God's Bull's-eye

Simple Math

What does two plus two equal? Simple enough question, but what’s the answer?

An engineer, who thinks with precision might reply, “In absolute terms, four.”

An architect, who is always looking at different angles could suggest, “There are several possibilities: Two plus two equals four, but so does three plus one. So, it’s all a matter of choosing the right option.”

A lawyer, who looks for loopholes and often speaks in riddles of legalese, could quite conceivably say, “Tell me, what would you like the answer to be?”

Sometimes we all have a streak of the lawyer in us. When we talk about attempting to determine God’s will that’s exactly what we do—we presume God’s will to be what we want it to be.

Quite often we are like an archer who shoots the arrow and then runs and draws a bull’s-eye where the arrow landed. We can deny our lawyer inclinations or the sleight of hand archer tricks if we like, but denial won’t change reality.

Romans 12:1-2 - NIV

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Living Sacrifices

Paul’s overarching point in the above passage is about obedience that is rooted in the heart. We are to offer ourselves—our life—which translates into our time, talents, and treasures. We are to be living sacrifices.

In the Old Testament, a priest would kill an animal and cut it up in pieces and place it on the altar. That’s the imagery and concept Paul is getting at in these verses.

We are to offer ourselves—we are to daily lay aside our own desires to follow Christ. Our energy and resources are to be at God’s disposal as we trust him to guide us. It’s about endeavoring to aim our lives at the bull’s-eye that God has drawn.

Decisions...Decisions

God wants the best for us—he is concerned with the shaping of our character, and our desire for his presence. The most important part of his plan for us is for each one to have a close relationship with him.

Ultimately we yearn for spiritual balance—we instinctively want to experience proper spiritual alignment. God’s Word reveals God’s general will for his children. His specific will for us as individuals will never contradict the principles of Scripture.

To discover God’s specific will for our decisions we need to consult God with the understanding that he is willing to guide us, and that we’re capable of receiving his guidance. We must want to hear what God is saying—we must demonstrate our sincerity by doing what God has already asked us to do, and be open to acting upon whatever new guidance he gives us.

For example, if God has called or gifted us in a certain area, but for whatever reason we are not using those gifts for his glory—we’ve chosen to bury them in the ground or hide them under a bushel, then it’s iffy to expect much guidance in another area of our life.

Disobedience tends to clog up the lines of communication. Living sacrifices strive for obedience in every area of their lives—striving for obedience is seldom easy. Nor should it be. Maturity or character development does not happen on easy street.

Our character is tempered and strengthened when we offer ourselves as living sacrifices. We need to consider every aspect of our decisions, asking questions to determine whether our choices honor God and help us grow spiritually.

It is entirely normal to have doubts—we ought not feel guilty having them. Rather, we can use doubts to help us investigate each facet of our decision.

Process...Process

We must be patient as we trust God—God will act in his way and in his time. After all he is God. He does know the beginning from the end—he sees around every corner of our lives.

Jeremiah, known as the weeping prophet, proclaimed, “The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.”

King David of Israel counseled, “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.”

Oft-times God reveals only enough for us to take the next step rather than showing us everything that lies ahead. God is relational. He wants to guide us instead of simply handing us a map to use alone—God desires to be involved in our lives. He comes alongside us and asks for faith on every step of the journey.

Seeking—attempting to know God’s will—is a process that never ends. It involves engaging in the spiritual disciplines of Bible reading, prayer, study, meditation, fasting, servanthood, and community. As we do so, we become stronger and stronger, and we can take heart as we wait for the LORD.

   "Christianity without 
    discipleship is always
    Christianity without
    Christ."
    ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer~

"Take the words of Jesus and
 let them become the Supreme
 Court of the Gospel for you."
      ~John G. Lake~

"In the spiritual life only
 one thing produces genuine
 joy and that is obedience."
      ~Richard Foster~

Discipleship

God is God and he can do whatsoever pleases him. He could skywrite the answers for us, but don’t expect that any time soon. Mostly God operates in the realm of the natural world that he created, using ordinary means to speak to us.

Sometimes God will use signs and wonders, but only when he deems necessary—if signs and wonders are a requirement for us to know and do God’s will, then we are living with a grand deception. We are actually telling God to jump through a hoop to prove to us that he is indeed God.

According to Scripture that is not the way God functions. God asks us to take him at his word and believe him to be God. Then as we believe God, we’re asked to allow God to be God in our lives—that is discipleship.

Discipleship is a day-to-day trusting and believing God to be God; a moment-by-moment dependence on God. Discipleship is an open invitation for God the Holy Spirit to continually renew our mind so that more and more and more we project the attitude of Christ; it is working on our primary relationship with God.

When you miss hitting God's bull's-eye, do you take courage & press on in faith?

See results without voting

Be Courageous & Proceed

Once we’ve determined God’s will for a particular decision we need to be courageous and proceed—we need to act on it quickly and never hesitate.

IF we have been faithful in the process of seeking God’s will, then we ought never second-guess, but rather, take great solace in the realization that God works all things together for his purposes.

Paul wrote some words to the Romans that should be a mantra for every believer: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” This is tremendous truth that should liberate us to keep going forward.

What part of all things do we not comprehend? God has a plan, he is working that plan, and we are invited to be a part of it. We’re to diligently seek his will, but despite all our best efforts and intentions, we’ll seldom get it exactly right.

We’ll make many mistakes and take lots of wrong turns. When we do, instead of wringing our hands with worry or freezing up inside, we should draw close to God because he’s cheering us on.

We live with an assurance that he will transform the results of each of our choices and decisions into a jigsaw piece that fits the bigger picture. We can courageously aim at God’s bull’s-eye because we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

More by this Author


Comments 45 comments

christinecook profile image

christinecook 6 years ago

A great hub, thank you Ken. I often forget myself to be that living sacrifice. Getting busy with so many things of the world.

Thanks for the reminder,God first in every moment


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Thank you, christine. Busyness gets all of us from time to time. Blessings.


CJ Williams profile image

CJ Williams 6 years ago

Sweet hub Ken! Very encouraging and thoughtful. Keep writing good stuff like this!


coffeesnob 6 years ago

Encouraging hub. Offering ourselves as a living sacrifice takes day by day and sometimes moment by moment assertion of trust in Him and willingness on our part to choose his way.

Blessings

CS


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

CJ - Thank you for stopping in & sharing. Glad you enjoyed the visit. Blessings.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

CS - Thank you. Glad you were encouraged. Blessings.


Saintatlarge profile image

Saintatlarge 6 years ago from Canada

ah! Ken, superb, you've hit the eye and that's no bull. or is it you've hit the bull in the eye... no eye got a hit in the... I'm teasing, I really enjoyed this and something that came to mind about the cut up pieces on the alter was when Jesus spoke about, the eyes, hands,or whatever part of us was causing us to sin... that if we figuratively place each part of us on the alter, parts that are weak, then we can see them redeemed and we move on. Thank you my brother. Blessings, St.L.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Saintatlarge - You're welcome, brother. Thank you for words of encouragement & for sharing what came to mind for they are helpful thoughts. Blessings.


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

Ken my brother, and here I thought that 2 and 2 was 22, oops! guess I goofed that one up eh!

I love it that God guides us one step at a time because everytime I thought I could do something all on my own,I would screw it up.

Brother Dave.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Thanks, Dave.

"...everytime I thought I could do something all on my own,I would screw it up." Me too. Blessings.


heart4theword profile image

heart4theword 6 years ago from hub

A living sacrafice, something to strive for daily. Funny I just read a sight from "Gicky" with words of encouragement also, from Romans 8:28 :) Great Hub! Enjoyed it thoroughly:)


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

heart4theword - Thank you. Glad you thoroughly enjoyed it. Blessings.


allpurposeguru profile image

allpurposeguru 6 years ago from North Carolina

An archer painting bulls-eyes around the arrow he shot? I resemble that remark!! (Ouch! Lord have mercy!) Great hub.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

allpurposeguru - Thanks for visiting & sharing. I've resembled that remark more than once in my life too, so yes, Lord have mercy. Blessings.


menomania profile image

menomania 6 years ago from Elmira, New York

What a great hub. Thank you, I hope you don't mind, but I am going to send this to my son who just lost his job and graduated from Bible School and is impatiently waiting for God's Will. I have been saying a lot of the same things - but maybe if he hears it from someone else. Thanks again.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

menomania - You're welcome. Thank you for sharing. No I do not mind at all. Please do. Blessings.


CYBERSUPE profile image

CYBERSUPE 6 years ago from MALVERN, PENNSYLVANIA, U.S.A.

Got to have FAITH. The Blessed Virgin Mary had the epitome of faith. God be with you Ken. Keep up the good work.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Great hub as always Ken. "Oft-times God reveals only enough for us to take the next step rather than showing us everything that lies ahead." God has a wild sense of humor too! Thanks Ken!


Mystique1957 profile image

Mystique1957 6 years ago from Caracas-Venezuela

My brother Ken...

Haven´t been around for a while, and believe me, I have been just chatting with God every waking moment. I have been feeling Him an integral part of me, just I could not exist without his seed within me. Truly beautiful hub! I´m glad to have returned and find this jewel!

Thumbs up, Bookmarked and Stumbled!

Warmest regards and infinite heavenly blessings,

Al


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

CYBERSUPE - Thanks for stopping in & leaving comments. Glad you enjoyed the visit. Blessings.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Micky Dee - You're welcome. Thanks for sharing. And you're right, God has an incredible sense of humor.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Mystique1957 - Good to see you. Glad you stopped in & shared. Thanks for the thumb's up & stumble. Blessings.


Deborah Demander profile image

Deborah Demander 6 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

Ken, thanks for a great interpretation of those verses. You beautifully describe how our lives are to be a living sacrifice. Thanks for your wisdom.

Namaste.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Deborah - You're welcome. Thank you for you kind & generous words. Peace & blessings.


Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 6 years ago from Michigan

"Take the words of Jesus and

let them become the Supreme

Court of the Gospel for you."

John F. Lake

Although I've never heard of this man .. He is SPOT on hitting the Bull's Eye. A Living Sacrifice .. that's what God intends.. Clay in the Potters hands .. not fighting and demanding to shape ourselves .. but willingly submitting to the GREAT creator and artist of ALL time. GREAT Article and Writing friend.

Mekenzie


Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 6 years ago from Michigan

Ken, just clicked on your WANTED MAN website. Please let us know when your book is published. :0) I am INTERESTED!


itakins profile image

itakins 6 years ago from Irl

So encouraging-and wouldn't God need to have a sense of humour too!

God is certainly working through you as you share this wisdom with us-God Bless:)


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Mekenzie - Thank you for your very encouraging words & thanks for checking out Wanted Man. Yes, I will let you know when the book is released. Okayed the final proof for the cover artwork yesterday. It's all exciting & kind of scary too.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

itakins - Thank you. I so glad you found this piece encouraging. And yes, I'm convinced God has a great sense of humor. Blessings.


fred allen profile image

fred allen 6 years ago from Myrtle Beach SC

The truth you expounded on is for many the biggest stumbling block. Far to few believers actually have an obedience that flows from the heart and is rooted in relationship. Fewer still see our Father as cheering us on even in our weakness. I look forward to reading more words of wisdom from the heart of the Father through you!


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Fred - Thanks for stopping in. Glad you enjoyed the visit. Thank you for your thoughtful, kind & generous words. Blessings.


A M Werner profile image

A M Werner 6 years ago from West Allis

Great hub Ken. When you mentioned the skywriting and signs and wonders, all I could think of was the children of Yisrael coming out of the Egypt. The miracles they were privy too were unlike anything any of us could probably imagine today and yet, everytime a little inconvience and hardship came their way, everytime a little faith was required on their part, they were ready to turn tail and run back to Egypt.

There is a Living Colour song called The Cult of Personality, which talks about how easily people are influenced by other people. As your hub started out, it says, "I exploit you and still you love me. I tell you one and one makes three - I'm the cult of personality." We have to strive to make ourselves a living sacrifice for the One with the promise of eternal salvation, not temporal. Every day we strive to hit that mark. Peace.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

AM - Thanks. That's a great point about the children of Israel. Even with skywriting, then always doubted & wanted to go back to Egypt. We humans have fickle hearts. Thank God for grace. Blessings.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Ken, I've been out of town a twice recently and have missed a lot of everyone's hubs but I'm glad I read this one. It was very uplifting and it is a reminder to keep focused in the right direction. God bless.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Pamela - Thank you for stopping in. Glad it was an uplifting visit. Peace & blessings.


Specialk3749 profile image

Specialk3749 6 years ago from Michigan

Ken, thank you for the encouragement! I needed this today!


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Specialk3749 - You're welcome. Thank you for dropping & I'm glad you were encouraged by the visit. Blessings.


pmccray profile image

pmccray 6 years ago from Utah

Your hub is a blessed teaching. We must forge ahead when we stray. We are givena new chance everyday we wake. Thanks for the inspirational hub.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

pmccray - You're welcome. Thank you for you kind words of affirmation. Blessings.


Williamjordan profile image

Williamjordan 6 years ago from Houston TX

Great hub this was real helpful thinks my bother for allowing God to work through you.


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 6 years ago from Arizona

Ken, a great hub and point of thinking, we can do the right thing for the right reason and it still goes wrong when we try to do it sans God. It really demonstrates that the end does not justify the means. It brings me to think of King David when he went to move the Ark of the Covenant, he did it for the right reasons and it was the right thing. He forgot to include God in his plan and it went bad, as God had all ready layed out the way it was to be done, by the Levites. I look at King Davids adventures and have found much can be learned from his short comings that we all share in common. Thanks for stirring up my gray matter.

Peace, 50


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

William - Thank you for your kind words. Blessings.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Dusty - You're welcome on the gray matter stir up. Thank you for taking time to stop & share. That Kind David & Ark illustration is excellent. Blessings.


peanutroaster profile image

peanutroaster 5 years ago from New England

Taking aim.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 5 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

peanutroaster - Amen. Blessings.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working