The Hunted Becomes the Hunter

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger from Pexels

Sometimes living in this world overwhelms me.  One of those times happened recently.  Concerns and fears were pressing in on me, and I was trying to hide.  I realized that I had spent most of my life avoiding any person or situation that I thought would hurt me. In my mind’s eye, I could see myself.  I was a pitiful, little field mouse.  I was running from one hiding spot to another, not wanting to be in the open field.  I knew that if I ventured there, the powerful birds of prey would pick me off.  I felt like a victim, too small to fight back, too lowly to be confident.  I felt ashamed of all that I was not.  The snakes of shame were hissing reminders of what I was – a pesky, dirty, little rodent.

                Then I felt the slightest breeze of the Spirit.  The picture in my mind flipped.  I rose from the ground and began to ride the wind.  I was an eagle.

I WAS THE BIRD OF PREY.

I saw that pesky vermin running on the ground. 

THAT WAS MY ENEMY.

The enemy was so small, yet I could spot him from a mile away.  I could easily hunt him and swoop down to finish him off.  And all the shame?  Those filthy snakes of shame?  Those were my food!

The Hunted had become the Hunter!

                How glorious it felt to fly above the ground!  How freeing and beautiful it was to be who God had made me to be!  How wonderful to not be afraid!  Then I remembered a passage of the book I had been reading by Rick Joyner, “The Valley.” In this prophetic allegory, a group of sojourners were making their way to the Mountain of God.  They had to pass through the Valley of the Shadow of Death in order to get there.  Elijah had come to give them guidance.

“You do not defeat an enemy by just getting past him.  You defeat fear by growing in faith.  You defeat despair by growing in hope.  You defeat death by growing in life.  True life is only lived by those who no longer live for themselves, but for The King, and do all things for His sake and for those He gave His life for.

                “This valley is here to help you find true life…but to find that path, your goal must be greater than getting through the valley.  You must resolve to seek out and destroy the enemies that are in it,” Elijah continued…

                Finally Charles spoke up:

                “This would be a radical change of not just our strategy, but my understanding of our purpose.  So the path of life is found by seeking the enemy?  And then to be on the offensive and attacking?  I am sure most of us were thinking we needed to do all we could to avoid the enemy, to just get through it.  I thought finding the path of life was done by seeking the path of life, not fighting.”

                “To do His will is the path of life for everyone.  This is His will for you here.  This valley has a high purpose, and part of it is to prepare you for the rest of your journey to the mountain, and then to be of use to The King in the great battle to come.  You must become true warriors, and no true warriors seeks to avoid the enemy…

                “In this valley lie your greatest fears.  They are your greatest threats and your greatest challenges.  That gives the potential to be the place of your greatest victories…

                “The Lord created this valley, but men made it the Valley of the Shadow of Death.  So He uses it to seal in His people who they are called to be – warriors that do not kill, but impart life. They do not wound, but heal.  They do not oppress, but set captives free.”

                The enemies that I am to hunt and destroy are fear, doubt, and shame (just to name a few) in myself and others.  But when I flap my great wings, I will bring the wind of healing and refreshing to people.  People are not my enemies.

                A few days later I randomly opened my Bible and started reading Esther 8.  Again I found an example of divine reversal.

The Hunted becomes the Hunter!

                The King had given Haman permission to draft a law that authorized the enemies of the Jews to rise up and kill them.  The King didn’t realize that his lovely queen was a Jew.  Her people were facing utter annihilation.  The queen went to the king and in one moment, with one decision of the king, the entire picture flipped.  He allowed Mordechai to draft a law that permitted the Jews to strike back.  Fear of the Jews fell on all the other people.  Just the day before Esther was praying for the courage to reveal that she was a Jew.  But in that day:

“In every province and in every city to which the edict of the king came, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating. And many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear of the Jews had seized them.” (Esther 8:17)

                Esther was bold, and she and her people fasted and prayed.  But it was God who gave them victory over their enemies.  I went back to reading Psalm 18.  I had been reading it for a few weeks and I just wasn’t getting it.  Why did I keep returning to it? What did God want to tell me?  Finally it became clear.  God was taking me from being the prey to being the predator.

The Hunted becomes the Hunter!

34 He trains my hands for battle;
    my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You make your saving help my shield,
    and your right hand sustains me;
    your help has made me great.
36 You provide a broad path for my feet,
    so that my ankles do not give way.

37 I pursued my enemies and overtook them;
    I did not turn back till they were destroyed.
38 I crushed them so that they could not rise;
    they fell beneath my feet.
39 You armed me with strength for battle;
    you humbled my adversaries before me.
40 You made my enemies turn their backs in flight,
    and I destroyed my foes. (NIV)

                As I was pondering all these things in my heart during the next week, I encountered this scripture on Facebook and then Pandora.

Psalm 2 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Why do the nations gather together?
Why do their people devise useless plots?
    Kings take their stands.
    Rulers make plans together
        against the Lord and against his Messiah by saying,
            “Let’s break apart their chains
                and shake off their ropes.”

The one enthroned in heaven laughs.
The Lord makes fun of them.

As soon as I picture God up on His throne, laughing at my enemies, I am up there in the sky with Him.  I can see how small and weak the enemy is compared to my God.  I can see the joy on His face, the fire in His eyes.  He isn’t worried.  Not about the mice or the snakes.  Not about me either.  He is laughing because He knows all that there is to know. He sees all that can be seen.

He is laughing because He sees His eagles rise and begin to hunt.

(Recently David Lebo released a prophecy confirming all of this.  “I am setting My Eagles Free.”)

I am my Daddy’s Favorite

Have you ever felt like you were trying hard to do everything right but at every turn your efforts were being thwarted?  Instead of open doors to the people, jobs, opportunities, resources you were hoping for, all you encounter are brick walls.  Funny thing about brick walls; they do not step aside and they show no compassion!  For years Chris and I felt like that.  We would try and try to break through into the prosperity that we knew God had for us.  Chris would try to get the right job and then work hard. We would attempt to do all the right things and pray the right prayers.  Yet one heart breaking setback after another would hold us back.  We almost felt as though we were cursed rather than blessed.  But we knew that God wanted to bless us…so what was the problem?

For years we were undoing the natural consequences of bad decisions we had made…really bad decisions.  So the consequences provided for us an excellent education that we are so thankful for!

After that, we began to step into new territory; making good decisions based upon what would please God the most.  Surely this would bring His favor.  Yet the years continued to go by, and we were still living paycheck to paycheck.  Discouragement would try to tell us that God didn’t like us very much, that He didn’t pay attention to our prayers or our needs.  But truth keep telling us that just the opposite was true.  He loved us like a Father. In fact, we were our Daddy’s favorites.  His plans for us were to give us a future and a hope.

I am my Daddy's favorite

Whenever you enter new territory, such as when the Israelites entered their promised land, there are always battles.  The current residents will not willingly give up their territory.  Yet eventually, they must, because God said so.  Just because we have to battle for something, just because it is not easy, does not mean it is not God’s will!

I was reading the book of Esther and marveling at the divine reversal that occurred.  In one glorious day, the tables were turned.  The Jews went from teetering on the precipice of annihilation to triumphing over all their enemies.  They went from being hated and despised to being honored and feared.  Esther and her uncle gained great influence over the king and they had won his favor.  Everything started to work for their benefit and promotion, and best of all, they would not be slaughtered!  How I longed to experience what a divine reversal felt like; to go from having everything go wrong to having everything go right.  To feel God’s special affection for me wherever I went.

So I prayed that God would make that principle a reality in my life; that I could walk in the favor that Esther had.  I opened up my devotional that morning and read, “The Lord will bless you and watch over you.  The Lord will smile on you and be kind to you.  The Lord will look on you with favor and give your peace!” Numbers 6:24-25.  It was as though God was saying to me, “I heard you and my answer to your prayer is yes!”

Lance Wallnau defines favor as “the special affection of God toward you that releases an influence on you so others are inclined to like you or to cooperate with you” and “the charisma of Christ that makes you appealing.” What does he say we should do to obtain this favor?  Love God, seek His face, become like him, and ask him for His favor.  Decree His favor over every area of our lives and believe that He hears us.  We also need to be able to look at ourselves in the mirror and love ourselves.  After all, how can we accept God’s amazing affection if we don’t agree with it?  Basically, that would be telling God that he was wrong about us, and we really don’t want His favor after all.

Last Sunday at church, God gave me a perfect illustration of what his favor looks like.  My littlest son is now 16 months old.  He was supposed to have moved out of the nursery awhile ago, but it is just easier to place him in the care of familiar faces in familiar surroundings.  Well, last Sunday, I decided to try him in the older room.  I entered to find only one teacher present; a sweet, young girl with a pregnant belly.  She already had four children in the room, one of whom was crying quite loudly in a rocking chair.  I was hesitant to put my little Courage in that room and add a fifth child.  I wouldn’t want to take care of 5 non-verbal toddlers by myself if I were pregnant.  I stayed with him in the room for a while, wondering what I should do.  I finally decided to leave and enter the adult service.  Just as I was walking out the door, the woman from the younger nursery came in.

“There’s Courage!  We were wondering where he was!  He is our favorite, you know.  I think I need to steal him back!”

“OH!  How many babies do you have in your room?” I asked.

“None have come yet, and there are two of us in there, just waiting to make Courage happy.”

“Oh yes, please do!  I didn’t realize that your class was empty!”

So the sweet woman whisked Courage away.  He was specifically chosen and sought out to receive the exclusive attentions of two adoring teachers simply because he was their FAVORITE! THAT is what FAVOR looks like!

Daddy's favorite

I have been praying for God’s favor on my life.  Favor for the traffic on the highway to be sparse and fast moving whenever I need to travel.  Favor for my line in the grocery store to be the fastest.  Favor for our business, that it would catch the positive attention of every person and business in our town that needs a sign.  Favor for my children that they would get the best care from every teacher, babysitter, nurse, and doctor we ever meet. Favor in the eyes of every person I come in contact with.  This may seem rather selfish.  After all, why should I get special treatment?  Because I am His favorite, that’s why!  God loves every person, no matter how twisted, grumpy, evil, or unlovable they are.  He wills the best and the highest for each one of them, but that doesn’t mean He likes them.  Favor is when God really, really likes you!  The reason God really, really likes you is because you are like His beloved son here in the earth; loving God and loving people, doing everything with the highest best of God in mind.  So when people cooperate with me because I have the favor of God, they are actually cooperating with God.  And when they are cooperating with God, they are actually cooperating with a force that intends to bring about the very best for them.  So they are doing themselves a favor when they extend favor to me!

My faith in His favor is increasing as I see Him work out surprising and incredible circumstances on my behalf…after all, I am my Daddy’s favorite.