The imagery of a bow pulled back and ready for release projects both power and purpose. The archer is aiming at something specific and strength is vital to providing enough power to get the arrow to its target. Likewise, our lives are infused with purpose and intent and we too require a directed strength to keep us on target. However, in reality, many choose to squander their divine potential to pursue things they feel are best. As a result, we find ourselves lost, frustrated, empty and discouraged. How do I know – because I’ve been there:
Directional: When we live our lives apart from God as both our Lord and Savior, we are without direction. I was saved at an early age, but it was much later when I wanted Christ to also be my Lord. What’s the difference? Being born in a small Southern town, I was introduced to Jesus early and understood believing in Him was my way to be saved. This was a no brainer for me, for I was on the receiving end of a miraculous gift. However, making Jesus my Lord was very different. For that required sacrifice on my part. Sacrificing my wants, my desires, my cravings, my way, for His. So, it wasn’t until I came to a point of complete surrender, I gained clarity and direction for my life. It was then I realized this life isn’t about pursuing what I think will make me happy, but instead, living it completely for Christ and following His will over my own, in faith, trust and intent.
Intentional: When we intend to do something, it means we are going to do it. Not maybe, not probably, but definitely. Likewise, a life surrendered to Christ, intends to live for Christ. We will no doubt face obstacles, distractions, criticisms, and perhaps even doubts at times, but as surrendered believers, we fully intend to trust in Him and place our faith in Him as we seek His guidance in all aspects of our life and then obey. No lukewarmness allowed for the intentional Christian – just a blaze.
Purposeful: Without God, purpose is a matter of opinion. For a purpose is the reason for doing something. Therefore, whatever we decide our purpose is defines our reasons for action. However, for the Christian, God defines our purpose. We are invited servants into His Kingdom, to advance His purposes, which means we are to live our lives in such a way that we reflect and share His glory and gospel everywhere we go. Seems highly impossible and intimidating at first, but this is why He sent His Spirit. To help and to guide us in living out our divine purpose. This means not only at church, but at work, at home and in our communities. So that people see Christ in and through us as we bring His light into a dark world.
Application: “On Target” – Genesis 49:24
Joseph provides a powerful picture of a life lived on target. He may have started off rough, but he was surrendered to God and as a result, God refined him and even though Joseph faced various trials, betrayals, injustices and difficulties, he chose to live his life trusting God, sharing his faith and enduring the tests of both trouble and triumph in such a way everyone He encountered was introduced to the one true God.