Last week, Jan and I were walking along the beautiful Yakima Greenway that follows the Yakima River in central Washington. We noticed an abundance of cottontail rabbits, quail and other small creatures. I told Jan the presence of these little animals was an indicator that other wildlife also lived along the river like foxes, bobcats and coyotes. As our conversation continued, I said to Jan, “Define the prey and you will discover the predator.” In that moment, I felt I was speaking a prophetic word.
One assignment God has given the Church is to look across the culture and define those individuals or groups the enemy would consider easy prey. We are to become their defender. These are the people without an advocate or a redemptive process to help with their dilemma. These are people who have been rejected by religious and political spirits. When you discover these people ask the Lord, “What form of predator would come after this individual or group?” Define the prey and your will discover the predator. This place of discovery is where the Lord will have you set up a trap of love to respond with prayer, acts of service, social action and legal remedy. Predators are not stopped with Hallmark card attitudes or naïve worldviews. Predators require real and focused action to eliminate their threat.
I have a friend who is a hunter. He hunts predators. He uses a call that imitates a wounded rabbit. He calls in predators to the sound of a helpless creature in distress and then dispatches the predator with a well-placed shot from his rifle. The local farmers and ranchers who lose livestock to these predators are grateful for his successful hunts.
Jesus did this with the social predators in His day like those who brought the woman caught in adultery, the moneychangers who took advantage of the worshippers in the Temple and people who hated the tax collector Zacchaeus who had to climb a tree in order to see Jesus. Jesus responded to the sounds of these broken people the culture considered nothing more than easy prey for their dismissal and condemnation.
The sound of human pain and sorrow has always been an invitation to the spiritual predators that prowl our streets looking for their next meal of opportunity. Stand with the broken and marginalized and you will stand with Jesus. When the predator raises its head to pounce and devour their prey take aim and fire a precise shot of revelation into the heart of deception. This is your calling and your assignment.