It is not the compromise of the cautious but the blood of the martyr that is the seed of the church.

The book of 2 Samuel, chapter 23, lists the names of the mighty men whom King David had. One was Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. He went down and slew a lion in the midst of a pit in time of snow.  Scripture doesn't tell us what Benaiah was doing when he encountered this lion. We don't know his frame of mind, but we do know his reaction. And it was gutsy!

When the image of a man-eating beast travels through the optic nerve and registers in the brain, there’s generally one over-arching message: Run as fast and as far as you can. Normal people run away, but not lion chasers. Lion chasers are different breed. They don’t see five-hundred pound problems. When opportunity roars, they grab life by the mane!

Obviously Benaiah was not the odds-on favorite than a fully- grown lion weighing up to 500 pounds, run 35 mph and having a vision five times better than a human with 20/20 vision.  This lion had a huge advantage in a dimly lit pit. A sure-footed lion with cat-like reflexes gains the upper paw in snowy, slippery conditions.

Doesn't it seem like Benaiah is choosing his battles poorly? It's too risky. It's too unpredictable. It's too dangerous.  But Scripture doesn't say that Benaiah was a prudent warrior. It says he was a valiant warrior.

Lion chasers don’t try to avoid situations where the odds are against them. Lion chasers know that impossible odds set the stage for amazing miracles. Those are the experiences that make life worth living. Those are the experiences worth telling about.

For most of us, finding ourselves in a pit with a lion on a snowy day is the last place we'd want to be. But we have to admit something: "I killed a lion in a pit on a snowy day"  looks awfully impressive on our résumé if we're applying for a bodyguard position with the King of Israel!

Not only did Benaiah land a job as David's chief bodyguard, he climbed all the way up the military chain of command to become commander of Israel's army. Benaiah was the second most powerful person in the kingdom of Israel. But his genealogy of success can be traced all the way back to a life-and-death encounter with a man-eating lion. It was fight or flight, and Benaiah had the guts to chase the lion.

God needs more people with the spirit of Benaiah. One of the most under-appreciated dimensions of great leaders is guts. Great leaders are gutsy! It takes different shapes in different arenas. But gutsy leaders and gutsy Christians dare to be different. They challenge the status quo.

No one was more gutsy than Jesus. He wasn't afraid of offending Scribes and Pharisees, touching lepers, washing feet, defending prostitutes, or befriending tax collectors. He needs more gutsy leaders and followers who follow suit.

We may wonder about the episode recorded in John 2 where Jesus threw a Temple tantrum, making a whip and throwing the merchants and money-changers out of the Temple. It does not fit our Sunday School caricature of Him but we’ve come to appreciate that side of Jesus.

What lion is God calling to chase? Let's make this our manifesto: Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop criticizing and start creating. Expand our horizons. Worry less about what people think and more what God thinks.  Quit holding back. Quit running away. Chase the lion!

Let's go all out for Jesus.  He’s the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and with Him on our side, and within us, there’s no lesser lion we can’t chase and overcome and defeat!

Author Unknown
Now playing: The Lion King


Risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others think is practical. Expect more than others think is possible. -Cadet maxim, West Point, New York 
You'll notice that a turtle only makes progress when it sticks out its neck...