When the image of a man-eating beast travels through the optic nerve and into the visual cortex, the brain relays an urgent message to the body: run! But lion chasers aren’t wired that way. They don’t run away from what they’re afraid of, they run to the roar! They don’t see a five-hundred-pound problem; they seize opportunity by the mane and don’t let go! Buried in the second book of Samuel, the twenty-third chapter and the twentieth verse, is one of the most counterintuitive acts of courage in all of scripture. It’s little more than a biblical byline, but it has become the storyline of my life. My life motto is encapsulated in its message — chase the lion.
“There was also Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant warrior from Kabzeel. He did many heroic deeds, which included killing two champions of Moab. Another time, on a snowy day, he chased a lion down into a pit and killed it.” (2 Samuel 23:20)
Scripture doesn’t explain what Benaiah was doing or where he was going when he crossed paths with the lion. We don’t know the time of day or his frame of mind. But it does reveal his gut reaction, and it was gutsy. Benaiah chased the lion, and that one decision changed his destiny. Are you running away from what you’re afraid of? Or are you running to the roar? Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Start chasing the five-hundred pound lions God has put in your path!
THE POWER OF A SINGLE PRAYER
In the first century BC, a severe drought threatened to destroy a generation of Jews, the nation of Israel. But there was one man, Honi the Circle Maker, who prayed with the same holy confidence as the prophet Elijah before him. He drew a circle in the sand with his staff, then Honi knelt in that circle and prayed a bold prayer: “Sovereign Lord, I swear before your great name that I will not leave this circle until you have mercy upon your children.” God answered that prayer with rain, and Honi was honored for “the prayer that saved a generation.”
I believe in the power of bold prayer! Prayer is the difference between the best you can do and the best God can do. Prayer is the difference between letting things happen and making things happen. Prayer is the difference between you fighting for God and God fighting for you. I live by a simple maxim: pray like it depends on God and work like it depends on you. When we do those two things, revival is on its way! It was true for Israel two thousand years ago. And it’s true for America today!
~ Mark Batterson