Lions are stealth hunters. They like to creep up on their prey, often closer than ten yards before making their move. They are careful to stay downwind so that nothing alerts the intended victim to their presence. Then at the optimal moment, they spring out from their concealment and bring down the prey, usually with one great bite.
Unless the lion happens to be old, and has lost a little zip in his stride. Or has maybe lost some teeth, so that first bite isn’t going to be a killer bite. When that happens, the lion changes his strategy. Instead of using stealth, the lion roars. He depends on the fear his roar instills to paralyze his prey and give him the opportunity to make the kill.
No longer able to hunt by speed or strength or stealth the roaring lion depends on fear and intimidation.
Peter says your adversary the devil is a roaring lion. Not the stealthy kind, the roaring kind. Definitely dangerous, but he relies on our fear and our intimidation and our inability to act for his success. The Message translates this verse as “Keep a cool head.” Other translations pick up different nuances, like “be self-controlled” and “keep your mind clear.”
In other words, don’t be controlled by your emotions but cling to the truth about your adversary. Yes, he’s dangerous, and yes, he will take any opportunity he can to destroy you … but he is also defeated.
And he is no match for the Lion of Judah.