80’s & 90’s babies all over the world were ecstatic about the new version of the Lion King. We saw the memes, exercised our vocal cords, danced around our homes, all in great anticipation of the Disney movies of the year. I, of course, was no different. Surprisingly, watching the Lion King as a Christian adult vs. watching the Lion King as a child was totally different experiences. This epic movie spoke to me on a whole other level. I sang, felt tears of sadness, and suppressed speaking in tongues throughout the entire movie. No worries, somehow I made it through, but not without lots and lots of powerful life lessons.
Here are some ways that the Lion King spoke to me.
Lion King Powerful Life Lesson #1 – Finding Yourself
For a good bit of the movie, Simba lost himself. He was the heir of the king, but his past hurt him so deeply that he ran for the hills or should I say jungle (Hakuna Matata boo!). I felt Simba on every level. As a baby Christian, sometimes the voice of past pain and condemnation can be very loud. It will always try to remind you of your mistakes and hiccups, whether it was your fault or not.
If you make the mistake like Simba did, by refusing to silence that voice, it can often lead to another place. You probably won’t end up in a jungle with a warthog and meerkat singing songs that rhyme. But you can certainly end up in a place called “settling”. I’ve got a question and I am going to need an honest answer from you. How many times have you settled in a situation that you knew was just not for you? Deep down, you knew that you were worth more. You knew that a greater destiny lies ahead of you. Yet that situation of settling made you feel comfortable and did not challenge you to grow. So you stuck with it. It’s ok, we have all been there. Even the king of the jungle was not exempt !
Simba went against his very nature to be the predator and king of the jungle, all because he wanted comfort more than his destiny. Simba went all the way in, eating slimy bugs and all. Thankfully that did not last forever. Good-bye icky caterpillars. As Simba came into the understanding of who he was, through a gentle reminder from His Father, my heart skipped with joy. I know! I know! Simba is a fictional character, but Simba represents all of us. Sometimes we need a nudge from our Father reminding us that we are more than meets the eyes. We are the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). We are a chosen generation (1 Peter 2:9). Our past does not define us (2 Corinthians 5:17). We do not have to settle.
Lion King Powerful Life Lesson #2 – No One Can Do it Alone
Everyone needs somebody. Simba could not remember who he was alone. Nala & Rakisha were stalkers helping hands that guided him from the wrong community to the right community. Yes Timone and Pumba’s hearts were in the right place. Sure, they were hilarious. And we all know they gave us the iconic song and phrase “Hukuna Matata”, yet that did not change the fact that they were suppressing Simba and everything that he was called to be.
While we need people in our lives, more importantly, we need the right people in our lives. People that can see past our outer exterior, see who we are and who God is calling us to be. Timon and Pumba will always share a space in Simba’s heart, but he had to leave them and that environment in order to be king.
Lion King Powerful Life Lesson #3- The Enemies Lies & Manipulation
Murderer, liar, manipulator, and stealer of destinies . These are some of the best words I can use to describe Scar. Sidenote: I still haven’t forgiven scar for Mufasa’s death, but I’ll stick to the point. Scar represents the enemy of our soul. The one who’s primary objective is to steal our true purpose. The enemy cannot harm us or dethrone us unless we begin to believe his lies. At the end of the movie, scar accused Simba of killing Mufasa (all lies). He called him a nobody (more lies). The crazy part was Simba actually agreed with scar AFTER his Father already told him the truth . Simba allowed fear to cause him to believe what he knew was a lie.
In the end, scar could not actually defeat Simba until Simba agreed with scars words. When Simba uttered that He is a “nobody”, it was then and there that defeat was temporarily his portion. I’m reminding you not to agree with the lies of the enemy. Do not fall for his tricks. You are who your Father says you are. In the words of the late great Mufasa, “Remember who you are”
At the end of the movie, Simba victoriously reclaimed his throne and rightful place as King of the Jungle. Not only that, he got a beautiful lion wife and cub to match. Take that Scar!
I don’t usually see a lot of parallels in movies, but the Lion King was filled with so many powerful life lessons. This movie spoke so loudly to me that I just had to share. My prayer is that the Simba (royalty) in all of us will come alive until we find our place of victory.
Be strong, Be Courageous, Serve God Wholeheartedly
P.S. If you want to go even deeper into powerful lesson #2, check out this blog here.