This is the second part of my previous post, Crate Trained Believers. In that post I explored the fact that as followers of Yeshua, we too should reflect the attributes of a lion and a lamb. I mentioned how that often our self-image is out of kilter, which skews not only our true identity, but also the image of YHWH. If we could really grasp the reality of who we are, our lives and impact on the world would be changed for the better. In this post, I want to look at the image we display when we fail to imitate THE Lion and Lamb (Messiah).
In Crate Trained Believers, the focus was more on our skewed view of what it is to be a lamb. Many of us think of ourselves as weak, powerless, and vulnerable. These are NOT the traits of a real lamb of Elohim. The problem seems to come from a false view of humility, which is what we looked at in the previous post.
Our Messiah is returning for a Bride of like kind. She will be both gentle (like a lamb) and fierce (like a lion) — not one OR the other. In order to be a spotless Bride, we must know how to be both. If we carefully follow the example of our Messiah, we can do just that. I have witnessed many that are gentle like a lamb — to a fault. They are the proverbial doormats and the host or hostesses of the best pity parties. Their poor self-image renders them ineffective and pathetic. Who would ever what to join the ranks of the Kingdom if this is the nature of its subjects?
On the other hand, I have also witnessed many that have become nothing more than a devouring lion. Mercy, grace, and compassion are exchanged for severity, strictness, and judgment. These prideful ones have forgotten how to be a lamb. Balance is the key to most issues of life and this is no exception.
Over the past decade, I have watched the Father gently awaken His people to His Torah. (I was one of them!) When our eyes begin to open, there is a rainbow of emotions that flood our lenses. Unspeakable joy, elation at answered questions, and a renewed hunger to seek after the Kingdom are some of the positive ones. But there are also some negative emotions like deep regret, guilt, shame, and immense anger. All of these besides “anger” come forth from learning truth. Truth sets us free, but it also sheds light on areas we didn’t even know were dark. Therefore, repentance takes on new meaning with a depth often unrealized. Ah, the awakening to Torah with Messiah is a hard place to stand in the beginning. Weeding through truth and lies is not for the weak hearted.
Those that come out on the other side usually take one of two forms. They are either humbled by the mercy of the King — determined to show this mercy to the masses, or they become the truth “police” resolute on scaring the masses into submission (their idea of righteousness). Many of us have played both sides — because we are on “journey”, not a destination. If we could just understand this much and know that we are ever changing — each at the pace the Father wills — and stop demanding everyone be “exactly” where we are, the body would be greatly strengthened.
Hear Me Roar
Sadly, many that have “awakened” to the Torah of YHWH have become a roaring lion without the restraint and gentleness of the lamb. I see and definitely hear them growling at any and everybody, but they are not tempered with mercy, grace, or compassion (lamb traits). While their zeal is commendable, they have forgotten their first love and the mercy that the Lamb extended to them. They forego righteous judgment for self-righteous judgment. They become the very thing they claim to hate: sanctimonious bigots.
They can’t meet with so-in-so because they don’t agree on this teaching, doctrine, etc. They isolate themselves from family that remains in the church (and smugly call them pagans); they burn bridges and create enemies at every turn all in the name of righteousness. If they would simply turn around and look at the destruction they have caused along the way, they would see that instead of planting — they are uprooting. They have no legacy of fruit and increase, only decay and death. All they can say is, “But I’m right! I read it on the internet or studied it for myself.”
They are the image of the roaring lion seeking someone to devour—– not the Lion of the tribe of Judah!
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1Pet. 5:8)
There is a fine line here. The verses just before this have this to say:
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. (1Pet. 5:6-7)
We must understand and practice humility. A humble person puts another BEFORE himself — even if that person is less mature, imperfect, ignorant, and far from deserving it. This requires immense strength, compassion, and real sacrificial love. If your motive is to be “right” or even “holy”, you are the weaker vessel operating in pride.
OUCH! I sadly have been this roaring lion when confronted with various issues and people in the past. I never want to make these mistakes again. Jacob is a lioness, but within that lioness is a gentle lamb, like Yeshua. We must be both, because He is both. There is a time for the lamb and time for the lion.
How do we discern the difference between the Lion of Judah and the Devouring Lion? The name tells us everything we need to know. Judah means “praise”; devour means “to ravenously eat or destroy”. Does your life have a legacy of praise — or better yet —- do the people you influence have a legacy of praise? Or do you and they have a spirit that constantly divides brothers, condemns the ignorant, and gobbles up the faith of the immature? In other words, does your faith cause the weak to praise YHWH? Or does your faith sentence the weak to the pit?
As I surf the web, blogosphere, and social media, I “hear” many roaring lions that claim to keep Torah and follow Messiah. But they have no traits of a lamb whatsoever. This brings me to that one emotion I didn’t deal with several paragraphs back. ANGER. When we realize the depth of the lies we were taught in Christianity, it makes us angry. In fact, it makes many furious. We may not want anything to do with the so called “church” ever again. We figure we have been called to come out of Babylon and if my friends, family, and other acquaintances don’t want to come with me —- then hasta la vista, baby!
Now… step back and really look at this very real and often repeated scenario. Is this the heart of the Lion of Judah? Is His judgment ever NOT tempered with mercy, compassion, long-suffering, and love? If He still lends mercy and compassion to the masses, shouldn’t we? Can we leave our vengeful anger to Him? Can we instead be profoundly grateful for the long-suffering mercy He extended to us and offer that same compassion to those yet in ignorance or even rebellion?
Who are you following: the devouring lion or the Lion AND the Lamb?
 Separation or holiness is necessary, but if separation fails to lead to gathering, it is a love a death, not life. The fruit will be rotten, and so will relationships. Dr. Hollisa Alewine’s Creation Gospel explores this fully; thecreationgospel.com