While temptation is a lion that lies to you, The Bible tells us of another Lion who lies down for you. He is willing to die for you, fight for you, stand by you.
1. This Lion Lies Down For You.
Rev 5:5 But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”
Rev 1:18 18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death
Jesus is described in the Bible as the Lion of Judah. The powerful Lion who lies down for you. He died for you. He fought the power of death, temptation, and fear for you. He is the Real Lion who has prevailed against temptation. He is the all powerful one who now holds the keys to death. Not only physical death, but the living death of temptation that desires to bring death into your life. He is the one to call out to and overcome temptation.
CS Lewis, in the Chronicles of Narnia introduces Jesus as a Lion named Azlan. The children are afraid of him because he is a lion. They ask, “You mean he’s safe?” The reply is, “Azlan he is not safe but he is good..”
Jesus is not some fly, or fish, or jellyfish. He is a LION. A powerful Lion! He is not safe… He is powerful. He is good! And if he is with you, and in you, and near you… He’s powerful goodness can come against the temptations and death that will come against us. The message of the Bible is that this lion came from heaven to earth to take on the temptor. Now he offers to live in you if you call out to him. And This lion has “communicable” traits… Like a communicable disease. You get around this lion and his nobility and power, and strength can be “caught”. When this lion lives in you, he spreads his love, strength, power, peace, and joy into your very heart. You have access to a newfound strength that comes from Him. And it comes by simply calling out for help.
In the book Survivor’s Club, the story is told of someone who did just that. “Four months ago in California’s Santa Ana Mountains, a mountain lion went on a deadly rampage. The 110-pound cougar killed one man and horribly maimed a woman named Anne Hjelle, who narrowly escaped with her life. Hjelle recalls, “He pulled and tore away at the flesh on my face. I thought this is it.” Hjelle is a fighter. A former Marine, she fought a battle that even her military training couldn’t prepare her for after she was attacked by a mountain lion in January while biking with her friend, Debby Nichols, in the hills of Southern California. Nichols bravely held onto Hjelle’s legs as the mountain lion pulled her off the trail and into the thick brush. Right after the attack in an interview Nichols explained the incident, “I was holding on to her the whole time. He would not let go. He had a hold of her face.” Hjelle says, “He was going for my neck and his goal, as it would be with any type of prey, was to break my neck and paralyze me.” The pain must have been excruciating. ”I had no pain,” Hjelle says. “I didn’t feel pain at the time. But I felt just the strength of it.” But Hjelle was terrified and fully aware that the lion had just torn away half her face. ”My first thought was, ‘I want to die,’” Hjelle says. “You think about the fact your face is ripped off.” But more help was on the way. Two other bikers, Mike Castellano and Mils Magnuson, were also riding that day when they heard screams for help. While Nichols held onto Hjelle’s legs, the men threw rocks, anything they could find, to scare off the lion. Anne remembers calling out, “Jesus help me” she cried out again, “Jesus help me.” It was a conscious thought to my previous thought, “I’m in big trouble and about to die!” Finally, it released its powerful grip and backed off. She believes that the Lord actually delivered her to safety… Several fellow bikers came by at that point and three rocks at the lion who ran off… With half her face gone, she was airlifted to the hospital and 5 plastic surgeries later has recovered. Hjelle says, “I never have said, ‘Why me?’ I’m not concerned about the scars. I’m just thankful to be alive. I just know God will get me through it. And He’s never going to give me more than I can handle. And, wow, if He thought I could handle this, it’s big.” The men carried Hjelle back up to the trail and called 911. The lion continued stalking from the brush as the desperate group waited for help to arrive. Hjelle, who had passed out fighting lion, was now conscious.
2. This Lion Requires Trust
The secret of Godly character is Trust. Faith. Or Confidence. It’s not about “trying harder,” it’s about trust. Which lion do you trust? Whose words are trustworthy to you? Do you trust the zombie lion who lies to you, or the Courageous lion who lies down for you? What do God’s words taste like?
If I asked you “WHAT DOES GOD TASTE LIKE?” It may sound sacrilegious or inappropriate to ask that… but if you asked a Jewish child who grew up hearing about the Bible, he would know exactly what God tastes like… Let me walk you through a typical tradition in synagogue in Jesus time. The Scrolls with God’s word would be in the scroll closet. Everyone would come into the service and greet one another and say their hellos. Then the Rabbi would go to the scroll closet and everyone would begin clapping and cheering. They’d stand to their feet and cheer that God has a word for them. The Rabbi would take the scrolls and people would reach out to “touch the book” and put their hand up to their mouth as a way of saying, “This tastes like honey to my lips.”
Rabbis today have both children and adults place honey on their Bibles to taste and connect the sensation of taste and sweetness to God. Now that the ushers have passed out the honey onto your Bibles, dip your finger into the honey and taste it… Taste and see that God is good. Rabbis asked their disciples to pull out a Bible, place a piece of Wax paper on it with a dab of honey. Now if I was your Rabbi and we were in synagogue, like Jesus was with his disciples, he would say, “Now, dip your finger into the honey… Let’s taste the honey together… This is what God’s word tastes like. This is what the promises of God taste like in the book. This book is sweetness and tastes like honey.
Psalm 119:103 103 How sweet are Your words to my taste,Sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Psalm 34:8 8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Many of us might answer the question, “What does God taste like by saying, “tastes like Dust, boring , irrelevant, out of touch, Others of us think about God as something that tastes bitter… We had a bad taste of God , the Bible, etc, from the past. God and church taste like guilt, condemnation, hypocrisy, judgment, and bitter perfectionism. I wanted us to get a “taste” of what those who follow God think his promises “taste” like. The taste of God’s warnings, promises, and word help us in temptation.