Be Prepared

Updated: Sep 29, 2020

Did you see the new Lion King movie?!?! SPOILER ALERT: Mufasa dies. Every time I’d watch it as a kid (and there were A LOT of viewings) it was almost a surprise that the mighty Mufasa would die that way. Come on, Disney, we trusted you. My daughter is about the same age now as I was when the original came out, so taking her to see the new live action (can we call it that?) version was pretty surreal and amazing. But even though they walked very closely to the original movie, (I mean shot for shot sometimes) it’s a whole different experience watching our childhood movies as adults. 

For 6 year old me, Scar was the ultimate bad guy. He was sarcastic, lazy, mean, tricky, and he lurked in the shadows. He just looked mean. You didn’t have to get far into the story to know he’d be causing us some problems somewhere down the line. We can look at his classic claw-grip on Mufasa and later Simba, or even his villain anthem, “Be Prepared." But in my latest viewing what stuck out to me was his conversation with young Simba (who was maybe what, like 3-6 months old if we’re being real?) Take a look at the 1994 version:


...So, your father showed you the whole kingdom, did he?




He didn't show you what's beyond that rise at the northern border...?


{Disappointed} Well, no... he said I can't go there.


And he's absolutely right. It's far too dangerous. Only the bravest lions go there.


Well, I'm brave! What's out th--


{Interrupting} No, I'm sorry, Simba, I just can't tell you.


Why not?


Simba, Simba, I'm only looking out for the well- being of my favorite nephew.

{Scar rubs and pats Simba's head}


{Snorts sarcastically} Yeah, right, I'm your only nephew.


All the more reason for me to be protective... An elephant graveyard is no place for a young prince... {faking surprise} Oops!


{Enthusiastic} An elephant what? Whoa.


{Faking dismay} Oh dear, I've said too much... Well, I suppose you'd have found sooner or later, you being SO clever and all... {pulling Simba near} Oh, just do me one favor - promise me you'll never visit that dreadful place.


{Thinks} No problem.


There's a good lad. You run along now and have fun. And remember... it's our little secret.

{Simba leaves the rock, Scar walks away with an evil smile. Menacing music.} Script by

When we watch a movie like the Lion King, we so wish we could jump into their world and tell a character like Simba, “He’s trying to trick you! Don’t listen to him!” But when it comes to our own lives, the villains aren’t so obvious. The tricks are trickier and they tend to be hidden in a cloak of faked innocence. As I watched Scar talk to Simba, I was reminded of the Serpent in the Garden of Eden talking to Eve. 

1 The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”

2 “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied.3 “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”

4 “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. 5 “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”

6 The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.

Genesis 3:1-6 NLT

Even as we read this scripture, we are so clouded by our hindsight bias that we can hardly relate to Eve’s choice to give in to the temptation. It’s a story many of us have heard repeatedly since childhood, so we just don’t get it. We read it and think, “That could never happen to me, I’d be able to detect the deceit.” But our enemy is more clever than we realize. He individualizes his tactics to match our unique circumstances. The way that the enemy tries to deceive me may look different than the tricks he uses on you. He studies us to know how to best trick us. Right now my small group is studying Jennie Allen’s book, “Nothing to Prove,” and in it, she lists some tricks or enemy uses to deceive us: 

If I were your enemy I would:

13 And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else.14 Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.15 These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.

16 So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. 18 He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession. James 1:13-18

Take a tip from Scar and BE PREPARED. Be prepared that Satan will take seemingly innocent things like binging Netflix and scrolling social media and use them to distract you from God and make you feel discontent. He will tell you lies about yourself… maybe he won’t convince you that you’ve killed Mufasa, but he will try to convince you that your imperfections make you unworthy of God’s love. He will try to make you question the Holy Spirit’s convictions by justifying temptations that may lead you to sin: "God never said you can't share flirtatious banter with your married coworker, who will it hurt?..." "Is it really gossiping? You're only telling everyone so they can all pray for your troubled friend..." "Did he really say you shouldn’t watch that provocative movie? You're only educating yourself so you can better minister to those who struggle..." "Did he really say you shouldn't get drunk at that party? Jesus drank wine, so you can, too...” 

Scar and the Serpent used tactics on Simba and Eve that made them question the validity of what their trusted leaders told them. They manipulate, twist words, and create confusion. They make us question what we once firmly believed. The trick is to identify where you’re being tricked and nip it in the bud, take precautions, and don’t be caught off guard. 

Where do you think the enemy has been trying to deceive you?

Which of Jennie’s categories above sounds the most familiar to you? 

Ashlee is a wife and SAHM, an eager follower of Jesus, and a chronically loud-laugher. She loves finding new ways to look at the Bible, in hopes to grow closer to Jesus and to find fresh ways to learn and teach others.

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