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