~~i want to be everything you dreamed when you called my name~~

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

In the Lions' Den

Between reading Daniel, and an email I received from a friend talking about how hard it is to continually trust in God to provide - and to turn away from the world...I was thinking 'what's up with the lions' so I did some research and had some thoughts...I love how He continually links aspects of my life together into His grand scheme...

So, the lions...at various times throughout history, rulers have used lions to both torture and kill those individuals who opposed them (the rulers). Apparently, during the periods of persecution during the first centuries following Jesus' death and resurrection, members of the early church were repeatedly thrown to the lions because their decision to walk with God and stake their lives on faith in his Son ran counter to the official government stance. Then there's Daniel - while Darius was ruler of Babylon, Daniel was accused of treason and thrown into a den full of restless, ravenous lions (Daniel 6:16-21). The beauty of this story is God sending His angel to keep the lions from attacking Daniel, protecting His servant (verse 22).

Which brings me to us...the very fact that we choose to walk with God involves a second implicit choice...a choice to walk out of step with this world (Romans 12:2; 1 John 2:15), and Satan makes certain that believers will feel the consequences of this decision (Job 1:7; 1 Peter 5:8). Stupid Satan...

Jesus warned his followers that they would be handed over...and put to death, that they would be hated by all nations because of their faith in Him (Matthew 24:9). Jesus also addressed this issue when He began his Sermon on the Mount with the recitation of the Beatitudes..."Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in Heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you" (Matthew 5:11-12).

It's a hard choice to choose walking with God, knowing that you are opening yourself up for attacks from the enemy on a daily basis. Satan would love for us to forget God's promises to us...that He has sent His Spirit to guide and protect us - and to reveal God's truth to us when we choose to live for Him (John 16:13). In this world we will have trouble - it's a given...but be of good cheer...our King has overcome the world!!! (John 16:33)

Be encouraged friends - Heaven is coming...Jesus is coming! Don't lose sight of that hope!

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