"Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you.
He will not leave you nor forsake you."
Martin Luther was a lion, and the religious system tried to tame the lion in him. They wanted to bring him under them rather than under God and His eternal truth. David was from the tribe of Judah. Goliath, as well as King Saul, attempted to drive the lion out of his spirit, but David refused to give any ground to Goliath or King Saul. He refused to be intimidated by Goliath, and he refused to fight in the king's armor. All the great reformers-
Wycliffe, Huss, Jerome, Zwingli, Wesley
, and a host of other lions-refused to be tamed by the 'lion tamers,' the religious systems of their day. Every generation has had its lions and its martyrs. The religious systems throughout this world's history have all wanted these 'lions' to come under them, rather than Jehovah.
We must understand this deeply: our Leader is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, Jesus Christ (Revelation 5:5). He was fearless and strong in the midst of the religious system of His day. And this Lion must live within us! This is the vital point. We can have the same faith Jesus Christ possessed if we will receive it and use it (Galatians 2:20). The Lion of the tribe of Judah is the only example we must follow (I Peter 2:21). He will equip us with the same power, the same courage and the appropriate roar to be ferocious and bold like a Lion in our day!
Unleashing the Lion
The devil and the religious systems want to tame the lion in you, while God wants to challenge and set the lion free in you. That lion is the Spirit of the living God calling you to a specific work, message, and purpose, perhaps even unknown to you at the present. The lion tamers are ever present within the body of Christ. The tamers can be the leadership, church members, friends, family, or others that want you to stay in the safe zone and maintain a passive posture and cowardice when it comes to standing for truth, righteousness, and morality in your own churches. I have met them on many fronts, and you will as well, if you are honestly living for God's honor. God is calling all to be strong, courageous, alert, established, and fortified in Him. That means you and me! It has nothing to do with who you are or aren't. It has everything to do with who and what God is calling you to. He will accomplish it in you as you cooperate and move forward. Our attitude should be, "Be it unto me, according to Your Word." Luke 1:38 What an attitude Mary possessed when called upon to do her part on behalf of the gospel kingdom. Would you have responded as Mary, or is your Christianity lame and weak-kneed? Are you more a pussycat then an empowered Lion?
Lions do not apologize for being lions. They allow the Spirit and Word of God to unleash the lion in them. They are ever sensitive to God's call upon their heart, their mind, and their conscience. The devil hates authentic revival-that is; God being the One in charge. The believer is called to fight through intimidation, confinement, and control. I am painfully aware of church politics and policy overriding the gospel of Jesus Christ and biblical principle, sidelining or pushing out those they cannot control or who will not play church according to their liking, dictates or politics. They did it to Jesus, and they are doing it to God's servants today as well. Is it happening in your church? Has it happened to you? Are you too passive? Are you sitting by and watching it happen and not allowing God's Spirit to bring the lion in you to a righteous roar? Are you allowing others or circumstances to intimidate and confine you to their model of service, to their views, their party line, and their box of control? Is your brand of Christianity too soft, weak, and
anemic? Remember for evil to prosper all that has to happen is for good men and women to say or do NOTHING.
Do not allow any man's religion to cage you up. Jesus didn't. He challenged the religious system of His day, every step of the way. I want to encourage you to reject the urge to let them tame the lion in you, which is the Spirit of Christ in you. Christ wants you to stand for Him and to roar for Him. Whatever that looks like, whatever He calls you to, don't be caged, don't be silenced, and don't be benched. And don't become like the church of Laodicea, who boasted in its supposed blessedness and wealth, when Jesus called it wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. (Revelation 3:17) Rise above this Laodicean condition and don't resist the grace that regenerates Christ's righteousness in you which imparts to you His Spirit, His illumined eyesight.
Yes, make sure your roar is in line with His principles, and make sure your roar is initiated by the Lion of Judah living in you. Do not let politics, popularity, promotion, or demotion tame you. Do not compromise because of peer pressure or loss of social position or status. Do not fear the aggression that can and will come against you. But stand, speak up, and live out what God is working in and through you. Why are there so few rocking the boat of indifference within their churches? The church is to be the conscience of the nation, but our conscience is seared right now. He wants you to be one of His lions. Will you?
Lion tamers use chairs and whips to intimidate and control lions. In your religious three-ring circus, don't let them chair you and keep the lion within you at bay. Jesus didn't! When they attempt to chair and sideline you, don't lose the focus of the One who has called you to stand. Paul didn't! God gives a piece of the puzzle to each and every one. Don't be scared to bring your piece of the puzzle to the table. Don't just conform to your church culture and don't be terrified to stand against the waywardness of your church. No one person has the whole puzzle, so don't deprive others of your piece. Don't let 'them'
and sideline you. God wants to use you, even if you have failed Him in the past, like David, Moses, and Paul did. God will pick you up, dust you off, forgive you, and again empower you in His service (Proverbs 24:16). Refuse to be chaired and sidelined. Don't soften the gospel, milk toast it, or defraud it.
't be too passive, wimpy, or militant. Let God moderate you, not circumstances or personality. By default, don't help create that which you and your God loathe.
Lion tamers also use whips. Don't let them whip you into a silent position in the church pew. Many lose their voice under the slightest pressure. The hierarchy of my church told me I wasn't even allowed to be a janitor. But guess what? They told me I could come, sit in the pew, and essentially live a comatose church life. They wanted to domesticate and dominate me. They wanted me to come under them, not under God.
They are self-seeking men who give the appearance of being Christians (sheep's clothing), but have the inward nature of a wolf. Wolves like to hang around sheep. They can be found in the congregation as well as the pulpit. They are sent by the enemy to infiltrate and deceive. They must be identified by their fruits, not merely by their teachings. Often the teaching can appear sound, whereas the fruit in their lives and ministries is not. A true minister or Christian is what he lives, not only what he preaches and believes. Inspect the fruit of their marriages and the children that they raised (I Timothy 3:2-5). Doesn't God tell us conclusively, "By their fruits ye shall know them"? Matthew 7:20 Our lives must be a demonstration of the power of God living in us and through us.
Losing Your Roar
Don't let the whispers of God to your conscience be whipped into silence. My voice, my roar, most likely threatened them. It could cause them to lose influence, or it could help center others into God and God alone Colossians 2:10. Christ came to give glory to his Father. Religion should not bring you merely to its dogmas, but to God and His Son being the sole ruler of your heart, your day and all your relationships!
They want to silence our voice, our witness, and our testimony. Our voice, that is our roar, apparently intimidates them. They threw Jeremiah into a pit to silence him. They sawed Isaiah asunder and cut John the Baptist's head off to silence them. They hung Peter upside down. They banished John the beloved to the Isle of Patmos to silence him, and false religion will again use its whip to silence the lion in each and every one whom God indwells and calls.
Not to speak is to Speak
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor, anti-Nazi dissident and author of "The Cost of Discipleship" poignantly stated, "Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak, is to speak. Not to act, is to act."
The great reformer and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. said, "To ignore evil is to become accomplice to it." Sadly, these warnings are as appropriate and applicable to the church of America today as at any time in history. Ezekiel 33:8
Will you answer God's call to your heart? Will you join the tribe of Judah? Or will you let false religion cage you up? Bonhoeffer didn't? Martin Luther King Jr. didn't. How will you respond with what God is pressing upon your heart?
accomplishment for a lion tamer is when he puts his head into the lion's mouth. This signifies the ultimate submission of the lion to its tamer. The lion has then so capitulated to its tamer that the tamer's voice becomes the lion's voice. God's lion has thus lost its power. It has surrendered its bite and its roar. By losing its bite and its roar, the lion has lost and sold out its purpose, power, and identity. Only its tamer's words and views now come out of its mouth. The whip of intimidation, loss of position, status, and
, as well as threats and rejection, has caused the lion to be dumbed down,
and thus his piece of the puzzle
is silenced or dusted over. He becomes conformed to a church culture rather than a living God and His Word.
God wants to use you, to give voice to you, to have you bring your assigned piece of the puzzle forward. If you lose your roar, then God just raises up more lions. Don't let another lion take your place. Answer His call to your heart and voice. Join the tribe of Judah and refuse to be caged up or tamed down. Say, "Lord, bring out the lion in
Questions for Discussion
- Are you under a religious system, or are you under God?
- Do you feel intimidated, confined, and controlled by church policy and politics?
- Have you allowed the lion tamers to quench God's Spirit in you?
- Do you feel caged up?
- Are you standing for Christ and are you capable to roar for Him?
- Do you roar irrespective of peer pressure or loss of social position or status?
- Will you stand and bring the piece of the puzzle God has given you to the table?
- Is the lion in you stronger than the wolves in sheep's clothing in your church and church pulpit?
- Have you allowed the whispers of God to your conscience to be echoed or are they whipped into silence by the lion tamers?
- Will you let the whip of intimidation, along with the loss of influence and rejection, cause the lion in you to stand, or will you be emasculated?