The Devouring Lion, Pt. 1

1 Peter 5:8-11… “Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour. Take a firm stand against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that Christians all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are. In his kindness God called you to his eternal glory by means of Jesus Christ. After you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. All power is his forever and ever. Amen” (NLT).

How do Christians get devoured? Obviously from our text Christians get devoured because they are not vigilant. Beck’s translation reads, “Keep a clear head and watch.”  There are many Scriptures that show us how we can be devoured. Let’s look at a few of them.

Isaiah 35:8-9… “And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there” (KJV)If we walk in holiness, Satan cannot devour us. The devil and his demons can not walk in holiness. Holiness is the Christian’s walk.

Jeremiah 50:17… “Israel is a scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away: first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones” (KJV). The lions in this verse were the nations of Assyria and Babylon. Assyria captured the ten tribes of Israel, and Babylon captured the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. The word “Assyria” means “a step,” which can mean a step in the wrong direction, or authorities that lead you into captivity and darkness. Many leaders lead you down the wrong path. Many Christians will take a step in a wrong direction, especially if the lusts of the flesh are leading them. “Babel” means “confusion.” Wrong direction always precedes confusion. Wrong direction will devour you. Psalm 1:1 teaches that wrong direction comes from ungodly people. In Psalm 64:2, David prays, “Hide me from the secret council of the wicked.” Why? Because they do not think like God thinks. Isaiah 30:8-10 tells us that following wrong prophecies will devour you. Jeremiah 23:22 teaches that if people had stood in the Lord’s counsel, they would have turned from their evil ways. Psalm 109:29 tells us that some folks deliberately cover themselves with their own confusion.

Hosea 13:6-9… “According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me. Therefore I will be unto them as a lion: as a leopard by the way will I observe them: I will meet them as a bear
that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild beast shall tear them. O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help” 
(KJV). The story here is that God had given Israel a good pasture. They were well-fed, and when they were, they forgot God. Their pasture provided success, but pride entered into their heart. Pride is false truth. False truth gets you devoured. Pride makes you careless. The devil sees that carelessness and you become his food.

Genesis 37:20-35… “Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams. And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him” (vv. 20-21, KJV). The word “devoured is used twice in these verses (vv. 20, 33). Joseph was the man with the vision. Joseph means “he will add.” Joseph’s brothers did not want to commit themselves to the vision. Joseph’s vision means that there will be added responsibility. “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18). Joseph’s brothers conspired against him, stripped him, and sold him, thinking that the heathens would finish him off. They lied to Jacob about Joseph. Jealousy and envy will always devour the vision. Many churches have been shut down by God because the brethren did not like the pastor’s vision. Jealousy and envy did it.

Jeremiah 2:30… “In vain have I smitten your children; they received no correction: your own sword hath devoured your prophets, like a destroying lion” (KJV). Listing Judah’s sin, Jeremiah said, “Your own sword has devoured the prophets like a destroying lion.” Judah would not receive the correcting word of the prophets. The people’s sword (mouths) rejected the message and warnings that the prophets brought. Like many today, they say, “That’s not of God, that’s not Scriptural, that’s flesh.” An article in the 1980s told how ministers were leaving the ministry because of people’s rejection, and that rejection caused burnout in the ministers. Gossip that is in a congregation devours the anointed word.

(To be continued…)

Pastor George Belobaba

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