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Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. --Proverbs 4:25-26 (NIV)
I had carefully measured the wall on which I needed to drill. The spacing between each mark where the screws were to be placed was precise. I climbed up the ladder, lined up the drill bit with the mark, and pressed the trigger. In a matter of seconds there appeared a neat hole, three-eighths of an inch in diameter, disappointingly angled upward instead of straight back.
What happened? My measurements were fine, but my technique was not. Instead of setting the ladder in a spot where I could position myself directly in front of the marks I had made, I was standing too far to one side. As a result, the hole I drilled was imperfect.
My failure to drill a hole straight into the wall is not much different from my inability to live a perfect life. No matter how hard I try or how carefully I try to avoid sinful behavior, I cannot. The word sin means "to miss the mark." Because I am a sinner, I will always miss the mark when it comes to living a life that is completely obedient to God's commandments.
As long as I attempt to do things on my own, I will be walking on uneven ground. This will only serve to complicate things if I will to align myself with God's rules for a perfect life. To be obedient, I must train my eyes to look straight ahead. This means doing exactly what the apostle Paul said--fixing my eyes on Jesus. When I am focused on Christ and following him, he leads me in paths of righteousness. When I walk where he leads and take the path that he has pointed out to me, I know my footing is firm.
Even though I am a sinner and have missed the mark of perfection, I still have value. Unlike the angled hole in my wall, which cannot be used as originally intended, I am able to be restored to perfection and holiness through Christ's work in me. Daily I must take straight aim as I focus on him and actively abide in him.
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Great article! We all 'miss the mark' and will continue in various ways to miss it, yet if we fix our eyes on God, as you said, daily (I need this almost minutely, sometimes hourly!) we can be restored. Praise God! Thanks!