“The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1 ESV).
I looked at this verse differently today. I’ve always thought that we would be bold as lions when our spiritual lives were up to snuff, when we were finally righteous. Boldness was a badge of honor that we would receive when we’d upped our game enough.
But today, at a moment when I was feeling particularly weak, for the first time I caught a glimpse of the first part of the sentence. “The wicked flee when no one pursues….”
The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said, “The wicked are running, yes, but they are fleeing Truth and running toward sin.” For the first time I understood that there wasn’t necessarily a demon assigned to push me toward sin; I was running in that direction of my own volition.
I know that doesn’t seem to make sense, right? Why would I, as a Christian, run toward sin?
I’ve experienced some vehicle issues in the last few months. I drive a 1999 Ford Explorer, so that kind of thing is to be expected. My wife asked me if I wanted to keep sticking money into it. I told her that the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t, meaning that I know the things that need to be fixed on the Ford, but getting another vehicle makes you worry about what might go wrong with that one. My Ford is a good runner, there are just some parts that wear out.
Paul said, “‘For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (Romans 7:15 ESV). When stress comes into our lives, we tend to run toward the familiar, even if that means returning to sin.
So where does that leave us? The second part of our verse says that “the righteous are bold as a lion”. I’m beginning to believe that we can become righteous through being bold as a lion!
Instead of running toward our familiar sins when faced with difficult situations or decisions, we need to stand resolute in the face of those things! Like lions, who don’t back down, we need to trust in the Lord to help us through. No one is chasing us toward sin! We are simply avoiding the unfamiliar by retreating to “the very thing [we] hate”.
Jesus said, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20 ESV). If He is by our side, we can stand firm in the face of anything we encounter. So stand firm! Your boldness will bring you closer to Christ, and closer to His righteousness.
Blessings on your day!