I had a surprising dream that I’d like to share with you. In the dream, I had an aerial view of a suburban neighborhood. It was bright and clean with a mom pushing her stroller down the sidewalk on a sunny day. A few blocks over there was a massive grizzly bear plunking his big paws down step by step. I thought, “Oh no, that mom isn’t prepared to face that bear! And what in the world is that bear doing roaming free in this place?”
When I woke up, somehow I remembered Pastor Rolfe’s sermon on Sunday, when he shared about the young football player who committed suicide last week. His family lived in a similar neighborhood. (I’ve prayed for that young man’s family since then and can’t imagine their grief).
But let’s be honest here, it’s easy to let our spiritual guards down in nice settings, isn’t it? For instance, where I work in S.E, Asia, dangers abound. While there won’t be a grizzly bear, there could be a cobra or rabid street dog and the spiritual buzz humming off the temples and mosques are a constant reminder: PRAY.
You and I live in a spiritual battle zone down here. The Apostle Peter wrote, “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). Jesus told us, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10).
Many of the lives rumbling by us on the highways, in the workplace, in the school yards and our neighborhoods are swept up in this tug of war between good and evil, light and darkness, life and death. You and I have a role to play and it’s much more important then we realize most of the time. So, let me ask you this, “Have you signed up for lion patrol?”
Here are a few pointers for lion patrol, are you ready?
1. Be alert. If the zoo calls you and says, “There’s a lion loose in your neighborhood,” they don’t need to add, “Now, be sure you stay alert.” Staying alert keeps you alive and enables you to be part of the solution.
2. Pray. “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds” (2 Corinthians10:4). Prayer is the hinge to God’s power. Your prayer releases His power into lives.
3. You are an advocate of Life. Jesus came to bring abundant life. And YOU have a place to release His life, light, and love through your words and deeds every day.
4. You are a priest. And you’re on call to step in and step up anytime the Lord nudges you. If you are afraid then start with small steps. Say, “God bless you” or “I’ll be praying for you,” when you see folks struggling. Ask God to bless the family in their car who are fighting or your neighbors etc. Take the step you can take.
5. You are invited. Jesus calls us His friend and He enjoys partnering with you. Will you make yourself available to Him in a new way in 2016?
We can’t change everything and everyone, but you and I can stay ACTIVATED in our friendship with Jesus. And we can sign up for lion patrol – C’MON!