Cops and combat military personnel (servant-WARRIORS) know something about the importance of putting rounds “on target” — which for us in law enforcement means center mass and head shots — especially when it counts. Thankfully, paper targets don’t shoot back. But we know for certain that in a real deadly force encounter, accurately putting rounds on target is a matter of life and death for ourselves, our partners, the public we serve and protect, and yes, the intended target for those rounds to stop the threat. In short, it is imperative that we train (physically, mentally, and spiritually) so as to get it right for when it really counts.
On the spiritual (meaning BIBLICAL – “God says”) side, God has powerful application for us on this topic as well. Accordingly, I’m pressed to share four points to apply to our lives:
(1) NO SECOND CHANCES
God, the ultimate servant-WARRIOR (Exodus 15:3), tells us in His Word — the Bible (the ultimate love letter and “policy & procedure manual”) — that we have but one life to live on this earth (as it is now). Moreover, the Bible also reveals that if we die without being in a genuine, lifesaving/life-changing personal relationship with God in Christ (a “Christian” as God alone gets to define the word), there are no second chances (no “do-overs” on the “range” and battleground of life). Here’s what He tells us on this subject:
And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for Him. (Hebrews 9:27-28 and Luke 16:19-31).
(2) MISSING THE MARK (being off “target”)
In Hebrews 9 above and throughout Scripture, the word “sin” is used multiple times. As a shooter, you should find it interesting that this word is an ancient archery term that means “to miss the mark.” Let me explain. There is a kind of archery competition in which a target is placed behind a steel deer silhouette with a small (usually 4 inches) square or circle cut away where the “kill shot” would be on a actual deer. If you miss this circle or square (the “bullseye” – – dead center mass), your arrow will be destroyed when it hits the steel. As someone who once competed in archery and hunted with a bow, there is a very distinct feeling that comes from the sound of your arrow when it “misses the mark” and shatters as it strikes steel instead of the bullseye. And the feeling is worse in real life (a miss or bad hit on a game animal).
God, through His Word, adds the following:
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… (Romans 3:23)
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
None are righteous, not even one…No one does good, not even one. (Romans 3:10-12)
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. (Proverbs 14:12)
The words “all” and “none” (no one) used here mean just that — ALL and NONE (be sure to scroll down to the “Good Person Test” below). Clearly, when you miss the mark — or sin — in a steel archery competition or the range, you just ruin your arrows or must re-qualify, but it is far worse when you miss — sin — when it counts or in the “competition” of life and in the line of duty where your “miss” (even one miss) comes with eternal consequences. So, are you ready to answer for your SIN?
(3) FRONT SIGHT FOCUS
If you’re like most people, you desire to go to heaven. You may even wrongly believe that you’re entitled (deserve) to go. However, God reveals that, without first being right (born again, redeemed) with Him, you’re focus won’t be where it should be, and you will in fact be off target (a “miss” with eternal consequences).
You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)
In the words “gate,” “narrow” and “difficult” you get the idea of making a difficult archery shot, or a life and death head shot under stress in combat, or a police officer in the line of duty, and you get the picture — a front sight picture. Now you might try to be worthy of 'the prize' by living a 'good' life or through your 'good' service in law enforcement. But this is simply a failed attempt... Click To Tweet
Now you might try to be worthy of “the prize” — ultimately heaven — by living what you would call a “good” life or through your “good” service in law enforcement. But this is simply a failed attempt (a miss) to establish your own righteousness (“righteous” — a word found on our memorial in Washington — “hmm…”), but God tells us:
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy… (Titus 3:4-5)
(4) HOW TO GET “ON TARGET”
Getting “on target” in our police world means consistently TRAINING to develop the skills to have a crystal clear, front sight focus . Spiritually speaking, this means our “front sight” is Jesus and Jesus alone (crystal clear), with the “target” ultimately being heaven and not the distractions and temptations of this life. So, what does that look like from God’s perspective (His being the only perspective that matters)? Consider the following:
Let all the world look to me for salvation! For I am God; there is no other. (Isaiah 45:22)
There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
Friends, unless your front sight is Christ, through a genuine, life-saving/life-changing personal relationship with Him alone, you’re going to be “off target” and miss the mark (no “other” way). And to “miss the mark” is just like the arrow that hits steel instead of the bullseye — a shattered, destroyed life. Praise God, so long as we have breath (but ONLY so long as you have breath), we have the ability to get “on target” (saved) through a 180-degree turn (to “repent” — see below) and placing our whole trust (front sight focus) in Christ alone. Accordingly, it is again with a Code 3 (lights and siren) sense of urgency that I implore you to get it right. If you’ve yet to surrender in faith and say “yes” in repentance and faith to Christ as Lord and Savior.