The Toothless, Chained Lion
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8
So goes the warning. And it’s a good warning. We’re told to be on guard; to watch our back. The devil is out there; on the prowl. He’s seeking those who’ve left the door to their life open. Those whose steps have faltered; whose minds have steadily become conformed to this present world system, and have shifted their sight and their faith from Christ and the Cross to someone or something else.
These are Satan’s targets. They are his venison. And he will exercise a certain semblance of authority over these to a certain degree. In some cases, the Lord will allow some latitude to the enemy; not to punish his child, but to bring him back into right relationship; though I believe that we who are looking from the outside will not readily know what the Lord is up to in someone’s life , or even our own. Job had no idea what had taken place in the throne room of heaven between God and Satan, but he was greatly effected by it.
However, Satan holds no such sway over those who know who they are in Christ, whose sight is steadily and firmly finding its resting place in the Cross. They no longer put faith in themselves and what they have done, but are now placing it on Christ and what He has already done. For these, who ought not to think of themselves as better, the devil has no real power. Though he continues to operate like a lion, he has no teeth! I don’t say this in order to throw him a railing accusation, but I base the statement on fact.
When Jesus died on the Cross, He stripped Satan of his power. And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it (Colossians 2:15). Those principalities and powers are the same ones referred to in Ephesians 6:12. These are the powers at war with us; the powers we battle against. The plain and simple fact is, we face a defeated foe! We still need to watch and pray, to stand firm and not be moved, and remain vigilant. Above all, we must trust Christ and the Cross. It was through His blood spilled for us there, that we have an abiding victory.
In John Bunyan’s classic allegory, ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’, he relates a powerful scene involving the book’s title character, Christian. It goes like this:
So I saw in my dream that he made haste, and went forward, that if possible he might get lodging there. Now before he had gone far, he entered into a very narrow passage, which was about a furlong off the Porter’s lodge, and looking very narrowly before him as he went, he espied two lions in the way. Now, thought he, I see the dangers that Mistrust and Timorous were driven back by. (The lions were chained, but he saw not the chains.) Then he was afraid, and thought also himself to go back after them; for he thought nothing but death was before him. But the Porter at the lodge, whose name is Watchful, perceiving that Christian made a halt, as if he would go back, cried unto him, saying, Is thy strength so small? Mark 4:40. Fear not the lions, for they are chained, and are placed there for trial of faith where it is, and for discovery of those that have none: keep in the midst of the path, and no hurt shall come unto thee.
Don’t you love that? Those lions represent both Satan’s forces, and the fear and intimidation that they attempt to unleash upon God’s children. These are some of the things that try our faith. But that fact that he is chained, means that he can do us no harm, as our our faith remains fixed on the Cross. The Cross is what causes him to tremble, because he knows it was there that he was defeated. ‘And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb…’, is the Apostle John’s resonating proclamation (Rev.12:11).
The next time you’re tempted to fear, to doubt, to turn around or give up, remember: Don’t fear the lions–because they are chained. And don’t fear the lion, Satan, either, because he also has no power over you. Keep your eyes and your faith on Jesus.
A popular song says:
Satan the blood of Jesus Is against you Satan the blood of Jesus Is against you Satan the blood of Jesus Is against you You are defeated You are defeated You are defeated By the blood of the Lamb!
That’s the Word! Take it with you. God bless you.