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close-up-photo-of-lion-s-headMany years ago I was in Zimbabwe, Africa on a mission trip when a missionary explained to our group that many people underestimate a lion’s speed and power.

He told us about a group of visiting university students spotting a pride of lions. They were warned not to get out, but one young man who wanted some great pictures recklessly decided to get a closer look. As he took a few steps away from the vehicle, a lion stood. The young man clicked away with his camera, thinking he was close enough to the vehicle (and far enough from the lions).

Suddenly, the lion bolted for his human prey. His friends frantically tried to help him into the back of the vehicle, but the lion snatched him and ripped him out of their grasp. In helpless horror, they saw the lion begin eating him alive.

In the Bible, both Jesus and Satan are compared to lions. They are both powerful, and neither one should be underestimated. Jesus is “the Lion of Judah” of Revelation 5:5 (think of Aslan in C. S. Lewis’s Narnia series). Satan is an enemy who prowls around like a lion looking for some careless person to devour (1 Peter 5:8).

We need to stay close to the Lion of Judah so we’ll have nothing to fear from Satan’s roar. As we move toward God, Satan moves away from us (James 4:7). We are stronger when we draw close to God, encouraged by friends who are also drawing near.