“To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.” – anonymous
I’ve been thinking quite a bit about marksmanship this past week. As amusing as the above quote is there is more truth here than we might care to realize. Recently at the Bible study at Lew Sterritt jail I asked the women, “If you wanted to go to heaven wouldn’t you want the right roadmap and know that you are on the right road.?” We are all moving towards a destination – heaven or hell. One misstep could put one in an entirely different road and what a disaster it would be to “miss the mark” after walking on the pathway of holiness for many years.
It seems many ministries and churches are focusing on reaching the masses of lost people with social programs and “good works”. Jesus Wept ministry continues to focus on “sound doctrine”. We hope to present the “road map” and help whoever is reading this blog to not only get on the right road, but to stay on it, and hit the “bull’s eye” at the end of their journey. I believe there is a famine for the anointed Word of God. Never has there been a time in human history when the Bible is more available to everyone. Through the power of the internet the gospel has the potential to reach every creature on the face of the earth, and yet with churches on every street and website, my question is why is there such a hunger and restlessness everywhere? Jesus said that whoever drinks of this well (the Holy Ghost River of Life) would never thirst again. The well He was referring to was pure and undiluted and flowed from heaven above and not earth beneath. Drinking from broken cisterns simply creates a greater thirst than one had before they began to drink from the polluted waters. Those who have been drinking from the well of entertainment need more and more sensual bombardment to satisfy the ever increasing void. I heard a preacher say that the sicker a church becomes the more it leans on technology – special lighting effects, dramas, smoke, flatscreen monitors on every wall flashing, flashing, flashing. I’ve never been to Las Vegas but this is what it reminds me of. I thank God for Emmanuel Pentecostal that hasn’t succumbed to any of these techniques being used to draw the “crowds”. One can hardly focus on pure worship for King Jesus with so much going on in these “emerging” churches, and I believe that is exactly the point. The devil has set out to distract everyone in this end-time by any possible means, especially the elect of God.
The point of this message is that we cannot afford to “miss the mark”. The Apostle Paul said “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phillipians 3:14) In the context in which Paul is speaking mark here means “target”. Anyone who ever shops at Target will see their bull’s eye logo everywhere. With brilliant marketing they exploit the point that when you shop at Target you need go nowhere else because you have hit the mark.
Hunters know they must be accurate in their shot or their prey could escape with merely a surface wound. Bowsmen experts know that to score they must hit the bulls-eye. A few definitions for bull’s eye are “an attainment that is successful, something that exactly succeeds in achieving its goal, the precise accomplishment of a goal or purpose.”
Our goal is the “high calling of God in Christ”. To get on the road to the Kingdom of Heaven one must be born again of water and Spirit. Some have mistakenly accused apostolics of “harping” on Acts 2:38 (“Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost”). However, this is probably the greatest love scripture in the entire Bible. Before Pentecost the Apostle Peter had “missed the mark” 3 times and the rooster crowing reminded him of his failure. Yet the Lord Jesus, in great mercy and love, knew that once Peter was filled with the Holy Ghost he would take better aim. Missing the mark can actually help us to align ourself correctly, and we thank God for His chastisement when our course needs adjustment. On the Day of Pentecost when Peter preached his first sermon in the streets of Jerusalem he was showing the “road” they must get on to be saved. Any alternate route is a lie or at best partial truth.
In David Underwood’s book Wings as Eagles;Using the Winds of Heaven to Soar (which can be purchased through this website) there is one message entitled “Natural Point of Aim; Being made conformable.” To quote from Bro. Underwood (pg. 75-77), “My first year in the Marine Corps I could not qualify on the rifle. It was hard for anyone to help me because I was always ‘doing something wrong.’ I could not relax. I wanted to qualify so badly, that I was constantly stressing myself out. Then, I learned how important was The Natural Point of Aim. For those who have never shot a rifle, on top there is a light post that one places on the center of the target. In order to guarantee a ‘bull’s eye’ every time one must achieve the natural point of aim. If a marksman is using his or her muscles to get the front sight post on the target it may be a good shot the first time, or even the second, but eventually that person will get tired of muscling the rifle where he or she wants it and the shots are going to be all over the place. Once the muscles relax and fall back into their natural position in order for the marksman to find his natural point of aim, he must close his eyes, take a deep breath, and let it out. Relax. Then open his ‘firing eye.’ Now they can see where their front sight post rests naturally. Do not adjust the rifle…adjust YOU! Relax. Close your eyes…take a deep breath. Open your ‘firing eye’ Are you on target? If not, adjust again. If so, then relax…With a slow, steady squeeze of the trigger. You can be assured of whatever gets in the way (enemy’s fiery darts and distractions – my insert) will be destroyed. Again and again…you will never get tired. Because your rifle is on target!” Are we on target? Are we Being made conformable unto His death? Can we relax in Him and open our ‘firing eye’ and with a squeeze of a trigger destroy whatever sin is in our life that gets in the way from hitting the mark?
“Forgetting those thing which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before…Pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ?”
Philippians 3: 13-14