Friday, September 15, 2006

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

The sluggard says, "There is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets!
(Proverbs 22:13 – ESV)

Another one for Adrian Warnock

The slothful man in this proverb is right; he is going to die, just as every one of us is. We cannot avoid it by hiding indoors; life will never let you live. Even so, how many so-called believers are like this man when it comes to witnessing or to their sanctification?

We fear failure, we fear folly, we fear frustration, and we fear fighting. But we are called to fight, and to win, but our fear invents for us lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

We need to be diligent and not derelict in pursuing our sanctification. Consider this illustration:

You have two lions in your backyard. One is your “flesh lion”, and the other is your “Spirit lion”. Whichever one you feed is naturally the one that will grow bigger, and dominate the other one. You might also realize that Satan masters the flesh lion, and Jesus masters the Spirit lion. The flesh lion feeds on fear and sloth, the Spirit lion on love and faith.

Galatians 6:7-8 (ESV) – Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

Which lion are you feeding? The Lion of the tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5), or the roaring lion, who is seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8)?

The slothful in sanctification would be wise to heed this analogy.

Why should we worry if there is a lion in the streets?
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell (Matthew 10:28 – ESV).

Isn’t death what we signed up for?
For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered (Romans 8:36).

Many frighten themselves from real duties by imaginary difficulties, but God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7 – ESV).

Charles Spurgeon talked of holy boldness not slothful shyness. In which way are we to be a lion tamer, or tamed by a lion? The roaring lion can destroy us, or we can be conformed to the image of Christ, and become a lion. The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion (Proverbs 28:1 – ESV).

As a Christian, you have a choice.
You can either die to self or die from self.


Even So... said...

What, everybody afraid to come outside?

Craver Vii said...

Well, you scared us off with lions, tigers and bears!!

I'm feeling like a response from me is cheap, since I did not research the Adrian Warnock link.

But since I don't want to leave my homey out there by himself, here goes:

My most crippling fear has been in the area of evangelism. And these fears are completely unsubstantiated, because every time I participate in some kind of open-air evangelism, you can ask if anyone was hostile, and for the most part, I have been really pleased with people's responses. I have been afraid of things that never happened!

For me, it comes to a question of faith and the issue of obedience. Who do I trust, and who is my lord? If it is The Lord, will my actions prove it? They can and must, so I force myself to say something, even if I think I'm going to sound like an imbecile. It is a constant reminder that I bring nothing to the table; it's a God thing.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again and again. This one of the fringe benefits of embracing reformed theology... It is not my job to convert, it is my job to tell what I know. And if I do, it counts as a victory, regardless of the sinner's response.

"Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me." Mt. 5:11

I hope I can be mature enough to embrace this Biblical blessing and not be a weenie, crippled by fear, afraid of his own shadow.

Dan said...

That last line is a killer! Sorry couldn't resist. Seriously though, that last line kind of sums it all up. Everything we say or do can be put in "check" by asking the question of...By doing this action who am I pleasing?

Even So... said...

Thanks guys, good stuff...