I recently went to see the remake of ‘The Lion King’ at the cinemas and cried the whole way through. The first time I saw the film I was four years old. I then saw the stage show on Broadway in New York, and then years later in London on the West End. Every time, it evokes such an emotional response in me. I can’t help but see such an obvious correlation between the storyline and our relationship with God.
If for some reason, you have never seen ‘The Lion King’, allow me to briefly summarise the plot for you (spoiler alert!).
The African kingdom is healthy and thriving with the wise and noble Mufasa ruling as king. Simba, Mufasa’s son, is destined to be king, but his evil Uncle Scar and his little hyena helpers ensure that Mufasa is killed while saving Simba’s life. Unbeknown to Scar, Simba is still alive, but he is lost. Simba doesn’t know who he is. He has been told life should be lived for self and has therefore avoided facing the reality of his role and calling as king. It is not until he is reminded through the Baboon, Rafiki, that he is the son of a king, that he then has a fresh revelation of who he is, and then takes his rightful place as king, redeeming and restoring the destroyed kingdom.
Knowing our true identity is perhaps the most powerful understanding we can come to as Christians.
Just as Scar and his demons challenged Simba on who he really was upon his return to Pride Rock, similar words were said to Jesus by the devil in the desert, challenging him to throw himself off a rock, ‘IF he really were the son of God’ (Matthew 4:6).
Why did the Devil challenge Jesus’ sonship and identity? Because if he could get Jesus to second-guess who he was, he could get Jesus to second-guess his authority. You have all spiritual authority as a follower of Christ (Matthew 28:18), the only way the enemy can convince you to not use it, is if he can get you to second guess your identity as a child of the King of Kings. Once you are questioning your sonship, you question your authority.
As Rafiki pointed Simba to the truth of who he was, so the Holy Spirit gently nudges us back to the reality of who we are – that we have the DNA of power and authority (Jesus) in us. Jesus died in our place, so that we can carry a kingdom responsibly to restore that which is desolate, and operate as kings.
Adult Simba: Father?
Mufasa’s ghost: [appears among the stars] Simba, you have forgotten me.
Adult Simba: No. How could I?
Mufasa’s ghost: You have forgotten who you are and so have forgotten me. Look inside yourself, Simba. You are more than what you have become. You must take your place in the Circle of Life.
Adult Simba: How can I go back? I’m not who I used to be.
Mufasa’s Ghost: [Now fully formed in the sky] Remember who you are. You are my son and the one true king. Remember who you are.
Sometimes we get jealous because we don’t remember who we are. Sometimes we get worried because we don’t remember who we are. Sometimes we don’t operate in the signs, wonders and miracles that Jesus said we would, because we have forgotten who we are. Sometimes we second-guess our future, and ourselves because we have forgotten who we are! See how important knowing your identity is?
If you are a lion but believe you are a hog, you will think and act like a hog. (Simba was so confused about who he was, he was a vegetarian lion at one point!) What you believe about yourself you empower. Remember who you are. Allow the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to you so you can walk in the fullness of your identity as the son or daughter of a king! Stepping up to your royal responsibility!
A daily devotion for a better way of living.