And I will purpose in my heart to follow You, Lord. Ever said those words? I have, in fact the word “purpose” was resounding in my spirit today as I prayed and asked the Lord to open His word to me today. The only passage of scripture that I could remember was Daniel 1:8, “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank...” The bible tells us that Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not do something. As I pondered on this word, I thought of things in my life that I have “purposed” to give up, that I have “purposed” to do. But there is so much more here that I believe the Lord wanted me to see and understand today.
To “purpose in your heart” means to put, place, set, appoint, make your inner man, mind and will, do something specific. As I studied this word, I received a picture of an archer, with his bow at the ready, the string drawn back and the arrow pointed, ready to hit the target ahead of him. That is what the Lord is speaking to me today. I need to pick up my bow and arrow, draw the cord and aim for the target. But what target am I supposed to be aiming for? Good question- I asked the Lord the same.
Philippians 3:12-14 “..but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 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. I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
I am to aim for Christ. I am to shoot the arrow of my faith right at Jesus Christ. How do I do that? Being so intrigued by the picture of an archer in my head, I did some investigating. Every archer will tell you there are two things you have to do when shooting your arrow at a target. You need to PRACTICE and be CONSISTENT. Practice, Practice and more practice. You will not always hit the target, sometimes you will miss, but you need to keep your aim consistent. Don’t waver, don’t move around- keep your eyes fixed on the target ahead and don’t look down, back or up- steadily fixed. Sound familiar?
Paul teaches us the same thing- and so does Daniel. They both had one purpose, one aim at all times, and that was to walk in the ways of the Lord, not wavering, not looking back or moving from here to there with everything that came their way- but they stayed consistent in their aim. According to archery, you will have to adjust your eyesight on the bull’s-eye at times due to wind, weather and other factors that are out of your control. But the way you hold your arm, the way you sight your target has to remain the same.
Our walks with the Lord are much the same. We have a target placed before us, “the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” The arrows of our faith should always be pointed towards Him, no matter the struggles, the storms, and the conditions that are raging around us. We are called to take the narrow path, just as a target is a small area, the walk we have been given is narrow as well. Jesus tells us to “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.” Matthew 7:13. An arrow only has a small target area that it can hit to be successful, we too, as followers of Jesus Christ have a narrow way by which we must walk.
What I realized is that there are certain obstacles in my way- such as, sin, disobedience, doubt, just to name a few. But, to be successful at aiming for Christ, I have to remember something very important. I am only to “aim” for Christ, He makes the arrow land. What does the Lord then speak to me today?
He speaks to my heart. I am to purpose in my heart, I am to set my mind, soul and heart on Him and only Him. When the trials and storms of this life rage, my arrow is to remain consistently pointed towards Him. In the end, I will have hit the target I have aimed for, and I will see Him face to face. He is the Master of my bow and arrow; I am only the archer who is aiming for Him.
As I write this, I am convicted and challenged at the same time. I have my bow set and ready, my arrow is pointed, but in my way are things I have not fully surrendered yet. Things that I am holding onto that He has asked me to lay down. My desire is to always aim for Him, but my aim is not as consistent as it needs to be, because certain aspects in my life are still in the way. You can’t shoot an arrow at a target that is hid behind a tree! You will end up hitting the tree and missing the target. So, as I sit here and I pray, I am asking the Lord to remove these obstacles that are in my way so that I will have a clear shot. So that my sights of Him will be pure and direct, my desire is to have perfect aim, and for Him to guide my arrow every step of the way.
May the Lord bless you today, and give you perfect aim. In Jesus Name, Amen.