Sometime ago, I, some of my siblings and friends went to visit my elder brother. While we were there at his house, we noticed that he had a trained lion that roams his compound unchained. We were so concerned about this that we all started advising him against it. We even told him of the popular story of a man who also had a trained lion in like manner which later killed and devoured him. All these we said to convince him about chaining the lion but he seemed so confident in the fact that he had been with this lion for such a long time that it would be impossible for it to come against him. Well, we have done our best to convince him to no avail.
Now, after spending much time with him, it was time to leave. As we stepped out of the main house into the compound area, we (I particularly, on behalf of others) asked him to be sure the lion was chained, at least while we were there, especially since we were strangers to the lion (more like meat to it, not friends like my brother). Well, he confirmed that it was chained because of us. Then we walked out of the compound to the car. While we were by the car, a close neighbour of his (my brother) came to him to ask for a favour which he granted. Then my brother gave this neighbour a key to go into the compound and access whatever it was he had asked for. Before this neighbour went into the compound, I asked my brother again to confirm the key again to the neighbour since it was a bunch of keys and the key that unlocked the lion’s cage was among them and what the neighbour wanted was just around where the lion’s cage was and the locks where somehow connected. So he casually assured me that the neighbour knows exactly which key to use since he was not a stranger to him (most likely he had done that before). However, I was still scared and concerned for this neighbour’s life, just hoping he doesn’t make a deadly mistake.
Then the unthinkable happened! While the neighbour went in to get what he wanted, my brother gave me the key to the main house to get something for him. I didn’t like the idea of going inside since I didn’t want that neighbour’s problem to become my problem (guess you understand!). Well, he’s my big brother and I have to obey him. So I managed to summon a little courage to go in. All the way into the compound, the thought that filled my mind was “I hope that neighbour doesn’t make that mistake I’ve been thinking about to mistakenly open up the lion and it confronts me while I am within the compound.” So I walked to the front of the main house fearfully looking around for any strange signal to run off fast. Well, I managed to get to the front of the main house to open the door (very scared) and for some reason I decided to look back (just checking). Guess what I saw? The lion unchained in front of me! Finally it has happened! Suddenly my brain stopped working. I didn’t know what to think.
The lion looked at me for a very brief moment and then lowered its head as though grazing. Well, I had enough sense to know that lions don’t graze. The thought that filled my mind was what I had previously heard here and there about the way of a lion, that sometimes when a lion sees a prey it doesn’t attack immediately; it simply takes its time and then suddenly pounces on the prey. Here I was in-between two lines of thoughts: “Has the lion been so trained that having seen me with my brother earlier in a friendly mode it knows not to devour me?” or “Is the way of lions which I have always heard of about to play out?” Well, even if a lion is not hungry, it devours its preys, right? Well, I felt the gate of hell had been opened against me. I had opened the door of the house partly before I saw the lion and since the lion was playing cool (not sure what was in its little crafty mind – I didn’t trust it either) my thought was to completely open the door gently but fast and then run into the house for safety first since it was such an emergency! But I was so paralysed by fear that my hands became so heavy to do anything. Guess what happened next? I woke up!!
Men! It was a dream! Thank God it was a dream! So I started laughing and wondering what would have happened if it was real. But what I noticed was that I still had the feeling of that fear I felt in the dream for a while before it dissolved. However, the first thing that came to my heart when I woke up was: “For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.” (Job 3:25). A big lesson indeed. Fear paralyses! It makes what you are afraid of to actually happen to you. Several years ago, I was told that, even scientifically, it is proven that when you are afraid, your body secretes a particular fluid, it is so real that even a dog can sense it. You might not even look afraid or simply pretend not to be but a dog can tell that you are afraid because it is sensitive to the fluid. Fear is not just an emotion, it is a spiritual substance. In fact, the Scripture calls fear a spirit – an evil spirit – in 2 Timothy 1:7. It’s a force just as faith is. Fear is corrupted faith. It is faith in the devil’s (or whatever the subject of fear) ability to hurt or harm you. Fear is a trademark of the devil! Fear actually empowers your fears. It makes it real! What faith is to God, fear is to the devil. If the devil can get fear into you, he can carry out his evil work (steal, kill and destroy) in you unchallenged because fear creates a conducive atmosphere for him to operate.
When God says to fear not, He actually meant for us to fear not! As believers, His guaranteed presence with us is the basis for us to fear not! He says “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isaiah 41:10). What are you afraid of today? Never allow fear or phobia of any kind in your life. Never talk fear! Treat fear the same way you treat sin. Challenge every fear in the Name of Jesus and it will flee! Glory to God! The antidote to fear is faith in God. And faith in God is faith in His Word. And faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the Word of God (Romans 10:17)! Also, fear comes by hearing and listening to the lies of the devil. Therefore, be careful what and how you hear.
Hope the suspense was not too intense. Of course, you should have known how it turned out. If I was devoured by the lion I wouldn’t be writing this piece anyway. Hahaha.