride, probably holds a level of security.  The pride knows that when they hear the sound of his voice, he is guarding them, protecting his family from invaders.  How much more powerful do you think Gods roar is over you?  The roar of God doesn’t stop at a measly 5 miles!  It echoes through time!!! Jer 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Before you were even a thought to anyone else, God had already roared in to your future and declared that YOU are destined to walk as a lion in His kingdom.  You were not created with a spirit of fear, but instead a spirit of ferocious faith and boldness!  Let’s look at an example of a lion facing lions and how our faith can move us in to the Destiny God has for us. 2 Sam 23:20-23 20 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was a valiant man[j] of Kabzeel, a doer of great deeds. He struck down two ariels[k] of Moab. He also went down and struck down a lion in a pit on a day when snow had fallen. 21 And he struck down an Egyptian, a handsome man. The Egyptian had a spear in his hand, but Benaiah went down to him with a staff and snatched the spear out of the Egyptian's hand and killed him with his own spear. 22 These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and won a name beside the three mighty men. 23 He was renowned among the thirty, but he did not attain to the three. And David set him over his bodyguard. Mark Batterson’s book, “In a Pit With a Lion On a Snowy Day”, introduced me to this story in the bible, and SO perfectly painted the picture of Benaiah’s epic battle and victory!  As you go back and read over that verse again, I want to point out a couple things… “…He struck down two ariels[k] of Moab.” The word “ariel” actually means lion, or lion like.  The two men he took out were known for their ferocity, so much so that they were likened to that of a lion.  But the Lion in Benaiah was greater! Back in old, and new testament times, Lions were commonplace in and around Israel.  They could be found in caves, forests, and hunting unsuspecting flocks of sheep or other livestock. You can imagine, living out on the countryside and traveling by foot much of the time how dangerous this could become.  This is where Benaiah gets truly AWESOME (Jacky Chan and Chris Tucker aint got nuthin on this boy ). Benaiah, while out in the wild, probably hunting, were not really sure, it never tells us what he was up to, comes face to face with a lion, whose eyes probably looked like this . Were that me meeting Mr. Lion, mine would have looked like this   Instead of turning tail to run for his obviously endangered life, Benaiah responds by staring back at the lion, and something incredible happens!  THE LION TURNS AND RUNS!  I don’t know about you but I would consider that a pretty good day.  “That’s right, I’m the guy who stared down a lion, and won.” But Benaiah takes it even further and gives chase!  The lion eventually slips and falls in to a big pit; Benaiah follows, and defeats the beast in spite of unimaginably great odds against him! Because Benaiah knew the lion in him was greater than any other, he was able to chase his destiny!  Getting these things on his resume eventually meant becoming the lead man over King David’s guard!  Had he let the outside lions roars scare him away, he wouldn’t have been able to step in to the best that God had for him! I want to challenge you today, to look around and begin praying for God to reveal to you the “outside lions” in your life.  And then I want you to remember that you were created to be a lion chaser just like Benaiah!  God roars over you even now, and no sound is more fierce!  No other roar is laced in love and adoration!  No other roar is meant to elevate you and accelerate you!  So listen for His voice roaring over you!!!