This past Sunday morning I couldn’t escape the distinct impression that the Holy Spirit was saying something to the Church. As I was pacing back and forth in prayer, I felt like He was showing me a lion, pacing within the confines of a very small cage, and He was saying “Let the Lion loose!”
So often, in the church and in our personal lives, we want to have control. We want to know what to expect, we want to keep our tidy schedule, and we want to make sure things aren’t going to get out of hand.
All Christians know about Jesus being the lamb. We can picture the scene as Jesus approached John the Baptist and he declared, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29 (ESV) We understand the concept that He became the sacrificial lamb to take on the punishment that was meant for all of us. He was slain, taking upon Himself the sins of the whole world. Isaiah 53:7 tells us, “…he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” (NIV)
We worship Him with this picture in mind. We are so thankful, in awe of His incredible sacrifice for us, so we can go free. We could never repay Him for this gift. It’s the very foundation of grace. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound.
But Jesus as the Lion? Lion’s are unpredictable, hard to control, fiercely powerful, and frankly, very frightening. We like our church services and our lives to be predictable and controlled. We like to be at the top of the food chain, and we avoid situations that cause fear.
So, is He the lion or is He the lamb? The answer is both. Jesus is just as much the lion as He is the lamb. Not 90% lamb and 10% lion. Not even 50/50. Jesus is 100% lamb, and 100% lion.
Revelation 5:5-6 paints a strangely vivid picture of what takes place before the throne of God in heaven. “Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders.” (NIV)
The lion is the lamb. The lamb is the lion. This is tough for us to comprehend, but He is not limited by our minute understanding.
The Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Jesus, does not force Himself upon people. He allows us a free will, with the ability to accept or reject Him. He takes as much or as little of our lives as we give Him. He takes as much control as we allow. Which begs the question, do you have Jesus sitting in a cage in your life? Is the lion of the tribe of Judah locked behind bars in a “safe” place in your church?
I believe we are entering days that will be both perilous and filled with glory. This will be our greatest hour. We will be used in ways we have only dreamed of, we will understand by experience, what Jesus meant when He said, “greater things than these will you do”.
I think God loves it when we are willing to stand on the edge of the unknown places, completely vulnerable, trusting that He is in ultimate control and He will not harm us.
When we make the decision to unlock the cage and let the lion loose, we are saying, “Jesus, You can have your way! I trust you! Do whatever you want to do with my worship, with my praise, and with my life!”
When we worship Jesus, the living God, the victorious King, we celebrate every facet of who He is! And there is no end to who He is. So let’s be careful not to imprison certain aspects of His character just because we don’t understand or can't control Him.
My desire this week is to let the Lion loose! What will you do?