“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
What are You Aiming At?, by Randall D. Kittle
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During the 2004 Olympics in Athens, a U. S. athlete named Matt Emmons had a commanding lead going into the last round of one of the rifle-shooting contests. He had already won one gold medal in an earlier rifle-shooting event and seemed a lock to also win this one. Ahead by three points with one shot yet to go, all Matt needed was to get near the bull’s-eye to guarantee a second gold medal. Trying to stay calm, he raised his rifle, focused the cross hairs of his scope on the center of target, and slowly squeezed the trigger. A smile came across his face as he saw the target tear in the “8-point-zone” … assuring his victory.

But something was wrong — he hit the target, but
no score appeared for him on the scoreboard. He gestured to the officials that he thought there was some sort of error with his target. He knew that on rare occasions the scores fail to register with this type of target. He felt relieved as he saw the officials huddled … until they announced to the crowd that Matt Emmons had “cross-fired”; shot the target not in his lane, but his opponent’s next to him. He had aimed at and hit a target … but it was the wrong target! That wrong focus gave him a zero score on his last shot, which dropped him to eighth place and cost him the gold medal.

This story graphically depicts the importance of not only hitting the target, but also making certain we are aiming at the right one. In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he expressed the importance of focusing on the right target in our Christian life.
“I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus,” he said (3:14). Paul used the term “goal” in an illustration of an athlete running a race. Interestingly, the same word was also used of a target for shooting arrows. In both cases, the prospect of winning depends on being focused, and, as our illustration reveals, being focused on the right thing.

What Do You Seek?
What about you and me? What is our focus today? What is it we are seeking? For two disciples of John the Baptist, this question was more than an exercise in imagination. One day, while they were with John the Baptist, Jesus walked by. Seeing Him, John announced,
“Behold the Lamb of God!” (John 1:36). Instead of continuing to follow John, these two disciples left to follow Jesus. When Jesus saw them following Him, He turned and asked, “What do you seek?” (John 1:38).

How would you answer if Jesus were to ask you this question? Would you ask Him for health and fitness? A better job? A happier marriage? Financial security? More friends? Vindication from a false accusation? Salvation for a wayward loved one? Some new spiritual insight? Or perhaps a greater ability to minister to others?

Apparently John had taught his disciples well, because their answer indicated that they were not seeking something for themselves but Jesus Himself. They wanted to know where Jesus was staying. Not only did Jesus show them the place, He spent the remainder of the day with them.

I wonder how often you and I cross-fire and miss an opportunity to spend time with Jesus because we’re seeking something other than His presence. Let us make certain we’re aiming at the right target! For the believer, that focus should be a lifetime pursuit of a close, personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Since Jesus longs for our fellowship even more than we long for His, let us have the heart of David who said,
“I have asked one thing from the Lord; it is what I desire: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, gazing on the beauty of the Lord and seeking Him in His temple” (Psalm 27:4).

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