A friend and I went out today shooting targets. It’s a lot of fun to get out for a while and try our skills with a handgun or rifle. The good news is that I hit the target a whole lot more than I missed it! But I also learned that I have some things to practice in order to improve. Now I could reason that because I hit the target…that’s close enough. But I don’t want to just hit the target…I want to hit the bulls-eye!
And in the same way, at times we can get to a place of complacency in our spiritual lives where we are content to just get on the target…but not strive for the bulls-eye. So rather than seek out God’s specific will for our lives, we choose contentment when we are following the Lord in worship attendance alone. We’re on target, but we miss the bulls-eye because we’re unwilling to do what’s necessary to develop the spiritual disciplines that give us bulls-eye living.
There are lots of folks that have been practicing target shooting for many years! I have to realize that they’re far ahead of me in their skills. In the same way, those that have walked the journey of faith by practicing the spiritual disciplines (Bible reading, prayer, seeking God’s will)…can teach others how to grow in faith by serving as a mentor. That’s the real advantage of being in a community of faith. We get to walk alongside fellow believers who may challenge our faith…or we can challenge them.
So are we on target? More than that…are we aiming for the bulls-eye?
12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.