Hunting Advice

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It’s called sacrifice. The early morning ritual of ridding your body of human scent, traveling to your favorite destination, and hiking in the dark to your handpicked spot has left your body feeling tired. Your morning coffee has long worn off, and you may even be fighting the urge to catch a nap. After all, the only movement you've seen all day was a few squirrels tearing up the leaves. And, of course, the constant bird chatter. That's all enjoyable, of course. But you didn't go to this much effort to watch squirrels and birds. Instead, you feel a higher calling. All morning you've been scanning the woods for that picture of soft brown fur gliding through the woods or out into the field. And you are really wishing that said animal has a glistening set of antlers that others would admire for years to come. Your friends have been posting photos of their success in the woods. All their stories of the ones they caught and the ones that got away stir up mixed emotions. They stir up the hope of finding your trophy and help fight the temptation to catch some sleep in a warm bed instead. But at the same time, the self-pity wants to creep in. You've worked just as hard as them. You planned all year for this chance to bag some lean meat and a trophy set of antlers. Perhaps you've even prayed that God would move in His mysterious ways to send that prize deer within the range of your rifle or bow.
Your fingers and toes are protesting the brutal cold environment that you’ve forced them to endure. All those warm layers are no match for the frigid air and lack of exercise. Of course, those warm layers weren't cheap. You've invested a lot of money in the effort to stay warm. You've also sacrificed a lot of money in your weapon of choice. A used rifle or bow would have done the job almost as well. But then you would have missed the admiration of your friends when you told them about your purchase. You enjoy the feeling of having the best tools for the job, not to mention all the other accessories. The tree stand, the soaps, scents, and perfect ammunition were all purchased to give you a better chance to bag a deer. You had high hopes for that big buck. Now you would be content for the doe you passed up earlier in the season.
At times the terrible thought of giving up has entered your mind. But then you remember that you really do enjoy getting into nature. All the sacrifice seems worth it. You know in your heart, the meat is not worth the time and money, but the experience does something for your soul that brings you back season after season. And by next year you will buy warmer shoes.
Your sacrifice and dedication to the cause of hunting are admirable. And the camaraderie you enjoy with others dedicated to the cause gives you a sense of brotherhood. You aren't left outside the popular conversations because you have plenty of hunting knowledge and experience to share. And if you did bag the big buck, your status in the group would definitely get a nice bump.
If you've been reading this and expecting your favorite hobby to get bashed, you have come to the wrong place. Rather, there is Someone who wants to take your dedication, sacrifice, money, and time on a real hunting trip, one that has tremendous long-term value. When you gave your life to the Lord, did anyone tell you that it included your hunting? Did you know that it included giving Jesus your dedication, sacrifice, money, and time? Allow me to recite Jesus himself. Follow Me, and I will make you [hunters] of men. When you give your dreams and hobbies to God, only then are you ready to be a hunter of men. Can you imagine taking the time, money, and energy you've been investing in hunting and allowing Jesus to use it for a higher cause?
There are several things you should know if you want to follow Jesus and go hunting for the souls of men. But don’t limit your education to this article. You will need a steady diet of hunting stories and tips. Of course, the main manual is the Word of the master hunter, Jesus Christ. You will want to pay close attention to His way of hunting souls. Also, be sure to listen to and read the stories of other experienced hunters.
1. Get your hunting license. You will need to pay for this with your life. He that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal (John 12:25). Have you given your life over to the Master Hunter? It sounds radical. It is radical, but the rewards are great. No less than life eternal!
2. Find out when hunting season is open. I’ll clue you in. The Guidebook tells us in John 4:35, Say not ye, 'There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest [hunting season]? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. Jesus said hunting season is now, and hunting is urgent! You are already late. So, get off the couch or out of the tree stand and get to work. This harvest is more important than anything else you must do. And the end is near.
3. Pick your hunting spot. For most of us, the location we hunt will be close to home, such as neighbors or a nearby city. Others will go into "all nations" hunting for souls that need to be set free. Wherever you find the Master Hunter calling you to, give it your all.
4. Do your homework. You will need to spend a lot of time scouting the location you are thinking to hunt. Look for signs of souls that are tired of living a selfish life and are searching for something more. Pay close attention to people's hearts and take time to listen to them. Find those hearts that are susceptible to the weapons you will be using. The more you pour your heart into this step, the more successful your experience will be.
5. Plant a food plot. Live your life providing for the physical welfare of others whenever you’re able. This can be overdone to the point of being an enabler rather than a hunter, so be very careful. Planting a food plot without carrying a weapon is a fruitless endeavor. Please study the example of the Master in this area.
6. Choose only the best weapons and practice with them as much as possible. Learn how to use multiple weapons to be the best at your game. Most earthly hunters like to tell you about the speed, power, and accuracy of their weapons. For spiritual warfare, I recommend three weapons. You'll find them vastly superior to your earthly weapons. The first is prayer. The Guidebook speaks often of its power. The second weapon is love. Its power lies in its ability to cast out fear (1 John 4:18). Often when you meet a stranger, you will encounter fear and distrust. Perfect love is a wonderful weapon to dispel that fear and turn a stranger into a friend. It will also dispel the timidity in your own heart. This is so useful because the Master said He will be ashamed of you if you are ashamed of Him and His words. Luke 9:26. This brings us to the third weapon. And take... the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Eph 6:17). Listen to the Master describe the abilities of this weapon. The Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb 4:12). Just like your earthly weapons have much more power than you can produce on your own, these spiritual weapons carry the power of the Master himself. And the results will amaze you. But remember, I said that these weapons need practice, a lot of practice. In this life, you will never realize the true potential of these weapons because we are such imperfect handlers of them. But strive for perfection by using them over and over again. And for best results, use them together. They complement each other beautifully.
7. Hunt with others. While hunting is a personal responsibility, we need to recognize that we are not alone. This is not a competition. Listen to the words of an experienced hunter, I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase... Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one” (1Co 3:6, 8). Sometimes you will send the Word with love and prayer, but the effect is not immediately apparent. Then another hunter comes along with the same weapons and can lead that same soul to freedom. The sin of jealousy will try to creep in, but please remember that...
8. The trophy is the Lord's. Remember that these weapons carry a power that is not your own. And they are in no way limited to you. When you lead a soul to Christ, teach them how to be a disciple and how to make disciples (Matt 28:19, 20). If there is to be any recognition to you for your efforts, may it be the treasures in heaven. The Master promises that every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor (1Co 3:8). Often, when we boast ourselves in the success of our hunt, our pride becomes the downfall of our own salvation. Beware.
9. Do not stop hunting after a successful hunt. I was recently speaking to a deer hunter. He was showing photos of all the big bucks he had shot. I asked him if he was done hunting now that he had been so successful. "Definitely not!" And so, it should be in the spiritual hunt for the souls of men. The Master said the harvest potential is so great, and there are so few hunters. I don't believe we begin to grasp the urgency the Master feels. I can only imagine how discouraged He must get with our measly efforts and paltry success. So please, KEEP HUNTING!
10. One more bit of advice. The prey you are hunting has an acute sense of smell. They will quickly pick up on the attitudes of “I’d rather be doing something more fun” and “I don’t really love you. I’m just doing this because it makes me feel good about myself," and "I'm hunting to impress others with my abilities." These scents will spook almost any searching soul. Many times, we carry scents that we are not aware of. So, the solution is what? Ask the Master to wash you clean of your selfish lifestyle, your pride, and your lack of love. Only then will you get close enough to use the powerful weapons that the Master Hunter has provided.
I hope you have been impressed with the urgency of this hunt. Perhaps you’ve been enlightened on the proper weapons to use. If so, please turn to Ephesians 6 in the Guidebook. Read up on the way to dress for success and get in the hunt. It’s called sacrifice. And with dedication, practice, and great effort, you can be successful. Remember, the harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few...Go your way...as lambs among wolves. May the Master Hunter go with you!