Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
To be sure, we do have a malevolent enemy in the devil, and he prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. But he prowls only on the end of the Lord’s leash! Satan is subject to God and under His complete authority at all times. The devil does nothing apart from the sovereignty of God. Yes, the devil is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 John 5:19), but God is the God of all worlds, and the adversary’s power to prowl is only the power that God gives him in order to fulfill the perfect purposes of God.
When the devil was afflicting Job, as difficult as that biblical narrative is to fully understand, he did only what God allowed . . . and no more! God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent; Satan is not. He is a creature like you and me—granted, an immensely powerful and formidable creature, but a dependent creature nonetheless. Knowing this infinite difference is the key to understanding the truth that the devil is a lion on a leash.
So . . . have you felt yourself under attack lately in your personal or professional life? God has the perfect prescription for dealing with this lion on a leash.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
When will the devil flee from your presence? Not just when you are resisting him, but when you have first submitted yourself to God. You see, Satan’s power must always be viewed in the context of God’s sovereignty, which should lead us to submission before our Savior each and every day.
God is not only with us, He is for us. In fact, God is so much for us that He turned against His only Son. You see, you and I were Christ’s Judas kiss. We were the nails in His wrists. We were His crown of thorns. We were His cross. We were His death. God sent His Son to die in our place that we might have eternal life in Him.
Yes, there is a lion on the prowl, seeking to devour everything in its path. But this lion will only do what God has ordained he can do and God always ordains what brings Him the most glory and His people the most good.
I understand that a lion on the leash is still a little frightening. Hey, a lion in a cage at the zoo is a little frightening! But we must always keep in view the nail-scarred hand that is holding that lion on a chain that will never break. Let this Gospel truth bring you great comfort today, regardless of where this finds you!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!