This is a guest post by Stephen McKee. He can be contacted at email@example.com
The Lion’s Mentality
Proverbs 28:1 – ‘The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion’
In my estimation of things in the world and the church today, there is no boldness, no tenacity, no drive, no heart, and no fight. I fear most of the church in America at least, has no desire to fight much less the extreme will to win. The most frightening thing of all is that a lot of believers have no idea that the fight has been brought to their own door step and that their life and their family’s lives aree hanging in the balance.
The accuser of the brethren stands daily to accuse us before our Father and we have no case to plead against him. Like the high priest Joshua, in Zechariah 3:3, we stand there in our filthy rags with no arguments with which to plead. But just as God answered for Joshua, he will also without doubt plead our case as well. God spoke in v. 4 and told Joshua, ‘ ..Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.’ We find God defending us because he has invested in us his very son Jesus. What the enemy can’t seem to get through his thick skull, is that when he attacks us, he is actually attacking Jesus. We find scripture talking about our adversary roaming as a lion. But we find that Jesus himself is the actual lion of the tribe of Judah. God gives us a wonderful promise in Isaiah 54:17. He not only declares that absolutely no weapon that is formed against us shall prosper, but our righteousness is of him. Meaning it is on his account that the bill for righteousness gets covered. He silences the accusations of the enemy by declaring righteousness over our lives and souls. Once the judge has declared a sentence pardoned, the debate is over.
One of the greatest men in scripture with the lion’s mentality is Joshua, the successor of Moses. Here is a man that has had to watch his beloved countrymen blunder around in the wilderness for 40 years. He has watched all the folks that didn’t want to believe, and weren’t willing to trust God for the victory die and be buried. Now once he gets a chance to lead the charge into the promise land, there is absolutely no stopping him. He isn’t willing to compromise or turn back. It doesn’t matter how much victory costs, he has done the math and it is worth the price. When you have that drive and passion for victory, there’s no need for a plan B. The promise land, in Joshua’s eyes, already is in Israel’s possession. The battle is just a formality. God had already given Joshua the promise that every where the soles of his feet will go, will indeed belong to him. This is the same with us. And once we come back to the knowledge that God himself is on our side, we can forge ahead with our minds completely set on victory.
No matter how many promises we claim and no matter how many times the Lord has confirmed the dream in our hearts or promised victory, the ‘human element’ always factors in. This element enters into the Joshua story in chapter 5. We find that when the captain of the host of the Lord showed up, Joshua lifted up his eyes. I find in my mind’s eye Joshua sitting there, not in doubt or awe of what lies ahead, but in a human moment questioning how it is really going to work out. How is God going to bring this all to pass. It’s here that Joshua finds the most wonderful revelation of Christ. When he shows himself to Joshua, it’s not as he did with Abraham as a traveler, no no, but as a soldier, a warrior with sword already drawn in hand. What this was telling Joshua was that he shouldn’t be overwhelmed with the task at hand; but to be strong and of a good courage for it is the Lord himself that comes to fight for us. He justifies the cost of warfare by showing that he himself is already in the same fight for the same cause.
This should give our hearts great encouragement and bravery. Those with this lion’s mentality do not draw back from the fight because they know they will always triumph in Christ. So they forge ahead with the cross and the gospel unashamed and unflinching. Losing isn’t an option, retreat isn’t on the table, and failure doesn’t exist. They are all lies and misconceptions of the enemy meant to distract and discourage because he doesn’t want you to become the warrior that God means for you to be. The word bold means fearless before danger. This mentality doesn’t look with naivety but just accepts the risk and pushes forward in spite of the danger, because victory has already been promised. This type of mentality leads men like Benaiah to go down into a pit with a lion on a snowy day. Most people find this ridiculous, but the risk brought the victory and the courage brought the story to tell. This mentality leads men like Eleazar to fight until his hand is frozen to his sword. This mentality says, ‘ they will pry this sword from my cold dead hand, before I’ll lay down in defeat.’ This mentality causes you to forge ahead when all others would either run or be frozen with fear. Be bold. Be victorious. Be like Christ!