Think About This: “Those who simply run away from sin are half-Christians. Our calling is much higher than simply running away from what’s wrong. We’re called to chase lions.” — Mark Batterson
Lion Chasing 101
Posted on September 27, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Freedom Fighters
“And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was a valiant man of Kabzeel, a doer of great deeds. He struck down two ariels of Moab. He also went down and struck down a lion in a pit on a day when snow had fallen.” – 2 Samuel 23:20 (ESV)
(Author’s Note: Written back in June of 2013. After reading this book, life changed and within three months I literally needed a resume. I should reread this Batterson classic again, just as a reminder that even at 60 there are still lions to battle with, on snowy days, when life has you in its pit.)
Before he wrote The Circle Maker, Mark Batterson wrote a book with a lengthy title, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day. My dear friend, Alan Levine, passed the book along to me a while ago and I really haven’t given it much thought until recently. I found it under my pile of stuff that I keep on “Dad’s side” of the family counter that, we here in the Hughes household, call “The Island”. Another Father’s Day had come to its close, and while feeling melancholy about not being able to see my dad (he passed in 2009), this book caught my attention. So, I read the first chapter and here is what caught my eye.
“God is in the resumé-building business. He is always using past experiences to prepare us for future opportunities. But those God-given opportunities often come disguised as man-eating lions.” Benaiah, possibly a grandson of Jesse, was known as being one of “David’s Mighty Men” and John Gill makes these observations about him. That, like his father Jehoiada, he was a man of great vivacity, valor, and great strength…a valiant man. The Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, makes mention of him in a list “of five of whom I will only relate the performances (Antiquities 7.12.4) when he wrote about the 38 men of courage who were connected to King David.
Benaiah has an impressive resumé for a man who doesn’t get much Bible time. In just 2 verses, “he slew two lionlike men of Moab: he went down also and slew a lion in the midst of a pit in time of snow: And he slew an Egyptian, a goodly man: and the Egyptian had a spear in his hand; but he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and slew him with his own spear.” (Thank you King Jimmy) Batterson uses this resumé to encourage his reader to chase those God-given opportunities that are disguised as man-eating lions with an old attitude I use to express quite often… “No Guts, No Glory.”
Here his list of points to remember Batterson has at the end of chapter one:
- God is the business of strategically positioning us in the right place at the right time. But the right place often seems like the wrong place, and the right time often seems like the wrong time.
- Goodness is not the absence of badness. You can still do nothing wrong and still do nothing right.
- When we don’t have the guts to step out in faith and chase lions, then God is robbed of the glory that rightfully belongs to Him.
Spiritual maturity is seeing and seizing God-ordained opportunities.
Within the past few years, that expression has changed to “No Guts, Give God No Glory” and I have tried to stick with that attitude. But I must admit that the battle can grow weary and at times there seems to be no safe port in view but because of Jesus I can carry onward. As my son’s graduation from high school loomed on the horizon, I felt an assurance that what was done on The Cross gives strength to chase lions. My father told me to do it better than he, I have shared that with my son…but I told him we do this for the glory of God the Father. That should make for an impressive résumé. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a child of El Elyon, a son, a husband, and a father. He has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of The Colony of Mercy, 11/2003. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.” Hebrews 9:27-28