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The Roaring Lion, 1 Peter 5:8

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If Buddy ever roared like a lion, I’d go check my hearing, because we all know that a little, 19 pound dog is not going to roar. He’s going to bark, growl, snuffle, howl and “talk,” but not roar.

The Apostle Peter warned believers in his letter, 1 Peter 5:8, to be on the alert, not to be passive about evil.

“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

Searching the internet, there were multiple claims that lions do not roar to frighten their prey into paralysis, as is commonly believed. I did find that the below website, http://www.Reference.com, had the most compelling reason:

“Lions use their roar as a way to remind other lions that they are in control over an area.” (https://www.reference.com/pets-animals/lions-roar-68fa05e474d85126)

As Christians I believe that we too often let down our guards and then wonder why Satan is able to “zap us” and cause us harm in life. We forget that, although Jesus defeated Satan at the Cross (Colossians 2:13-15), He has not yet returned to claim His kingdom. At this time, Satan is being permitted to rule over the entire earth.

“The Lord said to Satan, ‘From where do you come?’ Then Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘From roaming about on the earth and walking on it.'”–Job 1:7

My NASB version of the Bible has some apt descriptions of Satan in its Concordance:

“accuser, adversary, deceiver of the world, devil, dragon, enemy, evil one, father of lies, god of this world, liar, murderer, ruler of the demons and ruler of this world.”

We must question what we hear in the media, what thoughts come to mind and what other people around us are saying. People may not be telling us the truth: It might be deliberate or because they are just wrong, they are deceived themselves, or they are presenting opinion as fact. Before I turn on the radio, I pray some variation of: “Lord, please help me discern truth from error, and fact from fiction. Help me know when someone is trying to deceive me or just making a mistake. Help me know when someone is presenting opinion as fact. Help me now when I am being told the truth or not. And help me to tell others the truth and not mislead them.”

And even the health books I read, the authors claim to have the whole truth about the healthiest way to eat is, with the scientific facts to back their claims up, yet directly contradict one another: grains are bad, grains are good; wine is bad, wine is good; coffee is bad, coffee is good; beans are bad, beans are good, etc.

Jesus claimed to be “the way, the truth and the life.”–John 14:6

When we stay in God’s Word, we are entering into Jesus’ protection from lies. He is a good Shepherd Who sleeps in the doorway of the sheepfold to protect the sheep from the wolves who want to enter into the flock and kill the sheep (John 10: 1-18). Apostle Paul, in 2 Corinthian 11:14, warned us that Satan “disguises himself as an angel of light” in order to deceive us and lead us astray. Only by knowing God’s Word can we discern when someone is twisting Scripture or lying to us, telling us something is OK to do or believe when it isn’t.

I am not blogging about Buddy and God because I think I know it all, but these are things I, myself, need to remind myself of and am mulling over in my mind.

There is so much slander and deliberate lying in the media and by government officials nowadays. One must be constantly questioning what is being said–or consider what is being concealed and not said.

I was thinking about what I’m hearing recently and feeling afraid, not at peace. I wonder if people who hate this country or Capitalism or Christianity will gain more power and destroy our economy, our livelihoods and our freedom. I am letting the roaring of Satan frighten me. Yet Jesus defeated Satan at the Cross: The devil is now a toothless lion; He cannot have my soul, but he can still be very dangerous if I let him pounce upon me or tear me with his claws, but if I can stay out of his reach, I should remain safe.

And out of Satan’s reach is by staying close to my great shepherd, Jesus.

So when I get scared, I remind myself that Jesus GIVES me peace as a gift. I don’t manufacture it myself. It’s a gift He gives when I ask for it.

“My peace I leave with you; My peace I GIVE to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”–John 14:17, emphasis mine

And also have to remind myself that God is sovereign over all history and people. There is nothing out of His control:

“Who works all things after the counsel of His will.”–Ephesians 1:11

So please ask Jesus to grant you His gift of peace if you are afraid. He loves you and will take care of you, if you are in His flock. And, also, please ask for discernment every day, because no matter how smart or sophisticated we think we are, some people are very devious–or just very wrong.

Love from Dawn and her beloved Buddy

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If you aren’t in Jesus’s flock, why not? My main regret in life is not coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus ten years sooner. I would’ve avoided so many dark and depressing days in my 20s with His guidance and love in my life. Why not sooner, you ask? So that I would never forget that there is nothing to return to before I came to Christ. Knowing God loves you and experiencing His presence is the greatest gift anyone can have. Why not ask Him to forgive your sins and invite Him into your life, to be your Lord and protector today?

 

 

 

Running in Fear, Proverbs 28:1

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There were many times, when I was walking Buddy, that he’d suddenly stop, plant his feet and refuse to move forward. Sometimes I can force him to relent and keep walking, but at other times, he simply refuses to walk and we have to return home. I couldn’t figure out why.

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Then one day I realized he planted his feet when I heard a crow cawing. I hadn’t made the connection before. I don’t know why. Maybe because my mind was elsewhere or it was too noisy till that time to register that it was the crow. Well, tonight Buddy planted his feet when we heard a crow cawing. I managed to prompt him to resume walking, but it was a bit of a struggle.

The oddest thing was, the crow wasn’t nearby. And if I’d listened to Buddy and returned the way we’d come, we would’ve been getting nearer, not farther from, the crow.

There’s a proverb that took some meditation before I finally got it, Proverbs 28:1:

“The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.” (NASB)

I’ve been blessed by God with a creative and vivid imagination, which suits me well when I want to write or draw a cartoon. But it’s not so great when I start imaging things that aren’t real and, therefore, intimidate myself into not starting a project or trying something new because of fear. I’m imagining it’s going to be really difficult and that I cannot meet the challenge. I’m denying myself the ability to excel or create something new.

But it’s really bad when I am imagining conversations that may never take place or situations that have never occurred. What I’m doing is slandering someone or lying to myself because it’s false. In Psalm 51:6, King David states that God desires “truth in the innermost being.” In other words, God wants our imaginative thoughts/self talk to be truthful.

I have a tendency to fear confrontation or that I may not be able to defend a particular opinion, so I set up imaginary debates in my mind. However, that’s not good because the conversations are not real and are very unlikely to take place in the real world. I’m putting words in a person’s mouth, which is a lie and slander. Or I imagine what a situation might be and then make myself afraid by imagining something that may never take place.

Yes, we probably all do it to some extent, but I want my self talk to be truthful and not frighten myself unnecessarily.

How much evil comes to pass because a person is speculating what someone might be thinking (and likely aren’t) or an action that person might take (and likely won’t) or imagining a person has a particular attitude (and they really don’t). I recently had someone assume I had a particular opinion about a public figure that was totally off.

So when I think about this verse, Proverbs 28:1, I ponder whether I’m taking a wrong direction or making a wrong decision because my thoughts are just wrong. So where to begin?

Am I thinking something that’s true or is it speculation? Do I really have the facts?

I have a friend who believes it’s always sinful to make things up, like doing caricatures–because it’s an exaggeration of reality–or to escape reality by reading fiction. I think this is going to the other extreme. Creativity is a gift from God. We couldn’t build bridges, for instance, or wonderful new buildings, if we didn’t imagine it firstly. We couldn’t be inspired to write beautiful songs or poems, if we lacked the ability to weave it in our minds firstly.

But I really need to test my thoughts frequently: Is this true? Because God is a God of truth and not lies.

But He’s also amazingly creative.

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You really cannot live a life based upon truth without a relationship with Jesus Christ Who proclaimed: “I AM the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”–John 14:6 (emphasis mine) If you want to stop feeling afraid of the future and have confidence that a loving God has you held in His hand, please pray the following: Dear Lord, I admit that I do wrong and fall short of your perfect standards. I can do nothing to earn Your favor, but just receive it in faith as a gift from You. I believe that Jesus died for my sins–past, present and future. I ask that You forgive my sin and give me the gift of the Holy Spirit. I believe Jesus was raised bodily from the dead. I ask You to teach Me and lead me into all truth. Thank you for hearing my prayer and giving me the gift of eternal life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, congratulations. You’ve joined the family of God. Please get a copy of the Bible, if you don’t have one, and start with the book of Matthew and read through to the end of the book of John, which tell about the life and ministry of Jesus and are easier to understand and interesting. And please find a Bible-based church where you can grow as a believer and find strength in the company of like-minded people. God bless you.

Dawn and Buddy