Author and naturalist Craig Childs was on foot in Arizona’s Blue Range Wilderness doing research on the number one human predator, the mountain lion. Childs was walking to a water hole to identify tracks in the mud and record notes. Just before he bends down to look closer, he scans the perimeter, and there among the shadows of the junipers, about 30 feet away, he sees a pair of eyes. It was a mountain lion.
He expects the lion to run away, but it walks into the sunlight toward him. Childs pulls his knife and stares into the eyes of the lion. He knows what he must do. More importantly, he knows what he must not do.
He writes: “Mountain lions are known to take down animals six, seven, and eight times their size. Their method: attack from behind, clamp onto the spine at the base of the prey's skull, and snap the spine.
I need to hold firm to my ground and do not even hint that I will back off. If I run, it is certain, the mountain lion will be all over me. If I give it my back, I will only briefly feel its weight on me against the ground. The canine teeth will open my vertebrae without breaking a single bone.
The mountain lion begins to move to my left, and I turn, keeping my face on it, my knife at my right side. It paces to my right, trying to get around on my other side, to get behind me. I turn right, staring at it….My stare is about the only defense I have.
I maintained my defense as the mountain lion continued to try to provoke me to run. It was now just ten feet away. Finally, the standoff ended. The lion turned and walked away—defeated by a man who knew what never to do in its presence.”
The Apostle Peter had a similar knowledge of our greatest adversary, Satan or the devil, in 1 Peter 5:8-9. “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith…”
The Greek word “resist” actually means “to stand your ground”. We can only stand our ground against our adversary because Jesus has rendered him powerless when Jesus died and came back to life. We can now stand in that victory. But if we back down or turn and run, we step out of the victory of Jesus and give the devil power over us.
Is there an area of your life that you have been stepping out of Jesus’ authority and exposing your back to the enemy? If so, it’s time to stand your ground. Ask someone to pray with you and help you to stand in the truth and power of Jesus. The enemy can’t take what you don’t give him.