As I recently cracked open The Armor of God, a Bible study by Priscilla Shirer, I was reminded of a horrifying story from last year. It makes the principles I’m learning in the study come to life and oh so relevant.
Around June 2015 a 29-year old American tourist was mauled by a lion while touring a lion park in South Africa.
I remember watching the news video recounting the tragedy, and seeing instructions and warnings that had been clearly posted around the lion park. Rules to protect the visiting public. Rules that included keeping car windows completely up at all times.
She only wanted to get a good photograph. What’s the harm with rolling down the window for a few seconds?
But before she had time to react, a lion jumped through the window and mauled her to death.
This woman was not some fictional character we read about in a book or see in a movie.
She was real.
She had a real family and real friends. She had dreams and ambitions and a heart that beat for adventure.
She was full of life.
Like you and me.
Until she rolled her window down.
And because she didn’t listen to the warnings, she lost her life.
In one breath her dreams were gone.
In one minute her life was over.
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
1 Peter 1:8 (NLT)
These words in 1 Peter sound scary to me, but to be honest, because I’ve never had any dealings with lions up close and personal, I’ve found it hard to grasp the gravity of this verse.
That is, until now.
We are all visitors in this world. Stopping in for a while on our way to eternity. Like the instructions and warnings in the lion park, the instructions and warnings in the Bible are meant for our protection while we’re here.
Friends, there’s no mistaking, Satan can look beautiful. And oh how tempting it is to roll the window down for a closer glimpse of something good.
We think, what can it hurt, right?
And there’s always a good reason.
Be careful friends. Keep your guard up.
This woman’s story has changed my whole view of the verse in 1 Peter and the spiritual warfare we are in right this very minute. One we can’t see with our human eyes.
It’s a wake up call for me. Maybe for you as well?
“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all God’s armor so that you may be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes put on peace that comes from the Good News so that you will fully be prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”Ephesians 6:10-17 NLT