“‘What shall I do, Lord,’ I asked.”Acts 22:10, NIV
I sit on a wooden bench in one of the most beautiful places I’ve known–Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford, Illinois.
The sun is hot, but here I’ve found a shady, cool spot. The birds are rejoicing. The water is burbling past me as it makes its way over the rocks. Two ducks glide effortlessly by. It’s an ideal place to pause and reflect.
I close my eyes to thank the Creator who made all this. Who made me.
He made me. I reflect on that thought, and questions I once thought answered return: But what did you make me for, Lord? What is it you want me to do?
It’s not that I haven’t asked and answered these questions before, but, now, in this stage of my life, I must ask them again. I certainly have ideas on the subject. I have too many ideas. I need focus. What is it you want me to be doing now, Lord?
In my head I hear the reply: Stay on target.
Whoa! Not quite the answer I expected. I was expecting an answer from God, not a line from the movie Star Wars. But maybe God is using this. Let me think about it a bit. Stay on target.
Hmmm . . . It’s a bit vague. I was hoping for something more specific. Target? What target, Lord? There are so many to choose from.
I didn’t find an answer right away. Other people came wanting to enjoy the spot I was occupying, so I headed off to enjoy the rest of the garden. But that phrase kept coming to mind in the following days: Stay on target. And I kept asking, “What target, Lord?”
My Aha! moment came during the sermon at our church that Sunday. Pastor Woodstock said there is just one gospel for us all. “There is one body and one Spirit . . . one hope . . . one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all . . . ” (Ephesians 4:4-6, NIV). Then he added that there is also only one mission for believers, to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20, NIV).
Of course, I’d heard those verses before. I bet you have too. But this time I heard them as an answer to my question: What’s the target?
The bullseye for me is to make disciples. Disciples, not converts. (Though we are all called to witness, we are not all given the gift of evangelism.) I’m not an evangelist. I’m not a pastor. I don’t have the gift of administration. God has gifted me to teach, and so, by God’s grace, I will continue to do so, using the gifts God has given me to make disciples. For me that means leading Bible studies, encouraging Christians to study and live out God’s Word, persevering with the writing of my book, and, by writing this blog, helping others get more from their time in the Scriptures. It’s my prayer that through these things God will enable me to hit the target: making disciples.
What about you? Have you found your target yet? I pray you will earnestly seek it out. When you do, I know God will show it to you.
I thank God for those strange words that came to me that day. There’s a reason why I–why we all–need to be reminded to stay on target. So many things compete to spoil our aim. I’ll share more on that another time. In the meantime, remember this: Stay on target.
Soul Refreshers for your week:
- Read Matthew 28:19-20. Study it. Memorize it.
- Let’s consider Matthew 28:19-20 as the whole target. Ask God what the bullseye is that He wants you to aim for.
- Throughout the week, let that phrase, Stay on target, continually remind you to consider your priorities. How are you spending your time? Where should your focus be? Do you need to readjust your aim?