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Chase the Lion: If Your Dream Doesn't Scare You, It's Too Small

Paperback|Apr 2019
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:In this compelling manifesto, New York Times bestselling author Mark Batterson challenges readers to chase the lions in their lives and to be prepared to act accordingly when they catch them! This NEW work from Batterson will release parallel to...

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:In this compelling manifesto, New York Times bestselling author Mark Batterson challenges readers to chase the lions in their lives and to be prepared to act accordingly when they catch them! This NEW work from
Batterson will release parallel to the repackage of Batterson's massively successful In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day. Chase is a thematic sequel to In a Pit.

With grit and gusto, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, described how our outlook can help determine our outcome in life. Batterson encouraged readers to think differently about their dreams (and to dream bigger!) and the book became a bestseller. In Chase the Lion, the author encourages people to take bold actions
to accomplish their goals, follow his practical steps to making those goals a reality, and bravely plan for what comes after accomplishment. This is the logical next step. Once you've defied the odds, faced your fears, and crafted audacious dreams for your life--the only thing left to do is to follow God's leading and act boldly. In demonstrating how this can be done, Batterson will share inspiring stories from Scripture and from real life.

This primer for the chase of our lives will inspire readers young and old to plan for success and go further than they every imagined they could.


  • Catalogue Code 516052
  • Product Code 9781601428875
  • ISBN 1601428871
  • EAN 9781601428875
  • Pages 240
  • Department General Books
  • Category Christian Living
  • Sub-Category General
  • Publisher Multnomah Publishers
  • Publication Date Apr 2019
  • Sales Rank 24525
  • Dimensions 207 x 138 x 15mm
  • Weight 0.215kg

Mark Batterson

Mark Batterson is the New York Times bestselling author of The Circle Maker, The Grave Robber, A Trip around the Sun, and If. He is the lead pastor of National Community Church, one church with eight campuses in Washington, DC. Mark has a doctor of ministry degree from Regent University and lives on Capitol Hill with his wife, Lora, and their three children.

:On a snowy day, he chased a lion down into a pit and killed it.
2 Samuel 23 : 20, nlt
When the image of a man-eating beast travels through the optic nerve and into the visual cortex, the brain relays an urgent message to the body: run! That’s what normal people do, but normal is overrated. Lion chasers don’t run away; lion chasers run to the roar. They don’t see a five-hundred- pound problem; they seize opportunity by the mane. They don’t take flight; they fight to the death for their dreams.
Buried in the second book of Samuel, the twenty-third chapter and the twentieth verse, is one of the most counterintuitive acts of courage in all of Scripture. It’s just 1 of 31,102 verses in the Bible, but it’s my personal favorite. It’s little more than a biblical byline, but it’s become the storyline of my life. My life motto is encapsulated in its message—chase the lion.
There was also Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant warrior from Kabzeel. He did many heroic deeds, which included killing two champions of Moab. Another time, on a snowy day, he chased a lion down into a pit and killed it.
Napoleon Bonaparte made a distinction  between two kinds  of courage—regular  courage and two-o’clock-in-the-morning courage. “The rarest attribute among Generals,” said the Little Corporal, “is two o’clock- in-the-morning courage.”

Chasing a lion into a pit on a snowy day takes two-o’clock-in-the- morning courage. But that one act of courage completely changed the tra- jectory of Benaiah’s life. The same is true of you. You are one idea, one risk, one decision away from a totally different life. Of course, it’ll probably be the toughest decision you ever make, the scariest risk you ever take. But if your dream doesn’t scare you, it’s too small.
Scripture doesn’t explain what Benaiah was doing or where he was going when he crossed paths with the lion. We don’t know the time of day or his frame of mind. But it does reveal his gut reaction, and it was gutsy.
Put yourself in Benaiah’s sandals.
Your vision is obscured by falling snow and frozen breath. Out of the corner of your eye, you detect movement. Pupils dilate. Muscles flex. Adren- aline rushes. It’s a prowling lion stalking its prey—you.
In the wild, man versus lion scripts the same way every time. Man runs; lion chases; king of the beasts eats manwich for lunch. But Benaiah flips the script. That’s what courage does! I don’t know if it was the look in his eye or the spear in his hand, but the lion turns tail and Benaiah gives chase.
A fully grown lion can run thirty-six miles per hour and leap thirty feet in a single bound. Benaiah doesn’t stand a chance, but that doesn’t keep him from giving chase. He can’t keep pace, but he can track paw prints in the freshly fallen snow. He comes to the place where the ground has given way beneath the lion’s five-hundred-pound frame. Benaiah peers into the pit. Yellow cat eyes glare back.
It’s a made-for-Hollywood moment. Imagine it on the silver screen.
Benaiah walks away from the pit while moviegoers breathe a sigh of relief. But Benaiah isn’t walking away; he’s getting a running start. The audience gasps as Benaiah turns  around and takes a flying leap of faith, disappearing into the darkness. A deafening roar echoes off the walls of the cavernous pit, followed by a bloodcurdling battle cry.
Then silence, dead silence.
No one is eating popcorn at this point.
Everyone expects the lion to strut out, shaking its mane. But no. A human form reaches up and climbs out of the pit. Drops of blood color the snow crimson. Claw marks crisscross Benaiah’s spear arm. But against all odds, the valiant warrior from Kabzeel earns an epic victory.
Closing credits roll.
Then, if I’m producing the film, there is a postcredit scene like in the Marvel superhero movies—Benaiah’s cage fight with a giant Egyptian.

Chase the Lion
If you find yourself in a pit with a lion on a snowy day, you’ve got a problem. Probably the last problem you’ll ever have! But you’ve got to admit, “I killed a lion in a pit on a snowy day” looks awfully impressive on your résumé, es- pecially if you’re applying for a bodyguard position with the king of Israel.
Benaiah not only landed his dream job as King David’s bodyguard, but his life exceeded his wildest dreams. Benaiah climbed the military chain of command all the way to the top, becoming commander in chief of Israel’s army. The lion chaser became the most powerful person in the kingdom of Israel, save the king. But the genealogy of his dream traces back to a fight- or-flight moment. One decision determined his destiny. And not much has changed in the three millennia since then. You can run away from what you are afraid of, but you’ll be running the rest of your life. It’s time to face your fears, take a flying leap of faith, and chase the lion!
In every dream journey there comes a moment when you have to quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. You have to go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention.
You have to go big or go home.
You have to take the road less traveled or settle for status quo.
You have to bite the bullet or turn your back on your dreams.
I have a theory: your favorite scripture will become the script of your life. I take my cues from 2 Samuel 23:20. That script underscores who I want to be, what I want out of life, and what I believe about God. Chase the lion is more than a nice catch phrase; it’s the metanarrative of my life.
Most of us spend our lives running away from the things we’re afraid of. We forfeit our dreams on the altar of fear. Or we chase after the wrong things. We’re so busy climbing the ladder of success that we fail to realize it’s leaning against the wrong wall.
At the end of our lives, our greatest regrets will be the God-ordained opportunities we left on the table, the God-given passions we didn’t pursue, and the God-sized dreams we didn’t go after because we let fear dictate our decisions.
No Guts, No Glory
Most people believe God is real, but few people actually live like it. The re- sult is a widening gap between their theology and their reality. They allow their circumstances to get between them and God instead of letting God get between them and their circumstances. Lion chasers measure every- thing against almighty God, including five-hundred-pound  lions. That’s the difference between being a scaredy-cat and a lion chaser.
When everything is said and done, God isn’t going to say, “Well said,” “Well thought,” or “Well planned.” There is one measuring stick: “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
Faithfulness is not holding down the fort.
Faithfulness is chasing five-hundred-pound lions.
There is a brand of religiosity that seems satisfied with breaking even— don’t do this, don’t do that, and you’ ll be okay. The problem with that is this: you can do nothing wrong and still do nothing right. Breaking even is breaking bad. God has called us to play offense with our lives. Those who simply run away from what’s wrong will never amount to more than half Christians. The only way to tap your God-given potential, to fulfill your God-ordained  destiny is to chase five-hundred-pound lions.
God’s dream for your life is so much bigger, so much better than break- ing even. If you focus on not making mistakes, you won’t make a difference. You don’t overcome sin by focusing on not sinning. You need a dream that is bigger and better than the temptations you’re trying to overcome. You need a dream that doesn’t allow you to become spiritually sidetracked, a dream that demands your utmost for His highest.
There is an old aphorism: No guts, no glory. When we lack the guts to go after five-hundred-pound lions, we rob God of the glory He deserves. By definition, a God-sized dream will be beyond your ability, beyond your re- sources. Unless God does it, it can’t be done! And that is precisely how God gets the glory. He does things we can’t do so we can’t take credit for them. God honors big dreams because big dreams honor God.
Destiny is not a mystery. Destiny is a decision—a difficult decision, a daring decision, a counterintuitive decision. You fulfill your destiny one op- portunity at a time. Of course, those opportunities often come disguised as five-hundred-pound problems. Landing in a pit with a lion on a snowy day qualifies as a bad day, a bad break. But Benaiah didn’t see it as bad luck; he saw it as his big break.
If you’re looking for an excuse, you’ll always find one.
If you’re looking for an opportunity, you’ll always find one.
Lion chasers have an eye for opportunity. There are amazing opportunities all around us all the time, but you have to see them to seize them. Then you need two-o’clock-in-the-morning courage to chase them.
The Genesis of a Dream
When I was nineteen years old, I heard a sermon that would change the trajectory of my life. Sam Farina preached about a man named Benaiah, who chased a lion into a pit on a snowy day. I had never heard the story, and I could barely believe it was in the Bible. But a thought fired across my syn- apses: If I ever write a book, I’ d like to write a book about that verse. That was the genesis of a dream titled In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day.
It would take sixteen years for that dream to become reality, and I al- most gave up on it a time or two. On October 16, 2006, In a Pit released with very little fanfare. In fact, it almost didn’t see its second printing. But In a Pit beat the odds and inspired a generation of lion chasers to go after their dreams. Ten years later In a Pit has a sequel: Chase the Lion.
I’m often asked which of my books is my favorite. You might as well ask me which one of my children is my favorite! I love them all, but there is something unique about seeing your firstborn book on a bookshelf for the first time. In a Pit isn’t my best-selling book, but if the measuring stick is life-altering decisions directly resulting from reading it, it might get the grand prize. It’s been a game changer for lots of lion chasers, and I’ll share some of their dream journeys in Chase the Lion. Their dreams are as different as they are, but each one has chased a lion in his or her own unique way. I hope their five-hundred-pound dreams inspire you as much as they have me.  
In the prequel to this book, I focused exclusively on King David’s body- guard, Benaiah. Chase the Lion is the rest of the story. Like Washington’s inner circle or Lincoln’s team of rivals, David’s thirty-seven mighty men rank as a most remarkable band of brothers. They were insanely coura- geous, fiercely loyal. Their exploits would be unbelievable if they weren’t recorded in Scripture. And without them, David’s dream of becoming king would have died a fugitive’s death.
Our destiny is more intricately interwoven with others than any of us realize. The goal of Chase the Lion isn’t simply to help you discover your dream. The best way to discover your dream is to help other people accom- plish theirs! That’s what the mighty men did, and in so doing, their lives surpassed their wildest dreams.
That’s my prayer for you.
May you discover your God-sized dream in the pages of this book, and may you have the courage to chase it. But your greatest legacy isn’t your dream; it’s the dreams you inspire in others! You aren’t just a dreamer; you are a dreamcatcher.
 As you begin this dream journey, don’t go it alone. Dreamers love com- pany! Chase the lion with a friend, a spouse, a mentor. Form a pride, just as lions do. Together you can accomplish far more than the sum total of your shared dreams. The God who is able to do immeasurably more than all you can ask will accomplish something way beyond what you can imagine,7 just as He did for David and his mighty men.
And remember, if your dream doesn’t scare you, it’s too small.