Run Toward the Roar
“Be sober! Be on the alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.”
-1 Peter 5:8
A while back, a friend of mine gave me a small book called "Overcoming Intimidation" by Keith Shealy. After reading the first chapter, I found a new mantra: “Run toward the roar.” This phrase has changed my entire mindset, especially when it comes to my sport of running.
Whenever I am in training for a race, I often experience pre-run anxiety regarding a variety of things—whether or not I'll finish, if I'll have enough energy, if there will be a treadmill available, if there will be rain/wind/snow, if I'll have the speed I need, if I'll get hurt, etc.
In this book, though, the first chapter gives an awesome analogy. It tells about how, when male lions get old, their teeth start to rot and they aren't able to kill animals as easily. In order to get food, they recruit female lions and stronger young males to help them. When the lions get ready to hunt, the effective killers go hide on one side of a herd while the big, old lion goes to the other side. Once he’s in position, he lets out a massive roar that sends the herd running in the opposite direction…just where the stronger lions are waiting.
According to Scripture, our enemy is like a “roaring lion.” But if we look at it from this angle, what does that say about him? To me, it says that he is a deceiver who has bad teeth and a big roar. All he can do is lie to us, just like an old lion. And, in fact, we would actually be better off running toward the roar—that very thing that frightens us—rather than away from it.
Over and over, Jesus told His followers not to fear. It was one of His most popular commands. And the Bible further tells us that any spirit of fear we experience is not from God at all (2 Timothy 1:7). While we should pay attention to what our fears communicate to us (e.g. that there is a need for caution, that we need to trust the Lord, that we need to pray, etc.), if we believe what God says in His Word, we don’t have to let those fears determine our direction. We can run in the direction He’s pointed us and know that He’s with us and giving us all the courage we need.
The truth is that Jesus threw Satan down already, and through His victory, we are also victorious. All our enemy can do is lie to us and send us running in the wrong direction. Today, try running “toward the roar” and face what the enemy wants you to fear. You have God’s strength, power and victory locked in already, so rest in knowing that He’ll take you beyond the empty threats of the enemy—that old, tooth-decayed lion.
1. What scares you?
2. While some fear is of the Lord, much of it is from our enemy. How do you know if your fear is from God or from Satan?
3. What do you need to do in order to be able to “run toward the roar” today?