Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: Lessons learned from The Lion King (movie)

Lessons From The Lion King
A devotional by Julia Wilson

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go.” 
–Psalm 32:8a (NIV)

God is not limited. He can use all sorts of things to talk to us and to get our attention. All around us there are life lessons to be learned.

I have always enjoyed the cartoon of The Lion King so I was very eager to see the new movie. It was, in my opinion, one of the best movies I have ever watched. I found God ‘speaking’ to me throughout this film, so would like to share some of my observations, in no particular order.

Scar, the evil brother in The Lion King, reminded me of the accuser. He takes Simba aside and whispers to him, “You’re no good. Nobody wants you.” He piles the guilt on Simba, encouraging him to run away. I wondered how often do we do this to ourselves? We listen to those voices that tell us we are no good. Nobody likes us. Why would anyone want us? These are not the voices we should be listening to. We need to stop listening to these voices and tune in to the life affirming voice of God. God says we are loved. We are wanted. We are to come to Him just as we are, no running away.

There is a beautiful scene where Simba sits beside his Dad, Mufasa, as they watch the sunset. Mufasa tells Simba that he will always be with him, and to just look up to the sky and he will be there. He will never leave Simba. Isn’t this just like God? God tells us that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV). “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20 NIV). When we look for God, we will find Him. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13 NIV). Whatever we are facing, look up and see God. We are never alone.

Later Rafiki, the monkey, leads Simba to water, pointing out to him that his father lives in him. We see Mufasa in the reflection. Likewise, we can have our Heavenly Father living in us. We are called to be the eyes and ears, the hands and feet of Jesus to a hurting world.

During their previous father-son talk, Mufasa tells Simba “everything the light touches is yours.” It’s a vast, green area so why is Simba not satisfied? Why does he insist on going to the darkness that is the elephant’s graveyard? We can be a bit like Simba, God tells us that everything we have is ours, so why are we not satisfied? There are echoes here of the grumblings of the elder brother in the prodigal son as his father tells him that “all I have is yours” (John 17:10 NIV).

God is a generous God. He withholds nothing from us. He lavishes good gifts on us so why do we listen to that voice that urges us to give in to temptation? “Go on, you deserve it.” It only takes a small spark to start a huge fire and sin is like that, it just snowballs and before we know it we are deep into addiction (shopping, alcohol, drugs etc.). Even Jesus was tempted in the desert. He defeated temptation by standing on the Word of God. “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only” (Matthew 4:10 NIV). When we face temptation, we too must stand firm on His Word.

Simba spends a while in the wasteland and while it is a lush, green wasteland, it is not what Simba was created for. He needed to fulfill his purpose to be king. God has a purpose for each and every one of us. We were not created to wander in the wasteland, no matter how nice it looks. We were created for a purpose… we were created to have the promise of God living in us. “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27 NIV).

In summary, God wants to teach us life lessons and He will get our attention using whatever He can. For me today, it was The Lion King but tomorrow it will be something different.

Author Bio:

My name is Julia Wilson but I also go by Christian Bookaholic.

I live with my husband and five cats in a small town in Worcestershire on the banks of the River Severn (England). We have four grown up children and three granddaughters.

I have always loved reading and have always been surrounded by books. I used to work as a teaching assistant for special needs in the local high school. Ill health forced me to stop working in December 2015. I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (known as M.E.) and fibromyalgia. I now have plenty of time to read and review books!

Our eldest son set up my Christian Bookaholic blog. I review every book I read. I read over 300 books a year. I read Christian and mass market. I prefer stories set from 1850 onwards. My favourite type of books to read is stories set in WWI and WWII, and Russia under Czar Nicholas II.

I am a historian, having a Combined Humanities degree where I majored in History and minored in English. I also love swimming. I only learned how to swim in 2017 and go swimming four mornings a week for 90 minutes before breakfast, it keeps my joints going.

I am also a crazy cat lady. I absolutely love my cats. I have grown up with cats and cannot imagine life without them. My dream is to own an old fashioned seal point Siamese … but not while we have our young rescue cat as she hates other cats!

I love God and love going to a large lively church called Lifecentral. I cannot imagine life without God. He gives a peace even when life does not. He guides my life. He is my Rock.

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