Asbury United Methodist Church
Love - Share - Tell - Serve

September 27, 2017

Today might be a good day to shut some lion’s mouths!  I’ll get to that in a moment.

          This morning I woke up hearing an old Fannie Crosby hymn playing in my head.  Actually, it was the chorus of one of her hymns which made me think of lion’s mouths:

Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord,

          To the cross where thou hast died.

Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer, blessed Lord,

          To thy precious bleeding side.

(I am Thine, O Lord, Fannie Crosby, 1875.)

          Interestingly, Crosby drew inspiration for this hymn from a block of Scripture out of the book of Hebrews:

          “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water (Hebrews 10:22 KJV).”

          And, this is where that lion’s mouths part comes in.  When Daniel was in the lion’s den he was facing certain death but through his faith, the Lord shut the lion’s mouths (Hebrews 11:33).

          The Peter chimes in on this very same theme:

          “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8 NIV).”

          By now you are probably scratching your head and wondering where in the world I am going with this!  Well in a strange twist of irony, when the lions of life roar, our tendency is to forget everything we know about our faith and run like crazy, frightened rabbits.

          But, consider this…the Bible never teaches us to flee but instead to draw closer to Christ…draw me nearer precious Lord.

          Once again, this is a journey without distance.  It is merely turning from an upset to the cross of Christ.

          Our precious future is far too glorious to allow it to be stolen by some lions roaring or paper tigers either, for that matter!  Beware that life is filled with deceptions and misdirect.

          In the real jungle, when a lion roars it is usually an old male who is nothing but wind and pomposity.  But…and it’s a big one, the noise usually sends prey running in the opposite direction…most likely into the jaws of the silent females who are waiting for some meals on wheels to run by!

          Another truth of life is that it is rare that lions will do us in!  Instead, it’s the tiny little nibbles that create frustration and annoyance within our souls that wear us down!

         Never forget that the forces of darkness and principalities cleverly use deception and misdirect to chaotically throw us off our game!

          Nibbles can ebb away at our faith until we are lost but have no idea as to why.  It is wise to remind ourselves that nibbles crumble faith.

          I have been to Linville Caverns a number of times.  I am always amazed at the huge stalagmites that have grown up from the cavern floor.

          All of them grew from nothing more than tiny drops of water over time.  Nibbles can cause tremendous warpage of our faith.

          A lion roars!  We run!  The act of running pulls us away from Christ.

          We see deception, darkness and principalities reported on the news.  We run!

          The act of running draws us away from Christ.  While running, we can forget…who is on the throne…whose we are…the kingdom that we really belong to…that nothing can snatch us from his hands!

          Fanny Crosby is right!  Draw me nearer Lord…

          Never run willy-nilly!  Let faith draw us to him!

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