Benaiah son of Jehoiada...went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion.
Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions…”
How many times have you heard the Daniel-in-the-Lion’s-Den story? It plays like elevator music. We don’t even hear it any more. Daniel has much to say to men who want to follow Christ, but are up against stiff opposition. Sometimes we face a threat to our faith that roars at us and throws us off-balance just like a lion.
Daniel wasn’t the only godly man who had to face a lion threat. Benaiah (let’s call him Ben) had to kill a lion that was threatening his people. The difference between Daniel’s action and Ben’s action wasn’t the number of lions, but what the Lion of Judah was asking them to do with the lion threat.
The right tool for the right job. Tenth century B.C. guys did not have nail guns. I get that, but Ben did have a spear. He probably could stab that lion’s mouth shut with the force of a nail gun. Daniel, on the other hand, used the “clamp-prayer” approach. His lions had to be contained so that evil men could die later.
Ben and Dan. Both men sought God. Both men sought God’s glory. Both men had to think before trusting God and acting.
Look at the table below. Even though the problem of lions looks the same for both guys, God wanted a different result for each man. As a men’s leader, you must be ready for what God wants. A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t show faith. It shows laziness. A cookie cutter approach to all situations makes cookies, not God’s glory or great men.
You should be reasonably sure what God wants from you. Sometimes you act. Sometimes you let God act. Often you won’t know for certain which to choose. That’s when you go to the Bible, listen to the Holy Spirit, go to wise Christian men who fought your lion and won, and then act. Most of all, act. When God wants your muscle, you move. When God wants your prayer, you perform faith. He wants you to follow His lead under His authority.
I’m pretty sure that Ben prayed before he went into that pit. I’m also sure that Daniel stood back from the lions to assess the situation. But for their main tools, Ben used his spear while Daniel used his prayer. What is God asking you and your men to do in your place? Move with muscle or ask in assurance?
P.S. Funny thing about lions. Whether you close their mouth with a spear or a prayer, they become powerless. Think about that when you face your own threat whether it’s from the evil one, the world, or your flesh.
To Take Away
- Know your desired result. What does it look like?
- Know your men and their strengths. Who are your Daniels? Your Bens? How will they support each other?
- Plan your work. What are the steps and God’s instructions for each step?
- Communicate your plan to your men. Have you used visuals as well as words to make your plan clear?
- Dovetail each step’s result into the next step. Can you see all the connections clearly? How about the guys?
- “Measure twice, cut once” means keep your focus on the task at hand. Are you paying attention to the right thing?
- Determine whether your desired result is permanent or temporary. Are you holding in place or permanently securing?
Let Les McMahan, Jim Boscaljon, or me know what you need from us. We can pray with you, help you find options for your men’s ministry, or connect you to other men’s groups in the district for support.
By Mike Brue, Alliance Men's Ministry, Secretary and Resource Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, 740-398-7835
Les McMahan, Co-Director of Alliance Men Ministries, email@example.com
Jim Boscaljon, Co-Director of Alliance Men Ministries, firstname.lastname@example.org