When I was growing up, my interest in animals stuck with me. As a kid, I would spend hours consuming National Geographic documentaries. I remember learning about an interesting defense mechanism that zebras use. You’re probably wondering how in the world this relates to the topic of Messianic youth but hang in there.
Zebras almost always travel together in a herd, and it’s not just because they like each other’s company. Zebras gain security and protection from their predators by sticking together. When they are together in a herd, because of their unique stripes, the enemy trying to hunt them down can’t focus in on one animal. Therefore, it gets confused and cannot execute its attack.
Lions on the other hand, ferociously stand their ground against a threat. They are independent and fearless. Their first instinct when challenged is not to cluster together and hide like the zebra. Instead, they stand on their own and face down the enemy because they are confident in their abilities and their strength.
“We have been set apart as holy.” (Leviticus 20:26)
God has called us as believers to be set apart. This is the true meaning of the Hebrew word kadosh (which we translate as “holy”). As a young person it’s very easy to crave the security and safety of a herd and survive during trying times by blending in. But God didn’t create us to blend into the background or hide behind the security of friends.
Now be honest and ask yourself, “Who am I? Am I a lion? Or a zebra?” Every day we have the choice to determine the answer to this question. We wake up and decide what kind of an attitude we’re going to have, what emotions we’re going to act upon, what kinds of thoughts we’re going to deliberately choose to meditate on, and what kind of a person we’re going to become.
So you want to be a lion, but maybe you’re just not quite sure how to get to that point. To be a lion, you need to be hungry to conquer the world. Start by studying the lives of people who have accomplished incredible things. Prayerfully work toward becoming an inspirational example to yourself, your family, your friends, and your community. Humility is key. Admitting you don’t have it all together is the first step toward being a humble vessel through whom God can work. What plans and purposes has God planted in your heart? We need to ask God how we can become a bold, courageous lion to affect the world for his kingdom.