Many who know me often hear me pray about "hitting the mark." That desire comes from a revelation of sin and a recognition that we are in a spiritual army under the command of the Lord of Hosts who is engaged in a spiritual war.
Revelation of Sin
Romans 6:15 says" What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid." The Greek word translated sin means to err, trespass, offend and to miss the mark. The context of miss the mark is like an archer who shoots an arrow and misses the bulls-eye. They miss the mark.
So when I pray that "we hit the mark" it means that I am praying that we do things right and not err, offend, trespass or sin by missing the mark. What is the mark? What is the standard? What is the bulls-eye? That my friends is established by God's word. That is our standard. That is the mark or the bulls-eye we seek to hit.
We miss the mark when we lower our standard below God's word or we take away from God's word. Some who do not have a proper understanding of God's grace end up shooting to low not realizing that God's grace EMPOWERS us to fulfill what God's word says. Jesus did not come to do away with the law but to demonstrate how grace empowers us to fulfill it (Matt 5:17).
God's Word is the Mark - the Standard - the Bulls-eye
We miss the mark when we raise our standard to high or add to God's word. The religious Pharisees did this when their tradition added to God's word and encouraged others to dishonor their parents. Jesus said to them in Matthew 5:3 "Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? NKJV
Political ideology provides a current example of how we can miss God's mark by going to far to the right or the left when compared to God's word. There are many degrees to the right and to the left of the bulls-eye. I like what my old pastor used to say about sin. Pastor Larry would say "sin is like baloney. No matter how thin you slice it, it is still baloney.
Remember the standard is God's word.
I am a Christian Soldier
When I asked Jesus into my heart and made Him Lord of my life not only did I become a citizen in His kingdom (Lk 1912-27) but I also became a solider in His army (Ezk 37:1-10, Joel 2:1-10 & Rev. 19:11-14). I served as a citizen soldier in the Navy Reserves for 20 years. I received my commission after attending Aviation Officer Candidate School in Pensacola Florida. That extreme form of boot camp was run by Marine drill instructors.
I learned that every Marine no matter what your job was considered an elite solider. Therefore there were basic skills that every Marine was expected to master. They even had a creed for their rifle. It was their primary weapon. For the Christian soldier our primary weapon used both offensively and defensively is God's word.
Here is a poem written by Maj Gen WH Rupertus that gives insight into the kind of relationship an elite soldier should have with their weapon.
My Rifle (The Creed of a United States Marine) This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is MINE. My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. My rifle without me is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will... My rifle and myself know that what counts in war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our bursts, nor the smoke we make. We know it is the hits that count. We will hit... My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strengths, its parts, its accessories, its sights, and its barrel. I will ever guard it against the ravages of weather and damage. I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will... Before God I swear this creed. My rifle and myself are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life. So be it, until there is no enemy, but PEACE.
-- Maj Gen WH Rupertus
Lessons Learned through Metaphors
This is my bible, the written Word of God. There are many like it, but this one is MINE. My bible is my best friend. This bible combined with daily prayer to my God is life. I must master the word as so that I may conform my life to it. My bible without my mouth (my words inspired by Holy Spirit) is useless. Without my bible and daily communion with my Lord Jesus Christ through prayer, I am useless. I must speak and pray the word of God in truth. I must pray and speak straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must engage him before he destroys me. I will... Jesus who is called The Word of God and myself know that what counts in war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our bursts, nor the smoke we make. We know it is the hits that count. We will hit... Jesus is the living Word and He is alive, even as I, because He is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its its strengths, its parts, its accessories, its sights, inside and out. I will ever guard my heart and mind, the keeper of the Word against the ravages of society and its moral decline. I will keep my weapon ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will... Before God I swear this creed. God's Word in my heart released through my mouth inspired by the Holy Spirit are the defenders of truth. We are the masters of our enemy. Jesus is the savior of my life and of this world, He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, His word contained in the bible is true. So be it, until there is no enemy, but PEACE.