When The Bullet Misses The Target, Part 1of2, Evans Olang

1Samuel 15:1-23, “…Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice…”

Making a promise you can’t keep isn’t advisable. People generally have a tendency to make promises they have no intention of keeping, or have the ability to keep. This problem is consistent even in ministry. Often, someone will say “I will be there” for particular event, but fail to show up without ample notice. If you had project lined up for them to do, making last minute preparations and adjustments for adequate cover becomes difficult and frustrating. Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 says “4 When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; For He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed 5. Better not to vow than to vow and not pay it” Every good thing we do must be done to the glory of the Lord; therefore, anytime we make a vow, let’s remember that we are doing it unto the Lord; better not to promise than fail to keep a promise.

What I’m sharing here is in relations to aiming at a target with a gun, but failing to fire a bullet, or actually firing a bullet, but missing the target all together. Law enforcement personnel, such as soldiers and police officers are trained to hit targets precisely or they will not be of any use to their task force. Frustration is inevitable when firing hundreds of bullets results in nothing more than missed targets. Missing a target, both in practice, and in the line of duty, can cost lives. In 1Samuel, God appointed Saul as the first King of Israel via Samuel’s anointing oil. The Lord appointed him to lead the Israelites, but in chapter 15:3, Saul disobeyed specific instructions assigned to him in the special task God had commissioned. 1Samuel 15:3 says, “Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” The instructions were clear and specific: destroy everything. The Amalekites had ambushed the Israelites; therefore, God’s judgment was upon them. Could the Lord’s instructions to Saul have been any clearer? I don’t think they needed additional interpretation. Let’s read a little further to find out what Saul did. Verse 4 and 5 of the same chapter says “4 So Saul gathered the people together and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand men of Judah. 5 And Saul came to a city of Amalek…” Saul accepted the assignment, and saw his target as the Lord had explained. He even gathered soldiers and moved towards his target, an indication that he was firing his bullet. Verse 7 says “And Saul attacked the Amalekites.” From the surface, it sounds like Saul did exactly what God had asked him to do, but verse 9 says “But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.” Saul missed the target when he failed to destroy everyone and everything. Even if you are part of God’s plan, failing to do what He asks is tragic. You’ve heard people say “he hit the bullseye,” a metaphor that refers to hitting the center of a target. In Saul’s case, he missed the bullseye, because he only destroyed the people and things he rendered worthless. We are often guilty of disobedience when the Lord asks that we rid our lives of junk, we only eliminate the things that are worthless in our sight, and keep those we still consider dear to our hearts. I call this “the bullet that fired, but missed the target.” Missing the target is contrary to God’s will. You can even be in ministry but be outside God’s will (target), living in disobedience.

When confronted with truth, lies and cover-ups are the greatest disservice we can do to ourselves. A lie can only be covered for a certain period before it is exposed. Lying to God is one of the worst things we can do: remember, He knows our thoughts and sees our actions. Whatever is done in secret will be brought to light on the day of judgment. You can cover up your secrets and lies all you want, but at some point, you will have to come clean because He can convict you through your conscience. Saul thought that he had done God’s will, but he had actually disobeyed Him. Blessings Ev

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