Scenario #1 – You decide you want a new dog. You find a puppy you fall in love with and take it home. It is going to be a house dog, so as a responsible pet owner, you begin to train him to be obedient. He is not allowed to chew up your belongings, he is trained to do his business outdoors, he learns what is acceptable behaviour and what is not. For all practical purposes, you could say that he is “on a leash.” (A leash that is there to provide safety from potential dangers the dog does not himself understand.)
Scenario #2 – You start a new job. You receive the necessary training in order to fulfill your responsibilities within the company. Companies have different cultures – some are more lax while others are more restrictive of acceptable behavior while at the workplace, or when representing the company to others. Therefore, in order to keep your position, you are expected to follow their protocol. For all practical purposes, you could say that you are “on a leash.” (A leash that is there for the benefit of you and everyone in the company.)
Scenario #3 – You meet the love of your life, get married and over time, start a family. You adore your children and as they grow up you begin to teach them right from wrong. They are not allowed the freedom to do anything and everything their little hearts desire. There are rules that they have to learn and follow in order to stay safe and healthy and learn how to be respectable, responsible adults and citizens. For all practical purposes, you could say that they are “on a leash.” (A leash that helps them to realize the best that life has to offer.)
There are all kinds of societal laws and rules that everyone must learn to respect and follow in order to have an orderly life in our world. Laws and rules become a leash on our lives. These laws and rules help provide safety, they benefit all and help us to have our best life possible.
Lucifer – Satan – the devil (however you want to refer to him) was an angel in heaven with God. But at some point, he became a rule breaker – an arrogant rebel. He did not want to follow heaven’s protocols and so led a group of followers in an attempt to himself become God. However, they all soon learned that they were not as powerful as they thought and they were cast out of heaven. * (Luke 10:18 AMP): Jesus speaking to His disciples said, “‘I watched Satan fall from heaven like [a flash of] lightning.’”
As the world became populated, God sent leaders to train and guide His people. Satan and his followers, who were no longer residing in heaven but were now living in the earthly realm, delighted in roaming about stirring up trouble. They laid out every temptation imaginable before the people and many could not resist – falling into sin and disfavor with God. But even then, there were limits that God would allow before He would put the brakes on.
Peter, one of Jesus’ apostles, speaking to Christians in 1 Peter 5:8-9a (TPT) says: “‘Be well balanced and always alert, because your enemy, the devil, roams around incessantly, like a roaring lion looking for its prey to devour. Take a decisive stand against him and resist his every attack with strong, vigorous faith…’” Note that he does not say that Satan is a lion, he says that he is “like a roaring lion”.
I can just imagine Satan looking into a mirror and seeing in his mind’s eye, a big, powerful roaring lion looking back at him. (He obviously thought more of himself than was truly there – after all, he was cast out of heaven for his attitudes.) Then, I can imagine him taking a second look – looking more closely at that reflection and he is shocked to see that there is actually a leash around his neck, with Jesus at the other end of it – holding him in check. That is why if we will stand against him, resisting him with our “strong, vigorous faith”, we will win. A quote I saw that I liked from Ann Voskamp says “Satan prowls but he’s a lion on a leash.”
I firmly believe that God did not create people to be puppets 100% under His control. He gave us a free will to make our own choices. However, I think our salvation, achieved only through our belief in Jesus Christ, can be somewhat like a leash. It is our connection to God. We may run out ahead of God, pulling out to the very end of the leash; and, when we do that, we may not always make the right decisions. When that happens and we make the wrong choices, there are natural consequences.
On the other hand, Jesus is called the Lion of Judah (Revelation 5:5) and as our all-powerful God, He definitely has no leash – no restraints on Him. Proverbs 28:1 says this: “The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions.” As believers, we can have the same attributes as Jesus and we do not have to be fearful. We need to learn to be bold and give chase to the evil ones.
Isaiah 54:17 (NLT) tells us this: “‘But in that coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord; their vindication will come from me. I, the Lord, have spoken!’”
Our God is always present to care for us. Isaiah 43: 1b-3 (MSG): “‘Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end—Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you…’”
This is one of my favorite passages for encouragement – Romans 8:28-39 (ERV): “We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him. These are the people God chose, because that was his plan. God knew them before he made the world. And he decided that they would be like his Son. Then Jesus would be the firstborn of many brothers and sisters. God planned for them to be like his Son. He chose them and made them right with him. And after he made them right, he gave them his glory. So what should we say about this? If God is for us, no one can stand against us. And God is with us. He even let his own Son suffer for us. God gave his Son for all of us. So now with Jesus, God will surely give us all things. Who can accuse the people God has chosen? No one! God is the one who makes them right. Who can say that God’s people are guilty? No one! Christ Jesus died for us, but that is not all. He was also raised from death. And now he is at God’s right side, speaking to him for us. Can anything separate us from Christ’s love? Can trouble or problems or persecution separate us from his love? If we have no food or clothes or face danger or even death, will that separate us from his love? As the Scriptures say, ‘For you we are in danger of death all the time. People think we are worth no more than sheep to be killed.’ But in all these troubles we have complete victory through God, who has shown his love for us. Yes, I am sure that nothing can separate us from God’s love—not death, life, angels, or ruling spirits. I am sure that nothing now, nothing in the future, no powers, nothing above us or nothing below us—nothing in the whole created world—will ever be able to separate us from the love God has shown us in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:14 (ERV): “The true children of God are those who let God’s Spirit lead them.”
So, take advantage of that “salvation leash” you have that connects you to Jesus – use that connection that will lead you and keep your enemies at bay.
Written by Karran Martin – November 18, 2021
* Below is a link to an article that is very helpful in achieving a better understanding about the fall of Satan from heaven. I would encourage you to read it if you have questions.