Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Spiritual Lessons from Elephants and Water Buffalo

Growing up, I remember occasionally watching National Geographic shows about lions hunting prey in Africa.  These days you can watch endless YouTube videos on the same topic (but beware, some of these are quite graphic and gory). Seeing how animals like elephants and water buffalo deal with the threat of lions can reinforce some important Biblical lessons about spiritual warfare.

Lesson 1:  Stay Close to Other Christians

1 Minute video of elephants grouping together when they hear a lion’s roar

When lions are around, animals like elephants and water buffalo gather together into tight herds.  The lions do not mess with a whole line of tusks or horns backed up by tons of muscle.  Instead, the lions look for an animal which is isolated from the herd.  If there isn’t one, they work on getting one separated from the others.  And once the animal is separated and on its own, the lions attack, often jumping on its back. The poor animal doesn’t have much of a chance when that happens.

Likewise, if a Christian gets isolated from other Christians, he or she becomes easy prey for demons.  A lone Christian is more easily tempted, and will have less help when she comes under attack. This is one of the reasons it is so very important for Christians to be in constant fellowship with other Christians. Going to church and attending Bible studies are not just nice social events; they are vital defenses against a real and dangerous enemy. Yes, we each accept Christ individually.  But when we are saved, we become a member of God’s family.  The New Testament constantly presents Christianity as a team effort, a family affair, and a group thing. (You may read a post where I give LOTS of Bible verses which demonstrate this truth here.)

Lesson 2:  We Can Rescue Christians Who Come Under Attack

Sometimes the lions will get a baby water buffalo or elephant, and it looks like there is no hope.  But that’s not always the case.  Sometimes, other buffalo or elephants have charged the lions and chased them away even after they began an attack.

Tragically, this doesn’t always happen.  There are videos where the lions chow down on a victim while scores of buffalo just watch.  They could easily defeat the lions if they charged together. When they do charge together, the lions run. But often the buffalo are too scared or too worried about themselves to get involved.

NIV James 5:19-20 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

NIV Galatians 6:1 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.

Lesson 3:  We’re Better Off than Water Buffalo and Elephants

We have a good shepherd!

NIV John 10:11 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

But, if we don’t stay close to our Good Shepherd, this will happen to us:

NIV Ezekiel 34:5 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals.

We have Jesus on our side!  He is way more powerful than the devil and all his demons combined. But this doesn’t mean we can let our guard down.  We have to choose to stay close to Jesus through prayer, the Bible, and Christian fellowship.


Don’t get eaten by lions! Stay in fellowship with other Christians.  Attend church and Bible studies and prayer groups.  If you see a brother or sister in Christ under attack, charge in to help them with the power of Christ.  Stay close to Jesus!

NIV James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Hebrews 13:16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others . . .

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