Facing Down the Lions

Jim Cymbala

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world” (1 Peter 5:7-9, ESV).

Weakness will get you sympathy on earth, but it does nothing with Satan. He has no sympathy and no mercy. If you walk around complaining, “Oh, I’m so weak, and I haven’t read the Bible for days, and I never spend time alone with God,” you might as well be whistling for Satan to come and get you.

There’s a reason scripture refers to the devil as a roaring lion. Predators look for weakness. Lionesses lie in the high grass, studying their prey for hours, and you know what they’re looking for? Who’s weak!

Zoologists don’t even know how lions can tell if a prey animal is diseased, but they know. They can sense it somehow. They know disease like they’re veterinarians. Once they begin their run and the whole herd is going crazy, another animal can come up right in the lion’s grill, and often the lion won’t even look at it or attack it. That lion is going after one animal: the weak one.

If I’m in a spiritual coma because I haven’t picked up my Bible in months, what do you think the devil’s going to do? Be afraid of me because I had an experience with God three years ago?

We have to wake up! We must start seeking God. This is the only way we can resist the enemy and become, as Peter puts it, “firm in your faith.” In spiritual warfare, the only thing that wins is the power of God, as scripture promises us, “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).  

If you’re feeling weak, go to your Bible. Get down on your knees. Seek God’s face. Our enemy is pitiless, but our heavenly Father gives us strength in his name.

Jim Cymbala began the Brooklyn Tabernacle with less than twenty members in a small, rundown building in a difficult part of the city. A native of Brooklyn, he is a longtime friend of both David and Gary Wilkerson.