Posted by: everynation | May 7, 2010

Lions and Thickets

by Jim Laffoon

Early in the morning, Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over.       Joshua 3:1

If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses?  If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?         Jeremiah 12:5

Like a lion coming up from Jordan’s thickets.    Jeremiah 49:19a
Joshua had heard that the banks of the Jordan were not a safe place, but this was even more deadly than he had expected.  The Jordan was at flood tide.  The current was flowing rapidly and the water was at least ten or twelve feet deep.

If this impassable obstacle wasn’t enough, there were also prides of ferocious lions roaming through the thick labyrinth of underbrush which covered the river banks.  If it would not have been for the promises of God, Joshua’s faith would have failed him.

What does this grim description of the challenges facing Joshua and the nation of Israel have to do with you and me today?

First of all, even as the nation of Israel faced prides of powerful lions when they crossed the Jordan, so you will face your own set of spiritual lions on the banks of your destiny.

That’s right, just before you come into God’s best for your life, you will always face the savage roar of the enemy of your soul.  Although he will threaten to destroy your life in every possible way, the only real weapon he has when you are walking under the Lordship of Christ is fear.

This is why Peter says that “your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8b)

If the enemy cannot devour everyone, who can he devour?  Although he cannot devour any Christian eternally, he can devour the very courage and strength they need to enter their Promised Land when they fail to resist him through faith in the Word of God.

Do you see it yet?  Your response to the roar of the devil must be the roar of the Lion of Judah who lives inside of you.  His roar of faith will release the strength you need to face the enemy as you stand on his Word.

Second, like the Hebrews, you will also face a tangled maze of thickets, like the ones that were growing along the Jordan’s banks.  These thickets represent the confusion and lack of orientation that every believer faces when they attempt to cross into their Promised Land.

It is almost as if getting confused and even losing your way is a rite of passage into God’s best for you.  This disorientation, therefore, should be no cause for alarm.  As you simply trust God and reach out for help from those he has placed in your life, you will not fail to find your way into the land God has promised to you.

Whether you are being tormented by the ear-splitting roar of your demonic foe, or you are in a time of spiritual vertigo, take heart, for even as God was with Joshua, He is with you.

Jim Laffoon is part of the international leadership team of Every Nation and also serves on the pastoral staff of King’s Park International Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.  He is the author of Our Daily Blog. Jim and his wife, Cathy, have four children and live in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.



  1. This is really very encouraging and has strengthened me– that “our response to the roar of the devil must be the roar of the Lion of Judah.” What a great reminder!

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