Spiritual warfare is very real.
Jesus says, “‘The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life’” (John 10:10 NLT).
God is chasing us down with a heart full of love. Satan is chasing us down with total hatred.
“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12 NLT).
Sounds hopeless, right? Wrong! Let me explain.
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8 NLT).
Are you afraid of lions? They’re vicious. Dangerous. Lions have the potential to destroy you. And the Bible compares Satan to a lion. That’s the bad news. But here’s the good news: God shuts the mouths of lions.
You’ve probably heard of Daniel and the lions’ den. Maybe as a child in Sunday school, church camp, or VBS. But just in case you haven’t, here’s a rundown.
One day, King Darius of the Medo-Persian Empire divided his territory among high officers. Daniel was one of them, and he was favored by the king.
“Daniel soon proved himself more capable than all the other administrators and high officers. Because of Daniel’s great ability, the king made plans to place him over the entire empire” (Dan. 6:3 NLT).
The other administrators and high officers became jealous of Daniel. They paid close attention to the way Daniel did his job, hoping to find a fault. But they couldn’t find one no matter how hard they tried. Daniel was a good man, but the men knew something else about Daniel — he was really religious.
“So they concluded, ‘Our only chance of finding grounds for accusing Daniel will be in connection with the rules of his religion’” (V. 5 NLT).
The men manipulated King Darius into signing a law that decreed, “‘… for the next thirty days any person who prays to anyone, divine or human — except to you, Your Majesty — will be thrown into the den of lions’” (V. 7 NLT).
Despite the threat, Daniel was unrelenting. Uncompromising.
“But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God” (V. 10 NLT).
The jealous men found Daniel praying, and off they went to snitch.
Now, King Darius liked Daniel. He didn’t want Daniel destroyed by lions. But King Darius made a law that he was forced to keep.
After Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den, the king fasted and struggled throughout the night. Early in the morning, he decided to go check on Daniel.
“When he got there, he called out in anguish, ‘Daniel, servant of the living God! Was your God, whom you serve so faithfully, able to rescue you from the lions?’” (V. 20 NLT).
“Daniel answered, ‘Long live the king! My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in his sight. And I have not wronged you, Your Majesty’” (V. 21-22 NLT).
At the king’s command, Daniel was taken from the den. Because he trusted God, Daniel didn’t have a single scratch on him.
Can I encourage you today? God still shuts the mouths of lions. More specifically, God shuts the mouth of a roaring lion named Satan.
Maybe you find yourself in a lions’ den. You feel like Satan is surrounding you. You feel like you’re being devoured and destroyed. Satan is telling you lies. About God. About yourself. About others. He’s convincing you to lose hope.
“There’s no use in trying. You’ll never be healed. You’ll never get help. They’ll never be saved. You’ll never get God’s attention.” The lies and accusations come like roars from Satan’s mouth.
But can I tell you something? God is greater than Satan. Jesus is victorious. Cry out the name of Jesus, and watch as God shuts the mouths of lions.
“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7 NLT).
Isaiah Pauley is a 2018 graduate of Wahama High School. He can be followed at www.isaiahpauley.com, or on Facebook at Isaiah Pauley Page.