Missing The Mark

Just imagine being blindfolded and having to hit the bulls-eye!!!  All the hit and miss darts that would end up lying on the floor with perhaps one or two lucky shots that made it to the board – somewhere!!! Isn’t it hard enough without the blindfold to hit the bulls-eye?  Now what does this have to do with us as believers?  Are you raising this question right now?

The game of throwing darts to the dart board is a good way to compare our spiritual life!

We have our circles of the dart board whereby we classify certain things as “sin” which need to be “conquered”.  Name the sins that come into your mind…..

I bet murder, adultery, divorce, stealing… were top on your list.  Did any of you include selfish ambition and greed in your list?  I bet not!  However those are also included in the list of acts of the sinful nature in the Bible – see Galatians 5:19-22.

How do you define sin?  Is it the difference between good and bad or perhaps right and wrong?  Then how would you define those terms?  Would a person with a different background to you define good and right in the same way as you?  Is what is truth to you the same as what is truth to your neighbour?  Everything seems to be relative then doesn’t it?

How does the Bible define sin?  Believe it or not, the Greek term most often used for sin is ham-ar-tan’-o  which means properly to miss the mark (and so not share in the prize), that is, (figuratively) to err, especially (morally) to sin:—for your faults, offend, sin, trespass.

In both Hebrew and Greek terms for which implies sin, there is a common drift.

Sin is missing the mark, to err, to trip, to be drawn away, to depart from right. 

Falsehood is also embedded in the meaning of ‘sin’.  In essence, sin is none other than disobedience to God (His Word, His plan & purpose for our lives).  Billy E. Simmons words this beautifully in his definition of sin: ‘actions by which humans rebel against God, miss His purpose for their life and surrender to the power of evil rather than to God’ (The Holman Bible Dictionary).

God has a purpose and a specific plan for each person…. He has a specific dart board with a defined bulls eye and outer rings.  The bulls eye is the perfect will for your life and the outer rings the permissible rings – and well the hit and miss darts that we throw and miss the board altogether are our decisions with the blindfold of the flesh.

The centre of SIN is I… (all about) me and myself rather than about God!

When the “I” (me myself and my comforts and my wants) takes over my love for God and my love for those God has placed in our lives, then we fall into sin as we are missing the mark He has for our lives, we are erring away from the bulls eye.  When we love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength we lean into Him and are yielded to be led by His Spirit… If our heart is in the right place, our hearts beat for Him and then our every resource (time, thoughts, words, finances, skills, talent) is centred around God and people especially His people… Anything that comes in the way of this – whether it be our comforts, our jobs, our pets, our assets, our ambitions, pleasing others – whatever they may be, that is to miss His mark.

We see in the Bible the way God handled each person’s situation was different person to person…. For some He said “sin no more” for some He didn’t say so…  Tamar wasn’t condemned for her tricking her father in law but instead was placed in the genealogy of Christ along with Rahab who pointed the spies in the wrong direction.  Hosea was asked to marry an adulterous woman.. Mary was a virgin who became pregnant… There are a lot of “controversial” situations in the Bible but all point to God’s grace and that His ways are higher than our ways… and they all ultimately led to fulfillment of His plan.

God doesn’t look at appearances but at the heart.  The repentant sinner (sincere repentance leads to change) is valued over a hypocritical (actor) religious person.  Jesus rebuked the latter and forgave the former.  Through every situation His plan was fulfilled.

God sets unique marks for each one of us and equips us with various resources accordingly.  We are stewards of whatever He has blessed us with – the resources that was mentioned above as well as our physical bodies.

  • How are we using all of our resources for His glory?  
  • In which areas are we missing the mark?  
  • Have we sought Him to know the “mark” that He has for us?  

He leads us day by day….

  • What is your blindfold that comes in the way of aiming to be in the centre of His will, to be holy as He is holy? 
  • How are you judging someone else’s mark that God has given?

In addition to the blindfold of our flesh, there is another factor that attempts to thwart the work of God – to pull us away in an attempt to make us miss the mark, to err from God’s perfect and pleasing will.  We need to remember to always take up our shield of faith  “with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one” – Ephesians 6:16.

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