Lions, and Tigers, and Bears

Lions, and Tigers, and Bears

“Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary, the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters in all the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering.” 1 Peter 5:8-9

      Obsession is, I think, something we all come into contact with at one point in our lives or another. I remember when I was living in my first grown-up apartment, working my first grown-up job and I bought my first “grown-up” video game system. I became obsessed with one of the games. I would play from the time I got home until the wee hours of the morning. My work began to suffer for it. My social life began to suffer for it because this wasn’t a game played with friends. It was me, alone in my apartment, choosing to stay in and play a game I was obsessed with rather than go and visit with family and friends.

Obsession can also be a good thing. Obsession can drive us to do great work for humanity. When our son, Carl, was battling leukemia I met many doctors and nurses who did the work they did because they were obsessed with finding a cure, obsessed is with making the lives of cancer sufferers a little better or more comfortable.

While those two obsessions, mine for video games and the oncologist’s for a cure for cancer, are different they are also very much the same. The obsession devours the obsessed. It invades and overtakes their entire life. Nothing is as important as the obsession.

Whether you believe in a literal adversary like the devil or not there is something out there seeking to devour each of us. It can be work related or related to recreation. It can be seemingly innocent or overtly destructive. Whatever it is it exists and you can probably, without too much thought, name what it is in your life right now.

Peter tells us to resist that devouring force, that roaring lion on the prowl. We do that through discipline, through alertness, through faith, and through the realization that we are not alone. Some people say that the greatest lie the devil ever told was that the devil doesn’t exist. I disagree. I think the greatest deception the devil has ever perpetrated is the one that convinced us that we are alone in our struggle. We’re not. All of us, every last one, is going through struggles just the same as you. And we will find the strength to defeat those struggles, to turn the devourer away hungry, when we share our struggles and burdens with one another. Open up to someone this week. Let them know where you are being eaten alive and together you can send that roaring lion running for the hills.

Taming the lions,

Pastor Mike

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