The apostle Peter gave a graphic reminder to pastors about our adversary, who like a roaring lion, is roaming around seeking whom he may devour. It was popular in the early 1980's to proclaim that the devil was only a "roaring" lion because Jesus had kicked out his teeth at Calvary. This was a real crowd pleaser, intended to reduce our fears that the devil could really hurt us. I understand the sentimentality behind this idea, and agree that we should not be intimidated by the devil's roar, yet this notion minimizes the fact that Peter was warning us of a very real danger. He said that the devil is seeking whom he may devour. All we have to do is look at the number of Christians who are out of the race, or how many ministers have been removed from ministry, before we dismiss the devil as toothless. This warning clearly states that the enemy cannot devour us at will but, if we let him, he can and will. We may not always be aware that he is doing this because he tends to devour people from the inside out. Peter’s description of Satan as a lion is right on and, just like this predator, his hunting strategies are ancient, predictable, and few.
When the enemy eats someone, the enemy always eats their heart first, removing their passion, zeal, and spiritual life. I have seen pastors eaten from the inside out. They go through the motions, but they have no heart for the people, the lost, or the hurting. They care more about their “ministry” than they care about people.
Here are some other facts about the way lions hunt:
- Lions roam the darkness where some Christians carelessly stray.
- Lions watch for those who become isolated from the flock.
- Lions tend to prey on the young and the weak.
- Lions prey on the sick.
- They divide and conquer. All he needs is an issue, preferably a non-essential one, which will generate enough mistrust and confusion to divide us.
This study guide has an extensive question and answer section that helps clarify this unique perspective and shed even more light on the subject. There are several QR links to other on-line studies and audio files. This study is a companion to my book “Jesus in Warfare”.