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Remember Who You Are

     Recently my children had their first opportunity to see the Disney movie, The Lion King.  I had not seen this movie in at least ten years and had forgotten the amazing prophetic message disguised within the story.

     If you have not seen this movie in a while, it bears a closer look . . . the message is not only an inspiration to the soul, it can change a life.

     The movie begins in a majestic African landscape as the Lion King, Mufasa, presents his infant son, Simba, to the animal kingdom of the Pride Lands over which he reigns. They stand on the high place of Pride Rock for the ceremony where Simba is presented as the son of the King. As Rafiki, the wise old sage of the kingdom, anoints the infant cub’s forehead with a crimson colored mixture, he lifts him high to see over the entire kingdom of the Serengeti. As the clouds open and the sun shines down upon the infant cub, all the animals on the African landscape bow and acknowledge the King’s son.

     As the movie progresses, Mufasa lovingly teaches Simba about authority, bravery, respect, and his future responsibility to be king. Mufasa shows Simba his destiny in the stars and explains that the ancient, great lion kings of the past watch down on them to guide them and complete their reign. Suddenly in an evil scheme construed by Mufasa’s jealous brother, Scar, Simba finds himself in a wildebeest stampede. Scar’s intention is to kill both Mufasa and Simba so Scar can assume the throne. Although Mufasa is killed, Simba survives to find his father dead in trying to rescue him. This is where the plot turns “prophetically familiar.”

Schemes of the Enemy

     Scar whispers lies into Simba’s ear, “It is your fault! You killed him, run away Simba, never return!” Simba unknowingly trusts his uncle and runs away from his father’s kingdom and his destiny to one day assume the throne.  He runs into Timon (the meerkat) and Pumbaa (the warthog) who become his new friends in a place far away from the Pride Lands. In his new home, Simba becomes indoctrinated by Timon and Pumbaa’s philosophy of “Hakuna Matata,” which means “no worries.” Timon tells him, “When the world turns its back on you, you turn your back on the world.”

     Simba inherently knows this way of thinking is wrong. It is not kingly. He readily states, “That’s not what I’ve been told.” However to bury his pain, Simba soon conforms to their way of thinking and completely changes his identity. He not only buys into their philosophy but even begins to like their way of life. He changes from being a carnivore to eating what Timon and Pumbaa feed on – grubs and insects. They party the days away aimlessly with no particular goals except to have fun. But in the fullness of time, Simba’s whereabouts become known to the wise sage, Rafiki, who worked for Simba’s father, King Mufasa.

     The enemy’s schemes are not new. If Disney can recognize the pattern, why don’t we? As children of the King, a loving Father and Savior, we are given ALL the privileges of being His children. When tragedy occurs, the enemy comes seeking whom he may devour. In our pain, the enemy speaks lies about who we are to keep us from reaching our destiny. To bury the pain, we often become conformed to the world around us, believe the lies, and forget our true identity in Christ. When we listen to the lies of the enemy, we can forfeit the destiny God has for us.

Who Are You?

     When Rafiki enters the picture, Simba is looking for his father in the stars and yells, “You said you’d always be there for me but you’re not! It’s because of me. It’s my fault!” As Rafiki approaches, Simba does not recognize him. He asks him, “Who are you? To which Rafiki replies, “The question is “Who are you?” Simba discouraged answers him, “I don’t know, I thought I knew. Now I’m not so sure. I suppose you know.…?”

     Rafiki’s next statement grips Simba’s spirit, “Sure! You’re Mufasa’s boy!” Then Rafiki wisely runs away leaving Simba startled at the realization and chasing after him, “Hey, wait!” Simba finds Rafiki meditating on a rock and asks, “You knew my Father?”

“Correction, I know your father.”

“I hate to tell you this but…he died a long time ago.”

“Nope. Wrong again. He is alive and I’ll show him to you! Follow Rafiki, he knows the way!”

     Simba, his heart racing, follows Rafiki to a quiet reflection pool. “Shh, look down there.” Simba peers into the water and heart broken he says, “That’s not my father, that’s just my reflection.”

     Rafiki encourages him, “No. Look harder….You see, He lives in you.” At once Mufasa’s face appears in the reflection pool looking back at Simba. Then he hears his father’s voice calling from the stars…



“Simba, you have forgotten me.”

“No! How could I?”

     “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.”

“How can I go back? I’m not who I used to be.”

“You are my son and the one and only true king. Remember who you are! Remember. Remember. Remember….”

As quickly as he appeared, Mufasa vanishes back into the clouds and stars of the night.  Simba looks at Rafiki and says, “Looks like the winds are changing.”

“Ah”, Rafiki replies, “change is good.”

Simba swallows hard, “Yea, but it’s not easy. Going back means I’ll have to face my past. I’ve been running from it for so long.”

     Rafiki promptly hits him over the head with his staff. Simba yells, “Ouch! That hurt!”  Rafiki laughing exclaims, “It doesn’t matter, it’s in the past!” Simba rubbing his head cringes, “It still hurts!”

     Rafiki gently replies, “Yes, the past can hurt.” He prepares to hit Simba over the head again as he states, “you can either run from it or learn from it.” This time Simba ducks and avoids a second bump on his head. Rafiki cheers and shouts, “Ah! See, what you are you going to do?” Simba realizes that although his head is still hurting, he learned to avoid Rafiki’s swing and triumphantly answers, “I’m going back!”

God Intervenes

     God always knows where we are and intervenes! In the fullness of time, in His mercy, God pursues us. Like Rafiki anointed Simba with a crimson mixture on his forehead, we have been marked with the crimson blood of Jesus and the seal of the Holy Spirit. We are His. The Holy Spirit, our wise sage, finds us, and reminds us of whom we are. When we remember our Father, we remember who we are. Inside our spirit there is a memory of God. As our Creator, He put it there! (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

     Our spirit’s main operating force is life. Our spirit brings life to parts of us that are dark, formless, and void. The enemy’s goal is to cut us off from the Life Source. He knows if he can get our mind on the problem instead of the Great Problem-Solver that he can vex our spirit and bring darkness and confusion into our soul. Then, instead of being a light to the world, we become conformed to the world’s pattern of thinking.

Facing the Past

     Like Simba, we often focus on the pain of the past instead of learning from the past. Our thoughts might be similar to Simba’s. “I’m not who I used to be. I can’t change the past. The past is my fault. It hurts too much to face.” But until we face the past and see it through the blood of Jesus, we won’t have victory and will keep running from it. Running from the past (or simply living in denial) only results in keeping something in our mind that isn’t in God’s. When we turn and face it head on, asking for God’s forgiveness and redemption, healing comes to our emotions and our confusion leaves. We receive freedom from the King to live as if we had not sinned! This doesn’t mean that we forget the past but instead see it through the Blood of Jesus, which frees us from guilt. Then we are free to fight for our kingdom, our destiny. If we don’t fight for it, who will?

The Battle

     As he runs toward his home, the very land his feet tread upon seems to be calling him back. When he arrives home, he finds death and destruction all over the land. Scar has been ruling in Simba’s place and has let the hyenas take over the Pride Lands. The hyenas stripped the land of its nourishment and vanquished all the life from it. The lions and hyenas that are still there under Scar’s rule are starving to death. Simba’s statement is profound, “This is my kingdom. If I don’t fight for it, who will?”

     Simba assesses the situation, rallies the lionesses, and challenges Scar for the throne. A bloody and fiery battle ensues that could be likened to going into the pit of hell and taking back the keys to the kingdom. During the battle, Scar yells to Simba, “It is your fault Mufasa is dead, you are a murderer!” Simba, now confident replies, “That won’t work Scar, I’ve put it behind me! Tell them the truth!”  Scar continues to attack Simba and the symbolism of a lion seeking whom he may devour becomes clear, with the hyenas as his demonic foe. At last, Simba is victorious and Scar is devoured by the hyenas, the very ones whom he convinced to put him in power.

     As the fire burns out, everything in the Pride Lands is black, hot, and smoky. A cleansing rain comes and cools the warriors and land. Rafiki stands at the base of Pride Rock and smiling at Simba he says, “It is time.” Simba ascends to his throne with a new authority, kingly presence, and a mighty roar that brings new hope to the kingdom. As he stands in what was once his father’s place, he looks up as the clouds part in the sky and hears his father’s whisper, “Remember…” And the circle of life begins once again. Simba secures his kingdom and destiny.

Securing Our Destiny

     Our destiny includes our home and land, our family, and God’s purposes for us. Did you know that you were called to have influence in a specific area of life? Did you know that you were given authority over specific territories such as the land you live on? The Bible says that “You maintain my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; yes, I have a good heritage,” (Psalms 16:5-6) and “He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and boundaries of their dwellings..” (Acts 17:26) NKJV.

     God predetermines the physical place we are to be. When we are there, we find Him spiritually and gain the strategy we need to secure our destiny (our portion, our lot, place of influence, or inheritance). When Simba returned to the Pride Lands, he determined a strategy to overcome Scar and assume the throne. But he had to return to his proper place to gain the strategy and fight the battle.

     If we let past hurt, rejections, or betrayal hold us, we will not receive God’s power to face them. Be assured that God knows where you are and can find you at anytime. If God called you to do something, it is His will that you finish it. Do not let loss or grief keep you from securing your destiny. Although the Lion King movie does not touch on forgiveness, this is the KEY to reaching the destiny God has for you. Receive God’s power to forgive and move on from the hurts of the past. Forgiveness produces Grace and Power to move forward, receive strategy, and gain victory. Remember who you are!! You are the child of the King. The battle is not one of flesh and blood but a spiritual battle with spiritual weapons (Ephesians 6).

God reminds us that we will win “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts” (Zechariah 4:4-6) NKJV.


Copyright © 2008-2015 Dorena DellaVecchio, Ph.D.

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