"They will walk after the Lord. He will roar like a lion. Indeed He will roar. And His children will come trembling from the west." Hosea 11:10...."Ooh! said Susan. "I"d thought he was a man. Is he quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion." "That you will dearie, and make no mistake," said Mrs. Beaver. "if there is anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they're either braver than most or else just silly." "Then he isn't safe?" said Lucy. "Safe?" said Mr. Beaver. "Don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about being safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King I tell you." C.S. Lewis from The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe."
Not long ago I watched an old Disney cartoon about a lion cub who was found and raised by a sheep. The lion grew into adulthood, but it didn't know it was a lion. It thought it was a sheep. It had all the tendencies of a sheep. He was part of the flock. One day, a wolf who'd been stalking the sheep attacked and carried off his "mother," with the intention of killing and eating her. The lion cowered in fear with the rest of the sheep, but all the while, his adoptive mother called out to him for help, while the wolf, with evil in his countenance, prepared for her destruction. With one last cry, she called out his name, and then, something happened. The lion remembered that he was just that; a lion. With a roar, he ran to his mother, made short work of the wolf, and brought her back to safety. As I think of that cartoon, I think also of the Church. In this modern culture based on intellect, reason and logic, I think we have forgotten who we are in Jesus Christ. I think we have forgotten just who our Lord Christ is. He is the Lion of Judah. He is a Lion who will enter into the hearts of all of those who are in Him by faith alone. When He enters a heart, the heart of a Lion comes with Him. Our problem is that we continue to think we're sheep. And we live at the mercy of the wolves.
Followers of, and believers in Jesus Christ live in a fallen world. We live in wolf country. Wolves prey on sheep. They do not prey on lions. They fear the lion. Satan is a wolf who thinks he's a lion. Scripture says he goes about roaring like a lion seeking someone to devour. Too often, those who are His think we are sheep, and as a result, we are devoured. I think this happens mainly because we have domesticated Jesus Christ. We follow a tame Lord, a tame Lion. And so we've become tame ourselves. Tame lions are at the mercy of the wolves in wolf country. Is that how we, you and I, the Church, are living right now?
I've been reading a great deal about the persecuted believers living in China, the Middle East, and what was once the Communist block in Eastern Europe. All have suffered intense persecution. Thrown into prison, tortured for their faith. Their visible resources are few, yet they, living in the heart of the land of the wolves, regularly see the Almighty hand of God. They see miracles. They behold wonders. They live in expectation of two things; suffering and His miraculous presence in its midst. They follow no tame Jesus, and though they may live as sheep who, as Scripture says, "are slaughtered all day long," they do not have the heart of the sheep, but that of the lion. And as a result, they flourish. They grow. They behold exploits, and they do them as well. They are not at the mercy of the wolf. They know in Whom they have believed.
Compare that with the lifestyles of we who profess to follow Him in the west. They pray that in the midst of their suffering, they will be obedient, and by their obedience, bring Him glory. We, in the midst of the most blessed culture the world has ever seen, pray for more blessing. They pray for strength to overcome. We pray that there might be a prime parking spot at the mall. They live expecting to always see His glory in the midst of the darkness. We are so used to the dark that any flashes of His Light scare and even put us off. We've tamed Jesus. We've forgotten who He is, and in the process, we've forgotten who we are in Him.
You and I, whether we realize it or not, are living in Wolf Country. The Wolf sees us as sheep to be slaughtered. How do we see ourselves? How do we see the One we say we follow? A culture in need cries out. How do we respond to it? With the heart of the sheep, or that of the Lion? Do we have a safe, tame Jesus, or the One who is dangerous, but who is good. The One who, when He roars, sets the foundations of hell itself to trembling? The Wolf doesn't rule even in Wolf Country. The Lion, and His people do. Do we live like that is so?