On a recent trip to St. Louis my family and I spent some time in one of my favorite places in the whole world – the St. Louis Zoo (and no I was not visiting my relatives). We did visit a special area of the zoo developed and installed by a relative known as Big Cat Country. This unique habitat was built to showcase some of the most exotic big cat species in the world such as the African Lion, Amur Leopard, Amur Tiger, Cheetah, Jaguar, Puma, and Snow Leopard. It’s a rare treat to be in Big Cat Country when one of these amazing animals decides to roar. Most of the time they just pace back and forth or find a place to escape the sun’s rays. The reality is that the captivity of these cats has, for the most part, taken away their roar.
Satan works the same way against the hearts and souls of believers. If he can’t keep us out of heaven, he wants us to be as defeated as possible while here on earth. In essence he wants to silence the believer’s roar of boldness. Boldness is to be courageous and daring, not hesitating in the face of actual or possible danger or challenge. Through trouble, persecution, and fear mongering, the devil tries to silence the bold voice of the believer and reduce our roar to a benign meow. But bold believers, confident in spirit and demeanor, use their faith to “clamp down the teeth of God’s Word on the seat of the enemy’s pants and hangs on until Satan quits” (to quote Marilyn Hickey). Speaking about the boldness of the believer, Reinhard Bonnke said, “Christians are not the hunted, but the hunters, not the attacked, but the attackers. We are God’s storm troopers sent to release the hostages of hell.”
Today I want to share some principles for maintaining your roar as a believer:
First, we must renew our minds to the reality of righteousness. Jesus took our sin and gave us the gift of righteousness. The more we understand this revelation and allow it to penetrate our thinking and consequently our spirit and demeanor, the more bold we will become. Proverbs 28:1 says, “The righteous are as bold as a lion.” There is always a connection between our application of righteousness and our level of boldness. John Osteen, who taught powerfully on the subject of righteousness said, “As long as there is a sense of inferiority, there can be no sense of authority.”
Second, we must be filled with the Holy Spirit. When we think about Peter and the struggles he had in his spiritual formation and development into an amazing leader in the early church, we can’t help but notice the amazing boldness and transformation that took place in his life after he received the Holy Spirit (Acts 2). The same Peter that had previously denied Jesus with cussing was now standing publicly proclaiming Jesus to everyone that would listen. This same empowerment of the Spirit of God is available to every believer and it will change us just like it changed Peter.
Finally, the more time you spend with Jesus in prayer, fellowship, and the Word, the bolder you will be as a believer. The Bible reveals that there is a connection between our knowledge of God, our level of boldness, and our fruitfulness: “…but the people who know their God shall prove themselves strong and shall stand firm and do exploits [for God]” (Daniel 11:32, AMP). The Pharisees were amazed by the courage and boldness of two unschooled and ordinary men, Peter and John. They were astonished “and they took note that these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13). The knowledge of God’s character, thoughts, and will makes the believer amazingly bold and confident. F.F. Bosworth said, “Faith begins where the will of God is known.” The more revelation of God and His will we have, the bolder we will become.
So, when you sense the enemy trying to shut you up, lift up your voice in a roar and declare the Word of the Lord. Be like Blind Bartimaeus who, when told to hold his peace, cried out all the more (Mark 10). Unlike the caged big cats of the St. Louis zoo, you were born free so maintain your freedom in Christ and roar at the enemy any time he even attempts to take you captive or silence your voice of faith.