Matt Emmons, Olympic gold medalist in rifle shooting in 2004, was set to win another event at Athens. He had a commanding lead and hoped to make a direct bullseye on his last shot. But something went wrong — he hit the target, but he was aiming at the wrong one! That wrong focus dropped him to eighth place and cost him another medal.
In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he expressed the importance of focusing on the right target in our Christian life. Please take a moment and meditate on these words of God delivered by the apostle Paul: “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:7-14).
Paul used “goal” in an illustration of an athlete running a race. The same word was also used of a target for shooting arrows. In both cases, the prospect of winning depends on being focused. For the believer, that focus should be a lifetime pursuit of becoming more like our Savior Jesus Christ (Romans 8:28-29; Galatians 5:22-23).
What is your focus today? The believer’s target to be focused on should be Jesus — to be more like Him everyday. “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18). May we all ensure that we are aiming at the right target — following Jesus!