Divine Target Practice

# target

Last night I was watching a movie with my wife & daughter Joyful Noise, where a character said “It feels like God‘s using me for target practice these days.”

BOOM… I’m HIT!

I felt like I had bee shoot myself, I had to roll and text myself that quote, so not to forget it. For over two year now the Lord has had me writing and since starting this blog and my first book, I felt that God had for just a season removed His hedge of protection from around me.

Have you ever prayed, “God, make me humble”? I would advise you too think about what you are praying for at tymes?  He can! God is certainly not above humbling a believer. Unfortunately, sometimes He must do it when we do not humble ourselves before Him.

Our friend Job is the best example of this. I believe like Job a lot of us are righteous to the extent that God was aware of him and so was Satan. However, we tend to be righteous in our own eyes as well, being inward looking. Nevertheless God honored us and built a hedge around him. However, only when he acknowledged God for who He is and give him our souls back to our Creator will he properly be bless. God can bring us to humiliation, and He may, but how much better if we would do it first, before He must do it for us!

The Lord has had me on an unexpected growth spurt in knowledge and understanding of God, resulting in major mindset shifts which have in turn resulted in much freedom and joy and love – unlike what I have ever experienced before in Him. I’ve observed that there is something seductive about gaining knowledge when done independently of Jesus. In other words, it has the power to delude the learner into thinking he/she is superior to others. This, of course, was what the tree of knowledge in Eden was about – being god (superior) by knowing independently of God. Paul says in 1Corinthians 8:1 that knowledge “puffs up” while love “builds up.”

Would to God we followers of Jesus would all be being renewed in our minds continually (which means shifts in mindsets), but my caution is that we make love our goal in all pursuit of knowledge, even in the pursuit of knowing God. I believe that aiming at love while growing in knowledge is what it means to live from the tree of life – Jesus.

In my walk now as I continue to grow in knowledge, I’m making the effort to consciously see myself in Christ Jesus, He being the One dispensing the knowledge, feeding me. There are tymes when I sense His quiet voice within me saying to stop my reading or studying; and I’ve learned that even though it may be wonderful and true material (and I really want to keep digging into it), if He is slowing me down, it’s because He knows how much and how far I should go in that moment in order not to be led down the road of spiritual arrogance that would see others as inferior to me.

# center_of_mass_holdIn 1 Corinthians 14:1 the apostle Paul says to aim at love, which could imply that we don’t hit the mark perfectly every tyme; God doesn’t ask us to be perfect marksmen but to make love our target; and the more we practice, the closer we will get at hitting it center mass. That’s a military term basically say dead center of your target! Which is needed since the closer and closer we get to destiny, the bigger the target we become.  Not Target™, the fun, whimsical store that sells the upper echelon things that Walmart™ has for 20% cheaper…

That invisible target that is on your back, radiating, waiting to be struck with the enemy 9MM. Well, he’s a heavy hitter. Let’s say his .45 or .50 cal. Remaining in the will of God gives us protection like no other. No matter how big our “target” grows (it grows with more obedience and the closer you get to God’s will for your life), as long as you are in His will, you are guaranteed protection. Anytyme we step out of God’s will for our life, we are prime targets for the enemy to take us out, to snipe us.

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

In the Lord. Not next to. Not ahead of. Not behind or on top of. In the Lord, it is In Him that we are granted those things that we desire the most and it is in that same place that we are protected. As an old pastor of mine use to say, “stay under the spout where the glory comes out.”

This is not to say that God can’t and won’t protect you, keep you, show you grace and mercy if you were to do something out of His will. However, why take to steps backwards in His plan for your life, try to play catch up, and do a 1,000 hours of prayer to fix something that could have been avoided by simply staying IN. The pressure is on for people everywhere to get in line with God’s will for their lives. Sooner or later, like in any war, the enemy will be come a renegade and begin taking people out at random.

I, my friends, won’t be one of them. My target is big, wide, heavy, and shielded with bullet proof, fire-proof, arrow proof, hater proof armor.

 

* Resource(s) & Photo(s) courtesy of  Alisha L./
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