The Lion Has No Teeth
By Arturo Delgado
A couple years back, I had the privilege of sharing some of the insights that I received from reading Mark Batterson’s “Chase the Lion” with a number of superintendents from the Phoenix, Arizona area. The title of this book suggests action that is counter-intuitive. The book centers on the actions of one of the mighty men of the Bible that God anointed to do battle with the most intimidating enemies of his day. But how does going after one of the most ferocious animals on this earth make any sense? Doesn’t it make more sense to hide or run?
Today, we find ourselves facing a number of lions all at once. There are political lions, COVID-19 lions, isolation lions, economic lions, and racial-conflict lions, all looking to see whom they may devour.
Unfortunately, we, as followers of Jesus, are not exempt from the potential effects that come from these lions. We are not exempt from experiencing anger, we can get sick, we feel fear and loneliness, and perhaps sometimes we feel a sense of confusion like everyone else.
Our Victory is Assured
We are often tempted to take a look at the circumstances around us and determine that no one could possibly expect us to experience joy in such times as these. However, our God says that all authority in heaven and earth belong to Him (Matthew 28:18). Ephesians 6:10 also tells us that we can be strong in all circumstances when we stand, not in our own power, but in the power of His might! When God refers to all authority, He is speaking as the King of Kings! He is also speaking to all who are called by His name! He declares that our victory is assured when our faith is firmly rooted in Him.
What do your lions look like? Know that the lion in your path, like the others, has no teeth and your victory is assured.
Trails of All Shapes and Sizes
The good news is that the Bible tells us that we also have power and victory in the face of all circumstances. Hebrews 11:33 says that our faith conquers kingdoms, performs acts of righteousness, and obtains promises that shut the mouths of lions! The lion may roar loudly, but for those who call themselves by the name above all names, the lion has no teeth with which to stop us from our mission of spreading God’s message of healing and love.
I remember a sermon from my pastor several years ago where he asked this question: “What comes out when you squeeze a tube of toothpaste?” The answer is toothpaste! The point he was making was that troubled times tend to reveal what we have inside of us. The time of challenge is a time for victory if indeed we possess the right ingredients.
Having spent many years in the public school system and having sat on all the organizational chairs from teacher to superintendent, I can say without a doubt, that lions come in all shapes and sizes. In each phase of my career, I encountered obstacles and challenges that at times appeared insurmountable. Our daily encounters with trials and challenges may sometimes look and sound as if they are vicious lions that can render us powerless. In fact, they can if your faith is in your school administration or your superintendent, the county government, your neighbor, your family, or even your church pastor.
Dr. Arturo Delgado is the former superintendent of schools for the Los Angeles County Office of Education in California, the largest county office in the country. He has also served as the superintendent for the San Bernardino City Unified School district for over twelve years. He has served on numerous national, state and county boards and committees including Be Strong, a national anti-bullying organization, Cherish, an organization dedicated to helping young mothers, the transition team for the State Superintendent in California and has served as a board member on the State Board of Education’s charter school board.
He has served as an adjunct professor for Azusa Pacific University and he currently works as a Director for Educational Alliances for Grand Canyon University.