A man was driving through the countryside when he noticed a house that had a barn beside it. Painted onto the side of the barn were several bullseye targets. Inside the center of each target was a bullet hole.
The driver was so impressed that he pulled up to the house and knocked on the door. An older fellow opened the door, and the driver said, “I just wanted to stop and tell you personally how impressed I am with your shooting. You must be a real marksmen.” In response, the older fellow said with a drawl, “Naw, shooting ain’t no trick. I just take my shot, find where the bullet went into the barn, and then draw my bullseye.”
Many people (even many Christians) go through life operating like that. They take their shot by doing what they want to do, and then they put their spin on it to make it look like God’s will. After a few years, they’ve got a “life’s barn” that in appearance makes them look like great shots but in reality displays what poor shots they really are.
The Bible teaches that we should seek God’s will first in every situation and then bend our will to His. While this might sound like a simple, easy way to live, it isn’t. The truth is that our wills bend hard. We like running our own show. We enjoy captaining our own ship. We revel in our human logic. We genuinely think that we know what’s best for us.
That’s why we shoot, and we shoot, and we shoot, never bothering to consult God regarding our aim. We’re like two men aboard a train. One of them says, “We sure are making good time.” “Yes,” says the other one, “but I think we’re on the wrong train.” And what do we do when we realize that we’ve gotten aboard the wrong train by taking a bad shot? We run to the barn, find the hole, and draw a bullesye around it so the world will think our shot is a masterpiece rather than a mistake.
I don’t know where this post finds you but my sincere desire is that it will cause you to slow your roll long enough to ask God beforehand, “Is what I’m about to do really of you?” Buying a car. Selling a house. Starting a job. Quitting a job. Getting married. Choosing a school. The list of life’s choices never ends. As a matter of fact, each decision you make merely leads you into a vast field that is filled with even more decisions to make.
You see, getting in God’s will and staying there isn’t just a one-time event. It’s an ongoing thing that fills up your days and nights as you are constantly called upon to die to self. Jesus described it as taking up your cross and following Him (Matthew 10:38; 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23; Luke 14:27). Many have called it a lifestyle, and I agree with that assessment. But it is a lifestyle that is created by a never ending string of moment-by-moment decisions. Putting it another way, you are always called upon to take your shots. The key is to allow God to make them straight and true.