Run Toward the Roar in 2021George Shamblin
In his book Through the Eyes of a Lion, Levi Lusko shares the following:
The fact that lionesses do not have a big, recognizable mane actually helps them sneak up on whatever they are hunting. They lie in wait, hidden in the tall grass, motionless like statues…. the males do play an important, albeit small, role. While the females stalk their prey from behind, the king of the jungle will come from the front and let loose one of those roars that gives him his spot at the top of the food chain. This sound is so powerful it can be heard for up to five miles away. Hearing that terrifying noise causes gazelles to run as far as they can away from whatever made that sound. What they don’t know is that as scary as it sounded, the one who did the roaring is more bark than bite. So away they go — directly into the path of the real threat: the waiting lioness. In other words, the prey’s instincts are wrong. Going with their guts causes them to make the last mistake of their short, little lives. It’s counterintuitive, but the right choice would be to override their emotions and run toward the roar.
Last year you probably felt a lot like those gazelles, thrown into a state of confusion by a plethora of roars confronting you from every direction. My personal roars were a mixture of fear, confusion, illness, among others. Hopefully by now we’re all in the process of getting our bearings and getting back on track. The best advice we could heed comes directly from the Apostle Paul: “focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.” (Philippians 3:13)
Moving forward into 2021 will altogether be another story for many reasons. I’ve listed three I Must statements to help you prepare for what lies ahead. You will notice how the three I Must statements are written in the first person. I did so to emphasize what you need to do individually, not just in a collective sense. The three statements are: I Must Stand My Ground, I Must Be On The Alert, I Must Remember Who Is On My Side.
1: I Must Stand My Ground!
Odds are strong that other ‘roars’ will enter my world in 2021, so I shouldn’t be surprised when they arrive: “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you.” (1st Peter 4:12) Nor should I try and run away from them. Seeing as how the fastest human on earth, Usain Bolt, tops out at 27.79 miles per hour and a lion runs 50 miles per hour, it would be futile to flee. According to Proverbs 28:1 its “the wicked who flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.”
The Lord’s commission to me is crystal clear: rather than fleeing from the enemy’s roar in whatever form it comes, I must stand my ground so he will flee from me: “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7) Over the course of my lifetime I’ve noticed how opting for the path of least resistance invariably leads to a dead end, which is the worst place to find myself with no way out. One way or another I’ll have to face the roar head on, so I might as well gain momentum by running toward it early.
2: I Must Be On The Alert!
Now that 2020 is coming to its close, I’ve gained a greater degree of alertness. For instance, I’ve been alerted to the fact that roars I never thought existed actually exist, that institutions I assumed were stable actually are not as secure as once thought. The element of surprise that previously caught me off guard, I’ve grown wise to. The distinct tones certain roars make (the most ferocious in my lifetime) and the harm they’re able to inflict, I can now readily identify. When the next round of roars come, and they most certainly will come, I’m better positioned to be, as Saint Peter cautions, “on the alert, knowing your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” (1st Peter 5:8-10)
3: I Must Remember Who Is On My Side
Alexander the Great admitted “I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep. I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a Lion.” No matter how ferocious the roar I’m confronted with in 2021, whether financial, relational, physical, or other, I must never forget Who stands behind me and to Whom belongs the victory: “Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, has won the victory.” (Revelation 5:5) Therefore, I Will Stand My Ground, I Will Be On The Alert, and I Will Remember Who Is On My Side.