OVERCOMING THE LIONS IN OUR LIVES
“The Lord stood by me and strengthened me… I was delivered from the mouth of the lion.” — 2 Timothy 4:17
What are the “lions” in your life? What lions are seeking to overtake you, overpower you, devour you?
We all have lions we face in our lives. Lions may beset us physically… illnesses, finances, relationships. Lions may come against us emotionally… anxiety, fear, stress, depression.
Lions may assail us spiritually. The enemy of our soul looks for any area of our life where we are vulnerable and plots his attacks. For he prowls around like a roaring lion seeking anyone he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).
Lions are rarely alone. Often attacks come from all sides… surrounding and overcoming us. Do we feel as if we are sealed in a den of lions? Are we wrestling with the lions in our own strength and becoming battle weary? Are we allowing ourselves to fall prey to the lions, succumbing to their power?
“Daniel, you are a man treasured by God.” — Daniel 10:11
Daniel, a prophet in the Old Testament, finds victory over the lions he faces in his life. As a youth, he is exiled to Babylon after Jerusalem’s fall to the Babylonians. King Nebuchadnezzar chooses young men with nobility and promise to be educated and trained in the culture, language and knowledge of Babylon. God gives Daniel wisdom and intelligence beyond his peers and he advances to become an advisor to the king.
Throughout his many years in exile, Daniel refuses to acquiesce to the foreign culture and its pagan ways. He is unwaveringly devoted to his God. In God’s eyes, Daniel is precious, highly esteemed and greatly loved. He proves trustworthy, rising above the corruption of the times.
During the reign of Darius, the king recognizes Daniel’s exceptional qualities and plans to set him over the entire kingdom. The satraps in power are jealous and look for a way to sabotage his promotion. Yet they can find no corruption in him.
“Anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den.” — Daniel 6:7
The satraps ruthlessly plot to catch Daniel in his prayerful devotion to God. They coerce the king into issuing a decree that cannot be repealed under the law of the Medes and Persians.
Daniel is undaunted by the new law and remains steadfast in his faith. He courageously and openly prays to his invincible God, the only One who can help. When King Darius learns of Daniel’s bold defiance, he has no choice but to enforce the law. Daniel is thrown into the den of lions, with these words of hope from the king…
“May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” — Daniel 6:16
A stone is rolled over the entrance to the den, sealed with the king’s own signet ring. Darius has a sleepless night thinking of the man who has loyally served him. At the first light of dawn, he rushes to the lion’s den and calls to Daniel, asking if his God has rescued him.
“My God sent His angel, and He shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in His sight.” — Daniel 6:22
God protects His treasured ones. Even lions become docile in the presence of the Almighty One. The king is overjoyed at the news of Daniel’s rescue. Daniel is completely shielded from injury… not a wound or claw mark on his body. The satraps are not so fortunate. They meet their fate for their plan of treachery in the same den of lions.
Daniel’s life exalts and glorifies God. King Darius is so impressed that he makes a law for all people in the kingdom to fear and revere this powerful God of Daniel. The king expresses a prophetic revelation…
“For He is the living God and He endures forever; His kingdom will not be destroyed, His dominion will never end. He rescues and He saves.” — Daniel 6:26-27
We all face lions in our lives. Will we attempt to fight them in our own strength? Or will we step back and allow our Lion Tamer to close their ferocious mouths? Will we trust the all-powerful Lion of Judah to fight on our behalf?
The same God who was with Daniel is with us today. He is the One who will close the mouths of the lions we face. He protects those who seek Him and put Him first. We lift up in faith our prayers for His rescue… for the God who delivered Daniel will deliver us. He will see us to victory by His power and for His glory. We need only trust.